Do I ever stay home?! Well.. barely. The reason why I travel so much is simply because I want to use my time wisely and get to know as much as I can of Costa Rica before I leave. Which sadly is very very soon… I have also mentioned before that the little town that I live in doesn’t really have too much to offer, so there really is no point in staying in and watching Netflix at home all day. I can do that when I am in Germany! I should take advantage of my time here, shouldn’t I? That being said, Charlotte and I have decided to make a short trip out to the Pacific coast. Wednesday was a holiday (Annexión de Guanacaste) and we took Thursday off, and since we have a new schedule (it changed a few months ago) we also have Fridays off! So we had 4 days in total for our mini vacation. On Tuesday night we slept in a hostel in San José, so we would be able to catch an early bus the next morning. On Wednesday it took us only about 4 hours to get from San José to Dominical. We stayed at the Cool Vibes Hostel, which is the most popular one, and there aren’t many others around because it’s a very small beach town. The rest of the day we just chilled, walked around a little, checked out the beach and cooked some food. I had a late night yoga session before going to bed. The next day we made plans to go surfing in the afternoon, so in the morning we just went out for breakfast and chilled by the pool at the hostel and talked to some other travelers. A few hours before our surf lesson we got a call from our instructor that the waves are too high right now and that a storm was coming.. so sadly our class got canceled and we rescheduled for the next morning. So Thursday ended up being another chill day. On Friday morning we had our surf lesson, and it was Charlotte’s first time trying it. I was super stoked to get back in the water because I’ve been enjoying surfing so much and just never want to stop learning it! We were a group of 4, two brothers from the USA joined us, and we had two instructors – Oscar and Sarah. They explained everything super well, we practiced for about 20min at the beach how to stand up on the board etc. Then we got into the water and started catching waves. It was so much fun and it was my best surf lesson so far, because the explanations were very precise and they always told us what we could do better. I was so happy that I was able to catch so many waves! Charlotte also really enjoyed it even though she had a harder time but that is totally normal, because it was only her first time and I think she did really well for that. The class lasted 2 hours and we had a little snack break with some cookies and watermelon, in total it cost 50$ – which I think is a good price because they were really good instructors! Once we got back to the hostel we just chilled for a while and then cooked some lunch before we headed to Uvita. It took about an hour by bus to get there (it’s just a bit down south) and then we walked a few minutes to our new place called Flutterby House, which is located close to the Ballena National Park. It is a super cool hostel with treehouses, a yoga terrace and a very open and light atmosphere. They focus on sustainability and recycle, compost and try to minimize their waste, and they also have a restaurant that offers many vegetarian and vegan options, with their aim to use as much organic and local grown food as possible. Definitely a very cool place I can recommend and they also have private rooms. On Saturday morning we were up on our feet at 5:30 am. We wanted to check out the popular Nauyaca Falls that are located close to Dominical (we wanted to do that while staying there but our plans changed due to the surf lessons), so we took the 6am bus towards the entrance, and started hiking once we arrived. The trail was about 5km long, with lots of up and downs, we walked through small streams, dense jungle and had some amazing views of the valley and surrounding mountains. After about 1 1/2 hours we made it to the falls and we were completely blown away! I haven’t seen that many waterfalls in my life so far, so I was definitely impressed. There were two different waterfalls, one more high up that was incredibly beautiful and a lower one which was more like a cascade. We took a dip in the lower one and it was cold but so refreshing after the hike. It was only us and another couple from the Netherlands, so we had the whole place to ourselves really. It was so beautiful and relaxing to swim, and sit by the waterfalls…we were both in awe of Mother Nature’s beauty. After about 45min more and more people kept coming and after an hour and a half we decided to hike back. We had only eaten a few nuts for breakfast so we were starving. As we left, the horse riding tours made their way up and I just gotta say – PLEASE do not support these tours here!! They’re awful. When we arrived at 7am, the horses were already sattled up and had to wait for 3 hours knotted to a pole.. also the hike is definitely manageable and if you do have health problems you can be transported by car to the waterfalls! Back at the hostel we ordered some food at the restaurant and just chilled out. It ended up raining the rest of the day so we just spent our time socializing and reading. On Sunday we made ourselves some breakfast and then headed out to Marino Ballena National Park. We had to pay 6$ to get in, then we walked for about an hour along Playa Colonia, which is a very beautiful beach. The park is named after the humpback whales that migrate to the region from about August to September and December through April. It is also famous for its whale tail that appears only at low tide, which is a 1km long “beach” of rocks. We were super impressed by the symmetry of the tail as we walked along it! Mother Nature really never disappoints. Then Charlotte and I parted our ways because I went to get another surf lesson, and she didn’t want to so she went back to the hostel. I had a private lesson with Oscar and it was sooo good! I was able to actually ride some real waves not just whitewash waves! He also challenged me with a smaller board and it was definitely more difficult but I think I did a pretty good job. After the lesson I met up with Charlotte at Flutterby house and we got ready to take our bus back home. The bus was supposed to leave at 3pm but ended up leaving at 4pm, and we got stuck in traffic pretty badly. At 10pm we arrived in San José and from there we had to take an uber to Alajuela, otherwise we would’ve missed the last bus to Poás which is at 11pm every night. We got home super late and immediately fell asleep…
We had an amazing short trip to the Pacific coast and I am so happy that I was able to go surfing again and explore more of Costa Rica’s stunning nature. Yet again we met some great people (a lot of teachers from Germany!) and we enjoyed ourselves so much. Now we’re back at work, and we only have 3 weeks left! 3 WEEKS!!!! I can’t even believe it and I have such mixed feelings about leaving and going back home.. time has passed by so fast! Right now I am actually waiting for my family to arrive! They are traveling through CR for 3 weeks and I will join them on the weekends when I don’t have to work. I am super excited to see them again after such a long time but it also marks the end of my time here which makes me feel very nostalgic… I am definitely going to make the best of my last few weeks here.