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Getting to Costa Rica

May 19, 2014

It is Monday afternoon, and Cobi and I are back in Toronto.

This past week we had the most amazing trip to Mal País, Costa Rica. We’ve both wanted to visit Costa Rica for some time now, hearing that Mal País in particular has some amazing surfing. So over the last few months we did our research, found our hotels and booked our flights. I couldn’t wait to go!


Even though the weather in Toronto is slowly (slooooowly) getting nicer, I could feel my bones warm as we made our way further South.


Plane View

This is the first real vacation Cobi and I have taken together, and we were both excited.


Rental Car

When we landed in San Jose the first stop was to pick up our rental car at Toyota Rent A Car. Originally they’d booked us a Yaris, but when we told them we planned on driving to Mal País, they strongly recommended we get a bigger car!



Daihatsu Terios Bego. What a name!



While we were doing a once over of the car we spotted our first Costa Rican bug.



Once we had our car and got on our way, the clouds opened up and it started pouring!

Green Hills

Less than 20 minutes later, the rain had stopped and the road was steaming.

Every time we stopped at a toll booth and rolled down the window, you could smell the heat.



We decided to pay extra for a GPS, and we’re lucky we did! Part way through our drive there was an accident or something blocking the road, so we had to double back and find a different route.  The best part of the GPS, though, was when it gave us a warning for upcoming bridges – ‘Alert! Dangerous Bridge!’ Literally every bridge we crossed in Costa Rica was labelled a dangerous bridge.


Rock Walls

During the drive we started flipping through radio stations and came across one that was playing the Spice Girls – so obviously we settled on that station! It turned out to be amazing, playing a bizarre mix of 80’s, 90’s and current music.



To get to Mal País from San Jose is a bit of a drive, less so if you take the ferry across the Gulf. Unfortunately our flights were not timed right, and we would’ve had to wait 2+ hours for the ferry. So instead we decided to drive all the way around the gulf, and brave the Costa Rican roads.


Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The roads were mostly fine, until we got to the other side of the Gulf. The roads were no longer paved and had crazy potholes everywhere. Thank goodness we went for the bigger car!


Dark Road

And of course at this time the sun had gone down, so we had to brave the crazy roads in the dark! It looked like there were giant spiders running across the road which freaked me right out, but thankfully they were just crabs. We committed lots of crab murders that night…



Finally, after 6.5 hours of driving, we made it to Casa Chameleon!


Big Bug

The bugs gave us a warm welcome.



Thankfully there was a bug net around the bed to protect us from the creepycrawlies!

We got settled, unpacked our stuff, then went up to the kitchen to have dinner. The chef at Casa Chameleon is unreal, we ate so well on this trip! We started with Spring Rolls, then had fresh Mahi Mahi with rice and Roasted Red Pepper sauce, and for dessert we were served Caramelized Bananas with Ice Cream.

Even though getting there was highly stressful and a little scary, the dinner, a bottle of wine and the view were enough to unwind us! We couldn’t wait for the trip to get started.

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