Botella de Leche, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Woops! Somehow this post got lost in the mix. It should have been safely nestled between returning from Nicaragua, and getting to Nosara. Enjoy!

After our near tragic return from Nicargua, we returned to our home base of Tamarindo.

Our shuttle didn’t arrive back into Tamarindo until 10pm, so we were pretty thankful that we had decided to stay for two nights. The thought of getting up early the following morning to take another shuttle seemed like a terrible idea.

P1030050Although our day in Tamarindo consisted of little more then doing laundry and regrouping, the place we stayed at was definitely worth writing about.

This wasn’t the first time we had stayed at Botella de Leche. We had actually stayed there for one night back in December, but because it was such a short stay, I never wrote about it.

Botella de Leche is one of the original surf hostels in Tamarindo. They offer a variety of room types at a really reasonable rate. The price point for this hostel is a huge selling feature, as everything in Tamarindo tends to be really expensive. The fact that this place is inexpensive AND has a pool, makes it a really rare find.

the pool

the pool

Outside each room is a hammock, which we are finding is becoming more and more an integral part of our Costa Rican lifestyle. Their shared kitchen is huge, and they offer free coffee in the mornings.

Although the property is small, they have managed to create a wonderful little oasis with papaya trees and other tropical plants growing inside the gates. It feels like you are leaving the dusty busy roads of Tamarindo behind and entering another world.

the kitchen and living space

the kitchen and living space

Botella de Leche is definitely geared towards surfers. You can book a variety of lessons and surf trip options with them. Although they aren’t the closest hostel to the beach, they make up for it with their accommodation and perks. If you are looking for a hostel in Tamarindo that is both affordable and relaxing, I would highly recommend Botella de Leche.

 

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Wild Panda: Our Favourite Bar in all of Costa Rica

Oh Wild Panda…how we love thee…

From our very first day in Tamarindo, I knew I would be writing this post. In fact, I sort of alluded to it here!

We love Wild Panda for so many reasons. I love it for their focus on healthy food and healthy cocktails, and Shaun loves it for their flat screen TV and the all day 2 X 1 Rum Pineapples. All this aside, the real reason we keep coming back is our history with this place.

The story about us and this bar actually starts way back in 2011, when Shaun and I last visited Costa Rica. There is no one better to recount this tale then Shaun himself. So, after a long absence from the blog, he has agreed to write all about our (extensive) time with Wild Panda.

You know it must be  good if Shaun is willing to tear himself away from surf and pool time to write a blog post!

Take it away Shaun!

The menu

The menu

So we happened to be Tamarindo three years ago and my brother and buddy Smit were trying to book a fishing trip and met this guy named Junior who at the time had a little booth type set up where he booked tours and what not. The boys got to chatting and Junior told them he was opening his cocktail bar later that week.

A classic shot...circa 2011

A classic shot…circa 2011

 Brad and Smit were pretty skeptical because there wasn’t much there, but they assured Junior they would come back and suck back a few cocktails.

Sure enough later that week Junior’s place was open and on one boozy night we hit up his cocktails. I hadn’t remembered much from that night but luckily the girls got lots of pictures. Funny how that happens…

quite a bit has changed!

quite a bit has changed!

Now fast forward to late November 2013, Kate and I had just arrived in Costa Rica for our big trip and we are enjoying our first night out in Tamarindo. As we’re walking towards the same area, we commented on whether his place might still be there. To be honest, I never expected it to still be open, let alone to see Junior. Sure enough though, Junior was there just chilling in the front. The place was now called Wild Panda, but it still had the infamous “Suck my Cocktails” sign. Junior obviously didn’t recognize us, but was impressed when Kate showed the pictures of the opening week three years ago. That was the first of many nights we spent at Junior’s Wild Panda bar.

The infamous Panda head!

The infamous Panda head!

