pura vida: the hanging bridges of arenal

After the whirlwind that has been these past few weeks, I think it’s about time I catch up on our Costa Rican adventures. Let’s head back to Arenal, shall we? Though we wished we had stayed elsewhere , I stand by my advice to still include the Arenal area in your itinerary–you just really don’t need to spend more than two days exploring the area. After our first day lounging at the spa and sweating it out in the hot springs, we signed up for a hanging bridge tour of the rainforest with Costa Rica Wonderland. Along with another couple and a family of three, we were ready and waiting to be picked up by…

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pura vida: luxury shmuxury

If Finca Rosa Blanca was the best surprise of our trip, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort was the biggest. Prior to the trip, this was our “luxury” stop. Based on everything we read, I was positive I’d be disappointed that we were leaving Arenal and Tabacon after just two short nights. The biggest draw of Tabacon is very clearly the hot springs and the adjoining world-class spa. Our last hot springs experience was in Santorini and it didn’t result in the lux relaxation we had hoped for… we had literally jumped off a pirate ship into lukewarm muddy water that stained our swimsuits. This was decidedly the polar opposite: And honestly? The Santorini pirate ship/poop…

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making a case for driving in costa rica

Having successfully driven us through Florence and around the Tuscan countryside, shared the road with wild horses in Vieques, and navigated the streets of Manhattan in a bright yellow Mini Cooper, I fully trust the hubs’s driving skills. But when we told people that we would be driving ourselves from San Jose to Arenal to Quepos and back, I’ll admit– their “Wait, WHAT? You’re DRIVING?” reactions made me question my faith, just a little bit. Worse than the reactions were the first-person horror stories, including one about a scam involving popped tires and literal highway robbery. I think it’s fair to admit that I had a little bit of anxiety about the whole thing. Still, that…

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pura vida yes, panama no

Why, hello! As you may have noticed, I am officially back from ten days of Costa Rican bliss. I survived an action packed week of adventure travel and lived to tell the tale. First thing’s first: our itinerary, gasp!, changed. Originally, our plan was seven days in Costa Rica and three days in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Panama was just not in the cards for us. Things turned out more than ok–and more on that later–but I will tell you this, mainly as a warning: Nature Air is a cockamamie airline with cockamamie rules. On the day of our flight, we woke up at 4 AM and dragged ourselves to the Tobias Bolaños International Airport to board…

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packing is for pros (and i just went up a notch)

OH, hi. I’m the romantic and I hate packing. I know, I know. It’s my usual pre-travel conundrum. But you try traveling with a boy who demands a carry on at all times! My life is hard. Please refer below for… Exhibit A: Packing Attempt 1.0: …why do I own so many horizontal stripes? I’d like to point out that upon taking this photo, I realized I had included less than half the undergarments required for a ten day vacation, the majority of which will be spent traipsing through the rainforest. I’m not sure exactly what a rainforest has to do with undergarments, but I feel it may affect things more than the city-focused trips…

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