The annual Talls & Smalls girls trip happened a couple of weeks ago and I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t scrolled through the pictures reminiscing. We took the 901 to the 506, and the recap of my amazing vacay to Costa Rica is here!! We ziplined, white water rafted, rode horses, experienced a water slide through the forest, frolicked in hot springs and noshed on amazing food! The food was so good y’all, but we’ll talk about that later. Let’s get into what we did, where we stayed, and how it all came together. Once we picked the location and resort, we went through a travel agent to book flight and accomodations. Our small friend, Erica is the activities coordinator. She has a knack for finding cool adventures and setting everything up. For this trip, we prepaid all excursions, and I spent less than $250 while away (souvenirs at the airport and tips). Ok, let’s get into some details.
WARNING : PICTURE HEAVY. *insert shrug emoji…I just couldn’t sum it up in 10 photos*
We decided on the Planet Hollywood Beach Resort in Guanacaste Liberia, Costa Rica. The flight was about 5.5 hrs total (Memphis to Houston to Liberia). The resort is pretty new (opened Oct 2018), and is an all-inclusive property (hello food and drinks!) with seven globally-infused restaurants, six bars, state of the art PUMPED Fitness Center, Spa, two swimming pools, and a dark sand beach. We were greeted with a red carpet, signature cocktail, and applause. Yep, applause!!! We felt like the superstars that we are, which went right along with the property’s goal for guests to experience what it’s like to Vacation Like A Star(TM). We had a Junior Suite on the 3rd floor with a picturesque ocean view from the balcony. We couldn’t wait to get settled in and head to the nearest swim-up bar!
Our first full day was just that…FULL. We started the day by taking our horses to the old town road (horseback riding) and ziplining. The view from the 7 zipline platforms over the forest was beautiful, lush, and serene. The horses were slightly disobedient, but the ride was relaxing. We took a break with a delicious lunch of locally grown fish, veggies, and starfruit juice and then it was on to a 400m water slide, mud bathin’, and relaxation in the thermal hot springs. We chose the Buena Vista excursion because it gave us the most bang for our buck. We had a whole day of activities for an amazing price, and it was sooooo much fun! Check out more details HERE. They had cameramen set up throughout the excursion and pictures could be purchased at the end. You know we did.
White water rafting was the adventure of day 3. This was a first for three of us, and I must admit, I was low-key terrified! But this bucket list isn’t going to complete itself, right? The water was freezing but the scenery was amazing AND we survived a grade IV rapid with a 12-foot drop WITHOUT FLIPPING OVER!!! We made it out drenched, but fairly unscathed. Our tour guide, Sam, was the best and we had a blast! He definitely made us more comfortable and ensured we had an amazing experience. He gave us the nickname “chicas”. Lunch was provided and was good, local, and fresh (definitely the theme for eats during the entire trip). This excursion is a MUST DO if you’re ever in Costa Rica! I highly recommend this route/river for a first-timer and this company was excellent. Added bonus: They also took pictures because these memories are too priceless not to capture. Check them out on FaceBook and/or on their website HERE.
We always include a spa day in our girls trip itinerary and y’all, words can’t adequately describe this spa. It was a thermal spa so all pools and waterfalls were hot springs. We actually spent a lot of time near the very picturesque waterfalls because we wouldn’t be the Talls and Smalls without a themed photoshoot. Lunch was also included here (and was fresh and delicious). Our experience started off with a complimentary smoothie and lounging in the relaxation room. Our massages took place in outdoor bungalows with a hot spring stream flowing right next to it. I MEAN!!!!! I was in heaven! The talls had the 80-minute hot stone massages and the smalls chose the 80-minute aromatherapy massages. Be advised that this spa is smack in the middle of the rainforest, which was a long way (almost 3 hours) from our resort. The experience itself was worth it though. I would definitely do this again, but maybe I’ll stay closer next time though. We purchased a day pass with spa package. See the details HERE.
We were told by our tour guide that some people in a certain region of Costa Rica live well over 100 years. The reason: they grow everything they eat! EVERY SINGLE THING we ate was good!!! We had authentic meals during each excursion and the food from the restaurants at the resorts was really good too. They love rice and beans, fish, and of course, lots of veggies. The beef and lamb were grass-fed and the seafood was fresh. I loved that the food was good and good for us. We started every day with mimosas (because…vacay) and I drank the best coffee I’ve ever tasted.
Beef with Cojita cheese, cabbage salad with cucumbers, and homemade chips
Rice & Beans, Fresh Veggies, Fried Tilapia (with hot sauce), and plantains
Caribbean Salad (shrimp, tomatoes, watermelon, feta cheese, mango, veggies)
Sea Bass Filet with asparagus, carrots, and potatoes
Cheers to Costa Rica!