A Costa Rican Adventure!

22 Jan

When I decided to write my 35 for 35 bucket list post in April, Dan told me to check out his friend Mary’s bucket list. I got a few ideas from her but I started to check out her blog and noticed she was putting together a trip to Costa Rica. I quickly tweeted her and learned she still had a spot on the trip. We met up for coffee. She told me a little bit about herself and the trip.

I had never done a “group” trip before. I have always planned my own trips. Everything about the trip intrigued me. A good mix of adventure and relaxation. I loved not having to plan anything. Mary had everything planned to a tee. This was Mary’s first Living Big trip.

I had been to Costa Rica one other time in 2010. We went south to the beach!! But I had been wanting to go North since then!!

We left on November 13th for an amazing adventure in Costa Rica. I bet you never thought I would do a post. This is soooooooo late but here it goes!!!

There was 10 women who went. Mary (the hostess with the mostest) & 5 others from Oregon. 2 from California(LA & SF). 2 from the east coast (D.C. & Boston). We all met in San Jose. Stayed one night there and we were off to Arenal the next day.
Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.33.58 AM
We stayed at Arenal Observatory Lodge inside the national park!! This is where the scientists used to live while studying the volcano!

We went on a nature walk through the grounds. We saw some wild turkeys, a toucan, coati, and an awesome waterfall. Our guide gave us some great info on the volcano and the rainforest!!
Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.35.41 AM

We went to the Eco Termales Hot Springs that was amazing. We did an 8 line zipline that was much scarier (than my first 2 ziplines). It was fun!
Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.36.12 AM

Our second stop was Monteverde.

We went into the cloud forest and did the Sky Walk. The Sky Walk is a combo of suspension bridges and walking trails through the Monteverde rainforest. The longest bridge is 984 feet. This was a guided tour as well. Costa Rica has a very unique ecosystem.
Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.36.49 AM

We had a very fun cooking class. Mary had a hard time finding a cook to do a cooking class because that is just not something they do in Costa Rica. Kenneth(chef) and Dillion(sous chef) came and did an “off the cuff” cooking class. It was super fun. They let us get involved and showed us different recipes. We then had a feast of amazing food!
Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 10.36.33 AM

Our last stop was a coffee plantation. The farmer was very knowledgeable on everything coffee. He went through and showed us the “old school” technique for growing and roasting coffee beans. He also took us through the “new school” easier way of cleaning, drying, and roasting the beans.
Image 1-21-15 at 8.36 PM
Here is a bean right off of the tree. Once it is red you know it is time to be harvested.

Nosara was our 3rd and final stop. We made it to the beach finally! If you have been to Costa Rica or heard about their roads. They are crappy. It takes a long time to get to anywhere.

We had lots of rest and relaxation.
Lots of beach time!

Nosara is known for their yoga institute.

Our first yoga class was at the institute in the tree top open air studio.
Image 1-21-15 at 9.41 PM
We were in the middle of a rain/thunder-storm. The rain was coming down hard and the thunder was so loud. It was so amazing.

We did a second class on the beach.
Image 1-21-15 at 9.46 PM
Really the perfect way to wake up!!


A local open air boutique.

A local open air boutique.

tofu tacos

tofu tacos

We got ice cream twice. It was delicious!!

We got ice cream twice. It was delicious!!

We had such a fun time. I was a little nervous about going with 9 other women that I did not know. We all got along real well. It was super fun to be on the inaugural Living Big trip and support Mary on her dream!!

Mary is doing 3 trips in 2015. She is going to Switzerland, Spain, and Costa Rica again. If are interested going on a trip check her website here. You know how much I like coupon codes so here is one for $250 off one of her trips in 2015: LivingBig2015!!

Happy travels!! What is on your travel bucket list??

23 Responses to “A Costa Rican Adventure!”

  1. Kelsey @ Happy Triathlete January 22, 2015 at 11:51 AM #

    Sounds like a fabulous trip!! I loved Costa Rica, but definitely took a more relaxed approach on my trip there… we booked a ticket and left the next day! Needless to say, we didn’t have any plans.

