…And that is just how it ended.
It started with cooled towels and a refreshing drink upon our check in at the Villas Playa Samara on the last leg of our Costa Rica Monkey Tours adventure. We were ecstatic that we had paid the $50 per night upgrade fee as we walked into our two bedroom villa nestled in the salty sand among swaying palms with panaromic views of the sea. The stainless appliances in the mini kitchen, a living area, and two bedrooms were perfect.
And then whoosh something was flying overhead. We screeched! We ducked! ….A bat! Three little lizards raced up the wall avoiding becoming that night’s dinner. Yikes. We opened the doors and begged the bat to leave our abode. No such luck.
We raced back to the reception area where they graciously agreed to take care of the bat. I am not sure what his fate was, but either way he was gone when we came back-along with his pink little enemies racing up the walls.
The rest of our stay? Perfection.
Maddy and Danyelle kayaked out to a little island and snorkeled in the bath warm waters, while I opted to frolick (literally) on the beach, collecting hot pink and purple shells along the way.
I sat on our little porch reading Afar magazine while listening to Bob Marley mixed with the soothing sounds of waves crashing steps from my painted toes. Amazing.
We swam in the little hotel pool, marveling at how long our travel companions spent bellied up to the pool bar. Meanwhile, we did handstands and washed away the extreme heat in the pool’s cascade.
Moving at a snail’s pace, we watched giant lizards basking in the sun, grateful for the slowdown after the adrenaline rush of the first days of the tour. We ate great meals by the pool -shrimp quesadillas being a standout- and drank ice cold frozen lemonades.
We wandered out at a dusk to breathe in soothing, salty ocean air only to see a stream of beautiful wild horses trot down the beach in front of our villa. Magical.
At night we held out our Iphones to light the path, frogs jumping out of our way to see chance sightings of a hairy tarantula chasing his evening meal and a rare armadillo who outran my attempts to photograph him.
We ventured into the little town by way of the hotel shuttle and ate with our feet in the sand, savoring the most amazing patacones and guacamole a girl could dream of.
My friends tried tropical drinks while I sipped my signature michelada. Another band of wild horses came to greet us. Is this reality?
By day, we took a long walk down the beach with some fellow travelers, marveling at its beauty, vastness, and yet complete desolateness snapping, pictures along the way.
We sipped blended smoothies from a beach town shanty that were as fresh as fruit picked that morning. We battled the heat to buy enough souvenirs from street side tables to weigh down our suitcases and prove we had been there.
Why we decided to eat at the only local vegetarian restaurant town in I’m not so sure, though I can be certain I am to blame. Luckily their icy cold agua de Jamaica and much needed shady respite earned me a pass despite my sister’s inedible “burger”.
We ended the trip with a chance boat ride 0ffered through Monkey Tours. The onsite Candadian representative for Monkey Tours warned us that this was “not a zoo” and that we may not see any dolphins.
We took our chances, however, happy to wade into the choppy waters to board a tiny fish boat captained by two young Costa Ricans and joining a couple sets of bright-eyed, giddy honeymooners.
Within five minutes we caught a black fin tuna. Within ten minutes we saw our first dolphin.
And then the magic happened.
Every where we looked and as far as the eye could see there were dolphins. They danced, they swam along side our boat,
they lept out of the water, gloriously showing us their tricks. They were so close that we could see the pattern on their skin. We could taste the salty water from their splashes and yet they were everywhere, on each side of the boat swimming along side us, behind us in our wake, and leading us around the ocean like the majestic creatures they are. I had goosebumps.
This was a once in a lifetime experience. There were over 200 dolphins guiding us for over an hour and a half.
Snorkeling? What snorkeling? All we could care about was taking in every minute of this experience. (Not to mention a failed attempt in tsunami like conditions that had us paddling frantically back to the boat…)
I am still humbled and grateful for that truly magical once in a lifetime moment in time that even upon reflection feels like a foggy dream.
We finished the day sitting in the zero depths of the pool until the sun went down, finding our way back to La Vela Latina that night to eat another giant basket of salty patacones before this glorious stay came to a close…
So my friends, what are you waiting for? Snow is in the forecast and the Costa Rican sunshine is calling your name….
Mention Somewhere Sunny to join the Costa Rica Nicaragua 7 Night Tour for just $799! (Monkey Tours) Salud! xo, Bree
Stay at Villas Playa Samara (Upgrade to ocean front-it’s worth it!)
Eat Mexican and drink margaritas at Coco’s.
Dip your feet in the sand and order the Patacones with Guacamole at La Vela Latina
Avoid the vegan burgers at Luv Burger and instead opt for smoothies off the street
Don’t forget to like Somewhere Sunny on Facebook!