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  • npela002

"My friends and I rented a mansion in Costa Rica"

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

(*Warning: This trip occurred in April of 2019 aka before COVID-19. No animals were hurt during the making of this blog. Please drink responsibly.*)

You know that saying "you only live once?"

Well this trip was one of those moments #yolo.

So last year, a couple of my friends and I decided to book a trip to the wonderful country of Costa Rica. We decided to make this trip a little extra special by booking an Airbnb instead of a hotel. I recommend this tip to anyone that would like to get a more in depth experience wherever they may travel. Now I am not telling you to go rent a mansion like we did (although you totally should). The wonderful part about Airbnb is that they have a lot of options to choose from and help to make your travel experience more unique.

Before I show you pictures of the one we selected, let me tell you about a few exciting experiences we made along the way (*happy dance*).

Our trip began by landing in Juan Santamaría International Airport. We flew from Miami, Florida and our flight time was less than 3 hours.

Upon landing we rented a car and began a little road trip to La Fortuna (roughly 2 hours away). While planning this trip, we had come across a Youtube vlog where a group of friends stayed at some hipster hostel in Costa Rica and if you know me I was all for it! The cool part about this hostel is that it offers teepees to spend the night instead of a typical room.

Yup, you heard right. A teepee. Don't worry people, this thing had a portable A/C and everything. It was really more like glamping (aka glamorous camping #YAS).

We were able to book a night here. The hostel is called Selina and they have several locations throughout Costa Rica. We stayed at the one in La Fortuna and it was nothing short of amazing!

Here are some pictures I was able to capture of the hostel (including our fabulous teepee):

This was our first time staying at a hostel so I was not familiar with the whole sharing aspect but it honestly didn't bother me. Bathrooms and showers were in a separate building and shared among those staying there #hippielife.

I wish we could of stayed here longer but our mansion was waiting...

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the best part of our road trip to La Fortuna! While driving over there, we parked our car on the side of the road to check out some of the local dogs (because hello, dogs).

We also stopped by to snap a quick pic of a local waterfall (La Paz Waterfall Gardens) and if we needed anymore distractions, a local also stopped to tell us about another cool waterfall nearby (Cataratas Del Toro) where we could take some Instagram worthy pictures (not super creepy at all, but maybe just a little). I'm pretty sure this is the story line for a scary movie out there #justsaying.

This was the first waterfall (La Paz):

Cataratas Del Toro is unlike anything I have seen before. Nature is so beautiful and it is moments like this where you get to see it first hand. I am eternally grateful for being able to witness mother nature's raw beauty.

And just like that our 2-hour road trip to our glamorous teepee turned into 4.

Day 2 of our trip consisted of the following:

  • Walking the Bogarin Wildlife Trail (they really mean it when they say sloth, frogs, and more!).

  • Getting as close as we could to the Arenal volcano (yes it is an active one).

  • And then it was back on the road again to our bougie Airbnb #YAS

Now before you go judging the price on this bad boy, I dare you to take a look at how much Airbnbs in Costa Rica really cost, I promise you will be surprised and pleased to know how affordable, especially considering their price. Plus you add in a couple of friends and the price becomes even friendlier #youarewelcome.

The trip from La Fortuna to Paqueras took around 5 hours in total. I would totally tell you how awesome it was (scenery-wise) but I was asleep for most of it. Since we arrived late that night, we decided to spend the next day stuck inside #thestruggle.

Day 3 of our trip consisted of:

  • Taking a million pictures of the Airbnb (check!).

    • P.S. this bad boy had 4 bedrooms, 5 beds, 4.5 bathrooms, serves up to 8 guests, saltwater infinity pool, hot tub, air conditioning, Wifi, full kitchen & living room, outdoor BBQ and seating area, plus an outdoor guard with his dog (we bought him pizza the first night). Did we really need all of this? I'm gonna give you a Miami answer: yea-no.

  • We also filmed a Youtube video (you are welcome David).

  • And stopped by a local grocery store to cook some homemade meals (another pro tip and money saver).

On day 4 we ventured off to find the perfect beach. We decided to drive around and stumble upon one and I am so glad we did because the first beach we came across had about 20 dogs running around (I am not even kidding people). I seriously thought I was in heaven. Imagine around 20 dogs running freely on a beach, chasing after one another and running towards the water to cool off. I mean it doesn't get any better than that #doggoals.

I present to you Playa Blanca:

Now, I know what you are thinking. Where are the 20 dogs Nicole? Well you see, I was so excited that I tried to pet them and then their owner showed up so they all ran away. You are just going to have to watch the Youtube video to see for yourself #woof.

After admiring these dogs for a good hour or so, we decided to venture out to a nearby beach. We came across Playa Organos. This beach almost didn't look real. The sand stretched out for miles and the water had those nice foamy edges we typically see in movies.

We made it back to our Airbnb that evening to enjoy the pool and catch the sunset. There is something about watching the sun go down that really gets you feeling nostalgic, or is it just me?

I came across a quote several months ago and it brought me back to this moment.

Even after all this time the sun never says to the Earth, "You owe me."

Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.

-Hafiz (from The Gift)

Day 5 of our trip consisted of some more adventures:

  • We stopped at Tambor beach while on our way to Montezuma (another town about 45 minutes away). This beach had some fossilized tree and I swear it looked like something out of Jurassic park #rawr.

  • After making it to Montezuma, we rented a surfboard and tried to surf on Montezuma beach. Warning: Surfing is harder than it looks people! (cue dramatic music).

A few pictures while on our way to rent a surfboard:

On the hunt for the perfect wave...

45 minutes later...

I know I look professional and all (*taps self on the shoulder*) but I promise I had no idea what I was doing. This was my very first attempt at surfing and I am pretty sure that this surfboard weighed more than my entire body weight. But if you know me well, then you know I was like "challenge accepted" #gameface.

And just like that folks, our day was over and we headed back to our fancy-schmancy Airbnb to pack up our stuff and make sure we made it on ferry the following day to come back home.

If you search on Google "top countries to retire in", Costa Rica will always be on that list and I can totally see why. It is a very laid-back lifestyle (not for everyone but I'm sure not many would complain).

The country's motto is "pura vida" which translates to pure life.

Costa Rica is full of pureness. It has amazing beaches, wildlife, natural wonders (including waterfalls and volcanoes), and overall people.

I recommend everyone to venture out here sometime. I promise you won't regret it!

I also gotta give a shout out to my friend David for making this vlog about our trip. It's nice to see it all in moving frames and from a different perspective. Hope you guys get a chance to watch it (and bless you if you have made it this far).

If you have any questions about the locations I mentioned or more information about the way we planned the trip, shoot me a message and I will be happy to help!

Thanks again for reading and supporting this blog <3

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