Last month I left the country for the first time. I’ve had my passport for over five years. I had been patiently waiting to use it. My best friend decided to have a destination wedding in Costa Rica. I was happy to be the best man for such a wonderful occasion and also to get my first passport stamp. Costa Rica is a beautiful country. I was there for a relatively short time, from Thursday – Monday, but I enjoyed myself. In today’s post, I want to discuss my experience in Costa Rica.
I arrived in San Jose on a Thursday afternoon. The culture shock set in immediately. As soon I stepped outside the airport, I was bombarded by taxi drivers looking for customers. It was least 5o of them yelling and asking people if they needed a ride. My friend and I found a cab and made it to the hotel. I booked a room at Hotel Autentico for the night. Hotel Autentico was a decent hotel. They the old school air conditioner unit hanging out the window in the room. They also had a real hotel “key.” I haven’t seen one of those in years. I ended up walking around the city and visiting a bar that was near the hotel.
The wedding was held in a town named Monteverde which is about three hours from San Jose. Since the wedding was scheduled for Saturday, the groom had set up a shuttle to take us from San Jose to bring us to Monteverde. Monteverde was located in the mountains. For the first two hours, the shuttle ride was fine. After a while, I noticed that the street went from pavement to rocks and gravel. The last 40 minutes of the ride was not fun. The ride started to get more bumpy. We also were getting higher and higher up the mountain. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this on the site, but I hate heights. My ears popped two times as we made our way up the mountain. Also, there were no guard rails on the road. I looked to the right, and all I saw was a straight drop. That ride was horrible. I was happy as hell when we finally made it to the hotel. Everyone in the wedding party stayed at the El Establo Mountain Hotel. The property was nice. There were several buildings there. It was very relaxing. However, three things may bother you depending on the type of traveler you are.
The first thing is that they don’t have any air conditioning in the rooms. Thankfully, we didn’t need it because the temperature was in the low 70’s while we were there. The second thing is that there are only three areas where the hotel has Wi-Fi. They have it in the lobby and the two restaurants that are on the property. The third thing is that the hotel lobby shuts down at 10 pm. They do have a security gate at the front, but depending on your level of Spanish, it could be a struggle trying to understand the security guard.
Saturday was the day we were waiting for. The wedding was scheduled to start at 4 pm, so we had some time to kill. Some of the wedding party decided to go on a coffee tour, while others chose to relax. Two of my friends and I decided yo walk outside the property and see what else is out there. There were a few small shops nearby. I grabbed a few shot glasses and magnets for souvenirs. After that, we made our way back to the hotel to get prepared for the wedding.
The wedding was a beautiful ceremony. The bride and the groom both looked great. We ended up partying at the reception for a little while, and then everyone headed back to their rooms. Some people ended up go to a bar a short taxi cab away, but I was too tired to go.
We left to go back to San Jose at 6 am. The ride down the mountain was not as bad as the ride up was. It still sucked, though. Back in San Jose, the shuttle dropped some people off at the airport. Then the shuttle driver took the rest of us back to our hotel. This time around everyone stayed at the Tryp Sabana Hotel by Wyndham. Out of all the hotels I stayed in during my time in Costa Rica, this one was the best. The rooms were big, and the hotel had fast Wi-Fi.
Sunday was the day that I did the most walking. We walked all over downtown San Jose. There were shops everywhere. They even had a Nike store. The area was full of people. Later that evening we ate at Restaurante Nuestra Tierra. The food was as authentic as you can get.
My time in Costa Rica was great. I came, I saw, and I conquered. I would visit San Jose again in a heartbeat. It was such a cool city. There was so much that I didn’t get to do. While Monteverde was fun as well, I’d probably never visit that town again unless I could get a helicopter to take me straight there. That trip has me ready for another international destination. I already know where I want to go too.
Below are a few pictures from the trip.