Chilling on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. What a dream! It became reality in September 2018 when I first traveled to Costa Rica. An amazing experience! The Caribbean coast in particular was my favorite destination and in this blog I will tell you why. Furthermore, to even get a better feel for the region, check out my vlogs!
Before we all get started, it better introduce myself. My name is Jaimy van Eenennaam and I am 21 years old (you may have spotted my already in one of the vlogs on the YouTube, Facebook and / or Instagram page of Edventure).
During the first half of 2018, I wrote a comprehensive marketing plan for Edventure as part of my graduation assignment. I did all necessary research in the Netherlands and after successfully completing my Tourism Management degree last summer, Edventure gave me the opportunity to come and discover Costa Rica for myself!
My trip to Costa Rica started on 5 September. Unfortunately, KLM only offers direct flights from Amsterdam to San Jose in Costa Rica in autumn. This meant I chose to fly from Amsterdam to Houston and then on to San Jose. Time flew by, even though I was on the road for about 17 hours in total. Upon arrival I was picked up by a taxi driver, which was nice and an easy start of my holiday as well.
During my two-week trip around Costa Rica, I visited several destinations and teamed-up with Lisa from Edventure. To me, the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica was really the nicest reagion of the country! When we arrived in the village of Puerto Viejo de Limon, I immediately got that summer feeling, due to the beautiful weather, waving palm trees, the sounds of the sea and the reggae music played in the nice restaurants. It became immediately clear to me: the coming days are all about ultimate relaxation on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica!
During our trip we spent the night in Manzanillo, a small village at the very end of the coastal road. We stayed at Congo Bongo Ecolodges, directly on the Caribbean beach. This beautiful lodge has been created by Dutch owner Daan, who bought 9 hectares of jungle 18 years ago. He built his own house first and added several other ‘jungle houses’ for guests. Each wooden house has its unique style.
Travellers can rent these special houses. There are single, double or triple rooms available and each house has a fully equipped kitchen and a BBQ outside so you can easily prepare a delicious meal.
When exploring the grounds of the lodge, I admired various decorations made of waste materials. The path to the beach is made of used car tires and surfboards serve as a kitchen top. The owners are enlessly creative in reusing and repurposing waste materials.
One of first things we did was check out the beach. From our jungle house we walked to the beach in only 5-10 minutes. A great walk because of all the colorful art and the lush natural surroundings. The beach near Congo Bongo is expansive and fairly quiet. Check out our travel vlog for a live impression.
One of the first things I noticed when I was travelling along the Caribbean coast was that many people were cycling. It appeared that bikes were the most common means of transport here and because I am Dutch (and come from a country where there are more bikes than people!) I had to make a ride of course. I cycled from Congo Bongo Ecolodges to the Manzanillo nature reserve. You literally cycle along the beach. On the other side of the road you/ll find several nice restaurants, playing reggae music and offering fresh coconuts or ice cream.
From the Manzanillo nature reserve I walked along several beautiful beaches to Punto Manzanillo. Once there, I enjoyed a beautiful view of the coast.
Lisa and I also spent the night in the nearby village of Cahuita. Here we went on a nice walking and snorkeling tour in the Cahuita National Park. We first snorkeled at two different places and then the boat brought us to the National Park. During our hike in the park we spotted monkeys and raccoons! Watch our adventures in our vlog.
We very much enjoyed a visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center (near Puerto Viejo de Limon). At the Center, animals which have been abused, injured or left behind by their mother are collected and cared for. Here I saw baby monkeys, sloths, cats and snakes. The Jaguar Rescue Center manages a terrain of protected jungle where the animals are released when they are ready to live on their own again. I was impressed by their way of working and enjoyed this visit very much!
What I definitely must not forget the mention, is the delicious Carribean food!
I very much liked the typical dishes such as Rice and Beans. The locals cook rice and beans in coconut milk and add chicken and vegetables (see photo) and very tasty dish!
Patacones, or fried plantains were another favorite. In addition, the locals eat a lot of fish. I myself tried (and likes very much!) the whole red snapper with Caribbean sauce, a regional specialty. I also loved the meat-filled pati, which is also available with chicken or vegetables.
Getting there is easiest by driving your own rental car or booking a shuttle, but you can also travel with public transportation. In addition to the lodges that I described and showed in my vlogs, there are several other nice accommodations on the Caribbean coast and lots more to discover!
Do you want to know more or plan your own trip to the Caribbean coast?
Contact Anouk or Linda from Edventure!