Once in a while, I get the distinct privilege to hop on a vacation planned by someone else. Last summer, my aunt and uncle decided to check out of ‘real life’ for a few weeks for my aunt’s 60th birthday. They rented a house in Dominical, Costa Rica (pronounced CA-STA RI-ICA by my uncle’s Bahstonian accent) and invited everyone to come stay. Somehow, this house more than comfortably fit 10 of us, with lots of room to spare.
In typical Moyer family vacation style, we spent many evenings playing hours of board games and cards. There *might* have even been a song and skit performance by all adult – children for the birthday girl. And, for the first time the younger generation brought all of our significant others. You can imagine my uncle’s excitement over having some extra men in the house in addition to the five women he’s normally accompanied by. This trip saw more beer runs and chases down the ravine to get the football than ever before.
While the girls and I could easily have stayed on the beach or on the lounge chairs at the house, devouring book after book, we took full advantage of having the boys around who were into some more active adventures for the trip. After [multiple] concussions, a broken finger and many severe sunburns, it was unanimous – this was by far the most successful and adventurous trip we had ever taken as a family. While I can’t say we really “went local”, we had real outdoor bonding time with the land of Pura Vida.
Surfing | Find yourself a board and an instructor and hit the waves. There are multiple surf shops on the main strip. Dominical is a hub for surf addicts, making it international and welcoming to travelers.
Rope Swing| Dominical and the surrounding towns are full of waterfalls. Ask around for the nearest waterfall rope swing and try your luck on the rope swing into the waterhole! Be careful though – one of our own broke his finger after it got caught in the rope.
White Water Rafting | While there isn’t white water rafting directly in Dominical, there are many companies you can sign up with to do this a couple of hours away that include transportation to and from the sites. The water levels determine how fast the river is running and how challenging it is.
Rancho DiAndrew Waterfall Hike | Andrew’s family owns an expansive piece of property on the mountain. Take a hike through their property and he’ll lead you to the waterfall that you can swim down! Rancho DiAndrew offers many hiking trails and is in the process of building a small community of rentable bungalows to attract musicians for music festivals in the area!
Ceviche on the Hermosa Beach | As soon as you drive down the main strip of beach, you’ll find signs for ceviche, a seafood salad that’s cooked in lime juice. If you’re spending a day enjoy the sands, make sure to pick up some refreshing ceviche and a coconut water!
Night out at Bar Jolly Roger | Our house happened to be about 100 feet away up the hill from one of the most energetic (and delicious) restaurants in Dominical. Famous for their chicken wings , of which you can choose many different flavors, Jolly Roger also seems to be the expat hangout for the town that attracts many. Catch them on the right night and you’ll get live music and dancing, too!
Have you been to on a Costa Rica vacation? What outdoor adventures did you take part in?
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