The Ultimate Costa Rican Getaway

Planning Resources

When I was gathering ideas for the most unique elopement getaways I wanted to specifically focus on tropical places because I just thrive in beachy weather. I’m guessing if your reading this or are looking to hire me you do too! So, when I put the list together I made it my mission to visit all of them but at least one by the end of the year. And Costa Rica was the winner! So, this October I had the Ultimate Costa Rican Getaway!

On and Off Season

So, for starters Costa Rica has its high season from December – April and the off season May – November. So, it was October when one of my besties and I made our way to the other side of the equator. Looking at ticket prices we paid a little more than $400 round trip which if you’re asking me is a deal!

We started our trip in Monteverde also know at the Cloud Forest where we surprisingly had no rain. Then, we made our way to Coco Beach or Playa del Coco. You know the saying when it rains it pours… well oh boy did. I wasn’t expecting there not to be rain and for us to get lucky. But, what I neglected to think about was the slight flooding.

Honestly, throughout the day it rained on and off. The morning started so clear with blue skies and sunny weather and then around noon it became overcast and would start to drizzle and pour on and off. If I’m being honest I hate rain back in the Bay Area like I literally hide you cannot find me outside. But, here I was ready to explore, adventure, and I even went for a pool swim.

I think a definite plus of it being the off season was the amount of people. Like I mean we barely ran into anyone besides the locals. That meant clear uncrowded beaches and even a private tour because we were the only people that signed up! I mean talk about a dream Costa Rican getaway!

Taking a Tour

The Ultimate Costa Rican Getaway in Monteverde the Cloud Forest
yes, that’s me living me best life

The key to the success for your Costa Rican Getaway is tours. So, when looking into Costa Rica for travel people mention all these beautiful places that you have to visit like the volcanoes, beaches, hanging bridges, you have to go zip-lining, I mean the list goes on and on. But, I feel like what these people fail to mention is that you can only do these things if you book a tour. I mean other than the beach. Literally, to go to the cloud forest, the hanging bridges, and zip-lining (that one is pretty obvious) you HAVE to book a tour with a company.

It’s really easy and pretty fairly priced but I thought there’d be more freedom to do and go where I wanted when I wanted to. What also makes it a bit tricky is transportation which I’ll talk about here in a second. But, without it you’re not getting many places.

I honestly can’t recommend doing at least two tours while you’re in here enough. We did 100% Aventura and Buena Vista Rincon tours during our stay and had an absolute blast. I recommend bringing some cash to tip the tour guides. The guy we booked from told us we didn’t need any and I felt SOOO bad because we had such an amazing time and now we’re just though tacky Americans.

Transportation

The Ultimate Costa Rican Getaway - transportation of choice in Coco Beach golf cart
the whip

So, our original plan was to rent a car. Everything was booked and set. I was working one day when this women told me that her family was basically robbed by the police in Costa Rica and she would not recommend renting a car. Umm……. this honestly made me really nervous but I was like you know I’m going to push those fears aside let’s do this.

Then, like an idiot I left my wallet with literally everything I needed for the trip aside from my passport in a store. I mean driver’s license, credit card, debit card, some cash, student ID, health card, etc. But, it was honestly probably a sign from God telling us to not rent a car. Though it made getting around sightly more difficult it probably worked out for the better.

Not renting a car takes 100% more planning. From the airport there were only two shared shuttles up to Monteverde one at 8am and one at 2pm we landed at 10am. We got lucky and got a taxi to drive us to Monteverde for $150 most private cars run about $175.

Then, once in Monteverde we only had time for one tour. And we didn’t have time to go to the Hanging bridges because again another tour and there was only one shuttle that left at 7:30am to Coco beach. Once in Coco beach transportation was fine we walked a lot and rented a golf cart for one day. 10/10 would recommend that because they are street legal there.

Then, our wonderful host Nadene drove us back to San Jose Airport where we caught a taxi to our airbnb for the night.

Monteverde – The Cloud Forest

I’m definitely a little sad that we didn’t make it to the hanging bridges but I guest that’s that just another reason to come back. The zip-lining was AMAZING though everything and more you’d expect it to be when coming to Costa Rica. My mind was blown and though finding our Airbnb was challenging to say the least. We met some really nice people. Shout out to Sergio our taxi driver who was determined to get us there!

I would say you need a full day in Monteverde to do a couple of tours and really relax and enjoy the views. But, I’m insanely terrified of bugs or more so just hate getting mosquito bites. I would definitely recommend you say in a hotel. One so people know where you’re staying and two just so the bug problem is at least under control in your room.

Coco Beach

the ultimate costa rican getaway Coco Beach iguana moment while shopping
living for this casual iguana moment while we were out souvenir shopping

I decided on Coco beach because I really wanted a place not super touristy. Not realizing it was the off season so pretty much everywhere has like no tourists. But, anyway we stay at the Bamboo Gardens an Airbnb I found and Nadene and Roland were the absolute best. We caught the shuttle from Monteverde to Coco beach and couldn’t find place despite her detailed instructions. The English and broken Spanish combo not working in our favor. We got dropped off at the club that you have a membership to while staying at the Bamboo Gardens and Nadene like came picked us up, took us on a small tour, and then drove us to the place making sure we could get around afterwards. Like a complete GEM that women! Check them out here!

10/10 would recommend you rent a golf cart because you will be living your best LIFE driving those on the street! It’s literally so fun!! Some places I’d recommend eating are cafe Java Coffee and Saporita Mexican Food. Most places downtown have happy hour from 11-7 soooo do with that what you will.

San Jose

To say, we had some trouble getting to San José from Coco beach would be an understatement! Originally we planned to go check out downtown and stay at this cool airbnb with a rooftop pool. Yea, none of that happened. Everything happens for a reason so, our last dat was spent walking around near our hotel, and just chilling there until we caught the shuttle to the airport.

There were definitely some things I wanted to do like check out the Capital a museum or two, and the restaurant Al Mercat. But, now those are just some reasons to come back.

Things You Must Pack

1.Bug spray, bug lotion, and bite relief. I mean coming to Costa Rica I feel like this is a duh type of moment and of course I brought mine. You can’t expect to leave unscathed but you also should be prepared with the itch relief when you do get bitten.

2. Sunscreen. Another duh type of moment. But, yes even in the rainy season you will see the sun.

3. Visa or Mastercard and cash. Some tours and transportation shuttle only take cash so definitely be prepared for that. Also, it is nice to tip unlike us stupid Americans. Discover card and Amex isn’t as widely accepted so you’ll know your card will be accepted as long as you have a visa or mastercard.

4. A water bottle. The water here is safe to drink so you don’t need to buy water from the store. Those they do offer both in restaurants. But, save the planet, use less plastic, bring a water bottle.

There are a lot of other safety things you should consider bringing like a photocopy of your passport and driver’s license, etc. But, I think everything else you should bring is pretty common sense. Like a bathing suit, rain jacket, maybe an umbrella, flip flops, etc.

Will I Be Back?

ultimate costa rican getaway - coco beach Coming back as soon as possible

100% yes yes yes. This Costa Rican Getaway turned out way different than I expected it to. It definitely had it’s ups and downs and side to sides. But, I wouldn’t change any of it.

I will 1000% be back sooner rather than later I hope. Next time with a firmer plan and asking more questions along the way. The only thing that could have made this trip better was if I was able to take pictures of at least one couple. I swear the beach was like EMPTY. The only time we saw anyone was when we were on a tour.

Any way I hope this was helpful to someone and never hesitate to comment or email me with any questions! Go on your Costa Rican getaway so you can see how amazing this country is!

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