Friday, February 6, 2015

pura vida.

Big news. My computer is fixed and my photos have been restored. It was a little scary there for a while but everything is safe! To celebrate, I figure it is about time to talk about Costa Rica.

After our trip to Israel/Jordan was cancelled last minute in December (don't ever book with Ukrainian International Air) we pivoted quickly with 9 days notice and booked a trip to Costa Rica. It was wonderful. We both didn't realize just how much we needed a vacation.

For the first three days, we rented an airbnb about 3 hours south of San Jose in Dominical. It was fantastic. We are big on doing airbnb abroad, having found great places in Spain and Puerto Rico, we love having our own space and getting into a routine. The house was in the jungle and the drive up to it was an experience. It was about 2 miles off a town road. There was a windy dirt road, that when we first arrived, we followed the owner up in the dark - and the drive was crazy. Impossible to grab in a picture - but it took us into the jungle...
...and the views from the house were spectacular!

We woke up every morning - brewed coffee and ate breakfast on the porch. And then would sit there for a couple hours - this is exactly what we do in Walloon and pretty much any place we go with a view.

We were also very much in the jungle...wildlife abounded...and we literally woke up to monkey sounds!
We also put in our beach time every day. The beaches were beautiful. Dominical is not super developed and it is still very much a laid back surf town. There is an ex-pat community but not a huge tourist community which made it quiet and off the beaten track. Most important - the water was warm and the waves were big!
And we had some spectacular sunsets,,,
All in, we ate well. I basically just wanted really good rice and beans and coffee. In Dominical,for a total hole in the wall with solid rice and beans and local culture - Soda y Nanyoa hit the spot.

We also had a nice meal at La Parcela with a great view. For burgers and your can't make it up, classic all things ex-pat experience - the Jolly Roger will hit the spot. We had a nice drink at Cuna del Angel -but not sure we would tell you to stay for a meal...the one place we missed out on because it was full the night we went and we couldn't get a table was Por Que No?. And then obviously, you should drink lots of Fanta and we happened upon these tortilla chips in a grocery store - they blew our mind. So much so, we brought a bag back with us.

We left Domincal, and drove back north where we stayed for 3 nights at the Asclepios Wellness Spa. It was beyond wonderful. Surrounded by coffee plantations - it felt a lot like a California spa with a latin america twist. Ben got a massage every day. We sat out and read and slept.

While we loved Asclepios, they don't serve coffee (confusing? Yes - we agree). So, every day we drove around the corner to Villa San Ignacio. We ended up loving it in there and making friends with Andres, the bartender and waiter. So we also went back for dinner and a breakfast. We can't recommend it highly enough if you stay at Asclepios or nearby. We also went to an outstanding dinner at C-Vichito y Mas. It is tucked away somewhere in Alajuela but well worth the drive. It looks like nothing on the outside but the owner and chef (and his wife) are putting out really interesting, good food! Here is the random outside!

It was a great week. Costa Rica treated us well. We have many more recommendations and tips if you are thinking of going - so let me know if you want them!

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