Today I’m sharing part two of my recent trip to Costa Rica! (If you want to see part 1 in Monteverde, click here.)
On Thursday afternoon, our entire group of 9 girls met up in Tamarindo for a long weekend on the beach to celebrate my sister Cara’s 30th birthday.
Cara is 2 years old than me, and we’ve been best friends through every stage of life. I have great friendships with all of my sisters, but Cara is the one who I just get goofy with. Ever since we were little girls, we’ve triggered each other into ridiculous, hysterical fits of laughter that can’t be tamed. I laugh harder when I’m with Cara than anyone else in the world!
So…on Monday I spent all day traveling back to Austin, and now as I’m writing this I totally have vacation brain, so I’m going to do the same thing I did in part 1 and write it all out in bullet points.
I hit the ground running with a full work day on Tuesday, so I’m just gradually getting back to real life. But the trip was absolutely wonderful, and I don’t mind the few days of sluggishness when I think of all the fantastic memories we made!
- Stay. We picked this airbnb. It was perfect for a group of 9 girls! If you’re planning a big bachelorette or birthday party in Costa Rica, I couldn’t recommend this house enough! Claudia (the host) was so gracious in letting us check in 3 hours early when we unexpectedly showed up earlier than we had planned. I know that’s hard for an airbnb host to do! She was full of suggestions (restaurants, cruises, etc) and helped us book anything we needed. Sometimes she got a commission (and we were all happy to help her out with that), and sometimes she just made suggestions without a commission to ensure we’d have a great stay in Costa Rica.
- Eat. Tamarindo was much more touristy than Monteverde, so the food was more catered toward Americans. El Sapo had amazing brick oven pizza! It looked kind of tacky and touristy from the outside, so I had low expectations…but I was seriously blown away by the crust and toppings. Cafe Taco was a great little place for breakfast and lunch. And Pangas Beach Club was a perfect setting for our last night. We had a giant seafood feast with ceviche, mussels, lobster, freshly caught Mahi Mahi, bottles of wine, all enjoyed under twinkly lights at the edge of the ocean…and it all came out to less than $50 a person.
- Do. Honestly…we spent a lot of the time hanging out on the beach, at the pool, or on a boat! Ha! It was just that sort of a chill vacation. On Saturday (the day we celebrated Cara’s birthday), we booked a sunset cruise that had snorkeling, lunch, and an open bar. It was my first time on a “booze cruise” and it was so much fun! We sailed for an hour and a half, anchored for an hour and a half to snorkel and eat, and then sailed back home.
- Transportation. Instead of renting a car, we just used a shuttle service that Claudia (our airbnb host) set up for us. It was cheaper than else we found, and I’m pretty sure she was able to get a commission on it. Win-win! Our house was a 5 minute walk to the beach or a 15 minute walk into town. Sometimes we’d get taxis (just $5 a trip) if it was getting late and dark.
The weekend was full of my favorite things: celebration, books, sunsets, friends, naps, seafood, and swimming. I ate as much seafood as I could, and it was all so fresh and tasty and waaaay cheaper than anything I can get in Austin! The weather was wonderful, especially considering we visited during rainy season. A few showers would hit every evening, but we lucked out with clear afternoons for all 4 days.
Feeling so thankful and happy to have been able to celebrate my sister on this trip!