Updated: Apr 5
I've been dreaming of going to Costa Rica for 2 Years. TODAY, I'm making it happen! I’ll be here 4 days with a budget of $1,000 and here’s how I make it happen:
I'm flying to Costa Rica to see my friend Megan, scout locations, and prospect real estate opportunities! Megan is the nicest person I know! We met at the University of Utah. She's super sweet. Super ambitious. She just had a baby, and she's building tiny houses by the beach in Costa Rica! Here's a photo of her and her sweet baby Jazz:
Megan's venture in building tiny houses in Costa Rica has me wanting to invest in a tiny house my own a little piece of paradise.
Megan lives in a place called Finca de Paraíso. A pristine land near a private beach 30 miles south of Tamarindo.
It's a 1 hr and 30 min drive from Liberia (LIR) airport on a series of one-lane roads that end with a dirt road to get here. At the time, Megan was renting a cabin in a place called Las Cabañas. On the property, is a series of 4 rental units. I chose to stay here because Megan was the #1 reason I was coming to Costa Rica. I wanted to be able to wake up, knock on her door, and say, "buenos dias! To her cute family, and cute little baby!"
This is the main house. There's a young couple that argues. The female is literally barefoot in the kitchen with a 9 month old baby named Gael. There's a pool. My "cabin" is that brown shade of horror on the right.
Little did I know...
I’d be staying in a nook under the stairs infested with insects!
The first thing I saw was a hairy spider skipping across the floor at 12 fps. I screamed! I told Anita, "I’m deathly afraid of spiders and she said, “it’s the jungle. Here’s a can of bug spray.”
There are parts of the room I wouldn't even walk. I wouldn't dare walk 3 ft within the "kitchen" and that rusty sink. I wouldn't dare walk close to the "closet" that was an imitation wood panel accordion divider from the 70s, and I refused to take a shower in that insect death trap.
I was really weighing out the pros and cons here.
I paid up front. Could I ask for the money back? Where would I go? The internet's slow! I don't have a car. The nearest rental car is 30 miles away. There's 3 too many bunkbeds in here. I'm worried I'm either sleeping under a mattress full of spiders of a ceiling with apparent cobwebs in the corners.
I came for Megan. I'd only be here 4 days, and I wanted to spend as much time with her and her family as possible. I didn't have a car and this allowed me the convenience of shelter and safety close to Meg and her family. I could go rogue or humble my spirits, breathe, and try to overcome my fear of insects.
Megan charmingly nicknamed it "the Harry Potter closet." We doused it in RAID and had a lovely conversation by the pool. The fact that Megan and her husband were amazing hosts warmed my perceptions. Megan's husband cooked a delicious 3 course meal that changed my life.
I wish all men cooked.
When I returned to my room, I was feelin' real nice. Then, horror struck. I had to sleep here. More frightening than it smelling like a concentration camp was the fact that crippled bugs were coming out of the woodworks like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall.
I didn't sleep at all that night.
I said serious prayers to protect me from the insects in the room. I prayed and listened to this talk by President Thomas S. Monson. Once I invested a particle of faith in believing God answer prayers, I felt a shield of protection & peace in wearing the sacred temple garment.
The next day,
Megan and Joshua (who happens to be a tour guide) took us to Playa Blanca - a quiet beach that's a 12 minute walk from the cabin. Along the path, we saw dogs, birds, lizards, and monkeys!! I even got to ride a horse! When we arrived at the beach, we practically had it all to ourselves.
The next day, I rode a horse and explored Playa Negra and Avellanas. In Avellanas, I had a nice Costa Rican breakfast at Las Olas del Sol. It consisted of eggs, a salad, rice & beans molded in a 3D shape, and orange juice. After breakfast, I walked through a mangrove to the beach.
Avellanas is known for its "laid back beaches and world class surf break". It was a first world experience in Costa Rica, for sure. It catered to Americans, Europeans, and dread locked travelers. It had surf rentals, teak wood lounges, and a beach front cafe estate.
Why didn't I stay here? Next time!
I paid Anita $160 to take me to Guachepelin in Rincon de la Vieja. I was mad I let myself pay that, but what other option did I have? The price was strategically calculated, and if I didn't eat chocolate cake for breakfast I would have been a little more aggressive in my negotiations. In my mind, I calculated it like: Gas cost $60 for her POS no A/C car. The remaining $100 was $10/hr for her time. Her time was certainly worth it, but a small part of me was still a little bitter about the harry potter closet. I had a scary spider appear in the bathroom and found a frog in the toilet. I paid Anita, she was an hour late, and we drove to Guachepelin!
I'm glad I finally allowed myself to spend money. What was I doing living like a peasant? For $93, I did a day tour a Guachepelin that consisted of horseback riding to a waterfall, a zip line tour through the jungle, tubing down the Rio Negro River, and bathing in mineral hot springs. It was the perfect way to end the trip.
I got to bond with my friend and have a local and adventure Costa Rican experience. I slightly overcame my fear of insects and made memorable adventures along the way. Megan and her family made my Costa Rica experience amazing, and the best part about it was seeing this beautiful friend become a mother.
I'll be back again and rent a car next time!
As I was leaving, Megan's husband shouted, "Follow your dreams!"
and I'll cherish that message forever!
Pura Vida, Costa Rica!!!