Playa Hermosa was beautiful. We stayed at the Backyard Beachfront Hotel, right on the ocean. Our room was one of the nicest we've stayed in, a big comfy king bed, an oceanfront balcony, and a delicious breakfast. We finally had a typical costa rican breakfast, called "typico", of rice, beans, scrambled eggs and tortillas with crema (sour cream) and what they call salsa (a very tasty dark brown sauce). We loved it and it kept us full all day.
The hotel had a nice big beachfront pool which we hung out at quite a bit. We had the entire place to ourselves. It's great to come during slow season, the rooms are half price and the hotels and beaches are deserted. The waves were huge, this is a big surfing beach and people travel from everywhere to surf this stretch of ocean. It is a black sand beach, the darkest sand we've ever seen, and so gorgeous.
The wildlife was incredible, as soon as we checked in we saw four huge scarlet macaws. They made the coolest sounds as they flew over us. I had never seen such a huge, colorful bird in the wild, so close up. There were so many iguanas surrounding the hotel too, we loved watching them fight for space as we swam in the pool. Playa Hermosa is definitely a special place.
We checked out and drove toward Dominical & Uvita. We stopped at a few hotels after checking out the towns, but couldn't find what we were looking for. We eventually stumbled onto Coconut Grove, just outside Dominical, and rented a little bungalow with a kitchen, right on the beach. The tide was high when we got there so we lounged by the pool in the hammocks and then headed to the supermarket to get dinner and breakfast fixings. The fresh fruit here is so tasty. A fresh, huge pineapple is usually less than $1 and tastes amazing. The bananas are so fresh, cheap and delicious. The other night I had the best mango I've ever eaten. The papayas are also super yummy. We are being spoiled with all the fresh fruit we have for breakfast each morning. We stopped at a fruit stand in Dominical and bought a huge pineapple, a huge watermelon, a bunch of bananas, a huge ripe avocado, a lime and a mango, and our total came to less than $6!
After a walk on the beach & a swim in the pool. we checked out and drove around in Dominical. We almost stayed at the Waterfall Villas, in a villa overlooking the falls. But the prices were pretty high at $140, and it was far from the beach. Instead we're staying at Hotel Diuwak right in the heart of Dominical, right on the beach, with a big fancy pool. And A/C of course, which is a necessity, although we are slowly getting used to the heat & humidity. This is good since we'll need to limit our A/C use once we move here. Electricity is very expensive.
We swam in the pool after checking in and then took a beach walk, both deciding that Dominical is not our favorite beach and that we couldn't see ourselves living here. Mental Note. Some of the best advice we were given was to come here and check everything out for ourselves, before deciding where to live. Everyone likes different things and you won't know until you come. We had assumed we wouldn't want to live too close to the beach, where it's hotter and more humid and more expensive. We figured we'd want to live up in the mountains, with the cooler air. But we both fell in love with the beaches here and want to live within walking distance from a nice beach, with swimmable water. Samara is exactly that, so we are happy with our choice to start out living there. I like that Samara was not a place we heard anyone talk about, or recommend to us. We stumbled onto it by ourselves, almost by accident, and it is quite a little piece of paradise that no one seems to know about (except all of you now). A hidden gem,
I think we will check out Ojochal tomorrow and then possibly head back to Playa Hermosa and the Jaco area for a few nights. We're spending our final two nights back at the treehouse in Escazu, where we spent our first two nights. We decided not to check out the Osa Peninsuala on this trip, after reading about the horrible roads and the multiple river crossings. One that is notorious for many tourists vehicles getting swept down the river each year. NO THANK YOU. Even Andy agreed that is not such a good idea. I think he remembers my reaction to the last river crossing pretty well and doesn't need to live (or die) through that again.
Hasta Luego Amigos!
Kari Pinkerton Silcox
It would be a tragedy to die, having never really lived. Which is why my husband Andy and I quit our jobs, sold our house and decided to chase our dreams. We moved to Costa Rica without a plan, and this is the story of our adventure.