The hubs and I just recently honeymooned in the Central American country of Costa Rica, and to be honest, we could not have chosen a better place to spend that post-wedding QT together.
Here are just some of the reasons we fell in love with this little jewel of a country.
1. The Beaches
We stayed on the Caribbean side of the country for a portion of our trip, and just loved the natural-ness to the beaches in the area.
I will say, we did go on our trip during their rainier season, which meant less tourists (like ourselves) taking over, but I was surprised to find that the beach we stayed on was nearly secluded. It was like we had our own little private getaway. On our honeymoon, we truly just wanted some quality time the two of us away from people for awhile, so this was just what the doctor ordered.
Every newly married couple needs one of these “name in the sand” shots, right?
2. The Mountains
And by mountains, I really mean, Volcán Arenal (aka Arenal Volcano), where we spent the later portion of our trip in the center of the country.
Seriously, this volcano was made to be on postcards, and combined with the lush green forests that surround it, just give me a lounge chair and I could take it in for hours.
3. The Accommodations
We lucked out in staying at some of the most amazing and diverse accommodations while in the country.
We spent the first half of our trip on “Playa Negra” on the Pacific side of the country at a quaint little cottage establishment called Mother Dear.
Jim and Debbie (the owners) are fabulous and were more than helpful in assisting us in learning how to navigate our way around town. We absolutely loved it there, because we felt like locals walking to town, buying and cooking food from the grocery store, and soaking up as much of the Caribbean lifestyle that we could.
Yes. That was our view every morning.
While it wasn’t decked out with all of the fancy accommodations (like air conditioning) that a resort may provide, it was definitely the secluded little, local-like bungalow we were looking for.
After our stay at the beach, we headed inland toward the center of the country to stay at the base of that massive beauty of a volcano shown above to stay at the Arenal Nayara Hotel.
Needless to say, we were a little more pampered here.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner over looking pristine pools or a volcano. Can’t go wrong I’d say.
While we absolutely loved the hotels we chose and would highly recommend both, there were many others that we ran across in passing or met others who were staying at them that I am sure would be more than accommodating for couples on their honeymoons as well.
4. The Hiking
Why yes, that is a bridge suspended throughout the trees of the forest, so glad you asked.
Costa Rica has so many opportunities for hiking, biking and exploring.
Our favorite was the Hanging Bridges Tour where we were able to walk with a guide and learn about our surroundings via a variety of bridges just hanging out in the trees.
We saw so many different types of trees and plant life, as well as monkeys, sloths, spiders, ants, snakes, lizards, you name it, in their natural habitats.
And the views from the tops of the trees were incredible.
Just a word of caution: This is probably not a tour that those who have a fear of heights would enjoy. Stick to ground level.
5. The Chocolate
We spent one of our mornings at a chocolate plantation, learning about how this delicious delicacy is made from start to finish.
Check out the muscles on this sweaty guy while grinding the cacao nibs into powder.
(Chocolate making is tough work I tell ya.)
Now the best part. Time to indulge.
6. The “Other” Food
We did take a moment at times, while difficult, to eat something besides chocolate (although I will admit, it was definitely our dessert of choice at the end of every day.)
Can you guess who chose each of the food options between the two of us above?
Beer and nachos, definitely a Ryan staple. He loved the local beer called Imperial, shown above.
While I was totally digging the ceviche and plantain chips.
7. The Animals
While we did have the opportunity to see many wild animals and insects, we also ventured over to both the Jaguar Rescue Center and Sloth Sanctuary during our stay to see how both work to rescue and rehabilitate some of the country’s wildlife.
I mean, seriously, could these guys be any cuter if they tried?
9. The Surroundings
I know I have mentioned some of the specific surroundings previously, but I am not kidding when I say this is one of the most eye-pleasing places I have been in my life.
Everywhere you look there are bright colors and vegetation that is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
9. The Towns
We ventured around in the both the towns of Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna during our stay and had a great time eating at the restaurants, sipping delicious drinks at local coffee shops, and shopping til’ our heart’s content. Both felt safe as well as offered taxi services back to our lodging as necessary.
10. The Life
We absolutely loved the laid back lifestyle of the area and the people who lived there. More than anything, we enjoyed just living a sampling of it all while we were there. Often, my favorite parts of our trip were not the excursions or outings, but the simple experiences I had speaking with those who lived there and learning about the country from all of them.
We learned that for many the motto throughout the country is “Pura Vida”, which more or less is their way of saying “Hakuna Matata”, no worries, enjoy life.
We found it to be incredibly fitting, as that’s how we felt each moment we were in that beautiful country.
What a fun place to honeymoon! Glad you guys had a great trip.
LOVE the pics…..I want to go to Costa Rica now….What is the best time to go? (weather?)
It was wonderful. Thanks Gretchen!
It was amazing. The weather honestly wasn't too bad while we were there, but it was definitely overcast most of the time and rained a little each day. But it kept it from being extremely hot, I guess. I believe that their dry season is during our winter more or less from like November to April. The perk of going during the time we did is that is it less crowded, where as I think the drier season is more touristy. It's all in what you prefer!
Oh my god, did you get to hold the sloth? That is on my life list, that I've just made right this minute… I want to cuddle one.
Also, making chocolate sounds amazing.
What a view! I'd love to wake up to that every morning 🙂 I'm glad you and your hubby had a great time, I hope i get to visit Costa Rica one day! 🙂
We got to pet them and take photos with them. Unfortunately, for their safety and ours, no holding. And yes, making chocolate was amazing (and delish) for sure!