San Jose and Isla Tortuga, Costa Rica

Since everyone always asks about the cost of purchasing plane tickets…we got a really good price. We each paid $394 round trip from JFK to San Jose, with one layover in San Salvador. On our way there, the layover was a little more than an hour, but on our way back we had a 6 hour layover. (Yes…6 hours but don’t worry, I’ll tell you what we did during our few hours in San Salvador in a few more posts)

Day 1: May 27th, 2017 – We landed in Aeropuerto International Juan Santamaría and went straight to our hotel, Torres del Lago Suites & Apartments, not before stopping in duty free at the airport and buying a few bottles (always a great option because they tend to be cheaper AND you don’t pay tax!)

Located in a very central part of San Jose, right across from el Parque La Sabana, we absolutely loved staying here. Everything inside our rooms were practically new, and the view from the balcony was breathtaking. Right on the corner of the hotel were a few food choices as well as a convenient mini-mart where we could buy anything from breakfast items, to snacks and even things to just mix our drinks. We booked two apartment-style rooms and each came with two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining area and living room (& the balcony). The first night we decided to go have a quick dinner up the block at “GoodFellas” to get some food in our system before going out to experience the San Jose nightlife. Around 10:30 or 11pm we headed out to a bar/club place called “La Concha de la Lora” located in the nightlife district or what Costa Ricans know it as “la Californiana”

Personally, I really liked this place. The music was constantly good and kept you dancing. The DJ played many throwbacks which is always great. The drinks were good and the prices even better. I bought a round of drinks for the group I was with (there were 10 of us and I paid $33!) I mean…I don’t know about you but that sounds like a pretty good deal to me. After awhile, we decided to hit up another spot right down the street. It was called “Cachos” and we got to try a big jug of beer, what’s known there as olafo.

(The only picture of the night & not even the entire group. There’s a few videos but I guess we had too much fun to stop and take pictures!)

We pre-booked tours before arriving through Expediciones Tropicales. Our original plan was to only book 2 tours but they all looked fantastic and we just couldn’t make up our minds about which ones to choose, so we ended up picking 3! Until this day, we still do not regret it! Booking through Expediciones Tropicales was great. Our booking specialist, Cecilia was simply amazing and that’s an understatement. She was always so descriptive, amiable and most importantly patient when I had questions about the timing, duration, options, etc. It was all mostly through e-mail except towards the end when we were ready to book and I asked her if she could give me a call. I cannot say one negative thing about our experience not only booking through them but also, our knowledgeable tour guides and every one part of making our experience the best ever! (**If you’re traveling with a group, ask about a discount. We got a discount from every tour we did!**) 

Day 2, May 28th, 2017 – The first tour we did was  the “Bay’s Island Cruise to Tortuga Island” priced at $145 (before our discount) per person and lasting all day. It was the best one to do right after a night of partying. We got picked up at our hotel and shortly after, the guides gave us a natural juice & breakfast to get us started on our journey. We drove from San Jose to Puntarenas where we then boarded a yacht that would take us to Isla Tortuga. The yacht experience was fantastic. There was dancing, drinks, food, entertainment and sun!

We arrived at Isla Tortuga, located in the Gulf of Nicoya, just in time for lunch! We got a wonderful meal with a drink of your choice and even wine! & also some dessert! After lunch we had a few hours to roam around and do as we please, including all sorts of water activities. Our group did snorkeling and it was just the most incredible thing. I suggest anyone who has the opportunity to snorkel to do so. We did the banana boat and just took a while to relax in the wide open space of the ocean. I can’t recommend this tour enough! A few hours later, we boarded the yacht where there was more entertainment. That part was the cherry on top for our experience! We were beat by the time we were on the bus back to San Jose but we were so happy we chose this as part of one of our tours. Thank you so much Expediciones Tropicales!

At night, we walked over to a spot that’s very typical to the locals, it’s called “Soda Tapia” where we enjoyed many different types of dishes. All the food ranged from about 4 USD to no more than 10. Everything was in big portions and so much that we couldn’t finish! So far, we’re loving Costa Rica! 

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