December 9-13th, 2015
After a quick flight from Atlanta to Liberia (Delta offers direct 4 hour flights everyday), I arrived in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Unfortunately the rest of the family was coming from Washington D.C. which made for a much longer day with a layover in Miami prior to arriving in Liberia.
Landing at the Liberia airport, I was welcomed with views of the turquoise blue ocean in the distance; a lush coastline out of one window, and the mountains from the other window. As soon as you step foot into the airport, you feel the relaxed and casual vibes that Costa Rica has to offer.
After customs and finally hailing down a taxi to town, we arrived at our VRBO condo at Hotel Diria in Tamarindo where we would stay for our first three days in Costa Rica!
After settling in and taking in the unbelievable room views, we took to exploring the town and the beach. We found a yoga studio that offered Yin Yoga.. and how can you pass up restorative yoga in Central America in a pura-vida vibes beach down?! Pre-yoga zen we realized, it was “5 o’clock somewhere”, so we grabbed frozen blackberry mojitos 2-for-1 from the Wild Panda (which turned out to be our go-to happy hour mojito spot for the rest of our stay) before heading to Ser Om Shanti for some much needed deep-stretching by the candlelights.
Post-yoga, We spent our first night at a local dinner spot in town, the Green Papaya .. DELICIOUS welcome dinner thanks to Mike’s prior Tamarindo travels. We grabbed ourselves a swing at the outdoor seating area and enjoyed their local and fresh-as-can-be fish tacos + enchiladas. [ the portions are HUGE .. come hungry ]
With two queen beds in the condo both facing out to an absolutely breathtaking ocean view, it was hard not to wake up before 7:00AM for sunrise. Our morning ritual turned into long chats on the front balcony in pajamas and freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee in hand. Eventually we would make our way down to claim spots on the beach in front of the resort and grab our new favorite light breakfast smoothies and acai bowls. We made our way down the 3+ hour trek down the beach, hopped on a $1 boat to the other side of the river and walked to the end of the island point. That night, we tried out a new dinner spot on a winding back road called Dragon Fly . Known for their thai food, we tried out their Thai spicy beef & noodles, vegetarian buddha bowl, and refreshing watermelon martinis.
Another beautiful early morning coffee session on the balcony before heading to a highly recommended breakfast spot that Mike frequented the year prior. Located at the very far left end of town and situated right on the beach; we sat in large colorful adirondack chairs, sipped on local coffee, and enjoyed every bite of our fluffy banana and macadamia nut pancakes with the ocean waves crashes just a few feet away.
The rest of the day was a whole bunch of R&R. And… more food! We ate at the #1 Trip Advisor dinner spot and one of Mike’s favorites, an Argentinian restaurant, Patagonia. Pitchers of sangria, beef and chicken empanadas, chicken schnitzel, zucchini rolls and beef fillets…. you can’t go wrong.
Saying goodbye to Tamarindo was tough but not when we got to jump in a shuttle to our next paradise destination. We spent our last few hours in Tamarindo walking the beach, sipping on fresh cut coconuts and watching the end of a surf competition.
Just an hour, bumpy, windy drive away, we found ourselves in complete isolation with our own ‘private’ beach and ocean views at our new accommodation,We stayed at Hotel Sugar Beach for the next three days in the Guanacaste region. This wonderful boutique hotel is a hidden gem, nestled in a completely secluded cove. We stayed in the Congo Suite, perfect for a group of six and if you’re lucky, you might pass some monkeys on your short walk down to the beachfront.
You can either be in complete silence with just the sound of the waves crashing or you can take a short ride to Playa Flamingo. This is where you find more of the nightlife (not much) but a few good options. We ended up at Coco Loco where we enjoyed fresh seafood, frozen coconut cocktails and a perfect sunset.
And just like that, our trip was over and it was time to go back to reality.
What a perfect family vacation to ease the stress of the holiday season and get ready for Christmas time in a few short weeks.