Our longest stay in Costa Rica was in the Caribbean town of Cahuita. This small, off the beaten path town on the less visited side of Costa Rica was a great place for us to relax and explore as a family. While it took a whole day of driving to get there, we were really glad we spend a week in this really cool town.
We were able to find a house on AirBnB that came with a private pool, fruit trees, hammocks and AC. Being on the less visited side of meant some good upgrades.
Some of the best times of our Costa Rican adventure were spent at this house. Making smoothies in the afternoon, swimming under the stars in our private pool, listening to monkeys howl at 4 am in the morning and the sound of the rain during thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. It was a truly restful place where we began to experience the joy of rest and relaxation that can sometimes be elusive on trips.
Costa Rica has a saying that seeks to embody a slower, more relaxed way of seeing the world. The phrase is “Pura Vida” and is used kind of life “No Worries” is in the Caribbean or “Aloha” or “Shalom” in other parts of the world. It was a greeting and a way of saying you’re welcome. But it was more than that. The phrase in English means, “Pure Life” and we caught a glimpse of it in Costa Rica. During our stay in Cahuita, whether we were hanging out at the house or at the beach, on bike rides or playing games while waiting for our food at a restaurant (there is no fast food in Costa Rica…Pura Vida), we began to slow down and enjoy the gift of what the day would bring and the joy of being together.
We tried to take afternoon naps after mornings of adventure and it would get dark at 7pm at night, when driving on backroads wasn’t safe because they are no bike lanes or sidewalks in that part of Costa Rica. We slept in, went to bed early, and woke up refreshed and ready for the next day of adventures. The sloth in the tree outside our windows and the parrots relaxing in the tops of trees reminded us we were in a truly magical place.
At the end of our time in Costa Rica, we also stayed two nights in Playa Hermosa on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, near the airport we would fly out of back to the states. Again, the low season provided us access to an amazing hotel right on the beach and we spent almost all of our time floating in the Pacific Ocean where the calm and warm waters were like a porch swing. We soaked in the sunsets and reflected on the amazing adventure we had together as a family, as we prepared for the return home and the rest of the sabbatical and summer together.
Costa Rica, you did not disappoint. Thank you and Pura Vida!