During the Christmas break Junior probably made a small fortune off our friends and family who were in town. This included my brother Brad and Smit’s who were able to return to where it all began. We definitely missed the putting green he previously had, but the place has undergone so many upgrades and changes including a big TV and WIFI. It is a pretty sweet set up.

It also still has that really personal and friendly feel to it. You don’t see Junior there as much, but he has some really great staff that more than make up for it. Having a drink there is my favourite thing to do in Tamarindo.

Tourista Alert!

Tourista Alert!

So if you’re in Tamarindo check it out. Go grab a bar stool there and have a Rum Pineapple, get a picture with the “Suck my Cocktails” sign, or put the panda bear head on. Last time we were there they had T-shirts too. It’s the only T-shirt I’ve bought this trip.

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So there you have it! Wild Panda, it is the place to be in Tamarindo. Head on over there, grab a rum pineapple and say hi to Junior and his amazing crew!

Have you ever been to Wild Panda?

Pura Vida!

Kate (and Shaun)

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Our Favourite Places in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

After four visits to Tamarindo, you can imagine my surprise when I realized that I had never done a “Favourite Places” post for it. Blogger Fail. Who knows why this slipped through my fingers, but nevertheless, the week we spent here allowed for the perfect opportunity to get one done.

There are so many places I could have chosen for this post. I actually had to cruise around the town to do some additional taste testing for the restaurants who made the cut, all in the name of research of course. Thankfully it paid off, and I’ve managed to narrow it down to our top three picks.

199591_10150118390849102_7536690_nCR Paradise: When we talk about people that we like to visit while in Costa Rica, Michelle and Steven of CR Paradise are at the top of our list. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without these two. They helped me navigate everything from booking a snorkel tour for a zillion people at Christmas, to getting over the border to Nicaragua. Any time I have a Costa Rica related question I know I can email them and they’ll have answer for me super quick.

They are literally a one stop shop for surfing trips, airport transfers, zip-lining, car rentals, turtle tours, waterfalls and everything in between.

What really sets CR Paradise apart is their level of integrity. They aren’t just going to try and sell you a tour to make a buck (like many people in Tamarindo will do). They’ll be honest with you about the pros and cons, and make sure you are getting the adventure that best suits your needs.

If you are heading to Tamarindo, and looking for a tour company, I can’t recommend them enough. Make sure you tell them Kate sent you 😉

P1020888Nogui’s: We find that most of the beach front bars in Tamarindo are tourist traps. Travellers are lured in by the thought of eating dinner right on the beach, but are then faced with high prices, and lack lustre food. Nogui’s authentic and delicious Costa Rican cuisine makes it stand out from the rest.

Before I even start talking about Nogui’s, I highly suggest you click this link to their website. Their home page beautifully describes their history, and the history of what Tamarindo was like back in the 70’s when it opened. Nogui’s is truly a Tamarindo original, and has grown along with the town itself. Once only open for dinners by reservation, Nogui’s is now open all day serving up a huge menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

So, if you are visiting Tamarindo, make sure to make time to check out Nogui’s. I would suggest snagging one of their bright yellow Adirondack chairs right on  the beach and indulging in one of their famous pineapple, ginger mint juices with a side of their delicious ceviche.

P1020886Green Papaya: Shaun and I have already decided that our final meal in Costa Rica will be at Green Papaya. We’ve eaten here several times, and each time we go our meals are insanely delicious.

Green Papaya is a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trek off the main strip. You’re not only guaranteed a delicious meal, but super fast and friendly service.

Mom and brother Sean enjoying the swings at Christmas!

Mom and brother Sean enjoying the swings at Christmas!

Something that is often hard to find, especially in Tamarindo.

The restaurant has a great design. Guests can beat the heat by sitting inside on big wooden carved stumps (more comfortable then it sounds!). Alternatively guests can opt to sit outside on swings. Seriously! How could you pass up the chance to eat dinner on a swing? Well let me tell you, most people can’t. So get there early, or you will be swingless!

