Day 2 In Costa Rica- Traveling to Arenal

Upon waking up and eating breakfast, it was time for us to board the bus and officially begin our tour of Costa Rica. We drove around San Juan are got to see the city by bus, before continuing with our drive to Arenal. On the way, we stopped in Sarchi, which is known to be an artisan town, also known as a tourist trap for travelers eager to start spending their allotted souvenir money. Sarchi is home to traditional oxcarts of all different colors, which happens to be Costa Rica’s most famous type of craft since oxcarts have been used to transport coffee beans for centuries. And if you didn’t already know, Costa Rica is home to incredible coffee (which will be discussed in a later post).

We were given snacks, drinks, and fresh fruit before leaving, because the key to any tourist’s heart is to give them free food to get them in the mood to start spending. Once we left Sarchi, we continued on our way, but stopped again thirty minutes later in the city of Zarcero. The bus parked right outside Iglesia de San Rafael, a blue and pink church with various paintings of the stations of the cross. When you exit the church, you’ll find yourself in Parque Francisco Alvarado, which is a fun and beautiful park known for its shrubs that have been trimmed in the shapes of different animals and fun pathways to walk through. We had a little bit of free time to quickly have lunch, so we did so before boarding the bus again.

We made one more stop along to way to the hotel, and that was to a local Costa Rican school. While at the school, we got a chance to meet the students and watch them perform a cultural dance for us that they put together themselves. It was truly a unique opportunity that we all really enjoyed. We boarded the bus once more and finally continued on our trip straight through to our hotel in the district of La Fortuna in San Carlos alongside the Arenal Volcano. As you can see in the pictures below, we had an incredible view of the volcano from our hotel, and once we were finished taking pictures we went out into the city for a traditional Costa Rican dinner, thus concluding our first full day in Costa Rica.

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Day 1 In San Juan, Costa Rica

Two years ago, my family and I traveled to Costa Rica for a few days on a group trip. I have been meaning to post about our experience ever since, so here it finally goes! We flew into San Juan, Costa Rica on Sunday morning and had the afternoon to ourselves before the trip officially began the following morning. My brother, sister, mother, and I walked around the city and had lunch at a local restaurant called Nuestra Tierra, which translates to “Our land.” I ordered chicken, salsa, black beans, plantains, and tortillas, and surely wasn’t disappointed! For dessert, we had rice pudding also known as arroz con leche, along with coffee made from a chorreador.

The chorreador is a coffee making device used in Costa Rica in which hot water is poured into a cloth fiber containing coffee grounds. The coffee then seeps into the cup placed below the cloth (as pictured below). This unique method of making coffee definitely interested us tourists, and it was as delicious as we imagined it would be.

Following lunch, we continued to walk around the city until it was time to return to the hotel for dinner. We had black bean soup, homemade chips, and fish before heading to sleep for the evening. My brother and I slept in one room and my sister and mother shared another room across the hall from us.

The two of us both woke up in the middle of the night to a loud continuous banging sound in the room next door. We both assumed that it was just a couple being loud and intimate with one another, so we tried to ignore the sounds until we fell back asleep. It wasn’t until the following morning that we found out there was a minor earthquake overnight, and the loud sounds were unoccupied beds moving back and forth!