Pura Vida!

After our time in the city we were definitely ready for some rest and relaxation time on the beach! It was about a 3 hour bus ride from San Jose to Esterillos. Esterillos is on the west side of Costa Rica, about 30 km past Jaco. The bus dropped us off on the side of the road, literally. Luckily there were signs listing the name of the hotel so we knew we were at least in the right area 🙂

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At the bus stop

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It was about a 15 minute walk to town. We arrived in this small, quiet town which contained one grocery store and one bar. Someone outside the bar led us in the right direction to Hotel La Dolce Vita. It was a cute little hotel. It had a little kitchen, queen bed, futon couch, and bathroom- just what we needed.

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And the beach was our backyard!

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After enjoying a little sun, we went to the local (only) grocery store to get items for dinner. We decided on a salad with bread and cheese. We sat out on our little patio and enjoyed our food in the hot, humid weather!

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Dinner our first night in Esterillos

After dinner we went on a nice walk along the beach…

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When we first walked out on the beach earlier in the day, we saw this thing far out in the water and logically I concluded it had to be a big piece of branch. Only now, we discovered a really low tide and the Mermaid of Esterillos 🙂 I was hoping for some crazy story about her but no one had one!

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Since it was our first night in town, we thought we should check out the local bar! As we sat at the bar drinking an Imperial, my eyes began to scan the place until I fell across a Bronco head. As I looked more, I saw a big sign that said “You’re in Broncos Country.”

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First beer at the only bar in Esterillos

Am I drinking too much?? Thousands of miles from home and all of a sudden I felt very much at home 🙂 Turns out the bartender (who could have passed as Costa Rican, Italian, Greek, etc.) and his brother were from Denver and decided to open a bar in CR a couple years ago. What are the odds!?

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Manuel Antonio

While we were at the bar we met this crazy magician who gave us a recommendation for a Manual Antonio guide, Henry Pizarro (info below). We called him the next day to set up a time. Honestly, I do not think I would have seen much at all except maybe a few monkeys if we did not have the guide. There was no way we were going to see a lot of these sleeping beauties…

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View from airplane restaurant

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Our pimp ride

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Sloth sleeping, of course

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After exploring and swimming in the beautiful clear blue water, we were ready for some food. Henry took us to this small, hidden restaurant called Angel. There were only about 4 tables in this long narrow space with a kitchen in the back. A sweet young boy greeted us and took our orders- we did not really have to look at the menu since Henry had already convinced us of the nachos. He was not wrong about these nachos! They were so amazing! The combination of flavors was so good. I am still craving them!

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Yummy nachos!

Manuel Antonio was a lot of fun but it made us just want to relax on the beach the next day. We also finally found the best place to swim! After 3 days in Esterillos with ridiculously strong waves, we came to find if you go a bit north of the mermaid of Esterillos there are calmer waves 🙂

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Surf Mi

After some time in the hot sun we decided to head to Surf Mi again for some margaritas and food!

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The margaritas were so satisfying! The food was good too; we ordered the chips and guacamole and the popcorn shrimp. We were really wanting the fresh caught fish of the day but they were out 😦

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After the margs we sat and chilled with a couple beers 🙂

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Surf Mi is a very cool local bar. We enjoyed hanging out there the couple times we did and meeting Piper was awesome! Piper was the bartender and co-owner. We spent our last night in Esterillos hanging out at Surf Mi with Piper!

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We had such a wonderful time in Esterillos!! I cannot wait to visit Costa Rica again and hopefully get back to Esterillos sometime! It was such a quiet, small town that was perfect for our purposes of relaxation 🙂

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Hotel La Dolce Vita

I highly recommend this place! It was very nice. Great location. The breakfast was nothing special but still nice: jam and toast, coffee, orange juice, and fresh fruit. The orange juice and jam were a little too sweet but nonetheless, we enjoyed our stay so so much! Amilio was so kind and helpful.

Surf Mi

We discovered after spending a lot of money on groceries, that it was cheaper to eat at the restaurant and their food was good. The setting was awesome. I loved the colorful wall. They had darts, hula hoops, chalk and other fun games.

HP Tours
Henry Pizarro
Owner and Certified Tour Guide
Phone: (506) 2777-1555
E-mail: hpizacr@yahoo.com

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19 responses to “Pura Vida!

  1. After my resent trip to Costa Rica and seeing the bottle of Imperial I had to read this post. It brought me back for a moment when I saw those nachos. I too sat with Henry after one of his tours at Angel and neither disappointed.

    • ha ha, aww, thanks! Well, I ask locals or I ask people before I go. You kind of have to gage what they like to know if it is something you would like so I guess I kind of examine who my recommendations are coming from lol.

  2. Ahhh Costa Rica! My husband and I were there in March for a quick trip. We stayed in a remote area called Punta Islita and loved it. Great food, people and experience. My husband drank a lot of Imperial but also Bavaria dark, which came highly recommended by the bartenders. Great pics. They make me want to go back 🙂 Cheers! -Amber

    • Yes, I had some Bavaria dark too so that I felt like I was drinking a little more than water 😉 Your trip sounds awesome too! Wait until my next post- I reveal some actual craft beer in CR that your husband might like even more!

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