Playa Conchal: The Allure of Shell Beach

The distinct sound of a million tiny seashells gently shuffling with each lapping wave will forever be what we imagine when thinking of Playa Conchal. Usually specific beaches don’t make our destinations’ list, but for Playa Conchal in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, we’ve made an exception. Not only is the beach itself stunning, but its location, tucked away in a private cove, makes it the perfect place to escape all of the stresses of life. This post will give you everything you need to plan your own visit, whether it’s a relaxing day with the kids or a romantic week-long getaway.

 

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

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La Fortuna: What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Most Popular Destination

La Fortuna, also known as La Fortuna de San Carlos, is undoubtedly one of Costa Rica’s most talked about destinations. Travel writers love to cover it, tour operators boast about it, and a quick Google search will reveal thousands of articles on this small town alone. But does La Fortuna live up to the hype? The answer: yes it does and then some. In this post, we share our insider tips to this quaint mountain town and tell you why following the tourist trail to La Fortuna is still worth it.

 

La Fortuna Central Park and Garden  | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

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Taste Testing the Beers of Costa Rica

Having moved to Costa Rica from Boston, a city with more than a dozen different breweries, one of our first orders of business was to try every beer that we could find. Although we have discovered some delicious microbrews around the country, sadly they are not widely distributed and are hard to find. Instead, there are only a few brands that dominate the market. So what exactly can you expect when ordering a cerveza here in paradise? This post will cover the three most common beer choices in Costa Rica and give you beer lovers a take on what to expect.

 

The Beers of Costa Rica

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San Gerardo de Dota: A Hideaway in the Cloud Forest

San Gerardo de Dota is a little known destination in the remote mountains south of Costa Rica’s capital city, San Jose. The village is set deep in a valley, but is surrounded by the towering Talamanca mountains. Among the quiet cloud forests of San Gerardo de Dota live a wide variety of animals and an even wider selection of birds, including the famous Resplendent Quetzal, the Emerald Toucanet, and dozens of hummingbird species. Though San Gerardo de Dota is slowly becoming known for its superb bird watching, it remains home to just a handful of quaint eco-lodges and restaurants, making it the perfect escape. Below we share our recent trip to San Gerardo de Dota and tips for planning your own visit.

 

Hummingbird San Gerardo de Dota | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Green Violet-Ear Hummingbird Zipping Around in San Gerardo de Dota

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House Sitting: Build a Perfect House Sitter Profile

A couple of weeks ago, we did a post about saving money on accommodations through house sitting. We shared how the process works, the three best websites to join, and our experience of saving at least $7,000 over the past year on housing in Costa Rica. Now that you know the basics, it’s time to get to the details of how to land your first assignment. After all, the word has gotten out about the benefits of house sitting. It seems that everyone is jumping on board as a way to fund their travel adventures, and with all of the competition, you need to know how to stand out from the crowd. The key is to build a killer profile. Over the past year, we’ve had a chance to tinker with ours to see what works and what doesn’t. Below are our top 5 tips for building the perfect profile.

 

Creating a Housesitting Profile

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Racing the Clouds at Poas Volcano

Even before moving to Costa Rica, we had wanted to visit Poas volcano. Considered to be the largest active crater in the world at almost a mile (1.5 kilometers) wide and 300 meters (900 feet) deep, Poas is an icon in Costa Rica. Part of the reason for its popularity is its location. Poas is close to San Jose and the international airport, making it an easy day trip on either end of a vacation. But Poas is a must-see in its own right. The crater lake is one of the most acidic in the world, having a pH of around zero. This makes the lake very toxic but also gives it an intense blue color. The striking pictures of Poas’ aquamarine water and fascinating geology were enough to make us want to visit but then, to intrigue us even more, this past February the volcano ejected a dense plume of mud and steam 300 meters (984 feet) into the air.

While living on Lake Arenal, we recently took a road trip to the Sarapiqui region and knew we had to fit in a visit to nearby Poas. Unfortunately we can’t say that it was everything we dreamed it would be (keep reading to find out why), but we picked up some good tips along the way.

 

Poas Volcano and Crater, Costa Rica

Poas Volcano. Photo Credit: Philippe Guillaume

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Jenn and Matt from Two Weeks in Costa RicaHola! 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. . . Read More

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