Well guys, I am back! It has been a whirlwind past few days after my amazing trip to Costa Rica. I’d like to thank Southwest Airlines for sponsoring this blog post and being such an amazing partner to work with during my trip, I had such a wonderful time! Before I get into the trip, let me just say how much I miss Costa Rica already! I feel as if I only experienced a taste of what the beautiful country has to offer, and I cannot wait to return next year for a longer stay.
Let’s rewind to last Monday, where I was on my way to LAX to board my 4.5 hour flight to Liberia, Costa Rica. In normal Daniel fashion, I nearly missed my flight after arriving barely an hour prior due to traffic. Thankfully the amazing team at Southwest expedited my airport time and I was at my gate within 25 minutes, I even had a few minutes to grab an iced tea before making my way to my seat. To my surprise, my flight was just 30% full with just 43 people on board, we all had our own rows, it was absolutely incredible; I quickly fell asleep and woke up less than five hours later in Liberia. It was pouring rain when we landed and I quickly de-boarded and made my way through customs where my driver, as well as a swarm of moths (Costa Rica has over 15,000 species of them) waited to greet me outside. A 20-minute car ride and a few bumps in the road later, we arrived at The Mangroove Resort. I couldn’t exactly tell where I was near cause it was night-time, but after my welcoming check-in I headed to my room, showered and order room service before passing out.
The next morning was like a dream. After an amazing nights rest, I woke up to the sound of tropical birds chirping and the sun peaking through my curtains, inviting me to start the day. I decided to order some breakfast before heading out on my day-long adventure. After the best corn-flour and blueberry waffles, paired with the freshest fruit and orange juice I’ve ever had, I hopped onto my bus which would bring me to my surprise adventure.
After reaching our destination, my group was briefed on the days activities, which would include zip-lining, volcanic mud baths, hot springs, horseback riding and a mountain water slide, needless to say I was super excited for the day. We started off with a up-hill horseback ride to the summit of the mountain where our zip-line harnesses and helmets awaited us. I was slightly terrified. This wasn’t just any regular zip-line, we had to break ourselves and were in charge of our speeds going down each course. To say the 10-course zip was not a complete thrill would be an understatement, 10/10 would recommend. After zip-lining, we had a quick snack, where some lovely ladies made us a fresh pot of Costa Rican coffee, as well as some delicious oven-baked sweets which hit the spot after a crazy few hours. As a light mist began, we headed to the water slide and volcanic mud baths where we slathered on some natural volcanic mud (which made my skin super soft btw) and relaxed in the thermal pools. There was something so special about this place in the jungle. Surrounded by other couples, I was suddenly sad to be alone and realized how much I missed my partner in crime.
After a long day of adventuring, I decided to book a massage at the hotel’s spa, and let me tell you, it was out of this world. I have never been that into massages, but hands down the spa at the Mangroove was the best I had ever experienced. After the spa, I headed to dinner and walked the stunning beach, soaking in the last moments of sunshine before heading off to bed.
The next morning, I was set to head back to L.A on a 7am flight and decided to stay one more day and explore the area, you know, for research. After another perfect breakfast, I booked a whitewater rafting trip to the Tenorio River. Tenorio is known for its world class rapids, and I was borderline ballistic when I saw the size of them myself. My raft was only four people, myself, a cute Canadian couple, and our river guide who we listened to religiously, obeying his every command to stay alive on the tumultuous waters. Through the seven-mile trek down-river, I experienced pure euphoria; Different species of birds, butterflies, sloths and other animals surrounded the jungle near the river, making each moment even more magical than the next. Towards the end of our trip, we were notified of a waterfall that had emerged due to a storm a few days prior, a thirteen-foot waterfall to be exact, and yes, we would be trying to go down it in our tiny raft. After a few tears, we glided down the river, holding on for dear life and before I knew it, I was perpendicular in the air free-falling into the waterfall. Landing with a crash in the river below, WE MADE IT! Although our raft was filled with water, we were safe and celebrated by jumping into the refreshing water and sharing a few beers after docking on land.
I had enough adventure for one day and after parting ways, I was eager to stay on land for a while. I decided to grab lunch at the hotel and lay by the pool for a bit, before walking the beach for sunset. The chocolate sand beach massaged my toes as I flew my drone around for some sunset shots and I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was to be there in that moment, for my job. Traveling has always been a passion of mine and traveling alone was always the norm for me before entering my current relationship, but this time, being alone, felt odd. I don’t know how to put it into words, but I felt that the only thing missing was the person I loved most. As I watched the sunset, I jotted down a few notes in my journal, and began to plan my next trip to Costa Rica in 2017, with my boyfriend hopefully by my side.
I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! Make sure to enter my $500 Southwest Airlines gift card giveaway via Instagram by re-posting the image below, using the tags #SouthwestPassport and #LiberiaCostaRicaGiveaway and don’t forget to tell us why they should pick you, good luck! You have until December 16th to enter! Until next time, I love you!