Oh Costa Rica, we miss you already - I’m craving your sunshine!
We LOVED Costa Rica and I’m so excited to share a little more about our trip! A couple months ago I got an email (thank you Pomelo Travel - this is all your fault!) that there were round-trip tickets from Phoenix to Costa Rica for under $300. Costa Rica has been high on my bucket list for so long, so this was a pretty easy spontaneous thing to do! We have used this tactic quite a bit - find cheap tickets and make the rest of the trip work. Whether it saves us money or not, it gets us there!
We had a quick 24 hours in Phoenix as a kick off to our trip. We stayed in THE cutest Airbnb of all time - a little casita in the desert. Our host was so kind as well and took awesome care of us - highly recommend for anyone planning a trip to the Phoenix area (I included the link there, so check it out!)
Traveling with 2 children is seriously no joke. We learned that right off the bat and we kept looking at each other like “What are we doing!?” We planned to stay in San Jose just for a night before we took off for the jungle. We stayed at Adventure Inn and it ended up just being so perfect for what we wanted. It was so fun to wake up to breakfast at the pool right outside our room. Such a great first morning in Costa Rica!
After the morning in San Jose, we drove up to La Fortuna which is near the Arenal Volcano. We stayed at the Lost Iguana Resort and this place was pure magic! The pictures just don’t even do it justice, but I’ll try it. Our room had a balcony facing the volcano and it just felt so surreal to sit out on our balcony and take in the beauty of the volcano and the sounds of the jungle. We spent a lot of time on that balcony. We also didn’t have reason to leave our resort too much! The resort is on 120 acres of rainforest with hiking trails and swimming pools - what more do you need in the Costa Rican rainforest?! Plus the breakfast was awesome - Austin still makes fun of me for eating a plateful of kiwi and bacon! Hahah!
We did leave to do a jungle safari float (we finally saw a sloth, which was my highlight!!) and we also went to Mistico Park which ended up being one of our favorite experiences in Costa Rica. There are 15 bridges in Mistico Park and 6 of them are massive hanging bridges. Everyone was holding onto the rope and our 2 year old is just sprinting across them! haha! Addison LOVED it and Elly seemed to too! We had so much fun.
Right down the road from Lost Iguana, there are THE coolest hot springs we went to at Tabacon Resort. This is the PERFECT thing to do as a family - we all couldn’t get enough of it.
After spending time in the rainforest we wanted plenty of time at the beach! We headed down to Santa Teresa (the cutest little hip yoga beach town). The drive down there was INSANE. The roads were almost all dirt roads with huge potholes. Google maps literally took us to a river and told us to cross it in our car. I was dying - so stressful, but it made arriving at Casa Marbella even better! Haha! We arrived at night so we didn’t quite know where we were. We woke up to the most beautiful view of the ocean from our bed. Staying here was a huge highlight of our entire trip - we loved it so much! In Santa Teresa, we literally went from the beach to the pool to the beach with a few smoothies in between. One day we went swimming five times! Haha! We had a lot of fun exploring Santa Teresa and catching the sunsets. This is where Addison discovered her love of shells. I love the picture of Austin & Addi exploring the tide pools while Elly is chilling in her car seat (P.S. we have loved this car seat and the double stroller we got from Mountain Buggy!) That was one of those nights that I will always remember!
After Santa Teresa, we moved to the next town over, Mal Pais. We stayed at the Star Mountain Jungle Lodge - which was a jungle paradise. We were still close enough to town to get to the beach, but we were more secluded and hanging with the monkeys! It was a really fun experience to stay here!
We went to pick up our camper van from Pura Van in San Jose so that we could have it for our last 3 days. We felt like true adventures picking that thing up! They really hook you up with those camper vans - this was a totally new experience for both of us which just made it more fun. I couldn’t believe how huge the tent was on top of the car - that’s the way to camp! :) It was a pretty cool thing to find our favorite beach and to get to make it our home for the night. Addison loved calling the tent her tipi and she LOVED climbing up and down the ladder! The camper van allowed us to just cruise and explore without any plans. We ended up visiting Jaco and Manuel Antonio and a bunch of beach towns in between.
One of my favorite parts about coming home from trips is reflecting on my highlights. It is ALWAYS the best reminder of why we prioritize travel in our family and how it allows us to be more present with our babes and with each other. I’ll always remember Addison’s excitement - waking up at 5:30 every day to swim 😅, running on hanging bridges, getting to tell everyone “hola” and finding cool leaves and shells. I’ll always remember when Elly discovered sand, how she’d get stoked to ride in her backpack and how she loved to drink my smoothies. I’ll always remember watching Addison ride on Austin’s shoulders while her popsicle was melting in his hair and watching our girls cuddle with him in the hammock. I’ll always remember our late night dates driving on the world’s bumpiest roads and our hunt for the best coconut popsicles in Costa Rica. It’s truly the little things.