After WSOP my mom, stepdad, sister and I decided to go on family vacation. I personally just wanted to stay put for a few weeks having just been in Vegas for almost two months and Monaco and Seoul before that, but it was true that our family didn’t spend a lot of “quality” time together and it ended up being one of the best trips we’ve ever had. I’m going to be honest and say that I chose Costa Rica for my own selfish reasons. My lease had just expired in Toronto and my boyfriend and I were considering trying out somewhere warmer for the winter, and Costa Rica was up there on the shortlist.
I had just as much fun researching on where to stay and which beaches to visit as I did while I was actually out for the week. I decided on Guanacaste, the Northwestern area of the country that’s also the sparsest and known for its world-class beaches. I always feel a little weird about going to a small country as a tourist, not knowing the language and reaping the benefits of their land and culture. The people did seem happy and generally unfazed by the foreigners, but I think I would have certainly hesitated before I shared my personal paradise with the world.
We stayed at a beautiful villa steps from the beach and within a half hour drive to about a dozen other gorgeous beaches. We went on hikes through rainforests and visited two different volcanoes, one being the Rincon de la Vieja, literally translated as “The Old Woman’s Corner,” named after an allegory about a girl who became a recluse living on the mountain when her lover was thrown into the crater by her father. What a brilliant way to scare your daughters into obedience! We saw a boy and his dog herding their cattle on the beach and enjoyed tropical treats from the local fruit stand named “Tourist Trap” every day. Other highlights included horseback riding, waterfalls, scenic drives, natural mud masks, being ambushed by butterflies, watching locals teach expats how to surf during low-tide, and frolicking beneath some of the best sunsets possible.