I met with some challenging conditions wearing my one outfit over the winter so, in the midst of the coldest month we decided to escape and take a trip down to Costa Rica for some much needed sunshine.

We booked the trip on a whim and it was our first time visiting Central America so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were tagging along with some friends so luckily they had arranged a bit of an itinerary and we decided to check out the west coast down to Quepos and Manuel Anotonio and then drive up to Monteverde to spend a few days checking out the Cloudforest.

A note on rental cars,

we had booked a car online through Expedia for an excellent price, however when we arrived at the rental agency we were told that the price would be a lot more expensive than what we had paid for through Expedia. After they added on fees and mandatory insurances the price came out to ten times more expensive! Our credit card typically covers rental car insurance, but in this case the agent demanded that we pay for liability insurance, and as I didn’t have a copy of our credit card policy or know the Costa Rican regulations I wasn’t able to provide much of an argument.

I’m still not sure if we got swindled that day, but it would be something to look into before you head down there.

The agent also tried to upsell us to an SUV from a compact car after he heard we were headed to Monteverde, but we were so miffed about the insurance ordeal that we flat out refused. In hindsight he probably should have just given us the SUV after we bought all his insurance because after driving the rough roads up to Monteverde I was impressed we still had an exhaust pipe.

Beachy Keen: Manuel Antonio and Quepos

monkey sleeping

We split our time in the Manuel Antonio area between lounging on the beach or by the pool and exploring the area on foot and horseback. Hiking around Manuel Antonio’s nature reserve is a great way to see some wildlife and spend some time relaxing on quiet beaches. Keep in mind that there aren’t any restaurants or food vendors once you enter the park, so make sure you pack your lunch and sufficient water.

Even though most of the meals consist of rice, beans, and some sort of meat, I thoroughly enjoyed all of the food we ate in Costa Rica. For some excellent seafood in Manuel Antonio make sure you check out Z Seafood and Grill. Their platter had an awesome sampling of local fish cooked in a few different ways.  Our waiter was great and the atmosphere was up-scale but chill. We had great food pretty much everywhere we ate, but if you’re looking for another nice place to dine out we really enjoyed our meal and service at Kapi Kapi.

Horseback ride to a jungle waterfall

Horseback ride to a jungle waterfall

Beachwear, less is more

The weather here was plenty warm and I spent most of the days wearing one of my two Outlier tees, New Way shorts, and my Strike MVMT sneakers. It still impresses me that the New Way shorts can handle double duty as a swim suit and casual shorts with no problems, for more info on them you can check out my full review.

I mildly miss not having flip flops for the beach, but the Strike MVMTs are so comfortable to walk in and dry quickly so they really were all I needed on the beach. We also used a couple of Outlier grid-linen towels and I have to say they are pretty much the perfect beach and travel towel. They dry incredibly fast and sand shakes right off of them, plus they pack up nice and small.

One of the best things about having this capsule wardrobe is that packing is so easy. As with my other trip down south, I brought my entire wardrobe and was still able to fit everything in a carry-on bag. It really does free you from carting luggage around airports and between hotels and seeing as though I’ve put these clothes through fairly rigorous daily wear I have the confidence that they will hold up while on vacation.

Costa Rica 1 Outfit2

Stay tuned for the second half of our trip up to Monteverde.

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