Day 1 – San José & Arenal Volcano

Hola hola!

I am writing you all this afternoon from gorgeous Costa Rica! Today is the last day of our adventure, however, I will be recapping our first day in Costa Rica today instead. I have been meaning to write on here for a few days now but have honestly not had the motivation. I think I have been pretty wiped out, so I just wanted to relax and enjoy my vacation 🙂

That being said, my energy has returned to me and I am ready to get our Day 1 recap started!

A short stay in San Jose

After travelling for 16 or so hours, we finally arrived in San José, Costa Rica. It was already 8:30 pm when we arrived so there really was not much time to explore the city so we headed to our hotel.


It was already dark outside but we could already tell that the hotel would be gorgeous during the daytime.


When we first arrived to the hotel there was a wedding being held there and people were dressed in full length ballgowns and tuxedos. I could not see where the reception was being held but I am sure that it was absolutely gorgeous.


Despite how tired I was from travelling all day, I could not get over how beautiful our hotel was. Everything from the stairs to the ceilings there was gorgeous. I loved their Spanish architecture 🙂


All of us were exhausted but we all were too excited to head to bed, so my mom, brother, Ian, and I caught up in the hotel bar.

We also checked out the hotel’s giftshop and as it turns out, Costa Rica sells a coffee from a company called “Cafe Britt“! I was pretty excited about this, so I had to pose with “my” coffee 😉 Oh and their phone number? It’s 1-800-GO-BRITT .. how funny is that?!!!


I also loved how they had a coffee mural above our bed.


The next morning we woke up bright and early, at 6 am to be exact, and were taken aback by the view from our room. It was at that point that we truly felt we were on vacation 🙂


After taking in the view with Britt Coffee in hand, we quickly got ready and headed to breakfast.



The breakfast at the hotel was buffet style, so I added eggs, gallo pinto (rice & beans), bacon, sausage, a burrito-like thing (sorry I forgot what it was called), and fruit with plain yogurt and seeds on top. Oh and of course I had some coffee to start off my day 😉

Our view during breakfast



After breakfast we met up with our tour group and off we went!



We all hopped onto a coach bus, drove through San José, and made our way towards La Fortuna and the famous Volcano Arenal.


However, before heading to La Fortuna, we stopped on the  Sarapiquí River for some.. white water rafting!

White Water Rafting on the Sarapiquí


It was an absolute blast!! We were all soaked from getting hit by the water and getting splashed by our instructor (pictured at the back of the boat). Not only did we enjoy the actual rafting part of this adventure, but we also enjoyed learning about the area and spotting the local wildlife. We even spotted a sloth and her baby together in a tree!


After rafting, we all dried off and had lunch provided by Adventuras del Sarapiquí .


And wow.. it was amazing. In fact, it may have been my favorite meal we had during this past week. The tortillas were incredible, if not the best tortillas I have ever had. Everything was so flavorful and fresh tasting.

Before heading back on the bus, Ian and I made sure to stretch our legs and take in the assortment of wildlife found all around the grounds we were on. The flowers were so vivid in color and unique from most flowers I have ever seen.

Exploring our hotel near Volcano Arenal


After 2 or so hours of driving, we arrived at our final destination – Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa.


After 2 or so hours after driving in a bus, eating a big lunch, and rafting, I was a bit groggy.. but moments after stepping out of the bus my eyes widened at what appeared to be paradise in front of me. Everything was so full of color and full of life!

Before checking out the hotel and what it had to offer, Ian and I wanted to check into our room and drop off our bags.


And boy were we shocked! The room was huge AND had a hot tub *gasp* inside. I was so blown away by the fact that there was a hot tub in our room that I forgot to take a picture of it.. but fear not, I filmed a mini room tour:

Once we were all settled in, we headed out of room to check out the hotel and its amenities.



At our hotel, there was a walking path with the view of Volcano Arenal as well as a pool and.. hot springs.


Seeing that there were hot springs, we all excitedly ran back to our rooms to throw on our bathing suites and soak in the hot springs before dinner. I had never been in a hot spring before, so I was very excited to hop in and experience nature’s gift to humanity.

It was absolutely amazing. I think with how busy Ian and I have been lately, it was great to take a deep breath and soak in water heated by volcanic activity. I also could not get over how gorgeous it was.



After relaxing for a bit in the springs, we headed back to our room to prepare for dinner and watch the sunset.


And honestly, my phone just could not do this sunset justice. It was breathtaking.





After enjoying the sunset, we headed inside for dinner and kicked off our first night with our tour group by making guaro sours, a Costa Rican specialty.


To make a guaro sour, you need to mix:

  • 1 oz Simple syrup
  • 1 oz Lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz Cacique Guaro Liquor (sugar cane liquor popular in Costa Rica)
  • Ice


The final result? A refreshing Costa Rican cocktail!


As for dinner, I loaded my plate up with traditional Costa Rican food and enjoyed all of it 🙂

After enjoying our dinner and drinks, our group had professional dancers from Costa Rica dance for our group AND teach us how to dance. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I did not take pictures of us all dancing.. but I did film Everett dancing with one of the instructors. I probably will not share that with you all to avoid any embarrassment he may have.. because I know I would be embarrassed if my mom shared the videos she has of me…

And there you have it! Our very first day in Costa Rica. Stay tuned for more 🙂


5 thoughts on “Day 1 – San José & Arenal Volcano

  1. Omg! What a wonderful vacation all of you had. Your pics were all so beautiful. Love the hot springs, so relaxing. All pics of food looked so pretty and delicious. I’m sure those drinks were good too. Thanks for sharing. I’m planning on picking up your mom at midnight. Hope to talk to you soon. Love Grandma❤️


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