Costa Rica 2023, Day 1 and 2

February 10 and 11

This year we headed back to Costa Rica for our third visit. I spent days researching our trip and the places I wanted to see because the plan was to visit a different country the following year. The main focus of this trip was our three day hike in Corcovado Park, which we had visited with day tours in early 2020. This vacation would again finish at our favourite place, Tulemar Resort ( in Manuel Antonio. (Trip advisors number 1 hotel for 2022)

This trip started a bit differently because the airlines for some reason, decided to switch the order of the flights. Instead of leaving Canada in the morning and returning in the afternoon, we would be leaving at dinner time. There were far fewer flights to choose from this year so we had to depart from Toronto instead of Montreal. The only good thing was that, with the later flight, we didn’t have to stay overnight at an airport in Canada.

For the first time ever, we travelled with just carry-ons. We made our way through both the Ottawa and Toronto airports very quickly. It saved us a lot of time by not needing to pick up our bags between flights. Unfortunately our flight was delayed by about two hours so we arrived in San Juan around 11 p.m. However, we were just a short 5 minute shuttle ride from the Fairfield by Marriott where we spent our first night.

We woke up early and headed downstairs for the included breakfast. Then we hopped on the shuttle to head over to the domestic airport where our tiny plane was waiting for us. We arrived one hour before our 8 a.m. flight and checked in. We were given laminated boarding passes that are reused by all their passengers. (Similar to the South Pacific where I lost mine by using it as a bookmark – they let me on anyway.) When the plane was ready for boarding they called us over by our first names only. We started this trip in Puerto Jimenez. It would have been a 7 to 8 hour drive to get there and it was actually cheaper to fly than hire a driver. It cost $240 for both of us and was a 50 minute flight, so as an added bonus, we would have the whole day there.

I had been warned that the small plane might be turbulent so I wore my seabands and took ginger gravol just in case. Most of the flight was actually fine but the take off was crazy! It was very windy and before we were even in the air we were being pushed side to side on the runway. Once we were at cruising altitude it was fine and we enjoyed getting a birds eye view of the part of the country we would be visiting as well as the mountains to the East.

The picture on the left shows the river that we entered briefly on our boat tour the following day. The picture on the right is just south of the resort we were to stay at in Ojochal.

Landing was a bit of an experience. We came in very low over the beach and it felt like we were going to land in the trees. The “airport” there consisted of a small runway surrounded by a fence. Other passengers were waiting outside to board their planes.

Landing in Puerto Jimenez

The tiny plane and their weight rules for luggage were the main reason we decided to travel with a backpack each plus a rolling carry-on. Turns out that was a great decision. We found it much easier moving around from place to place. There were a couple of guys waiting outside the fence offering taxi rides to our hotel but instead of the $5 it should have been, they wanted $10 each so we chose to walk. It was about a 10 minute walk.

We arrived at Cabinas Jimenez ( in the morning so we had to wait a short time while they finished cleaning the room.

We chose this resort for a few reasons. The tour company we were using for our hike in Corcovado recommended them and told us John would store our luggage for free while we were away on our hike. It was very reasonably priced which would balance out with the more expensive resorts we had booked for later in the trip. I also read several good reviews on Trip Advisor.

We checked in and headed to the pool. Although the water was quite cold, we spent some time in the pool and enjoyed chatting with some of the other guests.

Our cabin had a queen sized bed, a bunk bed and also included an outdoor kitchen. It had air conditioning plus a fan over the bed. The bathroom was cute but a bit small without much room to put out toothbrushes etc. We liked the carved wood door entering the cabin as well as the one to the outdoor kitchen.

We walked down the road along the shore to find a restaurant for lunch. We ended up eating most of our meals at Marisquería Corcovado. It seemed to be pretty popular and we would recognize the same people here at lunch and dinner time. The food was quite good and the decor was interesting with tables made from pieces of trees. I enjoyed my first Pina Colada of the trip.

After lunch we wandered around the small town and picked up some cereal, yogourt and drinks for breakfast the next morning. Then we spent a bit of time on our covered Kitchen / deck reading and relaxing while enjoying the view of the Golfo Dulce. (i.e. “Sweet Gulf”)

View from our deck

Before dinner we wandered further down the beach. The tide was out so the beach was quite wide. There was supposed to be another restaurant there but it was closed for renovations.

We made our way back to Marisquería’s for dinner. I had beef tenderloin and Mike enjoyed the Fillet Mignon.

On our way back to our cabin we saw the local Amazon delivery driver. He had many packages and was riding a bike!

It gets dark shortly after 6 p.m. here and neither of us are into bars so after dinner we headed back to the room to read and relax.

View from our deck at high tide.

2 responses to “Costa Rica 2023, Day 1 and 2”

  1. Beverley Wiseman Avatar
    Beverley Wiseman

    Beautiful scenery Cindy! Good for you & Mike!


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About Me

My name is Cindy Southgate and I love to travel and try new things!

My husband Mike and I love to explore new places and try out new experiences! We prefer warm places so we can escape some of the cold during the winter. (We live in Canada!) I love mountains, oceans, wildlife and adventure! Both of us have run numerous marathons and completed at least 2 Ironman races. We have 2 daughters and 4 granddaughters!

Quote: This was often repeated to me by my mother, Betty Elliott, while I was growing up!


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