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.
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.
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.
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.
Since Buying a Car in Costa Rica about 10 months ago, we have gone through many of the motions of car ownership, including taxes, insurance, maintenance, and of course repairs. Anyone living in Costa Rica will tell you that the roads are rough and your car will take a toll. Our 14-year old Chevy Tracker has had an especially difficult past several months. Since we bought it, we’ve been vagabonding around the country and have put on 15,000 miles. From the southern Pacific to the Caribbean coast, to northern Guanacaste and the mountains of the Central Valley, we’ve been on smooth highways, sandy beach trails, as well as some of the worst pothole-ridden roads in the country. With that much travel, we feel lucky to still have four wheels on the ground, let alone a functioning car. This post will cover some of the regular maintenance costs anyone would encounter as well as specific issues we’ve faced since owning the Green Buggy.
Although Costa Rica is less expensive than many destinations in North America, Europe, and the South Pacific, it isn’t as budget friendly today as it once was. Like all great things, the word has gotten out about Costa Rica’s awesomeness. Its beautiful beaches, rainforests, and wildlife draw millions of visitors annually, and with that popularity, prices are on the rise. But don’t fret. If you’re a frugal traveler, there are plenty of ways to save. Here are our top 10 tips for saving money on your trip to Costa Rica.
Hola! 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.