Chicken Tacos....NOM

Chicken Tacos….NOM

As far as suggestions are concerned, you just can’t go wrong with their chicken taco’s. Then again, their chips and salsa, chili, and burrito’s are amazing as well. This is the only problem with Green Papaya, to delicious things to choose from!

My most recent discovery about Green Papaya is their coffee bar. Finding a good coffee on the main strip in Tamarindo can be a little challenging. I’ve already written about my love for Cafe Tico, but Green Papaya certainly gives it a run for its money.

So whether you are looking for taco’s, coffee or swings, Green Papaya is certainly a must visit in Tamarindo.

Well, I certainly feel better now that I’ve got that done! Check out our other favourite places here. As always, if you are looking for other recommendations for Tamarindo, or elsewhere in Costa Rica leave a comment below or visit our Facebook page.

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

The Best Place to Watch the Sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

As I mentioned before, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Tamarindo, and feel like we’ve pretty much got the town cased.

This includes knowing where the best place to watch the sunset is.P1020864

Actually I should back up a bit, and explain the phenomenon of sunset watching.

Here in Costa Rica, sunset watching is an event. At around 5:30, beaches become crowded with tourists and locals alike who are taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of what is unfolding. It’s actually a really magical thing when you think about it. Even as I write this, I feel sort of deviant because I’m sitting by the pool while everyone is heading down the beach. Note to self…time blog writing better!

Shaun and I have experienced this sunset phenomenon in many places throughout Costa Rica.

ya we were THOSE people (Shaun will hate that I posted this!)

ya we were THOSE people (Shaun will hate that I posted this!)

In smaller towns we are one of a handful of people who are enjoying the view, in others, it’s a gong show. Tamarindo is one of those places where sunset time is often just crazyness.

Don’t get us wrong, our first night in Tamarindo back in November, we rocked it tourista style. Beers in hand we took countless sunset photos. Selfies, couple shots, yoga poses, kissing photos, name a classic tourist sunset photo and we did it.

Now a days, the need to take 100 photos of one sunset has subsided, and we can appreciate the view without needing to document the moment. That is, if we can manage to see the sunset through the hoards of kissing couples and yoga posers.

See the cliff way off in the distance? That is where we were heading!

See the cliff way off in the distance? That is where we were heading!

So, as I was saying, knowing what Tamarindo sunsets can be like, we made a plan to watch it from somewhere a little different.

Playa Tamarindo is the main beach in town, but if you head south a ways you will end up in Playa Langosta. Right between the two beaches is a rocky cliff. That my friends, is where we were heading.

So with a plastic bag of cold beers (cause that is how we roll), we headed out on our adventure. We made our way down the beach, dodging photo takers, navigating rocks and even photo bombing a wedding. After about a 20 minute hike, we made it. We were two of about 8 people who had the same idea. A far cry from the 100’s of people we could see lining the beach.

P1020858To say this was a good idea was an understatement. Not only were we able to watch the sunset in peace, but we also got to watch the waves crashing up against the rocks as the tide came in. It was one of those moments that you know you are going to remember forever.

So, if you are in Tamarindo, and looking for a peaceful sunset watching experience, you now know where to go. It is certainly a bit of a hike, but it is well worth it.

What is your most memorable sunset?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Returning to Tamarindo, Costa Rica

After our couple days in Samara, we headed back to Tamarindo for a week. If you’ve been following the blog, you may think to yourself…Tamarindo? Haven’t these guys been there a zillion times?

Well technically three times now, but yes, we do keep coming back.

During the crazyness of travel, life can seem pretty chaotic. We often find ourselves longing for a place that feels like home. We’ve come to realize, that for us, Tamarindo is that place.

For those of you who know us, know Tamarindo or know both, this may come as a surprise. Tamarindo is a very busy little town, full of people, and full of party. Not necessarily a place that fits our relaxed “in bed by 8pm” approach to travel. In fact, if someone were to ask me where I would recommend they go during their trip to Costa Rica, Tamarindo would be much further down the list then some of the other places we’ve visited.

