March 4, 2016

Exploring: Costa Rica 2016

Naptime Chef: Exploring Costa Rica

Last month we took a family vacation to Costa Rica. Since it wasn’t a work trip I didn’t go crazy documenting it on social media. But I took a bunch of non-family photos I’d love to share today. We had never been to Costa Rica and heard nothing but amazing things about it before we went. After a week there I can now say I totally understand why people love it so much. The weather is incredible, the scenery is beyond gorgeous, and it everyone we met had a fun, relaxed vibe. Here are some of the highlights from our trip:
Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

We stayed on Playa Hermosa near Jaco. The sand in this area is black due to ancient lava flows. The beaches are known for their incredible surf brakes. Even thought we don’t surf we still enjoyed the waves and incredibly warm water.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

Since we were on the western coast of the country we were treated to a gorgeous sunset every single evening. I would take approximately one million pictures each golden hour because the light was so enchanting. It was also the coolest time of day before sunset and it was a great time to roam the beach.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

Costa Rica is known for the incredible wildlife. The bright red macaws were gorgeous and we saw them fly from one almond tree to the next eating their meals. These gigantic lizards were as common as squirrels in the U.S. They just roamed around the streets and sidewalks and even climbed the trees. You had to be careful of leaving food around, they scavenged for human food all day long!

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica Bogie’s bar had a great view of the sunsets. It was also super family friendly and served terrific brunch food.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

We took a few eco tours when we were there. On this one we took a boat down an inlet toward the sea.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

We could hear birds and monkeys all around us. It honestly felt like we were in a movie.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

Once we got to the mangrove forest the landscape opened up. And we saw….

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

Tons of monkeys! We motored right up to them and the guide mashed up bananas for our hands. They came and sat on our shoulders and ate right off of our palms! They were gentle and sweet.
Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

I loved the view from the mangroves up into the mountains. The elevation increase is astounding. Up in the mountains are the coffee plantations and rain forests. We didn’t see them this time. We’ll save that for our next visit!

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

One day we went south to Manuel Antonio National Park. The beaches in that area are breathtaking. The sand here is beige and there are no big waves.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

We hiked in and saw all sorts of wildlife with a guide. These are bats sleeping under giant leaves.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

They called this the Jesus Christ lizard because it can walk on water!

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

This is another lizard. The kids named is Obi-Wan because they think it looks like Obi-Wan when he wears the giant hood.

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica

Sloths everywhere! I never expected to see so many sloths. We used a zoom lens to capture their images. They are all smiling and napping up in the trees!

Naptime Travel: Costa Rica Our last night there we stayed at the Marriot in San José because we had early flights the next morning. It was a pretty hacienda-style hotel. If you need to stay in the area I highly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of our trip to Costa Rica. It is a beautiful country and I highly recommend you go if you have the opportunity!