We flew into San Jose late on Thursday, and checked into our normal airport hotel, Holiday Inn Express, for the night. We stay here when we have to be at the airport early, or if we get in late. The hotel picks you up for free and they were waiting for us after we cleared customs. Took shuttle to hotel, checked in quickly, surfed the net for a bit and crashed, exhausted from flying a kinda long layover in Ft Lauderdale I was a little terrified flying Spirit, but our flights were easy with no delays. The Ft Lauderdale airport is really lame though, no restaurants and very crowded with little kids screaming everywhere. I was happy to get out of there.
Got up fairly early, as we had to be at our hotel in Jaco at 11 to meet the realtor. Had a yummy continental breakfast at the hotel (free) and headed to pick up our rental car at Payless. Got the rental SUV and started towards jaco! Drive was nice and beautiful, as usual. Pulled up to our hotel at 1105 and the realtor was there waiting. He jumped in our car and off we went (see previous post about house hunting). After looking at houses all day, we checked into our hotel La Brisas. We had a room near reception and the pool. Room was nice and had a little kitchen and sitting area. We headed out to dinner that night at our fav place in the world, Taco Bar, in downtown Jaco. Sat on our swings at the bar area and had spicy ahi tuna tacos, yum. Headed to a grocery store to pick up drinks and snacks and back to the room.
Day two, I woke up and worked out with my Jillian video, and then we headed into town to walk around and have lunch before heading out with the realtor again. We had lunch at a sports bar called Los Amigos, and I had an amazing shrimp pad thai. HUGE, varied menu for a sports bar. Loved it. went and looked at houses the remainder of the afternoon. Went and got a massage at a place called Nazareth that we like. Decided I wanted to take Kurt somewhere nice for is bday dinner, and I had heard good things about this place called Graffiti Wine Bar in downtown jaco, so we headed there. Was slightly concerned about getting a table because reviews I read said you need a reservation, but we lucked out and got seated right away. We both had this saltine encrusted mahi with clam chowder that was AMAZING and I made Kurt get dessert, which was a french toast with bananas and was incredible, called the Elvis. Oh, almost forgot, before lunch we went to Tarcoles and went on the crocodile man tour again (we went once before in 2006). It was super fun, yet again. The people who run that tour are crazy with how close they get to these huge creatures.
Day 3, we checked out (after i worked out and Kurt worked out at a local gym) and decided to head to an area of the country we had never been to, called Uvita, which is near Dominical. The way to get here used to be a 4 wheel dirt road, but now is beautifully paved and simply to get to, about 90 minutes from Jaco. We drove right there, after making a pit stop in Quepos so Kurt could use the internet for some business. We stayed at Hotel Cristal Ballena. Our room was super nice, overlooking via a huge wraparound balcony the rain forest and ocean and pool area of the resort. After checking in, we headed across the street to a beach area at Marino Bellena National Park. We walked the beach and went to a cool area with some rocks and caves to check it out. Back to the hotel and did a hot hike in the rainforest. Prob should have taken bug spray on this one, we got a little eaten alive by the mosquitoes. :). It was a nice workout though and a very pretty walk. That night was the Super Bowl, so we headed into downtown Uvita to a little bar attached to a hotel called Nido del Halcon, and watched the first half of the game while having dinner. Headed back to the room after that and watched the second half of the game. Crashed after that.
Day 4, we got up and headed to Sierpe to go on a mangrove tour. Got there, and had a really nice time relaxing on the boat during the tour. Were bummed we did not see monkeys, but we saw a lot of other birds and animals and it was a fun time. Love spending time on the water in nature. Drove back towards the hotel and stopped in a little town called Ojochol for lunch at a place called Citrus. Had lunch in an outside area, that started with an amazing banana smoothie, yum. Headed back to the room after that and I walked out, and we decided to stay in for the night and relax in the room.
Day 5, checked out and on our way back to Jaco, stopped in some little towns to drive around and explore the areas and the beaches. We stopped in Uvita and Dominical. Super cute little areas right on the water. Got back to Jaco, as we were meeting up with Colin again to relook at one of the houses we liked. Before that though, we went and walked on Jaco Beach and walked the downtown area some. Made a reservation at Serenity Spa to get massages, and had lunch at a place called Caliche's Wishbone, that was super yummy. Looked at the house again, and checked into our hotel, which ended up being one of my favorite places we have stayed at in Costa Rica, called El Paso de las Lapas. Small boutique place, with almost nobody there besides us. Our room had a huge pool right outside the door. Loved swimming in that pool and the grounds were gorgeous. Went and had dinner that night at a Sushi place called Tsunami. Got a table right by the window overlooking the street and we split some yummy sushi rolls and miso soup.
Overall, an awesome and very productive trip. Pura Vida!