One Week in Costa Rica

Hey guys, Ali here! This past spring break I went with 3 of my friends to La Fortuna and Tamarindo in Costa Rica, somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a while. Here was some of the things we did, where we stayed, and our favorite places we ate!

Journey to La Fortuna

We flew into San Jose, which is in the center of the country, and rented a car. While this can be a hassle and you should definitely do your research beforehand on hidden costs, everything went smoothly for us (except for that slight hiccup where we were pulled over for crossing lanes in an escuela zone whoops). We drove to La Fortuna first, which was roughly a 3 hour drive. We got a later start than we were expecting so we didn’t get to stop at Bajos del Toro like we wanted to, but I recommend checking this out if you arrive in the morning!

La Fortuna

For the two nights we were in La Fortuna, we stayed at Volcano Lodge and Thermal Experience but got a two day pass for the hot springs at The Springs Resort. This way we saved a lot of money staying at a cheaper but nice resort, while getting the explore the incredible grounds at The Springs! The Volcano Lodge was great, with really cool hot springs that glowed at night and cute swan towel foldings that they left for us every day. Plus, there were screen doors that opened up onto the lush grounds.

We really loved spending a couple of hours at The Springs each day! They had maybe 30 thermal hot springs that snaked around their property, each one secluded, unique, and a different temperature. I put a few of our favorites below, as well as the view of the volcano from their swim-up bar!

On our first morning in La Fortuna, we explored the hanging bridges at Mistico Park! We wanted a beautiful walk that wasn’t too rigorous and this was perfect. It probably took us 2 hours to walk the whole thing, and it included maybe 7 bridges and a little waterfall. Try to go in the morning when there are less crowds, because more animals should be out then!

The following morning we spent hiking to La Fortuna waterfall. This was an easy walk down the 500 steps to the waterfall and a very difficult but short 20 minute climb back up. It was well worth it though to see this waterfall up close! When we got there, people were climbing around the rocks next to the stairs, but we turned the other way at the bottom and swam around the rocks to get closer to the waterfall where no one else was.

Our favorite places we ate in La Fortuna was Organico Fortuna- we cannot recommend this coffee and lunch place enough!

Tamarindo

The drive to Tamarindo was around 5 hours from La Fortuna. We stayed at Hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort which was incredible and had a nice little fenced in part of the beach as well as a few private pools. Here are some pictures of the resort!

We spent 3 nights here and mostly learned how to surf and enjoyed the great happy hours along the beach! Be warned that the UV rays are insane here and you will get so burnt if you don’t reapply sunscreen every hour at least. The sunsets on the beach were incredible and we also took advantage of a sunrise surf one morning!

Our favorite restaurants here were Green Papaya Taco Bar for lunch, Pangas Beach Club for dinner, and Nordico Coffee house for smoothie bowls.

If I were to come back to Costa Rica, I would have definitely spent more time in La Fortuna, since there were so many things we didn’t get to do. The beach/jungle balance was great though and I hope this helps anyone planning their next adventure here!

~Ali

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