My Impressions of a Few Costa Rican Cities
Costa Rica Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I flew into Liberia, the northern-most international airport in Costa Rica. I booked my flight only a few days before my departure, so I was very unsure of my plans. However, I was advised to stay away from San Jose, so I did.
Based on some TravBuddy.com advice, I headed to Tamarindo. Our intended hostel, Botella De Leche, was full, so I happened upon the Tamarindo Hostel instead. The place was very simple, but very chill. I enjoyed it very much. Rooms were all dorm style and bathrooms were all communal; however, maids cleaned them daily.
Tamarindo is essentially a surf town, and while it is becoming increasingly commercialized, it still has a bit of a local feel and the beaches remain very nice. I was there for New Years, which isn't the ideal surf season, but still managed to catch some waves. The nightlife there is also great with live music a couple times a week; bars are open nightly, and while you should always be careful in Costa Rica, I felt very secure.
The people at the hostel were incredible. They hailed from across the world and everyone was friendly and intrerested in meeting new people. I heard no reports of thefts, only some strange sleepwalking encounters.
Our next stop was Jaco. I went strictly to see a concert at Doce Luna Hotel. The concert was awesome and so was my stay; however, I would recommend to remove Jaco from your to-do list unless there is something you need there. The city felt a bit shady.
Next we went to Arenal. The weather was cloudy and rainy, so we were unable to see the volcano. Infact, most people don't get to see the volcano because of weather conditions. Still, the wet ground provided exciting conditions for ATVing. If you are going to do ATVing, I strongly recommend the tour on the private farm vs. on the public land. My friend and I were taken privately with two leaders and were essentially allowed to do anything we wanted. Our ATV's both flipped over, we hit multiple jumps, and even saw crocs and tucans!
Our next stop was the only bad one. Stay away from Coco Beach unless you are interested in a Spring-Break style party was a bunch of dirty prostitutes and dirtier Cocaine. The accomodations, though they can be incredibly cheap, were horrendous. I ended up staying in American-style hotel, and bounced the next afternoon back to Tamarindo.