Tamarindo, Costa Rica

October 27, 2014

"Pura Vida", the pure life... Costa Rica definitely has that and more going for it. I got a chance to visit Tamarindo, Costa Rica a few years ago when one of my best friends asked me to be in her wedding. I couldn't say no to her or Costa Rica! 

Tamarindo is located on the Northern Pacific coast of the country and is about a 3.5 hour drive from the airport. We flew into San Jose (SJO) which is a pretty interesting airport. It is one of those airports where you land on the tarmac and then take the stairs down, no gates or terminals (they might have updated the airport since then though). Then you walk over to the customs line which is in a "building" that is more like a hanger with no air conditioning. After going through customs, we all got in our shuttle and started heading to the resort. Since we landed in the evening, it was dark and we couldn't see out our windows. Costa Rica had to wait till the next morning.

We stayed at the Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort which was perfect! The wedding and wedding reception were both at the resort as well so it was a one-stop shop. Walking around the grounds, you definitely felt like you were in the tropics with lush greens and exotic flowers everywhere. And you could definitely feel the humidity. Coming from Houston, I know a thing or two about humidity but this took it to another level. The hotel offered Wi-Fi for a fee but it was only accessible around the main lobby and restaurant which I didn't have a problem with.  

As a whole, Costa Rica is fairly "cheap" compared to America. I don't remember my flight being cheap (I believe it was around $500 RT on United) but once we got there, we got a lot for our money. I got a hour beach-side massage for $20! I don't even think those mall chair massages are that cheap. Drinks, even at the hotel, were reasonably priced, unlike resorts elsewhere. One day a group of us headed out into town to go shopping and I bought a bunch of gifts for a bargain, including an awesome blow dart gun. Every place that we stopped at took US dollars as well as the colon, Costa Rica's currency. At one restaurant, we even paid in dollars and colones since they gave us one check and it was actually quite confusing. After doing the conversion in our heads, we handed our waitress the money and she kept on telling us we were short. We couldn't understand why but then noticed we were charged a "burger tax" on our bill for the people who ordered burgers. Costa Rica, what's up with the burger tax?

Everyone in Costa Rica was super friendly. Even with a language barrier, they didn't act annoyed when you talked with your hands or pointed at everything in sight. Even the ladies trying to sell me jewelry on the beach were really nice. But unfortunately, they didn't get any business from me. Especially when I was just laying out.    

Since my visit to Costa Rica was for a (beautiful) wedding, I didn't get a chance to venture out as much as I wanted. I would love to go back with Aiden and explore more of the country including the rain forest and volcanoes. Til we meet again!                         


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