The first of a few installments of our honeymoon to Costa Rica! Before we get into the trip, I will mention that we did use a travel agency to help us plan our honeymoon and I am very glad we did. We could have planned a slightly cheaper trip if we did it ourselves but it was very handy to have everything planned for us (and if something went wrong someone to blame besides ourselves ). We used Fox World Travel in Brookfield to help coordinate our trip through Apple Vacations and Swiss Travel coordinated all of our transfers to each location.
A little bit about our trip: When we started planning our honeymoon, we knew we wanted to be active for at least part of the honeymoon. We know ourselves and we would have not enjoyed laying on a beach for 8 days straight. Our trip consisted of staying in Arenal, Monteverde & Guanacaste Costa Rica. Arenal & Monteverde is when we were out and doing activities (such as a hanging bridge tour, ziplining, etc) and Guanacaste was the “lay on the beach at an all inclusive resort” part. I am very happy that we did all of the activities before doing the resort stay and would recommend doing it that way for anyone that is looking to have a mixture of being active + being lazy.
On to the trip.
Our flight left on Monday morning at 12:30, so we needed to be at the airport around 10:30 since we were dropping off a rental car. Keep in mind that our wedding was on Sunday, so we literally slept for like 4 hours the night before. We were tired but obviously very excited to leave.
Our first flight was to Atlanta, GA where we had a 2 hour layover.
Once we got to Atlanta, our second flight to San Jose got delayed a bit but we made it in to San Jose around 8pm. We had to go through customs before we were free to go, which was a lot less painful than I thought it was going to be. I was excited to get a second stamp in my passport, but then realized I will have to get a new passport with my new name and will have to start over. Wah.
Once we got out of the airport, there were tons of taxi drivers asking if we needed a ride. Swiss Travel was supposed to be picking us up but we quickly realized there was no one there to take us to the hotel. I will be honest and say this is the only time that I felt slightly scared/unsafe in Costa Rica. It was dark and tons of people speaking a different language (Spanish) which I could only understand a little of. We couldn’t use our phones to call the after hours number since they wouldn’t work there so we didn’t really know what to do. Thankfully, we stuck out like sore thumbs and a guy knew we needed help so he let us use his phone to call Swiss Travel.
Turns out they had no one scheduled to pick us up. Awesome. They told us to get a taxi and more info would be available for us at the hotel about our next transfer.
After getting into an unofficial taxi (slightly scary) and traveling for 20 minutes, we made it to the Holiday Inn in downtown San Jose. By this point we hadn’t really eaten dinner and I wasn’t feeling well. After checking in, we ordered room service but unfortunately the salad I got did not look appetizing. I had half of a Clif bar on me but could barely stomach it down. I think after all of the traveling and lack of sleep I was exhausted. Thankfully, I felt fine the next morning!
All views from our hotel room.
The next morning, we ate breakfast at the hotel before leaving for Arenal.
My plate consisted of fruit (I will never like pineapple here again!), potatoes, black beans & rice, fresh bread, plantains and untouched ham & cheese (looks like butter, doesn’t it?). And of course, coffee!
The coffee in Costa Rica tastes so clean and does not leave an aftertaste in your mouth like it does here in the States. Coffee will never taste the same.
After breakfast, it was time to head out to Arenal!
We were definitely those tourists that took a ton of pictures. I have no shame.
After a 3 1/2 hour tour (haha) we arrived in Arenal! We stayed at Magic Mountain in Arenal and it was a very nice hotel.
Our room (I laughed when we had two beds).
Pictures of our view from our balcony. Pretty sweet!
The pool with a swim up bar. I could get used to this.
We were starving by the time when we got to the hotel, so we headed downstairs to the restaurant.
I decided on something plain, the grilled chicken sandwich and it tasted like heaven. It was seriously a really good chicken sandwich. Ryan was even jealous! We ended up splitting the chicken sandwich and his burger.
After that, it was time to chill in the pool with a swim up bar. It’s the little things that make me happy
And of course hanging out in the jacuzzi. We ended up speaking with a couple from Spain who we kept running into later on our trip…their travel agent must have booked them the same trip as us!
Shot of the rings!
We hung out in the hotel room watching TV in Spanish (ha) and then headed to the sports bar downstairs for dinner. It wasn’t a happening place but it was nice to just hang out just the two of us.
We split the chicken quesadilla & the beef nachos. I’m not usually a nacho fan but these were delicious. Probably because the beef came from “happy cows.”
And of course enjoyed some adult beverages, bloody mary for me.
Coca cola (and rum) for him.
And then a tequila shot!
I stuck with beer
We ordered this dessert in hopes that it was a chocolate lava brownie but alas, it was not. It was still delicious though!
Then we said goodnight to our little buddy outside of the hotel room and went to sleep. We had a busy day the next day filled with a safari boat tour and a volcano hike!