Friday, February 11
I was so excited to be heading back to Costa Rica! We didn’t travel in 2021 because of the pandemic. Last May we booked this trip for February 2022 hoping it would be over. It wasn’t, and I thought about postponing our trip but with all the safety measures in place we felt we would be OK. Costa Rica required mask wearing in indoor places, in all shared transportation and while walking through a restaurant. This was pretty much the same as what we were doing in Canada. If we were vaccinated (we were triple vaccinated) we didn’t need to have a negative test, but could simply upload our vaccination status on the “health pass” that they required. I was still nervous about being in a crowded airport and plane but we decided to just take all the precautions we could as we were desperate to go back!
One of our daughters was able to get us some N95 masks for our travel days. I also ordered several cloth masks for Mike and I. I got a cute one with hearts for Valentine’s Day and some with flowers and butterflies to match the summer- like weather.
We followed the same plan as our last visit- we would fly to Montreal and stay overnight there so we could be on the 9 am direct flight to Costa Rica. We were supposed to fly out of Ottawa around 4 pm but while out on my morning run my brother (who would be staying at our house with his wife to take care of our dogs) called to say the Trucker Protest was headed to the airport. I ran directly home and we grabbed our bags and headed to the airport. The police were there and we were able to drive right into the parking garage, so it wasn’t an issue. Air Canada was able to get us on on earlier flight so we arrived early to Montreal and relaxed in our room right at the airport.
This time we flew into Liberia so we could explore some areas north of our last visit.
Our flights with Air Canada went well and we arrived in Liberia at about 2 in the afternoon. Even with a bit of a wait to get into the airport, it was much faster here getting through customs and collecting our bags than it was in San Jose on our last trip. We were done in under an hour and headed to the car rental counter.
This time we decided to rent a car as the places we were staying were 3 to 4 hours apart. We were also planning to do several things on our own. On our last visit we had a driver because we were nervous about finding our way in a new country especially considering that they did not have names for their streets. We were advised to use Waze on our phones to find our way around and it worked perfectly except for the day we left for the airport. We were driven over to the Budget rental lot and we picked up our car without any issues.
We had an hour drive to our resort. It was in the Guanacaste region. It wasn’t very far but the roads were extremely bumpy so driving was very slow. You also had to keep watch for all the loose dogs and iguanas roaming the street.
The first place we stayed was Hacienda Guachipelin. They are in a great location near the parking lot for Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park. They also run several excellent tours. We explored a bit, had our welcome drink (which left a bit to be desired) and settled into our room.
The room was fairly basic- two double beds and a bathroom but the rates here were very reasonable. The mattress wasn’t very good and the walls were a bit thin but we enjoyed having air conditioning as well as a ceiling fan. Many resorts here don’t have air because they run on solar energy. The hot water was solar powered.
The property is very large and has over 100 units. They are very spread out though so it never felt crowded. This is not a fancy resort but it has everything you need and the activities here make a stay very compelling.
We headed over for dinner. I had pasta which wasn’t great but Mike enjoyed his chicken.
The evenings were a bit cooler here so I wore a sweater. We headed to bed early so we would be rested for our hike the following day.
If you are interested in booking a stay or a tour: http://www.guachipelin.com