So excited to finally share photos from my amazing trip to Costa Rica with my Skittles!
We celebrated my sister and besty’s 40th birthdays in Guanacaste, Costa Rica last week. This was all our first times there so we had no idea what to expect in terms of tropical rainforest weather. Although the weather gods were (mostly) in our favor for the trip, we got a little bit of everything from torrential downpour to easy breezes to one blissful sun-drenched afternoon on a private beach.
Here’s how 4 days in Costa Rica with my 7 best friends went down!
Where to Stay in Costa Rica
We stayed at the Riu Guanacaste, baby sister property to the Riu Palace, and located directly adjacent to the Riu. Although inexpensive for all inclusive (under $100pp per night), I would NOT recommend it.
The food and “gourmet” restaurants were HORRIBLE, save for the one night they roasted a whole pig, which we ended up taking the entire runt back to our table to devour with tortillas and salsa we purchased downtown, lol.
Honestly, resort food always sucks especially when you are foodies like we are, however this vacation was not centered around food so it worked out just fine for us.
Check out Dream Las Mareas Costa Rica, Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica, and La Paloma Lodge, alternate resorts I looked into but ended up not booking because they were sold out.
What to Do in Costa Rica
We only had 3 short days to explore the beautiful island. Day 1 was spent hanging out at the resort, chillaxing poolside and eating, drinking, eating and drinking nonstop.
Day 2: Sensoria Rainforest
I cannot recommend this excursion enough! For $150/pp we spent the entire day hiking the natural rainforest, chasing waterfalls, swimming in lagoons, and being at one with nature.
With our tour guides Franco and Luis guiding the way, the easy-moderate hike was teeming with incredible trees, plants, animals, birds, insects that we had never seen nor experienced before. Sloths are known to live in this rainforest but we were told it was mating season so they wouldn’t be found on the grounds. (Fun fact: sloths live in trees!)
We stopped to marvel at the wondrous beauty, an entire ecosystem of carefully protected natural habitat that amazes me to this day.
We stopped at one waterfall after the next, jumped in the cool waters, and just reveled at how lucky we were to experience this all for the first time, celebrating life, love, birthdays, and friendship.
Sensoria is located approximately 2hours drive away from Guanacaste. You can book the excursion with your hotel’s concierge the day you arrive to check availability. Sensoria only allows 50 people MAX to come tour the grounds per day, so expect that you and your group will have the ENTIRE place all to yourselves.
Now that’s what I call exclusive!
Day 3: Coco Beach and Playa Penca
On our last full day in Costa Rica, we took the hotel’s shuttle downtown to Coco Beach (30 minutes away), explored the “downtown” area and chartered a private boat to take us to a private beach away from tourists and the mainland. We stopped by the local supermarket, loaded up on snacks and alcohol, bought one large tupperware of fresh ceviche from the infamous refrigerator stand downtown and off we went to spend a sun-soaked afternoon on Playa Penca.
When they say “private” they REALLY mean it guys! We literally had the ENTIRE beach to ourselves (save for a small bachelorette party that was on the other side of the bay, lol) Perfect for taking millions of pictures without anyone in the way!
We spent all afternoon on the beach and made it back just in time for supper at a cute local Costa Rican spot our driver took us to. They had the BEST fried fish, black beans, and rice! Plus we were famished from all that posing! hahaha
Know Before You Go
Costa Rica is just so damn gorgeous 3 days was not nearly enough to explore all the beauty nature had to offer. Known for the surfing, zip lining, adventure sports, golfing, horseback riding, hiking, waterfalls, and the incredible untouched beaches, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in Costa Rica.
Locals are soooo friendly the PURA VIDA lifestyle everyone lives by is simply infectious guys! Pura Vida means the “simple pure life” or as described from our amazing tour guide Franco (a US citizen who is retiring in Costa Rica with his wife since the kids are all grown up) as
A meaningful life built on simple values of respect, honesty, and love…
For your family, for strangers, for everyone who comes into the country… the U.S. government sure could learn a thing or two from Costa Ricans right about now.
But that’s an entirely different blog post in itself guys. Having returned from this fabulous escape with 7 of my ride-or-die sisters, ¡Pura vida! has never meant so much to me as it does in this moment.
Happiest of birthdays to my beautiful sister Trinh and my Skittles sister Mary!!!
Even if you can only get away for 4 short days to Costa Rica just DO IT guys! Life is just too short to not explore every little nook and cranny, how near or how far.
Have you been to Costa Rica? Any advice for future trips?
Catch up with all my looks from Costa Rica HERE, HERE, and HERE!
Full COSTA RICA VIDEO coming soon to my YouTube Channel guys! Can’t wait to share our trip on film!