Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Weekend Trips

Living in Manuel Antonio it´s very easy to stay here on the weekends to enjoy the beach, learn to surf, get to know the locals and attempt to find waterfalls… It is also a great opportunity to explore the rest of Costa Rica. Once a month we have a long weekend and the volunteers can take advantage of this to travel further afield, perhaps to the Caribbean side, to Puerto Viejo or Monteverde.
For normal weekends there are lots of other great towns within easy reach of Manuel Antonio. You could venture to Jaco for the cinema, Arenal for a volcano, Playa Hermosa for brilliant surfing. Or if you are craving a bit of hustle and bustle, and are missing the city life, San Jose is only 3 hours away. San Jose has a fantastic amount of restaurants and cafes. One of our favourites is a restaurant called Café de los Deseos. It has a very distinct latino vibe and serves very tasty tapas and pizza. The house red wine is also very good. From San Jose trips to coffee plantations and white water rafting is easily done. There are also various museums in the centre to visit.
If you are looking for some escapism and to relax the nearby coastal town of Dominical is perfect. It is only an hour away from Quepos, to the south. It has one main street and then various side streets with little restaurants and houses that are a strange metal version of alpine cabins. 

There is not a lot of traffic through Dominical so it is very peaceful to walk down the street and to not worry about cars. It definitely adds to the relaxed feeling of the town. Dominical is on the mouth of a river, so the restaurants boast both river and ocean views.  The town is cheaper than Quepos and so can be a great place to eat out, buy clothes and souvenirs. It is also much quieter than Manuel Antonio, so learning to surf is less daunting as there aren’t too many people watching and no one is going to crash into you as you struggle to stand. Horse riding can also be done here. You are taken on a trek into the countryside and then to a waterfall in a nearby park. The horses are beautifully kept and healthy. The locals are very welcoming and helpful. For a night out there are various bars and you can ask around to find out where to party that night.

Whatever it is you are looking to do for a weekend. Costa Rica has loads of fun options.