Expat Travels: Jaco, Costa Rica

Thursday, June 30, 2016


I'm taking a break from solo travel to traverse the beautiful Costa Rica with my bff. As much as I enjoy exploring the world on my own time and on my own terms, a lil r&r with ya girlies is often necessary. 

We recently flew into SJO, and spent time in Jaco, about 2 hours south of San Jose. I had been eager to visit this country and so far it has not disappointed. 

We stayed at the Hotel Pumilio and I would recommend them. The service is attentive, the grounds are very nice, the room was bomb, and we were able to book all of our tours there. It's one of the newer properties in Jaco. We wanted for nothing. 

   Infiniti pool with slide, jets and waterfall


  Plottin' on my next trip like..

Our first excursion took us to the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna. It took us four hours to get there from Jaco, but the journey was worth it. 

 The "oh my damn" bridge to La Fortuna

 Volcán Arenal, stunning even in gloom
   "Gon' big gul, whatcha gon' do?"
Random buns in La Fortuna 

As part of the tour, we also got to see nearby Lake Arenal, which is surprisingly man-made, and supplies most of the water to the La Fortuna area. 

Lake Arenal

The tour included access to the volcano hot springs at the Baldi Hotel. I was told that the springs were naturally heated, and that they legit came from the volcano. I do hope it was purified somehow. There were lots of families [read: little children] in the water. There are several different areas of the park, and they let you know the temperature of each section so that you can decide if you want to chance it or not. 

About four feet of crystal clear water here.

Hot Springs sauna

I found the warmest waters the most pleasant. I especially enjoyed the hot spring saunas despite the hot and humid weather, so memorable. 

The stop at Baldi was definitely a highlight of the trip! If you want to tour the area on your own aside from a tour, we did see the source of the hot springs at the brook near La Fortuna. It's not as pretty as the park, but it's open to the public and it's free. 

Along the way, we were taken to El Jardin for some touristy photo ops. This is a great place for nature lovers, nice topography here!

Our fun continued with a day of adventure at Ocean Park stables at Jaco Beach, which included zip lining through some of Costa Rica's longest canopies, horseback riding and waterfall rappelling. 

Bestie was about that rappel life; I was not.

I've got a little time for a zip line ;)

"It's HOW long??"

Zip zip, hooray!

 Zip videos on Instagram: @toobusytraveling   

And as with most places I visit, a vacay isn't a vacay without good food, DRANK, and the BEACH! Costa Rica is IT for all of the above!

Round one of ___

Yes please.

Jaco Beach

Jaco owes me absolutely nothing and I would return in a heartbeat! I'm looking forward to exploring the rest of this country, including the northern, more touristy areas of Guanacaste, Tamarindo and Liberia. For now, I'm headed southeast to the Caribbean side to get some serious rest and relaxation in Puerto Viejo. 

Pura Vida y hasta luego

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  1. What a fun time you girls must have had. I used to love solo travel, but you're right, it was always wonderful when l best friend could join me for some of them. I love the bathing suit in the last picture :-). The food and drink look really good too. Costa Rica is still one place l need to get to at some point.

  2. This looks like a good time, the bridge named "oh my damn" is funny as hell. The food looked so fresh and delicious. I would totally love the warm water and zip lining is always a lot of fun.

  3. Looks amazing! I've heard nothing but good things about Costa Rica! Bring me that playsuit you're wearing!

    1. Playsuit? Lol, it was too big. I'm sure you can't fit it, either :-(

  4. Great pics! I almost felt like I was there.

  5. OMG, this looks sooo BEAUTIFUL and FUN!! OMG, why on this Earth yall didn't take me with you??? Grrrrr...

  6. I have heard great things about Costa Rica and looks like you Ladies had a blast! That's a lot of driving but glad it was worth it! I'm fascinated by volcanoes so that's one of the reasons I want to go there. And zip line and eat lol

  7. This trip looks AH MAZING!! I need some of that!

  8. Your pictures look so stunning. Looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  9. "Oh My Damb" LOL! I will be sending this post over to my friend. We need this vacay.

  10. I've been dying to go to Costa Rico. Due to price, my boyfriend and I went to Puerto Rico and Panama instead for our last two trips. You all took some great pictures!

  11. This looks like an awesome trip! Seems like a country that I'd like to visit, I love all of your pictures! Your hotel looked nice as well.

  12. This is so cool! I agree that r&r with your girlfriend(s) is always welcome and appreciated. Looks like you ladies had a blast. How cool is that to see a real volcano up close and personal?!

  13. I laughing at the "oh my damn" bridge. Great pics! I would love to visit Costa Rica. Definitely looking into it for in the future.