Tag Archives: Living Big

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.
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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!!
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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??