48 Hours in Costa Rica

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Love Always,

Daniel

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  • Marta

    I missed your blog very much, it was so good to be FINALLY able to read something from you! Loved this post, from your amazing pictures Costa Rica seems to be absolutely beautiful place, that I hope I’ll be able to visit someday. Btw, quick question – what happened to this almost forgotten Fiji blog post?

    • Thank you Marta! love your photo! xo

      • Marta

        Thanks Daniel! ❤

  • Anahid

    Hey there!
    So glad you’re back to posting frequently on here 🙂 Although I really do LOVE any kind of post, your travel-ones have to be my favorite <3 Your writing and the way you express yourself on here are just so special.. Costa Rica seems like a wonderful place, so different from any place I've ever been to—I'd love to go there 🙂 It seems so traditional and liberating.. ok, well, long story short:
    I really enjoy reading your posts and I'm always super excited when there's a new one
    Love always,
    Anahid 😉

  • Isabella courtz

    Awe it looks like you had fun! Well I’m happy your back with your boyfriend noel because you were both sad and I hated that. 💜 Hopefully u can go on a trip with Joey there! Love you x

    • It’s nice to travel alone sometimes, but its even better to be together! Thanks for reading!

      • Isabella courtz

        Awe no problem! Ur my idol so I will always read ur posts! Awe ur so sweet! ❤

  • Charli Savery

    Your so good at writing I die!! I really want to go to Costa Rica myself and the way you described it made me want to go even more. I hope you get to go with Joey soon because you were both missing each other.
    Love Charli x
    Twitter- Charli_preceffa

    • Thanks Charli! Glad you enjoyed the trip, hope you get to go as well!

  • blake lloyd

    Loves ittttt!

  • likac05

    Your travel blogs are amazing. Looking forward to reading about your next destination! Keep up the good work and show us some of those drone shots!

  • Theater Geek2317

    Two paragraphs about him missing joey 😭😍😍😍

    • <3

      • Theater Geek2317

        OMG love you daniel i watch joey 24/7 and i love when you are i the videos with you i just dont like when he pranks you like i wanna warn you that hes coming for your wig lol!!!!!

  • CNicosiaAnthro

    This post was great and the photos are stunning! The waterfall part was intense! *nail bites* Also, I liked the little facts weaved in about the country (15,000 moth species, holy c**p!), learned some new things, and the food looked so good! Costa Rica seems like a very adventurous place (may have to bump it up my list of places to visit!) and it’s awesome that you’ve had a chance to experience it!

  • Miranda Doria

    I cannot get over how beautiful you write. You really get into the story and make us feel like we’re apart of it and we’re there with you. This Blog was absolutely amazing, cant wait to here other’s. Love you!

  • CNicosiaAnthro

    This post was great and the photos are stunning! The waterfall part was intense and the last two paragraphs (I hope the trip turns out as planned with the bf!). I liked the little facts weaved in about the country (15,000 moth species, wow) and the food looks so good! Costa Rica seems like a very adventurous place and it’s awesome that you’ve had a chance to experience it!

  • Camille Woodard

    You made me feel as if I was there, and I’m still trying to get over the fact that you went over a waterfall😨😨😨

  • Emily

    Your writing is so beautiful, Daniel! You’ve inspired me to want to become a journalist, so thank you! I love photography and I’ve taken it a step further to become a writer for my school paper… all because of your influence. As of now, I’m writing an editorial for the paper and I’ve landed an interview with one of my idols for it. I can’t thank you enough for helping me realize my dreams. -Emily

  • Chloe Graceda

    Watching you live your life to the fullest makes me so happy Hope you had the best time everyone needs a getaway once in a while and to have it in such a gorgeous place must of been so soothing Ly lots hope u and Joey go there w eachother one day as a getaway together ❤️

  • Emily

    I would’ve gotten right back on that plane if I was greeted by moths. I’m PETRIFIED of moths and butterflies and I don’t think I would’ve made it if I were you lol. Yikes.

  • Nita JN

    Everything you experience becomes a lasting part of you. You are continually growing and building a beautiful life. I always love reading your blogs and seeing the fabulous pics you take. I hope Joey does get to experience this with you. It always makes things even better when you see the one you love enjoy it too.

  • Jimena Pueyo

    Beautiful pictures!

  • Erin

    Awww you’ve inspired me so much Daniel. Just looking at these picture and rwading about your adventures makes me want to live my life to my full potential and explore as much of the world as possible. Keep
    doing what you love and thank you for making me so incredibly happy xx

  • Allison Ossola

    Hi Daniel! Your blog posts make me so happy and I love reading them! You spread such good messages and I love that! I’ve had a pretty bad week and these make me so happy. I’m so excited for more to come! Also I hope you can bring joey along with you next year! I love you so much!💗
    Twitter @ajanielxmas

  • savanah

    Hey Daniel! These are always so amazing and make me happy reading them. You’re such a great writer. I’m glad you had fun! The part about the rafting and the waterfall was insane. These pictures are beautiful & I can’t wait until you go back with Joey next year. Can’t wait to read the next one! Love you!