But we have a soft spot for Tamarindo, and the longer we are in the country, the larger it grows.In previous trips to Costa Rica, we’ve always stayed in Tamarindo, and have been able to see the town develop over the past 6 years (since our first visit). Tamarindo is the first place we stayed when we landed back back in November, and it is going to be the last place we stay before getting on the plane in April.

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We are comfortable with the town, we know where the deals are, we know which restaurants we like, heck we even have a cat that we pretend is our own! We have come to know several people in the town, and any time we visit we take a moment to pop in to say hello.

Familiarity, comfort, friends, these are all things that you miss when travelling. When you find a place that gives you a little taste of those feelings, it is always going to keep you coming back.

So, at this point in our adventure, we found ourselves back at Villas Macondo for a week. Laying by the pool, visiting with Bearly Bear, and enjoying our time to regroup before our big trek up to Nicaragua.

How do you find ways to feel “at home” while travelling?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

Una Pipa Porfavor

 Before I start today, I wanted to let everyone know that I had the opportunity to guest post over at “Diana’s Costa Rica Blog”. Diana, and I have so much in common, it’s pretty amazing. Check out my contribution at: http://dianascostaricablog.blogspot.com/…On with the show!

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So I know coconut water is a “thing” back home.

I have read all about it. You know, electrolytes, post-workout charge up, hot yoga beverage of choice, magical elixir etc…I get it, but I just can’t do it.

Any time that I’ve thought about jumping on the band wagon, I’ve bought a little tetra pack, taken a swig, and then thrown it out. To me, it tastes like garbage swamp water.

That is, until I discovered the magic that is fresh coconuts on the beaches of Costa Rica.

I feel like I have the process of buying a “pipa” down to an art form. Since it’s becoming pretty much a daily occurrence for me, I figured I would share it with you guys.

Mom and I enjoying some Pipa's on Tamarindo beach

Mom and I enjoying some Pipa’s on Tamarindo beach

In most towns you can find locals selling coconuts on the beach, but they are not all created equal. In Tamarindo for instance, most of the pipa sellers carry pre-shucked coconuts around in buckets of water. These coconuts are fine, but I find they don’t taste as fresh, and are often warm from being lugged around the beach all day.

To really get a delicious pipa experience, you want to look for a vendor who is selling the whole coconuts, the ones that still have their green outer shell on them. I’ve found the best ones are often sold out of the back of pick up trucks, and are kept in coolers of ice. If you find one of these, you are in business.

Carlo works his magic

Carlo works his magic

So, you have located a pipa truck…now what? Well, the magic words “Una pipa, porfavor” will get you what you need. Get your 500 colones ($1), ready, and watch the magic unfold.

In these photos Carlo, my favourite Pipa seller in Playa Coco, brandished a gigantic machete, and carefully lopped off the top of the coconut. He worked fast, and managed to make a small little hole in the top without losing a drop of the delicious coconut water inside. It is an impressive sight to watch.

delicioso!

delicioso!

Just like that you have some delicious coconut water to enjoy. It tastes so fresh, and crisp compared to what you buy back home. It’s the perfect perk up after a long afternoon in the sun. I always start by eating the little bit of coconut meat on the “lid” of the coconut, and then dive into the water.

So at this point, sit back, relax, and enjoy, but don’t go far! There is more fun to be had!

Lots of people will just throw the coconut out once they’ve finished the water, but if you are looking for a little snack, and some healthy fats, the coconut meat is a great snack.

The machete is wielded once again.

The machete is wielded once again.

Head back to your pipa vendor, and he/she will help you out!

First they cut one of the hard ends off. This will become the spoon. Then they give the centre of the coconut one big schwack with their machete. Using a baton, they continue to hit the blade until it breaks the coconut in half. It is a violent process, and an impressive feat.

