2 Girls, a Gravel Road, and a Herd of Cows
In January my dear friend Hailey & I decided to make a quick getaway to Costa Rica. By quick, I mean, we decided within 2 weeks and did not do much research as to what we should do, where we should stay, etc. But I got us a hotel in an area I thought was going to be super fun and rented us a car.
We met in Miami to then fly together to Liberia on the Western side of the country. I’m a window seat kinda girl and I have to say this flight probably had the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen! The car rental was close to the airport (which is small, hot, and incapable in my opinion of hosting the amount of people flying through, except customs – that was a breeze) so we shuttled over to get our car.
I did the cheapest option – broke girl traveling, remember? So our car was about $3 a day and we got a wifi hotspot instead of a GPS, off we go! Let me tell you something about Costa Rican roads – they are HARD to drive on. What was about 19 miles away took us well over an hour to get to our hotel, on gravel roads and it seemed like the car was going to give out at any turn. Note to anyone going to Costa Rica – GET AN SUV.
We stayed at the Azul Ocean Club on Guanacaste Peninsula. It was a cute place, but very small and very secluded. There was nothing nearby that was walking distance, and there are no real streets, signs, or street lights in the event you were planning to drive somewhere at night, nor did the hotel offer a shuttle into town. Call me crazy, but I thought going to Costa Rica would be cheap but not here. Everything was the same price as eating in NYC but the food was about half the quality. We ended up eating shrimp with pesto linguine every night because that was the only edible dish, you would have thought Ahi Tuna or Mahi would have been delicious, but I found them both to be terrible. Besides breakfast – breakfast was great – chilaquiles for everyone!
There were big plans for surfing, zip lining, etc. but the prices were astronomical at our hotel so we decided to just relax and enjoy the warm weather. Drinks were overpriced, and everything closed by 9pm. This was not turning out to be the vacation we wanted. I was trying to stay positive and not be a snob but I was so excited when Hailey finally said she didn’t want to stay the full time. Our moods immediately increased when we decided to end our stay a day early and enjoy a day in Miami (our old home, where we met and became besties).
With our newfound positivity we decided to find a store up the road to get cheaper refreshments. Unfortunately, the car wouldn’t start. Hailey was just as upset as I was but it took all she had not to laugh at my face while I threw my temper tantrum. Between that and trying to communicate through sign language that I needed someone to jump my car we were both about in giggle fits. The car eventually started and we spent an ungodly amount of money on alcohol to get us through the next few days.
The following morning we decided to get away from the resort and go to Lola’s, a beach bar recommended to us by a friend of a friend in a town I thought I had booked our hotel in. About 20 minutes from arriving I turned a corner and had to slam on my breaks. There was a herd of cows and bulls taking up the entire road, dead stopped staring at me. It was unreal, I was terrified, Hailey was laughing her ass off snap chatting the whole thing. All I kept thinking was that if they charged the car I wasn’t sure I bought enough insurance to cover it. A couple of minutes went by, a lady on a bike was taking cover behind my car and my smile started to crack through my grumpy exterior. I mean what else was going to happen to us? Finally a little girl on a horse came back and led them all around the car and we made it out without a scratch.
By the time we got there I needed a damn drink, thank god this place was busy! We were so excited to get out and be with people since we had been on a deserted island. Apparently we were a bit too anxious to get away from Azul Ocean Club and forgot towels, sunscreen, and water. So we just plopped our asses in the sand for a while before we decided to actually go into the restaurant for a bite.
We had fish tacos & Imperlal beer – local to Costa Rica. Everything was delicious, the people were friendly, and the prices were actually normal. I was so happy there. We stayed as long as we could but I wanted to be back before the sun went down, since the roads were so shitty I was afraid to drive at night.
The next morning we made our way back to the airport, barely tanner, and with a great appreciation for the US. It didn’t ruin Costa Rica as a vacation spot for me but I definitely realized that some trips need a little more preparation. Next time I’ll be back with a group and a well thought out vacation.
Have you been to Costa Rica? Let me know your thoughts on where to go and what to see!