We had such an amazing time in Costa Rica! We stayed at the JW Marriott in Guanacaste. Joe and I decided to rent a car for this trip since Joe brought his surfboard and golf clubs and we wanted to go see all the cool spots we had heard about! Honestly, driving in Costa Rica wasn’t bad at all. We love just being able to explore when we go somewhere new and it was such an adventure. Our first morning we ate at a small restaurant with about 5 tables outside, it was called The Witch’s Inn in Tamarindo. The owner was actually originally from Mexico. She was so sweet and the food was amazing! One of the common foods that’s eaten at every meal is called Gallo Pinto which is basically rice and beans and it is sooo good! After we stuffed our faces we headed to the beach. For those of you that have never been to Costa Rica; Tamarindo is one of the top surf spots in the world! Joe loves to surf and I was super excited to finally learn while we were out there. The water was calm and there were just enough waves for me to get a nice little lesson. It took about 10 or 11 tries before I stood up and immediately fell off the board. It is a lot harder than you think! Such a good workout for your abs, arms and back for sure! Our second day was a mojito-in-hand-pool/beach kind of day and it was exactly what we both needed. Since it’s technically the rainy season in Costa Rica, there weren’t many people staying in our hotel which was really nice. It allowed us to get to know the workers so well and they us. Every day was another Spanish lesson, spending full meals only speaking Spanish. At times it was pretty hysterical as Joe isn’t as great with his Spanish as this little Puerto Rican. (he’s going to kill me for saying this!) To his credit though, his Spanish had gotten a lot better towards the end of the trip and I was pretty proud of him! According to all of the Costa Rican’s we met, the only thing you need to know how to say in Spanish in Costa Rica is pura vida! The direct translation is pure life, but what it means to them is “it’s a Costa Rican way of life”. One morning we got a couples massage which was the best massage I have ever had. It was so relaxing and the women used lavender essential oils which are supposed to be very calming and it smells amazing! Joe and I spent the rest of that morning at the spa, Joe in the steam room and me reading a book in the gardens. Most.relaxing.morning.ever. Another morning we had breakfast at a small restaurant actually right next to The Witch’s Inn and it was called La Bodega. The owner is American and said he was most recently from Austin, TX. The food is fresh and organic and tasted so good! While we sat and ate, the prettiest (I guess I should say, the most handsome?) golden retriever walked up right next to me and laid down as if he was ours. He was so sweet!
Another thing about Costa Rica if you have never been is that there are a lot of stray dogs and some are super skinny from lack of food but all of the ones we ran into were such sweeties. So we named him Marley and he hung out with us for a little while. Another dog we met at a spot called Lola’s on the beach in Playa Avellana we named, Scooter.
Lola’s was a fun spot because a lot of people surf right in front of the restaurant and there are tons of tables and chairs to sit and watch them all day long. Our hotel was located in a gated community called Hacienda Pinilla which had it’s own beach clubhouse and surf shop so we hung out there a lot. It was right on the beach with an infinity pool in the center surrounded by trees. I would recommend the JW Marriott Guanacaste to anyone traveling to Costa Rica. It was such a beautiful place. A few of the other restaurants we loved were Pangas Beach Club in Tamarindo, Seasons by Shlomy in Tamarindo and Cafe Playa Negra in Playa Negra. Check out some of the pictures from our trip below!