Costa Rican Adventures With Locals–The Case for Spontaneity While Traveling

This is one of those stories that makes you remember to be spontaneous while traveling.  To not have a completely jam-packed itinerary for every second of the day.  It begins with @sjems5 and me getting to know one of the guys who worked at our hotel just outside Manuel Antonio National Park.

Spoiler alert:  it ends with one of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen

A stunning sunset at Playa Coco Verde, near Manuel Antonio...a case for being spontaneous while traveling, and getting to know locals

Spontaneous life choices FTW!!!

Jonathan worked at our adorable little B&B, La Posada.  Situated right outside the gates of Manuel Antonio, we loved our little home-away-from-home, with cute little bungalows and open-air dining (complete with tons of monkeys).  We got to know Jonathan a little during our stay, and so when he offered to take us to some of his favorite places in the area on his afternoon off, we accepted!  We rented a car for the afternoon and hit the road.

You might also like:  Monkeyin’ Around in Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park

A local’s guide for what to do near Manuel Antonio

After stopping at a gas station for some cans of rum and cola, we first headed to super chill Playa Linda.  It’s a wide, smooth, glassy beach that’s super low-key.  We just hung out and had a drink and let the gentle waves lap over us.

Chillin' at Playa Linda, near Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica

Why you should make room for spontaneous decisions while traveling

Why you should make room for spontaneous decisions while traveling

From there we swung by a little area that is known to have crocodiles.  Jonathan told us a story about his dog being eaten here not too long before…I’m honestly not sure whether he was serious or not.  This is us *not* being eaten by crocodiles.

Why you should make room for spontaneous decisions while traveling

Why you should make room for spontaneous decisions while traveling

You might also like:  An Afternoon Ziplining in Costa Rica

Next we stopped in the jungle and took a little hike (in flip flops) to this hidden tiny waterfall and pool.  A quick dip cooled us off nicely.

Why you should make room for spontaneous decisions while traveling

But then.  Oh then.  We realized that sunset was sneaking up on us, so we stopped at a gas station for a bottle of wine and headed for Playa Coco Verde.  We climbed, barefoot, over crazy sharp rocks (pitted and sharpened by all the waves crashing over them) to get the best vantage point for the sunset.

What to do near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rican adventures with locals...a case for being spontaneous while traveling

Splashy sunset at Playa Coco Verde, near Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica

You might also like:  Everything You Need To Pack For a Chill Beach Vacay

Seriously, one of my top five sunsets ever.  It’s hard for the photos (which are pretty good) to even convey how magical this was in person.

What to do near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rican adventures with locals...a case for being spontaneous while traveling

What to do near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rican adventures with locals...a case for being spontaneous while traveling

What to do near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rican adventures with locals...a case for being spontaneous while traveling

We toasted to our good decisions and watched the pinks and purples swirl.

Sunset at beautiful Playa Coco Verde...what to do near Manuel Antonio, ask a local and take their recommendations!

Sunset at beautiful Playa Coco Verde...what to do near Manuel Antonio, ask a local and take their recommendations!

It really was an awesome example of how leaving room in your itinerary for spontaneous decisions and getting to know locals will make your travels richer and more unique.  And we got a glimpse of what to do near Manuel Antonio outside of the national park.

Jonathan offered to take us back to San Jose for our flight a few days later, so we canceled our private driver and once again hit the road with him.  He took us to see Cortago, where he grew up (right by San Jose) and drove us almost to the top of the Iguazu volcano, which has an amazing view over San Jose—which my camera couldn’t do justice to, but I recommend you check out yourself if you’re staying in San Jose!

Have you made a spontaneous decision on a trip that turned out to be the best idea ever??  I’d love to hear about it in the comments, hit me up!

Other beach adventures:

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Costa Rican adventures with locals...what to do near Manuel Antonio that's off-the-beaten-path, beautiful beaches near Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica insider tips #costarica #manuelantonio

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