We made it to Costa Rica and have been exploring for 5 days now. We started in the capital, San Jose, for the first 2 days then headed to the coast to a small beach town called Brasilito.
Surprises: It was definitely cooler and rainier in San Jose than we had expected but still a really cool city. We stayed by a large public park which we got to explore and Fay got to climb, jump, and flip on the playgrounds. We ate food from Peru and Costa Rica and checked out the Costa Rican Art Museum. Everything is more expensive than we imagined. Dinners have run us about $100 for the 3 of us every day and we're not eating anything crazy- no surf and turf for us. Luckily breakfast is free and plantain chips have become our favorite afternoon snack. We left San Jose wanting to explore more but ready for the beach!
To get to Brasilito, we flew on a 15 person plane where I was basically in the cockpit. I even glimpsed the pilot texting while flying! Luckily the co-pilot was a woman and she kept him on task.
In Brasilito, we're staying at a cute but rustic hotel about a 5 minute walk from the beach called Hotel Conchal. However, the bridge to get to the beach is under construction so it's a harrowing feet to get to the playa (beach) without getting run over by motorcycles, cars, horses, constrcution vehicles, or bikes.
We finally got to the beach the first day and wondered why no one was swimming on Playa Brasilito. We immediately jumped in the water at this deserted 2 mile long beach on Fay's insistence since she couldn't resist getting in right away. However, we watched everyone else walk past and head in between the trees over a hill. We wondered what they knew and we didn't.
After David spotted a sting ray not far away from us, we decided to exit the water and follow the masses. We're glad we did! We stumbled up the hill with the others to find the clearest, bluest water next to a shell beach- no sand so the water was completely see through. It was gorgeous and everyone knew about it. We swam, snacked, and walked the beach until high 12. We quickly realized it was time to take a midday break from the sun for our gringo skin to heal. Each day we've been out in the mornings, then taken a break from the sun, rested indoors, and then swam at the hotel pool in the afternoon/evenings. Fay is a full on mermaid and could stay in the water all day!
The second full day, we began early with a horse back ride on the beach with Manuel- our fearless leader who let his 10 year old son guide us solo part of the way. It was fun except my horse did NOT like being near the water and frequently ran me up the shore and into the trees. Fay loved it and wanted to go for longer than an hour but my thighs couldn't handle more! We got fresh juice smoothies at a nearby restaurant that also had a pool which we jumped right into until the afternoon rains started.
Since we've been here, we've eaten seafood, Pan-Asian food, and Indian food and are really impressed with the variety of food options in this tiny town. Breakfast is included at the hotel and is delicious- fresh fruit, juice, coffee, tea, and either pancakes, omelets, or typical Costa Rican breakfast (eggs, beans & rice, and fried plantains- delicioso!).
We tried Karaoke at the Asian restaurant on the waitresses insistence. The irony is that the first time I sang Karaoke was 20+ years ago when I was in Costa Rica with my dear friend Deb and my brothers- one of which was living in country. She and I chose Snow by Informer which was the MOST difficult song to sing but we tried our best and figured we'd never be back in Costa Rica to sing Karaoke and embarrass ourselves again. Little did I know...
Fay chose Justin Bieber's Baby to sing but quickly abandoned me at the front of the restaurant to sing the last 2:17 minutes by MYSELF! I was mortified since I only knew the chorus and I felt sorry for the 4 other patrons in that restaurant. It was fun for her, embarrassing for me. Luckily David caught it on film so I can continue to be mortified for eternity. ;)
Tonight we're heading out on a sunset cruise where we also get to snorkel and snack aboard a catamaran. Tomorrow we're renting a car and visiting a couple of international, bilingual schools in the area. Hopefully we'll be able to navigate the crazy roads here- most are paved thank goodness.
Thursday we'll be going to Diamante Eco Adventure Park where we'll visit a sanctuary of native animals, see how chocolate and coffee are made here and get to sample the treats, and maybe Zipline. Friday is a free day, our last full day before our long trip home Saturday!
Here's a recap in images and captions.
Boarding the plane in Charlotte- Fay carried all her bags the whole with only a few complaints (every 5 minutes ;)
Hotel La Sabana in San Jose- we spent a lot of time in this pool even though it was chilly. Breakfast was served at a tiny restaurant next to the pool.
La Sabana Park and the Modern Art Museum
The Modern Art museum was originally an International Airport in the 1940's. It's a gorgeous structure inside and out.
Adios San Jose!
Vamos a Brasilito! We traveled on a plane that's only meant for 7 year old sized people- luckily it was only a 50 minute flight and we landed safely.
The Conchal Hotel and Our Iguana Friend Charlie. He liked to sunbathe every day by the pool near us. A fan favorite!
Playa Brasilito (one local man described it as Fea-Ugly because the water isn't very clear) but it seemed nice to us and we could have it all to ourselves.
Playa Conchal (the prettier and way more popular beach)
Pineapple filled with lemonade on the beach - a new family favorite.
Horseback riding on the beach, and yes David's horse looks near death trying to stay standing on the hot beach.
Sunsets on Playa Brasilito are phenomenal! Fay was fascinated by the colors.
!Hasta Luego! I'll report back when we get back Stateside!