In April I visited Costa Rica for 7 days during the Easter Season. Costa Rica lives up to all the hype and even though we did a road trip across the country to soak up as much of the Pura Vida life as possible, we were still left wanting.
My friend and I traveled from Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to San Jose on the evening of April 17th, we spent the next few days National Park hopping. Here is a look at our itinerary for our stay in Costa Rica:
Day 1: Thursday April 18th
Got up at 4:00am and drove from San Jose to Tenorio National Park
Tenorio National Park | This is a major attraction, so much so, we spent 2hrs in line waiting to purchase tickets. The park caps at 500 guests so once they reach that limit you will have to wait for persons to leave in order to purchase tickets to get in.
We spent at least 3hrs in the park, capturing the blue waters of Rio Celeste. The beauty of this place is unmatched!
We grabbed lunch after our visit to the park and drove 2hrs from Rio Celeste to Arenal where we stayed for the night.
Tenorio National park is a MUST visit! Be sure to add it to your list.
Day 2: Friday April 19th
We had a pretty full second day, having done 4 major tours. All of these tours were in the Arenal Area.
Hanging Bridge Tour | Our Airbnb was on the property of the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridge Park so we spent the morning on property doing a tour of hanging bridges. The hanging bridge tour was really amazing, especially because it was early morning so the forest was still quiet and we got to see a lot of animals.
Butterfly Conservatory Tour | This is a tour I wasn’t necessarily interested in doing but once I started I realized how much I would have missed out on if I didn’t take part. The conservatory is a 20min drive from the Arenal National Park. Overall this was an interesting tour, I did enjoy how peaceful the area with the butterflies were.
Arenal National Park | We opted for the short tour of this Park because of time limitations. I was a bit underwhelmed by what I saw but it might have been because of the route/tour we took. If you have the time I suggest you go for the longer tour, maybe you will get to see more.
La Fortuna Waterfalls | From the Arenal National Park we drove 35mins to the La Fortuna Waterfalls. Once you arrive at the falls you have to walk 500 steps down to the swim and see the fullness of the falls. We definitely went into the water and you’ve guessed it… it was freezing!! I highly recommend going to see this waterfall, especially if you are going to be in the Arenal area.
Day 2 was really packed! We saw and did a lot, my friends also did the eco night tour, so they had an even fuller day than I did.
Day 3: Saturday April 20th
We left our Airbnb on the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridge Park at 4:30am for our 3hr and 30min drive to Monteverde. The drive got a bit grueling at the end, because the roads weren’t paved, but that is something we knew going in, so we were somewhat prepared for the bumpy ride.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Park Reserve | Upon arrival in Monteverde, we grabbed breakfast and made our way to the Cloud Forest Park Reserve, where we spent the next three hours walking through the park looking at and for wildlife. The park is peaceful, lush and beautiful. If you are a nature lover, you may end up spending your whole day there just walking around.
Selvatura Park| We spent the rest of the day ziplining at Selvatura Park. This park offers 13 different lines, one that is 1km in length and is great if you are a thrill seeker. Be sure to try the Tarzan Swing if you are there!
We wanted to do a coffee tour while in Monteverde but time did not permit this.
Day 4: Sunday April 21st
From Monteverde we drove for 3hrs and 30mins to the Manuel Antonio Park area. Instead of staying close to the park, we continued our journey to the Nauyaca Waterfalls.
Nacuyaca Waterfalls | The hike to the falls will leave you breathless because it is a hard uphill climb but once you arrive you will instantly forget what it took to get you there. It took us 50mins from the parking lot to the waterfalls, once we arrive we spent 3hrs in the water basking in the Costa Rican sun.
We stopped at Tropical Wings on the way back to our Hostel in Manuel Antonio. Tropical Wings is an airplane where you can dine in.
Day 5: Monday April 22nd
For our last day in Costa Rica we spent it beach hopping in Manuel Antonio because we were told the park is closed on a Monday. Regardless, we had a great time swimming in the Pacific Ocean listening to the howling of the Howler monkeys as the waves crashed to the shore. It was a great day.
We cut our Beach hopping short to grab lunch in an airplane at El Avion before we made the 3hrs 30min drive to back to San Jose.
COSTA RICA WRAP UP:
I spent $1,550USD on my trip to Costa Rica which includes my plane fare, hostel & Airbnb, car rental, gas, tickets for the park and spending money.
Highlight of the trip:
- Tenorio National Park
- Butterfly Conservatory
- Hostel Pilino
- El Avino