After 4 days of backpacking and jam-packed days, it was time to leave one rain forest for another. Kelsey and I were extremely excited because this one happened to be on the ocean. We headed to the beach town of Manuel Antonio and we had no plans.
After a pretty sketchy 30 minute flight to Quepos, we took a cab to our Airbnb villa. The place was JAW. DROPPING. Once you walk through the amazing huge wooden door, the villa opens up to be three stories and has a really open feel to it. There were no walls, windows, or doors around any of the main living areas or kitchen. With a gorgeous, swim-up infinity pool that was connected to the kitchen, Kelsey and I immediately knew that at some point this place would become our heaven. The house consisted of four super unique bedroom suites and we were the final guests to arrive for the weekend. Because we booked last minute (aka as we landed in Quepos), there was only one room available in this amazing villa: the most expensive and boojee of all. We had a private hot tub in our room. *insert hair flip emoji* We felt like we made it. Here is a mini Cribs tour of our villa…
One of our hosts, Jarek, was very helpful and had an amazingly dry sense of humor. Upon arrival, Jarek gave us the low down on the house, including its crazy past, a long list of rules, and incredibly detailed information about the neighborhood. We had to keep a lock on the fridge because the monkey’s are known to come in and steal things!
After getting settled, Kelsey and I decided to walk down to the beach for lunch. Despite it being clothing optional, I still had an appetite for a good ole fashioned hamburger. We stumbled upon a cute little shack called Balu’s Beach Bar and grabbed a table. Kelsey had the most delicious Avocado Sandwich on the face of the planet. Their drinks were 2 for 1 and our brains were freezing! Falling into a food coma, Kelsey and I laid on the beach for a much needed nap.
After our cat nap on the beach, we ventured home via el autobus and made a pitstop to purchase some much needed items: liquor, avocados, and a handful of whatever fruit we could grab. That night, we were in bed by 9 playing cards and ordering pizza. First of all, the Ticos can make a mean pizza and I’ve never seen one delivered so quick in my life! Throughout the night, I could hear monkey’s bouncing around upstairs. This night was the perfect example of two friends acting extremely normal in a very far-from-normal setting. Hey, maybe we really could do this forever.
The next morning, everyone staying at the villa enjoyed a delicious family style breakfast that Jarek’s wife prepared. I told her about how loud the Monkeys were all night and she said “they were probably getting back at me for being so loud the night before”. -_-
At breakfast we really hit it off with a Chilean/Croatian couple living in Atlanta and their darling little daughter. Kelsey and I loved the fact that despite having a young child, this couple was still doing what they love to do, travel, and they were bringing her along! Their daughter kept telling us how everything was “so relaxing”. It seemed like she was really enjoying this “much needed” vacation. 😉 Another awesome couple we met at the villa from Sweden was traveling Central America together, and they had only been dating for 6 months! Just. WOW.
Kelsey and I decided to spend this day doing a whole lot of nothing. We walked into town for lunch at Emilio’s cafe and were surprised with an amazing view. After, we did a little shopping and grabbed drinks at a local bar before spending a relaxing evening by the infinity pool with our fellow Airbnb’ers.
Once again, I was shh’d by our host as she asked “has anyone ever told you that your voice carries?” I replied “Yeah! I get it all the time. You should meet my mother!” I don’t think she liked my response very much 🙂 Shout out to my Mom!
Our new friends from Atlanta made us and the Sweds the best seafood pasta for our “family dinner” and we all downed quite a few glasses of wine. It was a really great night and we loved spending time with people from all over the world.
Our last day in Manuel Antonio started off with another mouth-watering breakfast cooked by our BnB hosts, consisting of banana pancakes and fresh mango juice!
Kelsey and I couldn’t stay long because we had another flight to catch. We were leaving just one day after one of the nearby volcanos was erupting. Rumors were spreading that flights would likely be cancelled for safety reasons. Thankfully, we were flying NatureAir and there was no way that a little volcanic ash and soot would stop them from delivering their clients to their respective destinations. And just like that, we were off to San Jose for our last night in Costa Rica. 😦
In San Jose, we rented an airbnb at Hotel Colonial which was conveniently located in Chinatown. We walked around downtown and stumbled across an awesome flea market where I was able to buy a lot of souvenirs for cheap! Our hotel even scheduled a 4 AM cab ride for us to get to the airport which was very convenient. We had to learn to say goodbye to our beloved home for the past week. Adios Costa, adios Arenal, adios la playa. Adios Eva, adios monkeys, adios crazy Airbnb hosts (not you Frank!). Adios everyone that we met and every experience that we had.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again… Costa Rica is an incredible country and memory. Traveling is so great because we learn from each experience that we have, each place that we visit, and each encounter that we embrace. Everyone is different in this world and this is especially apparent when traveling abroad. Life should be all about remaining open-minded and embracing all of our differences as humans, so we can experience each culture and conversation to the fullest.