A Country Rediscovered

When it comes to planning vacations, I have always believed that there are two types of people. Type 1 visits a vacation destination at some point in time and falls in love with it. It is at that point that they say to themselves, “This is great, let’s come back here every chance we get”. Type 2 (ahem, that being us) visits a location and falls in love with it, but instead says, “This is great, we sure are glad we came here, but let’s still try some place new for our next trip”.

Now of course I understand the convenience of going back to the same places for yearly vacations. People have time shares, own vacation homes, and overall it can be cost effective as well as easier for large families to organize. I also honestly think people in general like what they know because it is comfortable and safe. Even though I classify Dustin and me as type 2, we do go back to places more than once and who knows maybe one day we will even want to own a vacation home of our own. However, for now we feel that the world is a big place and there is always an opportunity to try a new destination and see new sites.

That being said our trip this March to attend our friend’s wedding had us returning to a country we had already spent time in on our RTW trip. The country was Costa Rica so how could one not be excited about a return trip there. When we previously blogged about Costa Rica, one of our biggest complaints was the cost. After spending time in Central America we could not believe the sticker shock. However, as it goes, where there is increased American tourism, there is increased price. Thankfully one of the advantages on our side for this trip was that we were NOT on our RTW, so therefore we had no strict daily budget. We also did our research and realized that even though Costa Rica is not a large country, there was still lots for us to see that we had previously missed. After a great few days at an all-inclusive resort for the beautiful wedding, our Costa Rican adventure ensued…

Renting a Car in Costa Rica:

Car rental in Costa Rica is easy and straight forward, but Dustin was plenty apprehensive so he thought he would share the few tips he learned in hopes to save some others time:

  • They will try to con you into buying all sorts of insurance but only TPL, SLI, SLC or API is required as long as you can prove you have credit card insurance for the other coverage (CDW or LDW)
  • More on auto insurance – http://costa-rica-guide.com/CarRentalInsurance.html
  • Credit card insurance – https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/card-benefits/car-rental-insurance.html
  • People should not be fooled into thinking their car rental is $10 a day as it first appears as they will be surprised to find out it’s closer to $25 a day and that’s getting the cheapest thing you can find.
  • In general the internet reviews tend to favor renting through National or Avis, but recommend staying away from Dollar or Thrifty.
Familiar easy driving on the right; just watch out for cyclist
Familiar easy driving on the right; just watch out for cyclist
Costa Rica Men
The fellas celebrating Kim and Sam’s Wedding

 

Our adventure begins on the super bumpy roads of Costa Rica
Our adventure begins on the super bumpy roads of Costa Rica
After a long drive we relax poolside
After a long drive we relax poolside
One of the many incredible sunsets we experienced in Costa Rica
One of the many incredible sunsets we experienced in Costa Rica
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park; this might be the scariest part of your visit
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park; this might be the scariest part of your visit
Because the Volcano Rim hike was closed due to recent activity we got to see mostly bubbling mudpots
Because the Volcano Rim hike was closed due to recent activity we saw lots of bubbling mudpots
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As a budget minded traveling husband this is how you score points with the wife;  don’t always go for the cheapest campsite!
We are starting to think Costa Rica sunsets are always this ridiculous
We are starting to think Costa Rica sunsets are always this ridiculous
The next morning we were the first to enter the Arenal Volcano National Park
Arrive early to the Arenal Volcano National Park as the tour buses show up with boat loads
Hiking the trail we ran into this HUGE Ceiba Tree
HUGE Ceiba Tree
Tip to get away from the crowds; look for the hidden trail to the East
Tip to get away from the crowds; look for the hidden trail to the East
Sunrise view from our hotel of Arenal Volcano
About the only clear view we had of the Volcano was at Sunrise
For our last night in Costa Rica we headed back toward the coast for some more beach time
Savoring our last sunset and drinks before returning to work – Imperial; Costa Rican for beer (oh and Merlot too)
Sunset on our last night in Costa Rica...Adios until the next Yoga pose!
Last night Sunset in Costa Rica…Adios until the next Yoga pose!

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