Over the past month, I have been back in Costa Rica for the first time since February. When I was there last, my home was just a pile of dirt and a hole in the ground. I built the rest between our great construction team and the powers of Zoom. But it felt great to be back in my favorite country and I would love to give you an updated travel guide for 2021 if you plan on visiting the beautiful people of Costa Rica.
If you plan on traveling at all, please make sure that you are doing so safely and ensuring that you are not infected before you leave. Wear a mask while traveling, sanitize your hands often, and stay a safe distance from others.
When we traveled, a negative COVID-19 test was not required to enter or leave the country. This has recently changed, a negative test is required to re-enter the United States 1-3 days before travel. This could change at any time, please visit the U.S. Embassy website for updates. Costa Rica does however require health insurance to enter the country. In my experience, it is hard to prove that my U.S. health insurance covers the necessary requirements for Costa Rica, including accommodations for fourteen days if I needed to quarantine. I purchased insurance through Sagicor of Costa Rica while I was visiting. Family plans are available, make sure you select that option instead of paying per person. Once you purchase your policy, you must complete a Health Pass within 48 hours of traveling to Costa Rica. This form will produce a QR code that you must show to your airline at check-in. You will show the QR code again at customs once you reach Costa Rica.
I rented a car for the month that we were there so I would have the ability to travel around. My first stop was the town of Las Catalinas to check on our home. I stayed at Santarena Hotel, a new view from those that have followed our Costa Rica adventures for a while.
Usually I stay in room twelve at Casa Chameleon Hotel, but it is adults only and I had Sterling with me for the first time. Santarena is within my neighborhood of Las Catalinas, right on the beach, and right next to my almost completed home. I highly recommend Las Catalinas for part of your stay in Costa Rica, the neighborhood also has vacation homes available for rent, as well as multiple restaurants and plenty of activities. Spend the day on the beach, mountain biking, hiking, paddle boarding, or just laying on the swim platform in the middle of our quiet cove.
For the closest surf, Playa Grande is about thirty minutes down the road. Stop at Frijoles Locos or Matos Surf Shop for boards. Post session, take down a breakfast burrito or an açaí bowl at our friend Juli’s place – Pots and Bowls.
Halfway through my trip, I headed up to the Papagayo Peninsula for an amazing stay with the Four Seasons. The drive in was stunning, with views of the water on either side of the peninsula, all leading to the immaculate Four Seasons hotel. The property is unique with two beaches on either side with incredible sunrise and sunset views, a pool in the center, and restaurants around every corner. I worked at their Añejo restaurant every day and went from morning smoothies to afternoon sushi rolls, continuously checked on by the best staff. As with all Four Seasons properties, the service is unmatched. I had recently popped a tire on Sterling’s stroller, and I was delivered a brand new one that afternoon. Amazed.
One of the unique attractions of this property is it’s proximity to some of the best surf in Costa Rica. Get picked up by boat on the Four Seasons beach and it’s a short ride over to Witch’s Rock. If you don’t surf, there is still plenty to do in the calm waters around the property. The jet skis and paddle boards are ready to go daily, or take advantage of their day trips to see the waterfalls or the canopy tours. If you are looking for luxury in Costa Rica, the Four Seasons is it.
After packing up at FS, I made a quick decision to head down to Nosara. Nosara is like the Tulum of Costa Rica. If you want yoga retreats, surf within walking distance of your hotel, and vegan food galore, Nosara is your jam. If you are traveling solo, I would also highly recommend Nosara.
I stayed at the Harmony Hotel, low key and was trendy way before its time. Harmony Hotel is walkable to plenty and surf is steps from your bed with board rentals right before the beach.
For dining, I ate at La Luna for dinner and Destiny Cafe – twice. If I had been there one more night, I would have tried Coyol.
I spent the remaining week back in my town of Las Catalinas, soaking up every last bit of sun. Thank you to everyone that hosted me this time around – Santarena and Four Seasons Costa Rica. I love coming home and will be back very soon!