Our First Year in Costa Rica

Today marks our one-year anniversary of living in Costa Rica. It’s hard to believe that a year ago today we were arriving in San Jose with nothing but eight suitcases and a sense of adventure. Looking back, it’s been one wild year full of change, and we’ve loved (just about) every minute of it. Below we share some of the biggest contrasts between our old lives and new.

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Monteverde: A Forest in the Clouds

Located in the country’s northwestern mountains and straddling the Continental Divide is one of Costa Rica’s top ecotourism destinations, Monteverde. Translating to Green Mountain, this small town, originally founded by Quakers, really lives up to its name. Here, trees are covered in layers of thick moss and plants grow on top of one another due to a constant haze of misty clouds and filtered sun. This unique habitat, called the cloud forest, is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife. We recently took our second trip to Monteverde to further explore this remote destination.

 

Monteverde A Forest in the Clouds

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Vino de Coyol: Costa Rica’s Moonshine?

Costa Rica has its share of strange beverages, and we’ve tried a lot of them. There’s Agua de Tamarindo, a brown, sweet drink made from the tamarind fruit. If you go to a bar, you might be served Sangrita, a tomato-juice based shot that tastes to us like a BBQ-sauce Bloody Mary. And for a hot day, there’s Resbaladera, a cold rice drink made with barley, milk, cinnamon, and clove. But one we hadn’t tried yet, until now that is, was Vino de Coyol. We had seen the mysterious bottles sweating in the hot sun along the highways of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, but never stopped. We wanted to learn more first.

 

Vino de Coyol Costa Rica Picture

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Road Trip to Mal Pais

For months we had been meaning to make the trek to the beach towns of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. Known for consistent surf, pristine jungle, and a chill vibe, Mal Pais has attracted quite a following, even among celebrities. If it’s good enough for Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Matthew McConaughey, what was stopping us, right? Our biggest deterrent was that Mal Pais is located in a remote corner of the Nicoya Peninsula, far from every place we have visited during our travels. The roads were also said to be very bad, making us weary to take our own car. So, finally, with a rental car and a packed cooler, we decided to take a road trip and see for ourselves what makes Mal Pais so special.

 

Malpais Beaches

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The Pure Life Pace: A Horseback Tour in Nosara

Nosara has loads of adrenalin-pumping adventure activities from touring the mountains in a military-grade TOMCAR to flying through the rainforest on one of the world’s longest zip-lines. But, remember, part of visiting Costa Rica is enjoying la pura vida (the pure life), slowing down and taking in the beautiful natural surrounds. Below we share one of the best ways to do just that—horseback riding.

 

Horseback riding on the beach Nosara Costa Rica Picture

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Jenn and Matt pic for website blurbHola! We're Matt & Jenn, a couple from Boston who quit our jobs to pursue a dream of living in Costa Rica. It all started about 10 years ago. We came to Costa Rica expecting an ordinary vacation in paradise. What we got was a new perspective on life. After many more visits, we published a book and started this website to share our knowledge.

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