We’re Going to Costa Rica!

Greyson and I have taken a lot of really awesome road trips over the past five years. These trips have been amazing, but they’ve been largely mountain bike focused (with a little hiking and climbing thrown in), and I’ve been craving something different. Like the amazing SCUBA trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia we did with his family a few years ago.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia // tahoefabulous.com
Greyson and I on an amazing, non road trip vacation in Indonesia. Take me back to the beach!

We’ve been saving up our vacation days and racking up credit card miles for awhile now, and we just booked our plane tickets to Costa Rica! We’re not going until November, but I’m excited to use the next 6 months to plan an incredible trip. Right now, we don’t have anything booked, and we only have the vaguest ideas of what we want to do. I’m hoping that we get some recommendations! Here’s the facts:

  • We’ll be there for 9 days at the end of the rainy season, flying in to and out of San Jose.
  • We want to do the mountains, the beach, some river rafting, SCUBA-ing, and potentially an overnight to Panama, if we can squeeze it in.
  • We don’t want to be traveling the whole time – we want to spend at least a few days in each place.
  • I’ve been to the Pacific side of Costa Rica before, so we want to go to the Caribbean side.
  • We’re not renting a car, so travel by bus it is!

So what I’m thinking is, first, take a shuttle from San Jose to Arenal/La Fortuna area and spend a few days there, doing hiking and hot springs. Second, a one or two day river rafting trip on the Pacuare River, using the river raft company to travel from the mountains to the coast. Third, spend some time in Cahuita or Puerto Viejo for beach time, SCUBA, and a short trip into Panama before heading back to San Jose to head home.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia // tahoefabulous.com
Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

People who have done Costa Rica before, does this seem reasonable for 9 days? Also, does anyone have any recommendations, specifically for places to stay in Arenal, Pacuare river raft companies, and if Cahuita or Puerto Viejo is better for a beach town base?

I’m so excited!

Why I Got SCUBA Certified

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I’ve loved the water since before I could walk. My mom loves to tell stories about how, if there was a body of water, I was in it, despite any signs or instructions to the contrary.

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Photo by Janet Baumgartner

Most of our family vacations growing up involved a lake, river or ocean for swimming, fishing, tide-pooling and exploring. When I was in college my parents got into kayaking, and we all tried snorkeling for the first time on a trip to Costa Rica. It was just after the rainy season, so the water was so silt filled that we had barely any visibility, but I was hooked! Further snorkeling outings off the coast of Oahu, Puerto Rico and Maui cemented my love.

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Photo by Jodi Swobody

On a couple of these snorkel outings there were a few people SCUBA diving off the boat. I never paid that much attention, since I was having so much fun snorkeling. My mom and I occasionally talked about getting SCUBA certified “someday”, but we never did.

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Fast forward a few years, and I started dating my boyfriend Greyson. His family is super into SCUBA diving, and they have been taking dive vacations all over the world since he was a teenager. With my love for the water, he encouraged me to get certified, but with all my other hobbies, SCUBA certification got pushed to “someday” again.

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Photo by Kaya McAlister

This summer, however, “someday” came closer than I was expecting! Greyson’s parents planned a SCUBA diving trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia, and they invited me along. This combined with the fact that my parents got me the SCUBA certification class and gear for my birthday meant that it was time to get certified. I signed up for the classroom, pool and open water dives needed for SCUBA certification through Sierra Diving Center based in Reno, Nevada. I bought my equipment there too, and Greyson and I spent a few afternoons practicing in the snorkel gear.

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Last week, I finished my open water dives. That means I’m officially open water SCUBA certified! I’ll write more about the process of getting certified, the class and the dives, so check back for more details. I’ll also write about getting ready for my (first!) SCUBA trip and (first!) trip to East Asia. I’m so excited, and I’m already counting down the days until March!

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Photo from Sierra Diving Center