Tamarindo, Costa Rica: Day 1

For the entire semester, the majority of Costa Ricans I have spoken with have asked me where I have traveled so far and what other trips I have planned. I of course rattle off the places I have visited. Without fail, the individual(s) always respond with “You must visit Guanacaste. The most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica are in Guanacaste.”

With roughly only one free weekend left of the semester, Hannah and I were trying to figure out where we wanted to go as the third member of our trio, Audrey, was going skydiving. Hannah and I searched Google trying to figure out a good place to visit in Costa Rica for a short weekend, as our last unplanned weekend of the semester only consisted of a Saturday and Sunday. Both of us REALLY wanted to visit Guanacaste to see the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. However, to make the 7-hour bus ride worthwhile, we would need a long weekend. Hannah and I tried our best to be happy with an alternate destination, but neither of us could imagine leaving Costa Rica without going to Guanacaste. So, we made the choice with the blessing of our professor to leave class early on Thursday to catch an 11:30 am bus to Tamarindo and skip Friday’s class.

In my head, I thought our bus to Tamarindo was direct meaning there were no random stops along the way. As I have learned from my travels here, buses that appear to be direct end up stopping anywhere and everywhere along the way for any person that manages to flag down the bus. However, Hannah and I were not super far into our journey when the bus stopped randomly along the rode to pick up passengers. Internally, both of us sighed because we knew the bus ride was going to be longer than anticipated.

After many stops along the way, Hannah and I eventually arrived in Tamarindo in the evening. We walked with some of our fellow bus passengers in the direction of our hostel, the Selina.

Upon arrival, Hannah and I got checked in and went to our room. With having studying abroad in Europe, I have had my fair share of hostels. The Selina is a hostel chain throughout the world. Friends in Sol had stayed at the Selina in Monteverde and highly recommended it. As a result, I decided to book our stay in Tamarindo at the Selina figuring the hostel would be as great as Monteverde. I have to say, though, I was less than thrilled with the cleanliness situation as my sheets were sandy even though they were clean. However, I reminded myself that Tamarindo is a beach town; therefore, the humidity is going to impact the infrastructure and sand is bound to be everywhere and anywhere.

Once Hannah and I settled in, we went off to the grocery store to purchase food for the next couple of days and at dinner. With the help of Google Maps, we found a small grocery store a short walk away. Since the grocery store was super small, the food prices were on the expensive side. Hannah suggested just purchasing what we needed and finding another store tomorrow. When I went for the butter, I said to Hannah, “The butter here tastes weird. I can taste it anytime my mama tica puts it on anything.” A gentleman overheard me speaking and responded in English, “That’s not butter, it’s margarine.” With this information, the light switch for the light bulb flipped on in my head. Ah ha! This is why I do not like the “butter” because in my family, we only eat salted butter.

After making our purchases, we walked back to the hostel and cooked our pasta with pesto. Then, Hannah and I headed to bed as we had a sea kayak and snorkeling tour bright and early the following day.

Leave a positive impression,

Sydney xo

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