Costa Rica Highlights

The more time I spend with family, the more I realize one thing is evident: We all have a passion for world travel.  So, when it came time to pick the perfect location for a wedding, my cousin Jasmine didn’t settle for her hometown.  Instead, she looked far and beyond.  Her and her fiance’s pick?  Central America’s ecotourism hotspot, Costa Rica.  Immediately various cousins, aunts and uncles jumped on board and our travel group quickly began to grow.  On a cold, rainy and extremely windy evening in Chicago, my mom asked if I’d like to join.  Hearing gusts of wind moaning outside my bedroom window, I responded instantly: “Yes.”  Although I had been to nearby countries in South America, to my delight, Costa Rica had plenty of adventures I hadn’t experienced yet.  Camera ready and armed with sunscreen and bug spray, I was ready to take on the opportunities Costa Rica’s cities had to offer.

La Fortuna

La Fortuna Volcan Arenal

  • Nothing beats the view of Volcan Arenal in your backyard, and I found myself constantly fascinated by the volcano’s natural beauty that could instantly turn into a natural disaster if you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Volcan Arenal’s most eruptive period began in 1968 when the volcano’s eruption buried three small villages and left 87 people dead.  Luckily for my family, since 2010 the eruptions have been less frequent and less dangerous.La Fortuna Horseback Riding
  • Although I didn’t hike Volcan Arenal, the opportunity to explore the local scenery on horseback didn’t disappoint me or my travel party. A hike to a waterfall at the end of the journey was the icing on the cake and the beginning of my experience with Costa Rica’s lush landscape full of rich blossoms.

Monteverede

Monteverde Ziplining

  • Ziplining through Costa Rica’s canopies lived up to its hype. Feeling like a bird or a monkey swinging through the trees became the ultimate Costa Rica experience.  Riding through the full green treetops and blue skies felt as though I was gliding through a movie scene and I often felt as though I was Indiana Jones on my own historic, action-packed adventure.Monteverde Butterfly
  • Even though there was hope to see more animals in their natural habitats, a visit to Selvatura Park’s Butterfly and Hummingbird Gardens as well as Curi-Cancha Reserve’s day and night hikes gave me a closer look at life we often overlook. Seeing Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest in action when a blue butterfly flap it wings to change from blue to a brown pattern for camouflage or finding a scorpion eating a spider at night gave me a better sense of the nature of life than any textbook could.Monteverde Hanging Bridge
  • Although Ziplining had great views, just as equally fascinating was walking through the jungles on hanging bridges. I’ve hiked through mountains in Colorado, deserts in Utah and beaches in California, but I had yet to experience the jungle.  After walking through the giant trees and abundant greenery, I know I’ll be back to visit the jungle, hopefully soon.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo Sunset

  • I was never much into sports as a kid, but the one sport I loved was swimming. Having surfing lessons a couple of years ago and a short crush on Olympic athlete Chad Le Clos, it comes as no surprise that the beach was my favorite part of this city and the trip.  Spending an afternoon in the waves and taking on stronger currents with my cousins Eric and Isaac was an adrenaline rush.  Watching the sunsets after a family boat ride was the perfect way to end the day and the vacation.Tamarindo Fruit
  • Fruit drinks were abundant throughout Costa Rica, but it seemed where we craved these the most was Tamarindo. After a hot and humid day, a refreshing fruit drink of Blackberry, Watermelon or Guava left us delicious memories and craving for more.

Even though I have plenty of destinations to explore in Central America, Costa Rica was an enjoyable introduction to this part of the world.  I felt as though I was extending my memories of Ecuador and Peru, but it opened up other possibilities to nearby countries and cities.  My plans for Central America continue to grow, but in the meantime I’m left with the dream of gliding through the trees, hoping for a refreshing tropical fruit drink or wondering when I’ll get to see a historic landscape in my backyard.  Until I make my way back to Central America, I’ll be thinking of where the next destination wedding will take place . . .

