Birthday celebrations in Costa Rica

Last weekend was a number of celebrations… the “birthday” of Quepos/Aguirre County, followed by a private tour of Santa Juana Lodge, a new hotel just opening up (which I’ll write more about next week), and my birthday :-)

fiestas in Costa Rica

October 30th is the day that Quepos/Aguirre County celebrates its founding and it was a fun-filled day of festivities.  It started at 8 am. and was supposed to go until 10 pm but we had a wild storm in the late afternoon and I have a feeling that the live bands either had to move indoors somewhere or maybe the festivities ceased… the storm really was that wild.  There was so much water that the stairs at my house became a waterfall with several inches of water flowing over them.  Not super fun walking down them in the dark.  But, as I had a friend visiting from Tamarindo and we had plans to go out, we managed the waterfall stairs (and ended up quite wet overall since our umbrellas were no match for the rain).

We had wanted to go for mojitos at Barba Roja but they were mysteriously closed so we went for happy hour at Arenas del Mar.  Since it was a Thursday, I thought I was safe from the dancing lessons they offer but no such luck, they had changed the day and I ended up on the dance floor with a few of the hotel team members.  Poor guys.  I wasn’t stepping on any toes but the only thing I can do with any expertise in either salsa or meringue is twirl and even then sometimes I twirl the wrong way.  But all in all, it was a fun night, crazy storm and all.

My actual birthday was a bit of a disaster but after nearly three years of living in Costa Rica, I don’t have very high expectations of things actually going the way I want them to.

The one thing that I did that day (that went totally right) was go for a hike with a friend who was in town from San Jose.  It was pretty rough terrain but totally worth it when we got down the mountain to the private little beach that only the cows (and a few bulls) seemed to know about.

Manuel Antonio beach with cows

Having a birthday during “transition” season means that a lot of places will be closed.  And that was the case with the restaurant in Dominical that I wanted to have lunch at.  They had a huge party the night before and to put it mildly, no one had cleaned up and the one team member that was there seemed quite hungover.  He invited us to return on Thursday when they’d reopen but not having a car makes getting to Dominical more difficult than it’s worth.

From there, the lunch place we found was just awful but it was sustenance.  We then traveled further south as I really wanted to go to Playa las Ventanas.  However when we arrived, the gates to the parking area at the private home were closed, the property owner wasn’t around and there was no place we could safely leave the rental car.  Ventanas is a beach that several friends have recommended as it has these really cool caves that you can walk through at low tide. But you can really only go when the property owner is there.


We tried a few other beaches but that area is a huge National Park and they wanted to charge me $11 to get access.  I’m not paying $11 to go to a beach so we ended up taking a walk on Dominicalito and then drove back to Manuel Antonio to enjoy the sunset.

sunset in Manuel Antonio

Just to add insult to injury, I also thought I had met a really nice guy that day, who seemed atypical to the guys that I normally go out with…only to find out that he was just like the rest of them.  He may not have had the surfer body but he definitely had the typical mentality which included a long-term girlfriend. (but that is a story for another day)

So while that was all a bit of a mess, I am really looking forward to this new year.  I’ve got lots of great things happening and I’m super excited to share them with you all in the coming weeks and months.

Enjoy the slideshow…

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