The Ultimate Central Costa Rica Road Trip

Day 7 – Monteverde Ficus Tree & Jaco Beach

The very next morning we packed our bags and ate our pastries on the run. We had one more famous spot to stop at in Monteverde, The Ficus Tree.

The Ficus Tree - Monteverde
The Ficus Tree – Monteverde

If you didn’t notice me half way up the tree, look again! This tree is massive and unlike any of the other beautiful tree’s we’ve seen on our trip. The tree basically stems from three tree’s and combines into a giant one. And, because of the way the tree grows you can actually climb inside of it. I went up as far as I was comfortable going and it was an experience like no other. Remember when you were a kid and got to climb through tree houses, boxforts or jungle gyms. This was it!! It was awesome and made me feel like a kid again. Amanda and I had fun taking photos and taking turns climbing the tree. I would plan to stay here around 45 minutes to one hour.

We hiked back up the short 5 minute trail back to the Tucson and entered Playa Jaco into our GPS. We would be leaving the mountains and lakes behind for the ocean. The journey would be another three hour road trip but we planned to make a couple stops along the way. The scenery was beautiful coming down from the mountains and switch-backing our way to a much lower elevation. After coming down from the mountain wenoticed paved roads, thank god! There was also more to look at; plenty of trees, vegetation and farmland to catch a glimpse of. The weather was perfect again, around 70F.

One of the stops along the way was Crocodile Bridge.

Crocodile Bridge Costa Rica. March 2019
Crocodile Bridge Costa Rica. March 2019

Most of these crocs were of good size and I couldn’t believe how many of them there were. If I had to guess, there were at least 20-25 you could see at any given time. The bridge was quite crowded with tourists taking pictures and videos. And while that wasn’t really an issue, I was surprised that this is where the crocs hung out. There were some roadside shops selling goods and pop up tents near the bridge. I wondered if somebody doesn’t feed the crocs so they stick around, aka tourist trap. Nonetheless it was an awesome sight to see and I’m glad we took the time to stop and admire them.

Amanda drove the rest of the way as I was getting pretty tired and needed a break. At this point we were only an hour away from Jaco Beach and I couldn’t wait to hit the ocean. It’s unusual for me that I hadn’t made it to the ocean yet. This was the second to last day of our trip and I was just now getting there. There is just something about the tropical atmosphere that calls to me, so a lot of my travels consist of being at the beach.

It was early afternoon now and a scorching 93 degrees out. We found our next hotel, Selina Jaco Beach. Yes, that’s right, another Selina hostel. This was the third one in a week! Selina Jaco Beach has great waves and even better vibes. But, while it was located right on the beach, the rooms and amenities were lacking.

We checked in and got a quick tour of the property grounds and were led to our room. The room was dark, musty and hot. We immediately turned on the air conditioner and changed into our bathing suits. We passed the bar and restaurant on the way to the oceanfront. I tip-toed across the hot sand as my feet felt like they were on fire. Only to drop my things on the beach as I started to run to the ocean. There was no looking back, as I was waiting for this moment all week. The first look and dip into the ocean. The beach was very wide, beautiful and tucked in Jaco’s cove.

Jaco Beach Costa Rica. March 2019
Jaco Beach Costa Rica. March 2019

Sitting on a beach towel, hardly anybody around, I felt relaxed and had no worries on where we needed to be later that day. This was it, beach bumming for the next 24 hours, pure bliss.

It was Friday and I was expecting it to be more crowded. Maybe it was too hot? I mean, it was very hot and if you weren’t wearing layers or sunscreen, you were burning in 15 minutes. Maybe the locals were smarter than us, that’s a possibility. We spent the afternoon tanning and frolicking in the ocean anyways and enjoyed the beach, seemingly, to ourselves.

The sun did start taking a toll on us after awhile. So, we decided it was best to grab some food and shade for a little bit. There was a perfect spot at the oudoor/indoor tiki bar where we had a couple of pina coladas. I would say this was the drink of the trip, as I’ve ordered them on a few occasions. We also ordered a snack to hold us over until dinner while we enjoyed the atmosphere and ambiance of Selina.

The beach started to get more crowded as the sun was close to setting. It was confirmed. Locals are smart, as they shaded themselves during the hottest part of the day and they came out for the fiestas and festivities when the sun started to set. Selina had a huge pool and a hot tub. So, we chilled there for a little bit before returning to the beach for sunset.

The sunset was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was brighter here than I’ve ever seen it. The colors in the sky were indescribable and pictures don’t do it justice, but I tried.

Jaco Beach Costa Rica Sunset & Surfers. 2019
Jaco Beach Costa Rica Sunset & Surfers. 2019

After sunset we headed out for a night on the town. We walked up and down the main street of Jaco. It’s a vibrant and lively atmosphere with an interesting crowd. The street was lined with restaurants and bars. Oh, and don’t forget your typical tourist souvenir shops. Our mission was to find some of the best local eats and enjoy some live music.

We found the perfect spot at Green Room Cafe Bar. The bar had really good drinks as we waited to be seated. The wait was long and surely that was a good sign for what was to come. We ended up getting a table shortly after finishing our drinks and ordered two plates of ribs. Usually I’m the first to take a picture of my food to remember what I ate. But this time, my taste buds did the remembering. The ribs were so tender and delicious, it was a perfect choice.

As we finished our meal, a local band was setting up in the corner. They played covers from Sublime, Green Day and Dave Mathews, along with other pop culture songs of the 90’s and early 2000’s. We walked off our plate of food admiring the bright neon signs along the strip and headed in for the night. It was getting pretty late. We knew we wanted to wake up at a decent time the next morning to walk along the beach one last time.

We arrived back at Selina Jaco to a freezing room so we had to crack a window. It was a good thing we were exhausted from the day because the bed was not comfortable at all. Overall, while the room accommodations were not anything special, it was the price to pay for being right on the beach. If I had to do it again, I would stay here but not any longer than one night.

Day 8 – Leaving Paradise

The next morning I popped out of bed to fly my drone. I got some great footage of Jaco Beach and the surrounding landscape, such a beautiful place. My favorite time to fly is in the early morning when nobody else is around and I get to just relax. Sometimes being a drone operator can be quite hectic when there are a lot of people around and those that are wondering what you are doing and asking questions. I’m always trying to stay under the radar when I’m flying so I have full concentration.

Jaco Beach Costa Rica.
Jaco Beach Costa Rica.

After my flight I headed back to the room to see if Amanda was up yet and she was up! We headed back to the beach for one last walk along the coast before we had to pack up and start heading towards the airport in San Jose. It was a beautiful sunrise, with birds chirping and a slight ocean breeze. Many people were not out yet and it was more enjoyable to get all the sights and sounds to ourselves. Sorry, not sorry!

Our bags were packed and we made our way with our luggage back to the main street where our Tucson was parked. I want to take a minute to say how surprised the smaller Hyundai 4×4 held up. It really handled everything we threw at it and then some. It had plenty of space, just enough tech, cloth seats, AC and enough power for the mountains and highways. If you’re traveling to Costa Rica soon, I highly recommend booking Adobe Rent-A-Car through my referral link. Here you will enjoy a 10% off discount!

As we made our way back to the airport, we enjoyed the hot Costa Rican sun with the windows down and music turned up. We couldn’t have imagined a more perfect time in Costa Rica. There were high hopes before we arrived and we are leaving with high hopes of coming back one day. We know there is a lot more of Costa Rica to see as we just scratched the surface. I would really like to hit the East coast on the Caribbean Sea. Until next time, over and out navigators!

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