Costa Rican Paradise

“Paradise has never been about places. It exsists in moments. In connections. In flashes across time”

~Victoria Erickson

Have you ever seen those movie moments and you’re like, yeeeeeeah right….this would never happen in real life. They upgrade the happy couple to first class or give them the best room in the hotel. Shower them with champagne and strawberries. Smmh. Maybe those types of things happen to other people, but they certainly have never happened to me. So when we arrived in Costa Rica for our honeymoon, we were blown away! After a long and bumpy four hour drive, we finally arrived at Nayara Springs. Its a fancy hotel tucked inside the rainforest with a view of the Arenal Volcano (at the time we didnt know, but this hotel is rated top five in the world!!) Huge bright green palm leaves, vibrant purple orchids, and tropical pink leaves surrounded every inch of the entrance. We were greeted by two men, holding cold towels to wipe our faces from the heat. When we entered the hotel a man named Alex welcomed us with the warmest hello.  Aaaaaand here’s when the fun starts! Ladies and gentlemen, our movie moment!!!  Alex says….. “Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Henderson. Since its your honeymoon, we have upgraded you to the best villa in the hotel. Free of charge. You have your own volcano fed hot spring infinity pool and endless champagne. But before we get into more specifics on your upgrades, please enjoy this rum and passion fruit drink we made specially for you”  We toasted our fruity concoction, which by the way had bamboo and flowers and God knows what else hanging out of the glass. Hooooly shit, best thing I have ever tasted in my life! We seriously couldn’t stop smiling. We were definitely in paradise. And the honeymoon just kept getting better and better…

We finally ventured off to our villa, but not without searching for sloths first! They had three sloths on the property, hiding in the vines above a huge suspension bridge. The paths of the hotel were lined with tropical flowers, cactuses, fountains full of koi fish, and big beautiful costa rican shrubs. It was gorgeous! We were greeted in our room with a bottle of champagne and rose petals scattered across the room. They made our towels into hearts with a “Happy Honeymoon” sign. The room had fresh costa rican fruit, crystal chandeliers, and an outdoor shower! We popped our bottle of champagne, basked in the hot spring, and watched lizards running through the greenery around us. I couldn’t stop saying, I LOVE COSTA RICA!

The following day we did a tour, which included a hike across 12 suspension bridges in the rainforest and a swim in La Fortuna Waterfall. We had a tour guide named Edson, who was absolutely enthusiastic about his job. He kept chanting “PURA VIDA” after everything he said. In Costa Rica that means, “pure life” but to them its more of a way of life. They use it to say hello and goodbye. Or to just show excitement about something. Its the American version of “No Worries” and by the time we left, we were saying it as much as we could. Anyways, back to Edson and how awesome he was. He knew everything to look for in the rainforest which made our experience that much better. He knew if certain leaves were bent, that bats were living inside them. He would scream, ” Come look, I have a friend to show you!” and there would be three furry little bats, hanging upside down in the leaf. Then he would run down the trail because spider monkeys were high in the trees. He would make a howl noise into his hand and the monkeys would howl back. I mean really, how cool!? We saw 5 spider monkeys, one holding a baby on its back. Edson was so excited because its extremely rare to see them in the rainforest. Throughout the rest of our hike we saw a red poison dart frog, lizards, tropical birds, snakes, a raccoon, howler monkeys, and too many spiders to count. Costa Rica has 30,000 different species of spiders. NO THANK YOU! We finished up our day swimming in the turquoise blue waters of the La Fortuna Waterfall. It was magical. When we returned to our villa, there were tons of red-eyed tree frogs chirping in the plants all around our hot spring. It was like nothing Ive ever seen before. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

The activities didn’t end! We took a catamaren tour to a white sand beach. Dolphins chased our boat as we cruised to the secluded spot. Here you could snorkel, swim, or just drink beers on the beach. We traveled back to our resort at sunset and the clouds did not disappoint. The sky was incredibly orange and pink, bouncing off the ocean waters. This is how a honeymoon should feel. Complete happiness. The trip didn’t end there. We hiked the shores of the beach, rode jet skis, drank cocktails out of coconuts, and enjoyed live music at our favorite margarita bar. We ate some of the most delicious food and the freshest pico de gallo I have ever had in my life. We swam in the most gorgeous pools, relaxed in a hammock with a rainforest view, and hiked a trail with bananas hanging from the trees. We never did see those damn sloths. Little camouflaged bastards, haha.

Our honeymoon was simply perfect. There is no other way to describe it. Im so happy I could share these moments with my new hubby and celebrate our marriage the best way we knew how. Here’s to our love and…. PURA VIDA!! 🙂


~(Stay tuned for the second part of our honeymoon, camping-offroading-hiking through Utah and Southern Colorado!) 😉

Additonal pictures from our honeymoon!