pura vida: navigating manuel antonio

I knew that life would be different after visiting Manuel Antonio. Up until now, we hadn’t seen much in the way of wild animals. Though we were enjoying our time in Costa Rica just fine, something was lacking. That’s because everything else up until this day was BS. Before Sloth. The morning of our planned day at Manuel Antonio, I was all atwitter. What should I wear? Do sloths prefer bright colors? Are they deterred by bug spray? I just wanted them to like me. Though we’ll get to the sloths, I do have a few bits of advice to get the most out of your day at Manuel Antonio. 1. Beware of parking scams. …

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pura vida: boozing & cruising, cruising & boozing

After dominating the ziplines of MidWorld, the hubs and I were eager to celebrate–but having already spent a good amount of time at the bar at Los Altos, we were looking for a bit more excitement. We stopped by the front desk on our way back to our room, and the attendant could not have been more insistent of what we should, nay, MUST do. A booze cruise. I know, right? Group activities featuring crappy drinks and the inability to escape should everyone else suck tend to fall into the “hell NO” category when traveling, but I don’t know. Having conquered one fear already, why not hop on a catamaran with a bunch of strangers…

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pura vida: the moment you’ve all been waiting for

Right as we settled into our gorgeous Quepos homebase, we decided to risk it all and schedule our ziplining excursion for the very next morning. The staff at Los Altos proudly recommended MidWorld, and with one brief phone call and plans for an early departure the next morning, our lives were officially on the line (ba dum chaaa, pun intended). For our possible last meal, we ordered an embarrassing amount of room service and binged on seafood while watching Missy Franklin take home gold. I felt confident that this was an acceptable last night on earth should I plunge to my death the next day, and the next morning, I woke feeling  surprisingly calm. …that…

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pura vida: living like a quepos queen

Our Costa Rican adventure marked a few firsts for this girl: my first time in Central America (I don’t count our weekend in Mexico, as we saw 0% culture), my first time seeing airplanes for the death traps that they are, AND our first time using Jetsetter to book accommodations! Though we didn’t use Jetsetter for all five of our hotels–because that would just be excessive, clearly–we used it to book two: Tabacon Grand Spa, which we have since vetoed, and The Preserve at Los Altos. We don’t blame Jetsetter at all for our meh feelings on Tabacon, because we owe them forever and ever for the entire Los Altos experience. Before arriving, I had…

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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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