Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Open the Map! In the strip of land connecting the continents of North and South America you will find an unspoiled paradise where wildlife roams without fencing and the flora is unmanicured and natural. It is a rainforest with ocean beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific.

This Spring Break I took a trip down to the tropical country of Costa Rica. The ideal time to visit is December through April, the dry season, when sunshine is plentiful and there is little rain. It was about a 40 minute drive from the airport in Liberia to the resort in the Papagoya Peninsula. We stayed at the beautiful Four Seasons. My friend had invited my father and I to join them while my sister and mother were in Amsterdam for senior year spring break. While driving to the resort, I saw all kinds of wildlife: White-faced monkeys in the trees, iguanas relaxing on rocks, and even these cute part squirrel, part raccoon creatures called White Nosed Coatis. When we got to the resort, we got to drink coconut water straight from a coconut.

Our first day at the resort, my dad and I went golfing. Well… my dad went golfing and I drove the cart. The golf course was a 5 minute drive from the resort. The concierge called a car to come and get us. The golf course takes you on a drive through the Costa Rican nature. We saw more White Nosed Coatis as well as Iguanas by the cart path. The course also provides some scenic photo opportunities! The course is manicured but is bordered by the wild. It was like touring a fenceless zoo.

The next day we went surfing. My dad and I met up with my friend and his brother. We had a 3 hour surf lesson with 2 instructors. The instructors took us out on a boat to our surfing spot. Due to the recent pandemic, the beach was empty. After 3 hours of surfing, I was managing to catch my own waves and ride them into the beach!

The next day, my dad and I went paddle boarding with my friend. It was a lot easier than I expected. I didn’t even fall! And when I got tired, I could sit on my board and put my feet in the water. There is only a certain time frame you can go paddle boarding, though. The wind starts to pick up around the afternoon so it’s not safe to go out. The time to go is in the morning.

On our last day, my friend’s family had rented a sailboat for the evening. It was a large catamaran that came with a crew. We sailed to a small cove and were able to go paddle boarding, snorkeling, swimming, or sunbathe at the front. The crew took us to the beach and showed us caves in the cliff walls. We even saw some Hermit Crabs on the beach! As a snack, we got fresh fruit, chips and dip. Watching the sun set while sailing on the ocean is a memory I won’t forget.

The coronavirus pandemic caused many registered guests to cancel their trips there so there were few visitors. I hope when the pandemic is over tourists will re-book their trip and visit this small, special country that protects its land and wildlife. I am glad that we kept our reservation and visited Costa Rica which means Rich Coast.