On this gloomy -20something day, I can’t help but daydream about beaches, tanned lifeguards, and palomas. If you’re jetting off for Costa Rica, you’ve probably imagined the lush jungles and the picturesque beaches-and let me tell you, that’s what you’re gonna get.
Continuing from my last post, we left Monteverde and headed for the ocean, in one of the longest travel days of our trip. We took a shuttle bus (booked through anywhere.com as per usual) to Puntarenas-where I wish we could’ve spent a bit more time.
From Puntarenas you can hop on a ferry, and you want to take the one that goes to Paquera (if you are headed to Montezuma, Mal Pais, or Santa Teresa) and costs just under $2. And take a “nice”, long drive (between 40 and 90 minutes depending on where you are headed) on some of the bumpiest roads I have ever been on.
We went to Mal Pais, and I stayed at the Oasis Mal Pais (about 60USD a night), where we had our own gorgeous villa/bungalow, and a lovely pool, with a short walk down to the beach. The friends I was travelling with stayed at the very budget friendly Mal Pais surf camp (about 10USD a night), and it was pretty nice as well, with great vibes and delicious breakfast. Both of these places were super close to the beach and only a 5 minute walk into town.
We used our days here to relax, get a load of beach time, and work on our tans while swimming in the (sometimes massive) swells. And make sure to go get your drink on with the locals and chill surfers at Nativo (they have bomb tacos and sliders). (Photo taken on the Puntarenas Ferry)
After Mal Pais we hopped in a shuttle bus and hopped over to Montezuma, where I totally recommend checking out (even though it’s a little more tourist-y than Mal Pais) because it had some good vibes and beautiful beaches too. From Montezuma we used Zuma tours and took a 1 hour speedboat over to Jaco (click here for website)- they also have some other pretty cool tours and are reasonably priced.
We ended up renting a condo instead of staying in hostels for our last couple nights, which for 4 people ended up being really affordable. We rented at the Bahia Encantada, which is right on the beach, with an amazing pool area as well.
While in Jaco we ended up taking a quick cab ride down to Playa Hermosa for a surf contest, you guys gotta check it out. This massive black sand beach has free surf contests and some amazing sunsets. Make sure you go to The Backyard, where you can get ice cold Imperials, delicious food and a table to watch the contest, or move down onto the beach and have your mind blown by the pitch black sand that stays warm until well after sunset.
(Photo taken outside The Backyard on Playa Hermosa)
Jaco also has some great nightlife and a pretty sweet Casino.
See you Thursday for a complete 7 day and 14 day Costa Rica trip with budgeting and prices included!
Feature photo taken from our condo in Jaco.