Sorry about my rather large span of inactivity, I was basking in the sunshine and trekking through the jungles of Costa Rica! Since I fell so in love with the country, I want to share some of my experiences, along with some of my favourite spots to eat and the places we stayed. In total we visited 6 places, so this is only part one, focussing on Uvita.
Uvita is a tiny town in the southern area of Costa Rica, on the Pacific side. We decided to book a pl
ace to stay through AirBnB, a website/app where people rent out homes or rooms to vacationers. We stayed in a cute little cabin – close enough to the town, but far enough to be peaceful – called Tropical Gardens by the Riverside. I really enjoyed this space
because we had our own cabin with wifi, AC and a full kitchen with supplies (including a blender!). Mona, our host, was excellent. We didn’t have time before arriving to pick up any food, so she kindly got us some groceries and stocked the fridge before we got there.
We visited Costa Rica in early May, which is the beginning of their rainy season. Overall, we had really good weather and if it rained it was only overnight or in the early morning for less than an hour. The mosquitos were pretty bad along the coast, but got better as we made our way to higher elevations.
Our first day we really had no plan at all. We heard about a waterfall with a boulder sitting right at the top of it and decided to go check it out. Driving and directions in Costa Rica are pretty tough but we made it after a short drive! We were the only ones at the waterfall and swam in it to help us cool down. The humidity there during rainy season is insane! I also saw my first toucan while leaving the trail. After that we decided to visit the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. We were most definitely not prepared for the heat we encountered there, as there was no shade. There was a tiny fee to park our car and enter the park, but nothing crazy. In Costa Rica they take both colones and US dollars. This park is famous for the shape the beach makes during low tide, which looks like a whale’s tale. Fortunately for us, we made it during low tide (around noon) and could see the whole beach. We attempted to walk all the way out but the heat got the best of us and the water was no cool whatsoever. If I were to go back and do it again I would bring water and no bag at all! It’s more of a walking beach than a sitting and suntanning one. Afterwards, we decided to grab a bite to eat anywhere we could find. We stumbled on this amazing restaurant on the side of the highway called Ballena Bistro. The food was the best I had on the entire trip. I had almond crusted chicken with mango salsa, fresh salad and a strawberry smoothie and my boyfriend had a shrimp dish. This place is an absolute must and the staff always appreciate if you try out some of your Spanish with them!
On our second day in Uvita we did an absolutely amazing hike with a local named Enrique. It took us about 4-5 hours total and it was all done on his private property. Although it was not a private tour, my boyfriend and I were the only ones because we visited in low season. We met Enrique at the end of his driveway at 8 am, where he had us follow him down to the house. You 100% need a 4WD car because the roads there are insane. We had a standard little Daihatsu Bego and it faired well! We started off on the hike immediately after arriving. It wasn’t just your normal leisurely walk through the jungle, it was extremely intense and involved lots of river crossings and high, narrow trails. You can always take your time though! Enrique pointed out lots of animals to us including a lizard, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and birds. Along the walk we visited 4 waterfalls in total and at the end we got to jump into the basin of one to cool off. It was so worth it too. Along the walk Enrique also showed us pineapple plants and harvested and cut one up for us to eat right there. I’m not a huge fan of pineapple here in Canada but my goodness, in Costa Rica their pineapple is out of this world. I’d go back just for that! At the very end of the hike his sister-in-law made us a wonderful, natural lunch made with ingredients from their gardens. It included: fried yucca, fried chicken, beans, rice, pineapple, papaya and guanabana juice. It was so delicious! If you’re going to be in the area I 100% recommend this hike. Enrique was so wonderful to us and taught us so much about their country and species. Check it out at Santa Lucia Falls and on TripAdvisor. For dinner that night we went to a place called The Baker Bean, located very close to our cabin, to order pizza.
It was a cute, clean place and they had very reasonable prices and good food. We hung around a few minutes until our pizza was ready and took it back to our place before the rain started.
Uvita is a very small, but accommodating area filled with places to eat and things to do. On our third day we travelled about 15 minutes or less down the highway to the town of Dominical. Details about that town are to come in my next post! Stay tuned!