Perfect afternoon snack!

Perfect afternoon snack!

Using the little spoon they created at the start, they scrape the meat loose from both sides of your coconut, and pour it all into one of the halves.

And just like that, you have a beautiful little treat for your afternoon!

Pipa’s are one of the many things I have found during my travels that feel like a treat, but still keep me healthy. And at $1 a pop, you just can’t go wrong! Just remember, they will always taste best when consumed while enjoying the view of the beach!

beach view!

beach view!

Do you like coconut water? Have you tried fresh coconut?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

The Christmas Slump- Travel Workouts Week 4

Turns out, even in another country, working out through Christmas is a challenge!

I feel like my Christmas season didn’t really start until December 22, the night before my family arrived. So I had the luxury of being able to avoid an entire month of shortbread, nog, and all other goodies that come along with the season. I was actually feeling pretty healthy coming into this week.

Since we were back in Tamarindo, I decided to make full use of their gym facilities. Gym’s are few and far between in Costa Rica, so I wanted to take advantage of it while I had the chance. The first morning at the gym I bought I week long pass. I figured this would be another way to encourage me to workout everyday, as I wanted to get my money’s worth.

Once I got my pass all set up, I jumped on the treadmill, then the elliptical, then the spin bike. Uh-oh, old Kate habits kicking in. I didn’t have a workout plan, and was just doing mindless cardio to pass the time. I did a couple HIIT intervals to shake it up a bit, but after about 40 min stopped, and went to the weight area. I wanted to lift some heavy weights, and target muscle groups that I have difficulty reaching using just my workout bands.

But again…I had no plan…So after 15 min of a wimpy little circuit I left.

This pattern continued over the next two days. Steady state cardio, short little weight session, and done. Combine this with an over indulgence of Beer, Wine, Costa Rican Egg Nog, and tons of delicious food, and I was feeling not so good about myself.

On the fourth day, I woke up, feeling awful, and realized, I didn’t want a gym workout, I wanted to make one up for myself. For those of you who know me, this is a huge deal, as I used to love the gym! Those days are gone. I wrote myself up a Tabata style workout that incorporated my bands.  I was a sweaty, tired mess by the end, and felt the light at the end of the tunnel. The follow day I rocked some bootcamp style circuit training using the stairs of our condo. Again, feeling so much better about my progress.

After two days of more effective workouts, I’m feeling like I’m getting back on track.  We have guests until the 6th, so I know eating healthy will be a challenge, and the beverages will likely continue to flow, but in the meantime, at least I know I’ll be rocking some great early morning sweat sessions!

This experience is truly a testament to the amazing life skills picked up during my 30 day challenge with Wholly Fit. Even from afar, the continue to motivate me, and help me strive for greatness.

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This was me right before I uploaded this blog…got up at 6:30am and rocked a 10km run. Thanks to Shaun who rolled out of bed to take this photo for me.

Miss you Wholly Fitters!

How did your workout regime pan out over Christmas? Did you fall of the wagon? Are you back on track?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Black Turtle Tour in Costa Rica

I wanted to do something special with my Mom while she was here over Christmas, and after a little bit of investigating decided that a turtle tour would be perfect. I also thought it would be fabulous to have her tell you all about it! So without further ado…here is my mom!

(PS: She would like it known that she wanted this blog post to be called “Moonlight Magic”)

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There we were, my daughter & I perched on a curb waiting for a shuttle to take us to see Black Turtles, otherwise known as Pacific Green Turtles, on a remote beach, in the dark…maybe. Well it was going to be an adventure to be sure. Bring it on.

We drove out of the town of Tamarindo where we are staying, into increasingly more sparsely populated  areas down super dusty roads that brought back memories of trips down farm roads on the prairies in the dry heat of the summer. Best not to be following too close behind any dust kickers ahead. Also good not to be watching the condition of the road ahead and the unpredictability of where it might be headed. Looking out the side windows exposed a glimpse of everyday family life as we drove past houses that are completely exposed to the outdoors, families sitting around fires, on porch stoops lit by Christmas trees just outside the front door, neighbours meeting in common spaces and Christmas lights of every colour, some flashing, some steady, some random scattered, but all delightfully festive. A bonus Chrismas light tour.

