The time we spent on the Nicoya was some of our favorite time of the trip so far. It reminded us of our time in Baja with Richard and Ashley but with even better beaches and there were monkeys here! We were camping for free on deserted beaches again, cooking delicious food, going on adventure drives and spending hours talking, playing and relaxing together on the beach. Toby and Chloe are very similar to us and we traveled easily together. I think we all really did not want this time to end, but all of us keep thinking of the Andes and that we have an entire other continent to explore. We could have easily done another few weeks here. It was that good.
One thing we discovered, is you can do Costa Rica on the cheap. I looked at our budget, and in nine days on the Nicoya we spent $17 a day! That is it. We drank lots of cold beer and ate like kings, but we made all our food. So you can enjoy the best parts of Costa Rica for next to nothing, all you need is a stocked fridge and a sense of adventure!
Playa Manzanillo (far south point)
While the beaches kind of look similar in the pictures, they are all very different. This one had coarse sand and rocks, so it was not our favorite swimming beach.
But we had lots of shade and another crazy good free beach front camp spot. You can see our rigs tucked away behind the trees.
Tia seeing if there are enough crabs for her to play with.
The funny thing is Tia missed the crab that ate all her food!
Sam and I walked down this entire beach. There is a surf camp at the other end, much better to swim there, but we preferred our spot where we were alone.
I might enter this picture in a worlds ugliest hat contest. These poor hats have been abused by us.
On this part of the beach I saw a local foraging for clams, I decided I wanted to try so I could make clam pasta for all of us for dinner.
This was my bounty! They were so sweet and delicious with the buttery, garlicky pasta. There were about 8 pounds of clams.
After dinner we sat down to watch the show.
And it got better.
And better. This was such a special time for us. It just felt perfect.
The next day we did another drive in search of our next camp site. We first headed to Mal Pais, a good surfing beach but not what we were looking for.
Too many waves and rocks here and not enough space to camp. But a stunning beach.
Playa Las Rocas
Near Manzanillo is Playa Las Rocas where we found an amazing place to camp on a peninsula surrounded by palm trees (we just made sure we did not park under one). We stayed here two nights and had a bonfire and dutch oven dinner on rocks in the middle of the ocean, played coconut bocci ball and beach bowling and watched an insane lightning storm. We had a blast here!
When the tide was out we hauled wood and our chairs and cooking gear out onto the rocks. You can see our rigs in the background.
Sam trying to dominate at coconut bowling.
I found I preferred the smaller brown coconuts for my ball. They were lighter and I could throw it farther.
I spent a few hours in the hammock during the hottest part of the day. You can tell I am not having fun at all =).
We watched this from our spot on the rocks for hours. Crazy lighting show.
Soon after Sam took this one the sky opened up and we had the most intense storm of the trip so far.
Our final beach was a great swimming beach and close enough to the ferry terminal that we could easily catch the morning ferry the next day. Sam and I opted to take the ferry back over so we could head back to San Jose and check up on his camera, while the Conroys were heading back up the peninsula towards Arenal. It was a sad final night, but we all planned to meet up again and explore parts of the Osa peninsula together.
Final camp site before we caught the ferry. Another great free spot.
The beach here was really flat and a safe and fun swimming beach.
View out our XP window. My favorite part of the XP is all the windows, even when I am inside, I feel like I can still see everything.
The mellow ferry ride back. It would have cost the same in gas to drive as the ferry cost, so it was a push cost wise, but this was a lot more relaxing than driving.