Costa Rica...or rich coast as it is aptly named...is BEAUTIFUL! I visited 6 or 7 years ago for a quick trek to Arenal and Monteverde (volcano and lake region inland) but I never actually made it to the COAST...you know...of COSTA RICA!
I met up with two dear friends who are just as travel crazy as I am in San Jose. We hiked Poas Volcano (on a paved walkway with people in wheelchairs), toured a coffee plantation (did you know dark roast coffee has less caffeine than light roast? The longer it cooks, the less caffeine there is in the beans!), visited an animal refuge in the rainforest and climbed down a ravine to take in five or six waterfalls. And that was just the first day!
The next day we headed out to Manuel Antonio, the famous National Park of Costa Rica that conserves the shore line and forests. In a weird twist to my very low-budget trip so far...we were upgraded to the penthouse suite of the boutique hotel where we had originally booked a small double bed room. We could see beaches from both sides of our room...and stand outside to see them from two different balconies.
We also took in another surfing lesson up the beach at Dominical and went parasailing off Manuel. We trekked three miles to another awesome waterfall and then trekked three miles back. Worth it but boy was it hot!
We finished with an awesome dinner at a cute little tapas bar overlooking the ocean and shoreline. Fun? Yes. Peaceful? Yes again. Blessed? Yes, yes, yes.