The beach that we finally arrived at was one of four. Our guide informed us that we were going to go to the next beach over which involved an amazing hike across a mountain trail in the dark. It was a single file hike on a narrow path on the edge of a slope of unknown height…yes it was very, very dark. We were advised to keep the light of our small flashlights on the path and not ‘into the hole’…translation…don’t look over the edge. It was a great trek rising higher and higher, concentrating on not tripping over the number of obstacles in the way and hearing the sound of pounding surf recede into the distance and get replaced by the sometimes deafening sound of the jungle.

We finally got to the next beach and all lights were extinguished to disturb the turtles as little as possible. As our eyes got accustomed to the moonlight, the stars began to flood the skies and the white foam of the crashing waves became more and more dramatic. It was moonlight magic.

We then hiked down the beach, to where a large turtle had dug herself into a huge hole in the sand and then dug a second hole into which she had begun laying her eggs. We watched as she lay some eggs then retreated a distance away to let her finish while our guide gave us more information about what is known and what is unknown about these particular turtles. We then went back to watch her cover her eggs before we left so that she wouldn’t see us when she turned around to head back to the ocean. I can’t even begin to describe how humbling it is to be able to witness such an event. An experience that absolutely makes me know why we refer to the ‘wonders of nature’.

Thanks Kate. You are my wonder of nature…xoxoxooooo to infinity and back.

How to break your surfboard in half (and how to fix it)

Yes, the unthinkable happened. The only bright side is that it prompted our dear friend Shaun to write another post…

I may not know surfing...but I think it's supposed to be in one piece.

I may not know surfing…but I think it’s supposed to be in one piece.

Well today is a day I would rather forget. I hardly got any sleep last night thinking about my surf the next morning. I was going to be all over the lefts and was so excited. Consequently I got a terrible sleep, but whatever, I checked the beach first thing and it looked good. Winds were even slightly offshore. I went out at low tide when it is supposed to be quite good at Santa Teresa.
It wasn’t all that crowded either and I was stoked. I got a couple smaller waves right away. It was a nice little warm up. It seemed the smaller ones had better shape to them and you had to be quite selective with the bigger waves as they would often close out.
I was sitting in a sparce line up as a set came in, and I wasn’t in the best spot. I tried to paddle over to the peak before it arrived, but ended up just teatering for awhile. I finally gave up as it seemed too late and about to close out. Unfortunately I dragged too far in I was in a bad spot for the other set waves. I paddled like mad and tried to get under the next wave. There was a guy dropping in, so I had to head towards the impact area to try and stay out of his way.My duck dive wasn’t so successful.

devastating...

devastating…

After a short bounce around, I feverishly tried to get back my tombstoning board to get under the next wave. Just as I got it, the next wave was about to break and I just dove under. I came up and quickly grabbed my board, or half my board. The other half caught the wave and made it to shore. It was devastating and so demoralizing. In a few weeks I’d grown attached to that board and was, although getting my ass kicked at times, loving the waves at Santa Teresa.

Its been big since the day I arrived and I have to paddle way more but its nice to surf decent waves… I’m from Canada so my expectations are low… Anyways, I slogged my way to the beach where a local kindly was holding the rest of my board with a huge grin. He apologetically gave it back and I did the big walk of pity back up the beach and to the hostel.
While walking back I kept thinking the board was a little too big anyways. It would have been good for the following week in Grande and Tamarindo though. I was less bummed thinking of the prospect of getting a smaller board.
When I got back the hostel owner had a look and figured I could easily

Walk of Shame

Walk of Shame

get it fixed. I checked out the used boards at almost all the shops in town, and it was slim pickings, Tamarindo had better options. However, it turns out there is a board shaper in town. Denis of Denga Surf Shop had a look and figured he could fix it since it was a clean break. He said it will be a lot stiffer afterwards but something tells me that with my surfing, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I figure I can use it in the upcoming weeks with the smaller surf. After that I can either sell it or keep it.

