Our family adventures in Costa Rica
We had a fabulous time in Costa Rica on a nine-day beach and jungle adventure. I must admit I was a little afraid, as I had not researched it very well – rather a spur of the moment trip. Orren had to work, so it was just the boys and myself. I have always been confident travelling by myself, but being responsible for little people as well puts things in a new perspective.
Upon arriving in San Jose, we caught a 12-seater plane to Tambor. The tiny plane wasn’t Myles’s favourite part of the trip. I’m not sure he even managed to look out his window! It was fantastic coming in over the turquoise waters and landing on a tiny runway cut through the coconut trees. We were driven over to Santa Teresa, a small town located about 150 kilometres west of the capital city of San José. I suppose I had in my mind that everything would be super lush and green. So, so dry and dusty!! They are desperately waiting for the rainy season to start and haven’t had rain in months. Most people have to buy in water to survive.
Santa Teresa is a little town that lives on tourism, similar to a tiny, tiny version of Byron Bay in Australia. Everything is laid back and very chilled. Great deserted beaches to explore, good food to try.
We hired a quad bike for a day to explore. I loved the hire guy when I asked about helmets who said “Too hot to wear helmets here!! You don’t need them!!” Indeed, the humidity takes some getting used to. You are continually bathed in sweat, which the dust sticks to beautifully, but helmets would have been good. I managed not to injure any of us. The boys were even impressed that I was able to navigate around the ginormous potholes on dirt roads and use the gears!
We went zip lining through the jungle which was a blast, swam in creeks, explored waterfalls, rock pools, and little cafes. Stayed in amazing accommodation at the Canaima Chill House, tucked away in the jungle on the side of a hill. The walk up and down made your heart race, but being woken up in the morning by the Howler Monkeys was rather wonderful. Tropical ginger was everywhere. I would so love to see this landscape in the wet season. It would be stunning.
The boys loved the swinging bed and their loft area. The simplicity of it all is what made it so special. Lazy afternoons reading. Evenings playing board games. No technology and great, funny conversations.
We headed back over to Tambor for the second part of our stay. An incredible location at the Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel, literally right on the beach. I loved going to sleep to the sound of the pounding waves. The boys had a ball here and started picking up a few Spanish words. The staff are so lovely and friendly with the kids.
The boys spent their days playing in the pool and ocean and thought the best thing in the world was to be able to order a chocolate milkshake at the pool bar, and sit and chat to people and drink their milkshakes in the pool! Our afternoons were spent collecting driftwood and coconuts, making creations on the beach, swinging in hammocks and reading.
We went on a great tour on one of the islands where we explored a jungle reserve and saw stunning, colourful birds. We also came across two families of white-faced monkeys, iguanas everywhere and gorgeous spider monkeys.
Next, all of us went snorkelling. I was very proud of Myles as he was not at all keen. Once he got the hang of it, he was fine, as long as I was not too far away! We saw stunning fish, but unfortunately, most of the coral died due to the water being too warm. On the way back we saw manta rays ‘flying’ which was the most incredible and stunning sight as they leap out of the water. It was just one of those, in the right place at the right time moments.
As we were leaving, large storm clouds were brewing on the horizon. The wet season they are all so desperately waiting for should start in a few weeks. The dust they all hate so much will be washed away, and the landscape will return to a lush, deep green.