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22 mai

10 days of adventure in Costa Rica – part I

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

And when I say adventure you have to believe me. From lost airplanes, stolen luggage to falling out of the rafting boat. But let’s start with the beginning.

After a white night I embarked on the Bucharest – Amsterdam – Atlanta – San Jose route prepared to endure the 23 hours of flight and stopovers. Only that the 23 hours extended for another 14 hours, because Atlanta airport security is something like the walking of a snail, so we lost the flight to San Jose and had to wait until the next day to board the next flight.

Photos by Rares Pulbere

manuel antonio park, costa rica

When I felt the warmth of Costa Rica, I knew I was on vacation. We went to Alamo, the rental company, to take our car and headed for the first destination, Manuel Antonio, not before changing some money in the local currency, colons. I also bought a telephone card to have internet for social media. But surprise: my phone was locked in Orange, so I had to wait for another day to be unlocked and have access to Internet.

Distances in Costa Rica aren’t big, but the roads aren’t the best, and the relief does not help much. So the big surprise was that we must drive 160 km in 3 hours.

selina hostels, manuel antoni, costa rica

I arrived in Manuel Antonio in the evening, a small town near Quepos, but it felt like coming home when I recognised the specific features of Selina Hostel. I don’t know if you remember, but I discovered this chain of hostels on my first visit to Panama, and last year when I was in Panama, I stayed there. What these people did is that in less than 3 years, since I know them they have reached over 20 locations worldwide, and in the next two years they will reach 100. WOW !!!

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

In Costa Rica they already have 5 locations and I have stayed in 2 of them. If you want to visit them or stay with them in your journeys click here. It’s really worth it! It’s a great mix of conditions, budget, food, surf lessons, activities and super nightlife.

selina hostel, manuel antonio , costa rica

The location in Manuel Antonio has something different. The place is more elegant than the rest of the venues, but at the same time, the minivan serves as Dj station, the pool, and the restaurant with the middle bar, which in the evenings turns into a club with non-stop dance music, are all present.

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

The elegant room made me think of Cuba, the rocking balloon and the view toward the Manuel Antonio park made my mornings very dreamy.

selina hstel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

After a quick dinner we organized the first morning tour in Manuel Antonio Park, the smallest park in Costa Rica, but the most important if you ask me, it’s in the top of the 12 most beautiful parks in the world. The park is great for walking every morning (if you want to pay $ 12), but if you want to see the animals you have to go , at least once, with a guide. I was amazed at how our guide managed to distinguish a silhouette at the top of a tree or in a bush. The lenses of the binoculars seemed simple, but I could see nothing. Nothing but monkeys, which I did not miss, because they are so brave that they’re walking down the street.

Manuel Antonio Park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

Speaking of monkeys, I have to tell you that they are the biggest thieves and I’m talking very seriously, if you get here you really have to look out. After the tour I had left a few hours for to enjoy the beach and while I was fascinated by the sight of the infinite blue in front of me, I didn’t notice that on my left, a monkey rummaged with two hands in my beach bag. She probably was not happy with what she found on the surface, but that gave me time to see her in in time and to rush her away. A gentleman was left without his wallet and papers.

manuel antonio park, costa rica

Sleeping on these beaches or leaving unattended luggage is not the wisest thing to do. Monkeys, iguanas, raccoons, and all kinds of other wilderness walk around. Instead, it was fascinating to see so many free animals, including lazy ones.

manuel antonio park, costa rica

Manuel Antonio beach is considered the most beautiful beach in Costa Rica, but also the busiest so we avoided it at lunch time and we wondered on the neighboring beaches, then we returned to catch the last hours of the day here. Unfortunately, we only had a day dedicated to the park, but we did not get to do everything we wanted and have a whole day for tanning. I remember looking at all the yoga teachers I follow on instagram and how they were posing each morning & evening on the Manuel Antonio beach. They inspire my absolute relaxation and I hoped to get into that state as soon as I got there. Unfortunately, I blinked and the day was over. Yoga classes take place very early when there aren’t many people in the park. So if you want to get there I recommend you at least 2 days to have time to enjoy everything.

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

The next day I dedicated was dedicated to rafting. I really wanted to try and finally I succeeded. The team from Tico Loco Adventures came in the morning to take us from Selina, because the river was an hour away. Though I was nervous, I did not feel insecure for a moment. The boys are part of the national rafting team and know what they are doing. We started with a boat training, when to row and when not, what should we do if we fall out of the boat. And I really used this information, because at a sudden turn I was the first to fall into the water. And the legs are mine, the photographer managed to capture the exact moment of the fall, but my favorite picture is the one with my Converse sneakers. It looks like an ad. I saved the Converse first :))

tico loco adventures, rafting, costa rica

tico loco adventures, rafting costa rica

But the experience was unforgettable and I want to repeat it. Maybe next time I get to Costa Rica.

And after so much adrenaline we spent the afternoon tanning at the pool of the hostel, admiredthe sunset and charged our energy for the road to Tamarindo.

But the rest of the story in the next post. And it’s worth reading, because I’ll tell you how I survived without clothes for another week.

Kiss kiss

More photos from Costa Rica here

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

selina hostel, manuel antonio, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

manuel antonio park, costa rica

tico loco adventures, rafting, costa rica

tico loco adventures, rafting, costa rica

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