On a side note, Denga Surf Shop builds there own boards and has a lot to choose from. It’s a nice shop. I think its about 20 days to get a board custom made. The new boards that he has in stock are going for about $400 to $450 which is a wicked deal compared to the used boards here that people are trying sell for $250 plus. If you are in Santa Teresa and buying a board make sure you check out Denga. I don’t recommend buying a new board if you are travelling around because it will get thrashed (or snapped), but they have some good options if you’re here long term.
This day may have sucked, and I may have bought a case of beer and nearly have it downed, but I’m in Costa Rica surfing nearly every day, and I’m here with the love of my life. Things are pretty damn good. Pura f’in vida eh! and go nucks go… 7 straight.
So there you have it! We cut it pretty close with the board repair. We ended up heading a couple days after it broke, and left the board in Santa Teresa to be fixed. The board was going to be sent in a cab when it was done. We sat outside our hotel for hours waiting, Shaun’s knuckles getting whiter and whiter. We were leaving for the 5 hour drive back to Tamarindo early the next day so it was now or never. I watched Shaun got more and more stressed out, calling the board shop, and our previous hostel to try and track it down. Thankfully, around 7:45pm the cab pulled up. I think we both felt equal relief!

The finished product, and one happy camper!

The finished product, and one happy camper!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter: @caketress

Exploring Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

We’ve been spent the past 10 days exploring all the Santa Teresa has to offer.

Beautiful sunset, with no one else around.

Beautiful sunset, with no one else around.

After coming from Tamarindo, it has been quite the culture shock. No more being bombarded on the beach with people trying to sell you things. Or having to dodge all the Tourista’s taking sunset photos. It is way mellower here.

The layout of Santa Teresa has been challenging for us. The main strip is a road that is about 200m back from the beach, and it is 10km long. This road covers both Santa Teresa, and Mal Pais (where we will be staying in the New Year).

Coming from Tamarindo where everything is easily within walking distance, this has been an adjustment. There are many places you can rent bikes or ATV’s, and if you want to make the most of your time here, I would highly suggest investing in one or the other. Unfortunately for us, it’s 10 dollars a day for a bike and 50 dollars for an ATV. Just a little to far outside our budget. Besides, we are walkers, so we’ve been using our feet to get around.

As a result of this, I’ve been spending a lot time in the hostel, and the few businesses that surround us. Early in the morning, or early in the evening the road and beach are great for running. There are also tons and tons of places to do Yoga. The chill vibe has been been nice. I’ve read some great books, taken some great classes, started drawing again, and met some fabulous people in the hostel.

The main surf break in Santa Teresa is about a 7 min walk from our hostel, which is really lucky for Shaun. He heads out there during the day at some point, but says that it is very crowded. The waves are better then when we were in Tamarindo, so the result is a lot more surfers out at all hours of the day. The result is often a surfer traffic jam.

One of the many tidal pools I've explored

One of the many tidal pools I’ve explored

The beach is amazing. It’s a combination of sandy beach, and amazing rocky tidal pools. I could, and have, spend hours wandering the rocks, peering into each pool to see what’s inside. It reminds me of Botanical Beach back on Vancouver Island.

Some of the pools are so big and deep, that they become like a hot tub during the day. Lots of people spend their time lounging in them.

Santa Teresa was not what we expected, but it’s been an awesome week of relaxation. Probably for the best, since next week everyone arrives for Christmas. I get this feeling that our days of relaxation and quiet will be replaced with celebration and cervasas!!

Have you ever gone somewhere, and have it be completely different then what you expected?

Pura Vida!

Kate

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