When I first thought about living in a new country for an entire two years, especially a smaller place like Costa Rica, it seemed like it would be oh-so-easy to see and explore every region, city, and pueblo.
Well I was WRONG.
Between community work, meetings, trainings, and out-of-country vacations, it’s actually been a little difficult to visit all the places in Costa Rica that I have on my list.
As PCVs, we accrue 2 vacation days per month and are allowed 3 OOC nights (out of community) per month. Those 5 days might sound like a lot but the the majority of us save vacation days for trips home or with family and friends and try to use those OOC nights to scramble around the country when we’re not working in our communities.
And, with basically having one foot in Panama, it makes it extra difficult for me to get to places that aren’t in my region, like northern Costa Rica where the heat is hawt and the beaches are bumpin’.
So when there was a Peace Corps event in San Jose on Friday, a group of friends and I knew we had to take advantage of everyone being in the same place and plan a quick getaway.
So we headed off to Playa Hermosa at 8am sharp Saturday morning.
5 hours later we arrived at our destination, Congo’s Hostel and Camping. We grabbed some snacks and drinks and took advantage of early afternoon and the spacious, empty beach during low-season. We were lucky enough to not get any rain and had front row seats to the most beautiful beachside sunset. Seriously, it was glorious.
The second night, we headed over to Playas del Coco, about 15 minutes south, which is much more developed with a lively downtown area that had restaurants, bars and even a Hard Rock Cafe (we were impressed). There, we stayed at a place called Hotel M&M Garden House, which had nice dorm rooms and a great facility. So great, we chilled poolside all day and didn’t even make it to the beach. Sorry mom.
Oh hi Dan. Heading off in the buseta.
One of the greatest things about being a PCV in a country like Costa Rica is that we get the chance to travel to touristy places during the low-season. Not only are prices a little lower and streets a little less crowded, but it felt like the playa was entirely reserved for our private group. A little special volunteer time, which I think we all needed.
It’s no secret that life as a PCV can be difficult. Our lives in site can often be lonely, stressful, and without the comforts that we are used to back home. And although we grow accustomed to these new changes, time away with our little volunteer family is an important part of our experience that gives us the support, laughter, and love that we need to be happy and successful volunteers.