Ariel’s Winter Break in Jaco
Monday afternoon my flight arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. The last time I was here I was 11 years old and I was really excited to return. About an hour after hopping into the taxi we arrived in Jaco, this really incredible surf town. We immediately took a walk on the black sand beach, ate some fish tacos while enjoying a beautiful ocean view, and watched the surfers glide in and out of the waves.
We then then visited Room2Board, the hostel and surf school that my uncle, and other family members are building. Uncle Brian gave us the grand tour. I was star stuck. Over the past 2 years, I have heard about the design, looked at the blueprints, and observed the entire building of the hostel through pictures. It was, as many surfers who will be coming through will say- “gnarly man”. It stands out in Jaco with its extraordinary architecture. Not to mention that it also right on the beach and next to the main strip of the city of Jaco. You can walk everywhere from there (including a great hiking trail where I saw monkeys, macaws, poison dart frogs and a toucan). All it took was a five minute walk to be submerged into the lush jungle.
Throughout the week we went on many adventures, including surfing, zip-lining, hiking, shopping, as well as visiting national parks. The zip-lining tour had 14 lines that flew you from platform to platform. By the end of the tour, I felt as though I was digressing back to our monkey ancestors. The last line was about a quarter of a mile long, and could take you up to speeds of 60MPH, it was quite the rush!
My favorite escapade was the SUPing (aka Stand Up Paddle boarding). We drove out about 10 minutes to a close by beach where the water was as calm as a lake. Wilson and Kevin were our instructors that morning. Lauren who will be working at Room2Board joined us as well. They had a tough crowd with my mom, aunt, uncle, and me. My mother was slower than a sloth. My aunt has all sorts of knee problems, which resulted in her using the paddleboard kayak style (of course, Wilson who is prepared for everything had a kayak paddle with him)! And then there is my uncle, who has less patience and focus than a 4 year-old. They managed to barely get through the basic instructions before my uncle declared that we were ready and would figure it out as we go. I’m happy to say he was the only one who ended up slipping and falling into the water…Three times.
We paddled out to another cove where a waterfall usually runs, however due to dry season it was on a break during our visit. We had such a great time. We thought it was going to be exhausting, but the activity was much more relaxing than we had expected. Our arms were not even too sore the next day. My mom even loved to SUP so much that she decided she is going to buy us some for our lake house back in the states!
I cannot wait to get back to Jaco, and stay at Room2Board. As much as I love my mom, aunt and uncle, I think staying at Room2Board and meeting travelers from all over the world will be even more fun!