July 3, 2015 by kimberlyfenton
This is the stop on my Central American Journey, which, behind Mexico, is the most significant and meaningful for me… In 2009, 4 years ago, I went with Raleigh International to an indigenous community in Costa Rica to help build a school for the community. I was 17 years old and this year marks my 5th summer since I took my first steps outside Europe without my family. My friends and family will know how much I fell in love with Costa Rica, the people and their way of life; not only was it the place which gave me the inspiration and determination to improve my Spanish, but without a doubt it was where I picked up my travelling bug. Ever since, it has been a dream of mine to take my twin sister back to where it all began, to share, in a cliché kind of way, one of the most life changing experiences I’ve had in my little life so far. Pura Vida!
So with that out of the way… Crossing the mess that was the Nicaraguan border, it was with relief and a smile that we arrived in Costa Rica. The country is renowned for its wildlife, rainforests, the 26 National Parks, the many beaches to choose from and good people… what isn’t there to love for the tourists, ahem, backpackers? Even in rainy season, or green season, the weather perfectly complements the dramatic scenery, it really is beautiful. Over the years, it is obvious that the tourist industry has really taken over and driven the prices up sky high. I couldn’t believe it, especially after travelling down from other cheap countries in Central America. The average amount that you would spend on dinner, in one of the tourist towns, is around $20. And that is getting a good deal. Oueff. Steep.
I picked up Sally Fenton from the airport just before 10pm and she came running out with a big smile on her face. It had been another 6 months since I had seen her! She looked so cute in all her new traveling gear she had bought- her first time backpacking and traveling, with myself replacing her trusty friends. I’ll look after her don’t worry ROSA 😀 Our first stop, was to meet up with Michelle, Marissa and Astrid in Manuel Antonio. After catching the 6am bus from San Jose, we arrived at 9am to see the girls standing outside their hostel waiting for the bus to the beach. I screamed and woke up half the bus. We stayed at Hostel Vista Serena, which is a top pick according to the bible that is Lonely Planet, and with good reason… The hostel is set in the mountains, with the terrace overlooking the coastline giving a great panoramic view to enjoy from the hammocks.