The first morning in Costa Rica started early for some, and a little later for others. I ended up getting up around 7:30, pulled out of bed by the sights of brightly colored tropical flowers blowing in the breeze outside my window. Only Grandma Nat was awake, laying next the pool on a lawn chair, admiring the flora, fauna, and the numerous birds making nests and congregating around our beach house. I headed straight to the beach to see what I could find. Views. Views. Views. That’s what I found! This early, there are only a handful of people on the beach, most working out: running, jogging, stretching (not me!). I take my time meandering south down the beach. Admiring the sounds of the birds, the crashing waves, and what I think are monkeys, eagerly awaiting the moment when I see one up close. I make it to the end of the beach, where the rocks become to steep and the water too high to go any farther, probably a mile and a half down the beach before I start my favorite pastime: beachcombing. I turn up some really vibrantly pink shells and a perfectly preserved, sadly dead, pufferfish! Instead of walking the beach back the same way I came, I walk on the dirt path that connects all the beachfront properties to the beach itself. Not long after getting on the path, I see them: monkeys! I notice their presence only after one makes a giant leap from one tree to another right above me. What amazing creatures. I just watch, seemingly alone on the beach with these monkeys, counting 7, including a small baby!
When I returned to the condo, the whole family was up and they had even acquired coconuts! Apparently they watched a local man climb one of the nearby palms to retrieve the fruit and generously offered them up! I don’t know how Trevor felt about coconut milk, but I’m all about it 😀 Now it was time to get some food. Since we didn’t want to eat out all the time, it was decided that we go to the local grocery store and stock up on the essentials. A 5 minute drive was all it took to get us our supplies. The supermarket was small and sleepy like the rest of Playa Hermosa, but our party of 6 definitely livened up the place. After acquiring all our goods, we headed back to the condo to make breakfast.
After breakfast and a pow wow, we headed to explore some nearby beaches: Playa del Coco and Playa Ocotal. The first beach we visited was Playa del Coco. Even though it was only a 15 minute drive away, the atmosphere here was much different. This, is the party beach. Which was quite apparent by the number of bars, restaurants, and shops that lined the streets. We found free parking, meandered through some shops, then headed for the beach. There was a lot more action happening here! People were everywhere: tanning, running, playing with their kids, selling wares. We walked up and down the beach admiring it all for over an hour, even finding a beached sailboat before heading off for Playa Ocotal. A five minute drive from Playa del Coco, was Playa Ocotal. This beach was much smaller, and had black sand (mom and I are now on our second black sand beach!). Much more of a local hotspot, we favored this beach over Coco. The sand was beautiful, but HOT. Spent quite some time here before heading back for Playa Hermosa, for we were in need of lunch!
After a late lunch, we digested our food while walking the beach. I showed the family where I had seen the monkeys earlier, and they hadn’t moved! Glad they got to see them (: It was then time for home grilled chicken and pineapple with rice, margaritas in the pool, another jaw dropping sunset, lots of laughs, and a midnight swim. Definitely learning that Pura Vida life (: