One thing our entire team has in common is that we love to travel, and - of course - Everist always comes with us. We thought you might like to come along on some of our adventures too! For our first travel feature, discover our Customer Experience and Marketing Coordinator Kristina’s recent trip off-the-beaten-path in Costa Rica.
When traveling to Costa Rica, it’s hard to decide where to go and what to do because the more you search the more beautiful it gets. When planning my trip, I was looking to find a balance between being surrounded by beaches and the jungle, and after asking everyone I knew who had been, and doing some searching on my own, I landed on Santa Teresa and Uvita. These two locations are great for different reasons.
1. Santa Teresa
One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Santa Teresa is because it is in a more remote location which I was hoping would make it less touristy. To get to Santa Teresa from San Jose International (SJO) airport, you either need to drive for approximately 5 hours, which includes a ferry ride, or you can take an internal flight from SJO to Tambor airport which is about 30 minutes (and you get a free beer!). Our group ended up taking the flight as none of us were comfortable driving and we really enjoyed it! You don’t fly too high up so you can enjoy the views of the jungle and water on your way to Tambor airport.
The first thing you will likely read about Santa Teresa is that it is a surf town. This makes it a popular location for young people but to our surprise it still felt very open and not crowded. I think the long beaches make this a great destination as you never have to worry about finding somewhere to sit or whether there will be enough space for you to swim or surf. If you are looking to surf there are also a bunch of places that offer surfing lessons, and if you’re lucky you might even be able to catch a surfing competition while you’re there!
Although surfing is a big part of Santa Teresa, I actually don’t surf and still found that they had lots of other activities to offer. For example, there are a lot of natural tide pools across the beaches that often have nobody around making them very peaceful and relaxing. If you are into yoga like I am there are also several locations that offer drop-in classes or hotels/hostels that offer classes as part of their amenities.
As I wanted to explore more of Costa Rica and see more of the wildlife and biodiversity, we then spent the second half of the trip in Uvita. Overall, Uvita is a much more accessible location only a three-hour drive away from SJO. To get there from Santa Teresa, you can take a small boat that will bring you from the edge of the peninsula to the mainland. I know this might sound a bit sketchy, but it was actually a very nice boat ride that was fully shaded, and we even saw dolphins!
Uvita is located by the Osa Conservation Area, which is home to several habitats such as rainforests, mangroves swamps, and coral reefs, which support a diverse array of species, many of which are endangered or threatened. This makes it a great location for eco-tourism, and you can visit the Marino Ballena National Park to enjoy activities such as birdwatching, whale-watching, and guided hikes, however, access is limited to protect sensitive ecosystems.
Overall, Uvita has a much more relaxing environment and has several other activities you can do such as hiking waterfalls, ziplining, horse-riding and more! I don’t know if it is because we were visiting Costa Rica one week before monsoon season but everywhere we visited in both Uvita and Santa Teresa felt very unsaturated with tourists which is something I really enjoyed about this trip. Whether you are looking to relax on a beach, surf some waves, or explore wildlife, Costa Rica has something for you, and I already want to go back and explore more!
P.s. I didn’t speak much to the food in both locations but both were delicious and offered a great mix of local food and seasonal fruits which I gladly ate every day.
Kristina Zabelin, May 2023