Jen Rulon

And now for the rest of the story, “How to Travel in Costa Rica for 5 Days!”  Click HERE to learn more from Part I!

Day #3 Travel to Resort Rincon de La Vieja Hotel & Spa

In the morning, I jumped on my beach cruiser to my workout with Samara Fit to get my lift in before Katie, and I headed out to explore the country a little bit. After I got back, I had to get some work done for Costa Rican Vacations and my own business, so we went out and had coffee (or I had coffee) on the beach, and Katie joined me, and then I went back to the apartment. 

She walked down to Gusto Beach for a late lunch and came back around one, and we took off to the resort, Rincon de La Vieja Hotel & Spa. I highly recommend using Waze when traveling in Costa Rica for directions, as my Apple Maps don’t work, and Google Maps can take you to many different side places.

It took us about 3.5 hours to get to the resort, and thank goodness we had an SUV because after we got past Liberia and went to the resort, this is where you experience the roads of Costa Rica. I love how we can get to Samara with a beautiful road, but some streets are not the best; potholes, dirty, dust, cows, climbs, lizards sunning themselves, and many other “traffic” issues. 

We checked in to the resort late and needed to grab dinner, which they had a couple of restaurants on site. As we were changing, the skies opened up and poured beautifully. We sat and listened to the rain dumping. We were hungry and made a run for it. The food was great, as it wasn’t a lot but very fresh and tasty. We grabbed dessert (#yum) and headed back to the room. As we were walking around, we got scared by this HUGE TOAD! We both fell asleep quickly, like the drive, full belly, and the rain, which put us to sleep nicely. 

Day #4 La Leona Waterfall

Katie and I decided to sleep in, as we knew we had a little bit of time to grab breakfast from the resort (which was included), and we needed to get charged for our adventures to the waterfall. There were a lot of waterfall options by the resort to check out, but we heard great things about La Leona Waterfall, and the photos on the Gram looked exceptional.

Check out these waterfalls by Volcan Rincon de la Vieja:

Los Coyotes

La Leona Waterfall or Finca Curubanda

We went to La Leona Waterfall, and we were seriously floored because we didn’t expect what we saw. As we were driving towards the waterfall that morning, there were a lot of “tours” for the waterfall, but we came to the last one and opted to take the tour since they said you couldn’t go in by yourself if you are not familiar with the area. And they were right. We paid $30 each but well worth it! We had Brian, who was an excellent guide for us. So we jumped in the back of the pick-up truck, and off we went. We had a nice little hike to the waterfall or at least the first waterfall, and there were some excellent little climbs and stairs. 

We saw bats, walked through some caves, put some war paint on our faces, and drank water from a natural spring before we got to the water. This was not “THE WATERFALL,” this was the waterfall that we got to jump off a few times from a couple of different heights. I took the GoPro with me and filmed both Katie and me. We jumped off quickly on the 10-foot one, and then I went to the higher one, maybe 15 feet? I couldn’t do it. I freaked out and went back to the lower one. Katie went up there and jumped off beautifully! I said I needed to do this, and I went up there and made it happen. HA!

After taking some photos, we smiled and hugged and said, “That was fun,” because we thought we were done. Nope. Brian said, “Ok, are you ready?” And we were like, where are we going? At one point, I fell into the water with my shoes on and thought, “Let’s just keep wearing them while we are hiking,” That was much easier on my feet. Katie was trying to keep the shoes dry, as she needed to use them for the flight home. 

As we started exploring more, Katie and I were still confused. Finally, Brian took all of our stuff, iPhones, and clothes, and put them in a dry bag, and we started crawling through a cave and some water. 

I need to explain this next story in another blog, but I saw a Blue Morph Butterfly as we got to the other side of the cave, and I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. So Katie and I hugged, and I cried. 