  • Elizabeth Nolin

    Beautiful job with the pictures and writing as usual Daniel, your blog posts always make me very happy & I do hope you get to go back to Costa Rica with Joey next year. Can’t wait to see the next blog post! Love you so much!! ❤️❤️💕
    Twitter: @slaylizabeth_18

  • hannah Kisley

    I loved this blog post so much! I’m glad you had a lovely time 🙂 I hope you get to go back with Joey next year, which I’m sure will make your trip so much more enjoyable 🙂 i hope I get to visit Costa Rica one day your description and your photos make it seem so beautiful. Love you
    Hannah

  • Ersin

    Reading your blog is so relaxing and it makes me feel so warm and happy. The pictures are undoubtly, incredibly beautiful. Ahh, I just can’t explain how happy I am to finally find a blog this good and outstanding.

  • Victoria

    Costa Rica sounds beautiful love your blogs and pictures ❤❤

  • Emma Gibbons

    i literally am crying over that last paragraph about u and joey!! You two are so cute <3

  • Fernanda Medina

    oh god, i loved so much this post. the pictures, the text and everything is perfect ❤️

  • Matt Sten

    The CONTENT is great. However, it’s not just the WHAT but also the HOW. And I think there are a few things that can make this blog better
    -captions under pictures (some not all even, easier to read when you break it up instead of long chunks of paragraphs)
    -grammar punctuation all that should be reviewed for correctness imo. It’s distracting.
    I love it otherwise 🙂

    • Thanks Matt! I’ll definitely work on these, thanks for reading along!

  • Anna Widerström

    Thank you for another lovely blog! Your writing really shows the joy of living. I like that! Physical and challenging adventures really make you feel alive. And it´s so nice to rest and relax afterwards. Costa Rica must be a magic place, so special and beautiful. I also like how you describe the mixed emotions during your trip: All the good things, food, spa, wonderful experiences – and the sudden feeling of being lonely and missing your loved one. Let´s hope you both can travel to Costa Rica next year (and bring us more blogs, videos and pictures). Your pictures were great as always, but of course I missed pictures of you!

    • Thank you Anna! Such sweet words, glad you enjoyed!

  • Loved the short video of this post on your Instagram and also the photos on this blog post Daniel! After reading this post, I think I will put Costa Rica on my top ‘places to go’ list. I think travelling alone is good but if you can travel with company is better! I hope to read more blog posts from you more often!

    Jeff. | NAMELESSJEFF

  • Chatrik Mangat

    Well you can get a similar experience if you come to India, more accurately East India, coz the natural beauty there is extraordinary. I’ve been there a few times now, so this comes from an experienced person to say the least 😉

  • fiovino2001

    Loved reading about your time is Costa
    Rica! After reading this it definitely made me want to go there some day when I’m older! I got so sad when you said that you missed your partner in crime!! It was so sweet. I’m glad you had a good time is Costa Rica! I loved this piece of writing, it was written so perfectly!! I can’t wait to read more blogs from you!! – Francesca Iovino

  • Sara Joseph

    This was so magical trip just worthy to born for… your writings Daniel takes me along with you to the place you experienced every single time … what a capability you have on words to mesmerize the readers in such fantastic way… definitely loved Costa Rica, just the heavenly place to forget problems of life … GLAD you had fun and sad for that odd feeling you got, 4 next time u 2 go together 4 sure…THANK YOU 4 taking us with u..LOVE U.

  • This was such an amazing blog post. From the stunning photos to the vividly detailed writing i couldn’t look away! Thank you for posting this because it was like i was there with you while reading this! And can i just say what an AMAZING photographer you are.Entered the contest!

  • Ray Eduard

    I think all the trip was amazing. Fans like us who keep up with you in Social Media could see a little bit of your trip and it looked really great. But, do you want to know what makes it way better? THE WAY YOU TELL EVERYTHING¡ because when I read this, I’m not just reading, I’m picturing everything in my head and that makes it even more special. Maybe I’m not someone “expert” in writing or something, but I say this frankly; the whole trip WITH your mesmerizing description, it was just PERFECTION, so Thanks Daniel. xoxo

  • Emily

    Your writing is so beautiful, Daniel! The way you explain everything paints a perfect picture in my mind, I love it! You’ve inspired me to want to become a journalist. I love photography and I’ve taken it a step further to become a writer for my school paper, all because of your influence. As of now, I’m writing an editorial for the paper and I’ve somehow managed to land an interview with one of my idols for it… I’m still shook. I can’t thank you enough for helping me realize my dreams.
    -Emily <3

  • Denise Daniels

    Its lovely there!

  • Sara Arshad

    It’s beautiful there!!