Pura Vida: Costa Rica Vacation

I’m back from Costa Rica, where the motto is “Pura Vida,’ which means “We hope you’re not super fond of your belongings, because we’re going to steal them.”

Kidding, kidding.

‘Pura Vida’ is Spanish for ‘Pure Life’.

We did get robbed though.

On our first day.

Before we got to our villa.

It was all uphill from there, though!

All (barely concealed) bitterness aside, we did have a truly wonderful trip. I think the sign of a good sunny destination vacation is how itchy you are (peeling!) when you get back. According to today’s itch scale, this trip was amaze balls!! Ha.

As mentioned above, things started out a bit rocky. After picking up our rental van we decided to stop off for some essentials (read: beer) en route to our rental villa. While inside a grocery store, a bunch of our luggage was quickly thieved from our (locked) rental van. Boo. I consider myself lucky: I had my passport and wallet on me. My carry-on backpack was stolen, though. A bit of a bummer as it contained my (brand new) cute bikini, my newish glasses, my camera (tear, tear) and my travel pillow. Others lost more: laptops, all their clothes, toiletries. Two people had their passports stolen. Basically, asshat thieves grabbed everything carry-on sized, which for some of the people on our trip (there were eight of us in total) was all of their luggage. Blerg.

Sidenote: if you ever go to Costa Rica, make sure nothing bad happens to you because the entire police force of Costa Rica has the combined IQ of a lawnmower.

On the upside, our villa was beeee-autiful. Four bedrooms, huge open kitchen and living room, great patio with BBQ, blessed air conditioning, and a lovely private pool with decorative waterfall (want one for my postage sized living room!) and ocean view. We were within walking distance to the beach (Playa Hermosa) and all the restaurants we ate at in the area were phenomenal. 

We got up super early one morning and did a full day excursion that started with horseback riding, then zip lining, then a mud bath and hot springs. It was my first time horseback riding and it’s something I’d always wanted to do. What I wasn’t anticipating was horseback riding ON THE SUN. Which is about how hot it felt that morning. Of course I got the horse that wouldn’t get out of the tiny puddle-sized creek we trotted through. Of course. And we were explicitly told NOT to let the horses stop and drink or else they’d get stomach cramps.

Cut to me whispering: “Please horse. Stop drinking. No? Umm…giddy up? No? Um. Fuck.”

As for the zip lining – the best! Me and MM must have talked about it like a hundred times before we left for the trip. We were all: “Yeah! Zip lining! Totally! No prob!” But to actually stand there at the first line (there were over 8 in total, varying in lengths) I almost pooped myself. You’re essentially hurtling yourself through the forest attached by a rope to a a wire. And there’s a sassy leather glove involved.

Then I watched a 6 year old girl ride across the first line 100 feet above the ground like it was her job (note: she also had no problem on horseback, and frankly she was cuter than a box of puppies but in my heat-crazed state I probably misinterpreted her carefree giggles as smugness). The first line was, frankly, terrifying for the first 10 seconds, then amazing (but I didn’t have the nerve to look down yet), then terrifying again when you realize that your hand is the brake. That’s right, your hand. Encased in previously mentioned sassy leather glove.

God I loved it though. Every second of it. I would definitely do it again, in a heartbeat. If anyone knows of a good place in Ontario please let me know.

On another day we drove down to a surfing village called Tamarindo. I was all amped to learn how to surf..until I saw the size of the waves and the number of people riding them/hanging ten/being awesome. That didn’t scare off the boys on the trip! They all rented boards and gave it a shot, without lessons, and did really good! I opted for a boogie board and had a great time. I caught some waves that were so strong they carried me all the way up to the beach. And then off my board. And then over some rocks. And then for good measure, one wave flipped me over and then my board came back and whacked me over the head. Cute.

We visited some nearby beaches, enjoyed some very tourist-friendly happy hour drink specials, ate a lot of really good food (mahi mahi was a standout) and hung out  around our pool. Thanks god for the pool! My GAWD it’s hot in Costa Rica. Good times.

This is the part of the post where I’d usually post pictures of the trip. But my camera was stolen. So.

Here’s where we stayed in Costa Rica. Highly recommend it!


5 thoughts on “Pura Vida: Costa Rica Vacation

  1. ZuVara says:

    Perhaps your Sidenote should say “If you ever go to Costa Rica, make sure you are not a stupid tourist and leave all your bags, unintended, in your car parked in a place which you have no clue about”


    • Fair point. Having traveled quite extensively, I was aware of the risks involved and am typically more careful about leaving my luggage/belongings unattended. That said, we were in an upscale area/gated community and definitely let our guard down at the wrong time. We were inside a store for about 5 minutes tops, and I suppose after our long travels the thought of carrying our luggage into a grocery store to grab a few bottles of water seemed like overkill.


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