Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Costa Rica Day 1

Jordan and I are so blessed to be able to get away this week just the two of us. My awesome parents offered to come down and stay with our babies so we could go on a "bucket list" trip and celebrate 9 years of marraige (coming up next week). This was pretty last minute due to coordinating schedules. We booked it 2 weeks ago. Day 1 is over and I am already in love with this place. The fun is just beginning!

We left our house at 7:15am and grabbed at 10:30am direct flight into San Jose, Costa Rica. We landed at 1:00pm local time (which is on Mountain time). We rented a 4x4 (a must in Costa Rica) and grabbed some maps and headed out for our adventure....oh what an adventure it is DRIVING here. 

First of all...they seem to have zero "rules" of the road. No yielding, or lanes, or abiding by traffic signals or signs etc. It's pretty much every man for himself. There are ZERO street signs. ZERO. Even the maps instead of telling you what road you're on tell you how to get places by taking a right at the supermercado, to veer left at the fork in the road go past the church etc....we navigated to our hotel through the mountains and jungles with these kinds of directions HA! This was a challenge for me. I am the navigator usually because I am not driving but also because I am very directionally oriented. I have never gone by something other than N,S,E,W and street signs. This was an adventure all alone, BUT we made it and the drive was breathtaking. 

We stopped and ate along the way on the side of a the mountain at Ristaurante El Mirador. The view was incredible!

For the first 2 nights we are staying at the Peace lodge at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a small boutique hotel. There are only 18 rooms here and each one is amazing. The booking comes with a free in room massage, which we will be doing tomorrow! The hotel is not full this week so it literally feels like we are the only ones here. The staff is very personable and knows you by name. The customer service is amazing. I have never been one to get excited about a hotel since they are all usually just a room with a bed and nothing too interesting but OH MY. This place is incredible. I will let the pictures do the talking.
Our room

The bathroom! This is my favorite part. The jacuzzi tub in the middle has waterfalls behind it and ambiance lighting.

This is the "outdoor" shower in the bathroom

This is the indoor shower in the bathroom
 Our balcony

Jacuzzi tub on the balcony
 Hammock on the balcony
These are the 2 ponds not meant for swimming but you can. It's chilly here. In this part of the country it's about 60-70 degrees during the day and overcast/cloudy. At night it gets down to 50-60 degrees. It's wet most of the afternoon, not necessarily raining but just humid and wet very rainforest-y. They stock these ponds with trout and you can go down and fish and then they will cook it for you to eat on the spot.

This is a view from our balcony overlooking La Paz Waterfall Gardens

The hotel hot tub and hot pools
 Pools (heated)

Our room is the top level 

We have access to the entire La Paz Waterfall Gardens (most people have to pay to come see them) but since we are staying on the grounds we can see it all for free. 
This is the Butterfly pavilion

We spent about 2 hours checking out the area. Lots of places to see waterfalls, caves, wildlife etc.

These next pictures were along our first hike we barely covered any ground because we ran out of daylight but tomorrow will be a full day!

They have monkeys, birds, big cats (jaguars, cougars etc) and frogs, butterflies and other things you can see along the grounds

I am so excited to see what tomorrow brings. We have so much to see in the next day and half before we head up to the next hotel we are staying at which is at the Arenal Volcano. 


Brittnie said...

Ok so your room and bathroom look amazing. Have the best time!!!

Melissa Jackson said...

This place looks amazing! Costa Rica is such a beautiful place. You will love Arenal. Hopefully you'll get to see some sparks and smoke from the volcano. When we went before, we did a horseback ride up the volcano, which was a lot of fun! We actually got to ride a little bit instead of just a "nose to butt" trail walk by the horses. I hope you guys have a blast!