Then we saw a rope in the water towards another cave. I have to admit, by this time, I was shaking a little bit since the sun was shining, but it was blocked because of the cave. But I thought, dig deep, Rulon and keep going in the water and “WOW, WOW, WOW.” Katie got to the other side, and she was like, “Ohhhh, this is the waterfall.” And I came around the corner and was like, “Ohhhh, this is a waterfall.”

We can’t describe it. It was truly incredible, and Katie said, “Powerful.” I have been to Igussau Falls in Brazil and Argentina and Niagara Falls in New York, but you couldn’t swim up to them. This one was different and exceptional. 

Katie and I both had some incredible moments, and it indeed was the highlight of the trip. As we walked back and I finally stopped shaking, we saw another waterfall, but it wasn’t that waterfall; it was the two blue Morph Butterflies that I saw. My heart was complete. Check out the article I wrote for Costa Rica Escapes, Costa Rica Wildlife

We made it back, tired, happy, and hungry, and there was a little Soda Shop right next to the waterfall tour to grab some food. We both got a cheeseburger and fries, and it was the spot! 

After we ate, we headed back to the resort, cleaned up, dried out, and went to the second restaurant to watch the sunset. Y’all, I have no words. Incredible views of the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica, and Papagayo. Just wow. We grabbed a light dinner since we were still full from the burgers, enjoyed the sunset, and chatted. 

I said, “I am exactly where I need to be.” So we hit the hay pretty early and knew we needed to get up to grab breakfast and explore the resort a little bit before I had to take Katie back to the airport. 

Happy Girl!!

Day #5 Explore the Resort and Travel to Liberia

The monkeys woke us up and not the roosters as they do in Samara, but they seemed quiet this morning. So I got up and went to sit on the hammock chair. It was a perfect morning, and I did one of my “Life Lessons from Costa Rica” series that I am doing on TikTok and started adding on Instagram Reels

Katie and I were sore! Our glutes were sore, and the legs. And you know me, I workout quite a bit, so it was a good little workout for us. According to my phone, we knocked out over 9,000 steps that day. After that, we went to breakfast to grab the typical Costa Rican breakfast, eggs, Gallo Pinto, tortilla, and cheese. Seriously, the best AND, of course, Costa Rican coffee. 

We decided to explore a little bit on the resort because we saw that there were hanging bridges, and man, did we make the right decision that morning. 

We saw Tucans, Howler Monkeys and Resplendent Quetzals. Katie said, “All we need is a sloth to jump into our arms.” Unfortunately, “Flash Slothmore” did not show up, but what we saw that morning was incredible. 

We cleaned up in a cold shower and took Katie to the airport. It was about an hour’s drive, and I think 30 minutes was to get off the dirt road from the resort. 

Katie opted to do the VID test (yes, that is still happening!) at the airport, but she didn’t have to wear a mask on the plane. So, I am hoping that this will change soon. 

We gave each other the biggest hug, cried, and said, ” See you in a couple of weeks, as I have to head back to Texas for my border jump. Costa Rica requires us to leave the country within 90 days.

Are you interested in Costa Rica and the fitness retreat I plan to do in 2023? What about triathlon in Costa Rica? We have options. Stay tuned but enjoy the photos.

Sign up HERE for the newsletter to learn more about my retreat in 2023.

AUTHOR: Jen Rulon

I have been coaching triathletes, runners, and cyclists for over 21+ years; I received my Master's Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. And as you may have learned, there is more to life than swimming, biking, and running. It is a lifestyle, and I am here to help you cross that finish line with a smile, whether it is an Ironman Triathlon or the Ironman of Life. You can find my knowledge shared in Triathlete Magazine, Runners World, on the TEDx Stage, the Health and Wellness Expo in San Antonio, TX, Southwest Research Institute Human Performance Summit, Training Peaks Workshops, "Self Motivation Strategies for Women" on Amazon, Men's Journal Online, and the New York Times. I also practice what I preach—she's a 15x Ironman Triathlete who participated in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on October 14, 2017.

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