  2. Kecia January 22, 2015 at 1:28 PM #

    WOW!! Just WOW!! I definitely want to venture to Costa Rica…what an amazing trip!!

  3. Sherrie January 22, 2015 at 1:47 PM #

    I’ve done that treetop walk!

  4. Luv What You Do January 22, 2015 at 8:34 PM #

    OMG! That looks like so much fun!!!
    I want to travel around Europe (so much to see and so little time) and go to New Zealand!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats January 22, 2015 at 9:23 PM #

      Europe and NZ are awesome! I would definitely go back to both. Especially Europe because there is much more I want to see!

  5. Lee@tri*inspired*life January 23, 2015 at 9:20 AM #

    Cool trip and neat that you were just able to jump in with this group. How fun!! Costa Rica is definitely on my list of places to travel to. I have heard so many great things about it as a travel destination! I guess the top of my bucket list of “big” places to travel are New Zealand and Australia. There are soooo many places I want to visit though! I love to travel and explore new places!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats January 23, 2015 at 10:31 AM #

      It was fun to travel a “different” way!! I loved NZ but I want to get to Australia as well!!

  6. Kristen January 23, 2015 at 9:59 AM #

    I love that you did something different and went on a group trip with the girls. My girlfriends and I have been talking about doing something like this for a long time, but have yet to plan something. It’s all about that one person really taking charge! πŸ™‚ Costa Rica looks beautiful!!! I would definitely like to make it there sometime soon. We are going to the Hawaii in a couple weeks (can’t wait to get away from the cold) and Mexico in May. Mexico is definitely one of my favorites – the food!!!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats January 23, 2015 at 10:21 AM #

      I usually like to plan the trips but it was so nice not having to!! It is gorgeous there!! OHHH Hawaii and Mexico in the next couple months will be awesome!!!

  7. amba January 24, 2015 at 7:46 AM #

    Leslie thanks so much for mentioning Nosara Yoga Institute, and of course all the beautiful places you went in Costa Rica. Looks like you had a blast.!! See you back at Treetops. amba

  8. erin January 24, 2015 at 8:22 AM #

    What a fabulous trip! Love that you went with people you don’t know… sometimes those turn out to be the best. And, Costa Rica! This definitely makes me want to visit again asap! It’s one of my favorite places ever (except for the roads πŸ˜‰ !

  9. Kara January 24, 2015 at 11:58 AM #

    umm WOW!!! This looks so incredible. Especially the yoga. What an amazing trip – I am extremely jealous πŸ™‚ Australia is on my travel bucket list!

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats January 25, 2015 at 11:25 AM #

      The yoga was amazing. I would love to go back, stay at the institute, and take yoga classes every day!! I want to go to Australia too!!!!

  10. Kim Fox @ Swimmykimy January 25, 2015 at 10:01 AM #

    This looks SOOOO amazing! I went to Panama several years ago to visit a friend who was in the peace corps there and fell in love with central america! I love that you took a cooking class and also had such amazing yoga classes, what an amazing way to end the trip πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recap and all of the great ideas!

  11. Diana Lopez January 25, 2015 at 2:41 PM #

    That looks so much fun! I’ve been wanting to go to Costa Rica. I went to Peru last year. It’s a trip that I recommend to everyone, but it does have to be planned in advance. I wish you a happy and successful 2015.

    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats January 25, 2015 at 7:21 PM #

      You should definitely go to CR. It is so awesome!!!!
      YES!!! I am dying to go to Peru!! Where did you go? How long?

  12. Mary Cecchini February 9, 2015 at 5:06 PM #

    Leslie – what an amazing write-up! Thank you for sharing your Costa Rican memories with Living Big on your blog! Ah…I’m blushing πŸ™‚ So happy that you were part of this journey.

    Hugs and love!


    • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats February 9, 2015 at 8:55 PM #

      Oh Mary!! It was so much fun!!!! I am so glad that I could be there for the inaugural trip!!


  1. 36 is the NEW 26? | Triathlete Treats - April 11, 2015

    […] complete but I have a one mark on it. 5 more passport stamps before my passport expires in 2017! I went to Costa Rica!! 4 more stamps to […]

Your Sweet Thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: