When we started planning our vacation to Costa Rica, we went through all of the one-week itinerary recommendations we could find. While there was no shortage of guidelines for how to get the most out of eight days in Costa Rica, we eventually decided that none of them really fit our style of travel. Our daily-lives are filled with deadlines and requirements, and it was exactly this phenomenon of the daily-grind that we wanted to escape. So, we decided to take a risk, trust our gut, and ignore all of the advice of the well-seasoned globe-trekkers and their itineraries.
First, we needed to determine what it was that we absolutely wanted on this trip: we wanted to plan the trip ourselves, do our own driving, and minimize the amount of time spent traveling from place to place. We did not want to be shuttled from place-to-place at the speed of light, driven by the schedule of some tour company. We did not want to spend five minutes at a vista-point or “must-see” with only a picture to help us process the experience. We wanted to mindfully take in as little or as much as we wanted, wherever it was we ended up being.
For some folks, the idea of visiting a country and taking it in at a leisurely pace might stir up fears of losing out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For us, the treat was that we would take our time. Most of the itineraries online include multiple days spent driving to new destinations. While the drives are most definitely scenic, with only eight full days available for touring and relaxation, we decided to spend a full week in La Fortuna.
Given the long list of “must-see” locations in the country, we certainly had our doubts that one location in Costa Rica would be fulfilling and exciting enough for eight full days,. We are happy to report, however, that for us, it was the most relaxing and fully experienced adventure we have had yet. We will most definitely continue to plan our getaways in the same fashion and would highly recommend it to those who like to begin and end the day slowly, with cups of coffee, rather than on the road. In this post, we will share an overview of our week in La Fortuna. More posts to come about how we spent each day, what we saw, and our recommendations for taking it easy in Costa Rica.
Here’s our week in La Fortuna in a nutshell:
Day 1: Arrive in San Jose, rent car, drive to Arenal Green Hotel.
Day 2: Explore Mistico Hanging Bridges.
Day 4: Hike at Arenal Observatory Lodge
Day 6: Spelunking at the Venado Caves (Cavernas del Venado)
Day 7: White water rafting on the Rio Balsa
Day 8: Drive to San Jose and fly home