Saturday, March 3, 2012

Costa Rica, Day 1 Arenal

So Jim and I are here in Costa Rica.  This is Day 1 of our honeymoon.  We decided to spend our trip renting a car and driving all over the country, spending about 2 nights in each destination. 

Our first stop was Arenal Volcano, in the northern central portion of Costa Rica. 

Let me first describe to you the travel that got us here yesterday.  We flew from DC, stopped over in Panama, and finished up our trip in San Jose.  There, we rented a car and drove some 2 and a half hours up to Arenal Volcano.

Now here's something you maybe don't know about Costa Rica.  They don't have daylight savings time.  The sun rises and sets at 5:30 every day.  Rising, that sounds great.  Setting....whoa that's pretty early.

This comes into play at this point in the story because we rented the car at about 4:30.  So we drove for about an hour in daylight, and the rest in utter darkness.  The terrain is gorgeous, mountainous, and thrilling.  The roads are narrow, dark, completely unmarked in any way, and hemmed in by sheer drops down either side of the road.  People drive, sometimes very large trucks, exceedingly fast, and there was more than one occasion at which I felt I might die. 

However, it was gorgeous.  And there's something very freeing about driving around in a brand new country when you have no idea where the crap you're going.  Needless to say, for my intrepid voyager and world-traveller of a husband, this was the best part.

So all that effort, to get to a volcano.  Yeah, that's right.  An active volcano.  One of the top ten most active in the world, to be exact.  Why on earth would we risk life and limb to come here?  For the hot springs, of course.

We arrived at our resort/spa/hotel yesterday night and we leave tomorrow morning.  We spent the day getting a Swedish massage (my first), which was amazing.  I can't believe I lived my life up until now not having experienced that. 

As far as food goes, we started with breakfast at the resort.  They're big on fried plantains here.  Also, the pineapple (pina) was to die for.  The best I've ever had.  Pineapple and mango are my favorite fruits, hands down.

Next, we went into town for lunch.  I would be remiss to not visit some authentic-ish Costa Rican restaurants, so that's what we did.  We had lunch at a place called Pito-pito, and I got what was described as a "typical plate".  By the way...I do NOT speak Spanish.  Anyone who thinks it's so easy should give it a try.  Anyway...this was also awesome.

From the left, clockwise, you have a regular salad, some crazy good chicken, rice, weird but delicious cheese, some sort of delicious plantain again, black beans, and some kind of cabbagy goodness that I don't know how to begin to describe.  If this is typical, sign me up.

There was also candy...

And mango-soda-beer?

Then we had dinner at a deliciously dirty little chicken shack.  I had a an AWESOME quesadilla and a salad with what appeared to be tiny hard boiled bird eggs.  It occurred to me that I've never had non-chicken eggs before.  And truth be told, I still haven't...I chickened out.  Get it?

Phew!  Full day.  After that, we relaxed by the pool and then had drinks at the swim-up bar.  I love talking about the swim up bar.  My vacation isn't nearly as fun unless I know that you're crazy crazy jealous.  Just kidding!  (sort of)

The next two days we're in the heart of the rainforest and I'd be willing to bet there won't be wifi, so I'll fill you in on all the delicious details later. 


  1. Aww, you didn't eat the blue bird eggs? I've never had eggs from anything other than a chicken either.


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