When I finally decide to take a trip, I don’t waste time. I’ve now gone from dreaming of a possible trip to Costa Rica to having made (almost) all my plans! I’m taking two weeks at the end of December to experience some of the highlights of this country that’s been near the top of my bucket list for a long time. And I decided to work with a CR‐based travel agency, Anywhere, for my ground arrangements.

Flights

Since when is it no longer cheaper to book round‐trip airfare versus one‐way? (Besides this one, I have two other upcoming trips that involve two separate one‐way tickets on different airlines.)

It turns out that the best flight itinerary I could come up with involved two separate tickets. I’m flying SEA to LAX and then LAX to SJO on Delta. I arrive on Sunday at 8:10 a.m. For my flight home, I depart SJO at 2:05 a.m. (yes, that’s 2:05 in the morning!) and have a nearly‐four‐hour layover in Houston (IAH). I arrive at SEA on Sunday at 12:40 p.m. And I am splurging on premium economy seats on all four legs. (Delta calls it “Comfort+” and United calls it “Economy Plus.”)

On the Ground

Anywhere has taken care of all my arrangements for the first half of the trip:

Sunday Arrive SJO
Private transfer to Arenal
Rest of the day free
Hotel La Pradera del Arenal
Monday Free day
Tuesday 3 in 1 Hanging Bridges + Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike
Wednesday Blue River & Tenorio Volcano National Park Hike
Thursday Taxi/Boat/Taxi transfer to Monteverde
Rest of the day free
Cala Lodge
Friday Morning Guided Tour of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Afternoon free
Saturday Free day

The free days might not necessarily end up being free. There are lots of other tours I can schedule on my own. Zip lines are popular in Costa Rica, but I’m not sure I’m looking for the adrenaline rush on this trip. There are also tours to see coffee plantations, butterflies, hummingbirds, and plenty more to choose from.

Then on Sunday of Week Two, I transfer by shuttle to Dominical on the Pacific coast, which is where my friend Linda lives, and I’ll stay with her for a few days. One of those days I’ll take a bus up to Manuel Antonio. Then Linda is making plans for us to head south along the coast to the Osa Peninsula. I don’t know yet what arrangements she is making, but I know we’ll be visiting Corcovado National Park and Drake Bay, and possibly do a snorkeling trip to Caño Island. Then I’ll take a flight on Sansa Airlines from Drake Bay back to SJO sometime on that final Saturday before my flight home that night.

This was an easy trip to plan because I didn’t have to do much of the planning myself. I hope it’s as fun and interesting as it seems. Most trips are perfect at this stage of planning. In reality it will probably be hot and humid and there’ll be long, bumpy rides in crowded buses and vans and tours with bratty kids. But I will stay optimistic for now!

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