There are two kinds of people in this world: sunrise people and sunset people. Most, when asked their preference between the two will chose the later. After all, who wants to get up before the sun, only to watch it rise, a time when the world is still sleeping, shops aren’t open and there are few, if any, cars on the road. To some that scenario sounds boring, dull, but to me it sounds like sheer and utter perfection. Waking with the birds, listening to the sounds of the day beginning and seeing a new day break on the horizon, these things set my heart on fire. Sure I was looking forward to my week of yoga in Montezuma, but more than anything I was looking forward to the opportunity to wake with the sun, walking the beach as it broke the horizon, and welcoming each and every new day with an open heart.
This entire trip to Costa Rica just kind of happened, over the last year all of my thoughts for traveling around South America, Costa Rica was never on the itinerary. Thanks to a cold Wisconsin day and blankets of snow I started searching for yoga retreats in paradise and Costa Rica kept popping up. Next thing I knew I had not only paid a deposit for a one week stay, but also purchased my one-way ticket, assuming the rest would sort itself out. It did of course, I met another set of awesome Couchsurfing hosts and hung out with them in both Monteverde and San Jose, I reconnected with an old friend in the hot springs at La Fortuna, and made even more friends in Quepos. Finally though it was time for me to enjoy that week of paradise that started it all. Arriving in Montezuma I felt a wave of calmness wash over me, and as soon as I stepped foot on the property at Los Mangos, I knew I was in the right place.
Quepos was good to me, I had a great hostel, awesome Couchsurfing host, good food and lovely beaches, but I had to leave. I really didn’t want to have 8 hours of transportation on my way to Montezuma so I decided to spend a night in Jaco, despite a few hesitations. See Jaco is notorious for being THE party town of Costa Rica, people come here for the nightlife, but I had no interest in that. Actually since being here I’ve only had one beer, and that silly Four Loko in La Fortuna, I guess I’m focusing more on the yoga and wellness vibe of the country. But Jaco, how was I going to get through a night, a Saturday night to be more specific, in the party capital of the country. Simple: pick an awesome hostel with friendly people and own my “I’m cool, I promise, but I’m not going out drinking and having a hangover with the rest of you” mentality.
I heard it was touristy, I knew it would be filled with overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops, but I came anyway. Needing to get out of the city, and more specifically to some warmer temperatures I left San Jose and headed for the coast. I knew to expect higher prices and probably loads of tourists, but I accepted this and looked past it. Manuel Antonio, both the park and beach, is listed in multiple guide books and “must see” destination lists so I figured there must be a reason, and I wanted to check it out.
Packed with Adventure and Adrenaline, a diverse landscape from mountains to cloudforests, oceans, beaches and waterfalls. It's known for being touristy, safe and expensive, but was for me, a great introduction to Central America.