Costa Rica boasts natural beauty, gracious residents
(Editor’s note: Lance Koprowski is an artist with John Grey Painting on
Sanibel. His family owns a condo in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica. Koprowski shares
a recent tale of his time spent with his fiance Rachele in April.)
My fiance Rachele and I went to Costa Rica in April. We took a flight from
Fort Lauderdale straight to San Jose International Airport in Costa Rica. It
was a breeze; only a two-hour flight. Once we landed, our family picked us
up and we decided to take the long way to our family’s condo in Jaco Beach.
Our first Costa Rican experience was eating cashews. Yes, cashews. Few know
that cashews are actually the only nut grown on the outside of the plant.
More amazing is that the cashew nut is grown on a fruit, that is very
tasteful! It is a tad bitter, but very good. We continued on our drive,
eating cashew fruit, and looking over the mountainside at some of the most
beautiful beaches and sceneries I have ever seen. Jaco is a quaint town,
small in size but rather large in personality. Locals are very gracious and
patient with non-Spanish speaking visitors. We walked around quite a bit and
took a few cabs. On one walk, we saw wild horses bathing in the canal. They
were quite beautiful. My bride-to-be saw a painting by a local artist and,
not knowing, took a picture of it! When we got home from our vacation I made
a rendition of the painting for her to serve as a memory of our phenomenal
vacation. We visited the local restaurants that served us the most amazing
foods. We went to the local watering holes and met some really great people.
Wanting to get out and see the view up close and personal, we rented ATV’s
and took a tour into the mountains, bathed in a waterfall and met a little
white-faced monkey named "Nieto" (Spanish for grandchild). Our tour guide
took us onto Hermosa Beach where the beach is clean and the sand is dark.
Our last night we took a cab to Villa Caletas, a local resort. We sat
mountainside, witnessed a wedding, then watched the most amazing sunset as
we ate the best dishes Costa Rica has to offer (lobster and crab bisque,
beef medallion and shrimp, chicken and rice). We woke early the last morning
to watch the sunrise over the mountain tops. Jaco beach isn’t quite like
Hermosa, the sand is tar-like and filled with shells that hurt a little
while you walk. But the view was still absolutely amazing. We finished out
our trip by taking a bus back to San Jose, this time taking the newest
"short route", which took only about an hour. We walked around San Jose,
eating at the oldest hotel standing, The Hotel Costa Rica, and taking in the
local architecture. Our family picked us up, took us out to eat at a local
BBQ restaurant (go figure) and we went straight to bed, truly exhausted and
stuffed! Our flight home was as easy as the first. Customs was a breeze, the
flight was good and once we landed – although the trip was worth every
minute – we sighed a big relief to be back home.