Costa Rica has long been on my bucket list and I finally made it! There aren’t many perks of being a physician these days but conferences in fun places is still one of them. I attended the medical studies abroad conference which teaches medical spanish to health care providers. What better way to learn a new language and receive continuing education credits?
I flew into Liberia and stayed at a resort on the Papaguyo coast in the Provinence of Guanacaste. The weather was perfect. Very warm with a constant sea breeze and no mosquitoes on the resort!
We were completely free on Wednesday to give us time to explore so I signed up for an all-day excursion to the Arenal Volcano National Park. It was a three hour trip from my resort so I got to see a lot of the countryside. I was impressed with the transition of the land from the coast to the rainforest. Within the three hours, I went from the beach, through sugar cane and rice fields, desert-like countryside, rocky and highly vegetated mountainside, and then finally the lush green rainforest. There was also a huge temperature change. It was sunny and 90 degrees on the beach and 66 degrees and raining by the time we got to the rainforest.
We stopped at this quaint family-owned cafe with the most delicious breads and pastries. Gluttony was in full effect.
The outdoor seating area was covered with macadamia nut shells.
We also had a beautiful view of Arenal Lake.
Next we crossed the lake on this so-called boat in the rain. Don’t even ask….
The scary boat trip was worth it once we arrived to the rainforest and met some of it’s inhabitants. We also ziplined through the rainforest on one of the largest ziplines in the world. The longest cable took about 1.5 minutes to cross!!! It was frightening and exhilirating all at once.
Isn’t he adorable?
Tamarindo beach is a super cool surfer town. Home to many American ex-pats and surf enthusiasts. It’s a place that has funky little shops and exquisite restaurants all with a laid back vibe.
See what I mean?
I couldn’t help but take a picture of this shirt
Saving the best for last….Rio Perdido! This is a 5 star resort and Tripadvisor Certifcate of Excellence 2014 winner! If you do anything in Costa Rica, you must come here. It is truly off the beaten path. Our poor driver really needed an ATV to climb the roads to get there but it was well worth it. This stunning property has 82 acres of private land in Bagaces. For a mere $90, I had an 1 hour massage, dinner and day access to the facility including the volcanic mud bath and thermal springs. It ws truly amazing!
The ever calming natural thermal springs.
Hasta Luego, Costa Rica! Until next time….and there will definitely be a next time!