This post is a part of Monday Escapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My SuitcaseOur World Tuesday, Weekend Wanderlust hosted by A Brit and a Southerner, A Southern Gypsy, Eat Work Travel, Justin Plus Lauren and One Modern CoupleThe Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes & BeyondPhoto Friday hosted by Pierced WonderingsMonday Mellow Yellows and Practical Mondays hosted by The Practical Mom.

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28 Comments

  1. Caitlin Barrett

    this sounds so fun!!!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Caitlin! It was a great trip and I’d love to return to Central America to see more.

  2. ladyfi

    Costa Rica is definitely on my to-visit list!

  3. Anna

    although I’m not very keen on the jungle (due to bugs, mosquitoes and stuff like that), Costa Rica looks very interesting! Glad you had a fun time!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      The bugs aren’t fun, but I didn’t find them to be overwhelming in Costa Rica, thankfully ;). Glad you enjoyed my post!

  4. galanda23

    Mi niece also picked to do her wedding in a foreign country. It’s a great idea, if all the people in the party are willing to travel for the event. I think Costa Rica is a great choice for a wedding. I love the tropics.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I think it’s great when everyone is able to travel and experience a wedding abroad. I found Costa Rica to be a great destination and setting for this event!

  5. Linda @AsWeSawIt

    It looks like you had a great time. Haven’t been to Costa Rica yet but I’m sure we’d enjoy it. We lived in Panama for a few years and found it to be a fascinating country. I’ll echo the thumbs-up on the fruit drinks too (we called them licuados). They are so refreshing on a hot day.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I haven’t been to Panama yet, but I’d love to go back to Central and South America and add that country to my itinerary. It’s great to hear another traveler loved the fantastic fruit drinks! 🙂

  6. afamilydayout

    I’ve never been to Central America but I’ve heard lots of good things about Costa Rica. Exploring the area on horseback sounds right up my street too! #Mondayescapes

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you get the chance to visit Costa Rica and experience horseback riding someday soon!

  7. We are heading to Costa Rica for the first time next month and cannot wait! Your post has given us some great inspiration for activities. We’ve never been on hanging bridges and we are looking forward to seeing the jungle. Thank you for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I’m glad I could give you some great ideas for your next trip! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

  8. Elaine J. Masters

    How wonderful to see Costa Rica with family and friends. A wedding is such a cool way to experience it. I love how much you were able to do while there.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Hi Elaine. I was glad we were able to do so much in Costa Rica and experience everything the country is known for. Always great to go with family! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  9. What fun! I hear a lot of good things about Costa Rica, and it looks great. Especially that horseback ride! Thanks for sharing. #WeekendWanderlust

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I had a great time and I’m excited you enjoyed reading about my adventures in Costa Rica. Nothing beats seeing the landscape on horseback!

  10. mytravelmonkey

    I have wanted to go to Costa Rica for some time now – and I’ve also heard it’s brilliant for families as we love being outdoors. However, it’s the zip lining I am desperate to do! I just have to wait until my son is a little bit older! A great introduction to the country thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Zip lining is a huge highlight in Costa Rica and I absolutely recommend you make it a priority during a visit! Hope you can travel to Costa Rica soon.

  11. Awww what a lovely place! Our bananas are from Costa Rica so I can only imagine the abundance of fruits there =)

    My fave in this series is of the sunset. Just gorgeous! #photofriday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks Melinda! The sunsets in Costa Rica are amazing, like nowhere else I’ve been :).

  12. Aditi

    This is so much fun! Especially loved the shots of horse and the butterfly 🙂

  13. lizzy robinson

    pineapple is good,
    so does golden delicious apple and fuji apple.
    thanks for the funny wild and honest smile.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thanks for visiting and commenting Lizzy! Enjoyed your take on my Costa Rica travels.

  14. Gemma Wiseman

    Stunning views of this part of the world. Adore the volcano view in the first photo.

  15. swapna

    Beautiful! Honestly I find weddings extremely boring and would jump up and go if it were in a cool place such as this one!

    #practicalmondays

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I agree. I’m not crazy about weddings either, but a destination one like this? Absolutely!

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