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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Kenise

Pura Vida PART I

Unfortunately, due to my phone taking a dive in the ocean in a "waterproof" case, all footage and images were lost. If I'm able to recover anything I will update the post and gallery. Happy travels. :)

This trip couldn’t have come soon enough. I was in countdown mode since I’d returned from Denver. Denver was great and all, but hellllllloooooo BEACH!!! I changed the plans and hotel soo many times just to make sure I found the perfect mix. I researched the top beaches, hotels, activities, restaurants, etc. I read it all.

Costa Rica is full of adventure and the country provides many places and opportunity to seize the adventure. We decided to go to Jaco, Manuel Antonio National Park, and San Jose.


We arrived late Wednesday night. Tired and eager to get to the hotel, we prepared for an Uber. Once we stepped outside we were bombarded with Taxi drivers wanting to give us a ride. Always looking for a deal, I negotiated with the taxi driver to get a cheaper rate. Uber is frowned upon in San Jose so it was easy to get a better price.

Off into the night, the taxi took us to Jaco which is about an hour away. We stayed at a cute boutique hotel, Oceano Hotel and Gallery. We were super nervous as the taxi was driving us to the hotel because the area didn’t seem to have any suitable hotels, but more so hostels and apartment style living. Being that I am a little bougie, I started praying that the pictures did not deceive me.

As soon as we pulled up we were amazed at how amazing this tucked away gem was. It was 2 blocks from the party and less than a 5 min walk to the beach. Being that Jaco is known as the party beach town we were surprised how close yet how quiet the hotel was.

The following morning, after indulging a yummy omelet, we decided to head to the beach. The beach wasn’t ideal considering it was full of rocks and black sand, but with the flow of drinks and hot guys surfing one will start to overlook those things. We even met a Houston native named Edward who’s been living in Jaco for the last 34 years. He was very knowledgeable of the area and the beach. He told us that he moved to Jaco to surf and the waves come from New Zealand every 15 minutes. We actually sat and counted the waves per minute and boy was he right. I don’t know if the wave from New Zealand part is right, but, it definitely sounds like a cool story to share.

We also met this cute surfer named Juan. OMG! Blessed be he was fine! He caught me recording him and wanted to see the footage. Too busy drooling over how fine he was we realized I recorded everything, but him. I told him to go do it again and I would record him. This time, I focused and got him. When he came back, he invited us out to hang out with him and his friend. Yes! Winning in Costa Rica!

On the strip, you’ll find many shops, restaurants, and services. Of course, we indulged in massages and souvenir shopping. We also went to the Taco Bar for lunch. The Taco Bar was a cool swanky tiki hut with swings as seating. We ordered sangria and tacos which came with the salad bar. Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE tacos so I couldn’t pass this place up. And we were so glad we didn’t. The shrimp was fresh and the meat was seasoned well. We were able to add whatever toppings and sauces we desired. We definitely left full and satisfied.

As we sat there enjoying ourselves, I noticed how many men were in Jaco. There were groups of them. I mean, who would complain about higher men ratio!? Not me, but curiosity wins every time. So, I sparked a conversation with a couple of guys I recognized from our hotel. The first question he asked was, “Do you know what goes on here?” Confused, I said no. He laughed and told us to wait until tonight and if we were really interested, go to the casino. Hmmm….

At night, Jaco Beach strip becomes a different place. The nightlife is full of bars, clubs, music, drinks and…. Prostitutes. They were everywhere! Clearly, now it all made sense why all the men were there. Unfortunately, they were not there to meet me and gallivant along the beach like the romantic movie scenes that play in my head… but to come all this way to get laid by prostitutes. Prostitutes! Yes, I felt some type of way.

Oh, and did I mention they had flying roaches! So, we met up with Juan, the cute surfer and his friend at Orange Bar to play pool. Everything was fine, well… except the fact that Juan’s friend skipped the hygiene step and smell was burning our nose hairs. Poor Lauren. She, unfortunately, was granted the awesome opportunity to be his pool partner because Juan was mine. Sucks for her because I smelled him across the pool table who knows what it was like to be standing next to him! Oh and he picked up Lauren’s drink and started drinking it! Like, come on! Seriously dude!

Ok… moving on. As we were playing the game and of course we were winning, I saw from the corner of my eye a huge cockroach come from the crack in the wall! I immediately slowly, but surely made my way to the other side of the room. It can have our drinks which were sitting under the crack it conveniently crawled out of. As I walk and Lauren realized what I saw she followed suit. And then I thought my heart was going to fall from my but because that same cockroach grew wings and flew on the pool table! Game over! Cockroach won! We were sitting there screaming and going hysterical. Everyone sat there and stared at us as if we were crazy and we stared and yelled frantically because they should be just as hysterical!

Then out of nowhere, a guy walked up, took off his shoe and smashed the cockroach… on the pool table. Oh.. And he knocked it into the hole. Yea… I was done and ready to go. I whispered to Lauren about the drink incident and we both became over it. As we left, Juan said he needed to go check on his bike so his friend volunteered to stay with us. Great. Now we had a new mission… lose the friend. We walked into the next club and hid upstairs until they both disappeared. Bye Juan, you were cute, but we couldn’t get over the repulsively smelly friend. Sorry.

As we left to discover the next spot, we just knew it would be full of people. All we heard blaring from the speakers was American music so we knew we had to check it out. And what do you know? It seemed as if all the tourists were in this very spot (well… seeing them hanging out on the balcony was a dead giveaway). Oh, and the prostitutes were rolling deep too. I couldn’t blame them because the prime real estate was in this place. All the men had them a girl or two. They were giving massages and lap dances left and right.

We enjoyed the rest of the night by dancing to the latest tunes and guessing who was a prostitute or not as the men hungrily fell at their feet. After a few hours of laughs and a good sweat, we walked to a local corner store and grabbed water and snacks. Back to the hotel we went to prepare for tomorrow's adventure to Manuel Antonio.

What a day, XOXO


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