The Journey is the Reward

Our trip to Costa Rica was totally undecided beyond the first week. We met our friends Matt and Chelsea at the Arenal volcano, which we had always wanted to see. The following 3 weeks were still a question mark. While in Arenal I saw an encouraging swell forecast for a world class spot called Pavones that has been on my “bucket list”.

There were a few problems that I hoped were not insurmountable.

  1. We were 9 hours away from Pavones, and a good portion of the roads are really bad.
  2. I did not have straps or racks so the surfboards would be in the car with us.
  3. The kids typically get cranky after 3 hours in the car.
  4. It was lining up perfectly for Mother’s Day weekend.
  5. The only decent and affordable place to stay was a studio apartment.

I decided to pitch the hairbrained idea to Lianne. I awaited her response with bated breath. To my surprise (well not really because I have brought her on multiple goose chases), she agreed. I was pumped. Now we just had to plan the drive and how to break it up. We chose to take 3 stops along the way. I knew our planned stops near the El Encanto waterfall and Bejuco would be great, but I had never heard of the last place before. It was Uvita.

We got to Uvita a few hours before sunset and were surprised by the cute little town. We had found a cheap (sub $100) Airbnb and it was a short walk from the Marino Ballena National Park. We walked to the park and bought tickets which allowed us to visit that night and again the next morning. The beach is well known for humpback whale migration watching. Interestingly, at low tide the beach has a long sandbar that juts out into the ocean and actually looks like a whale’s tail from above. We were absolutely blown away by the national park. The jungle came right up to the beach and all sorts of wildlife was in the surrounding area. It instantly became one of our favorite spots and is easily one of the most amazing unspoiled beaches we have ever visited. The kids had a blast finding shells, full sand dollars, crabs and climbing palm trees. While I had originally looked at Uvita as nothing more than a stop on our way to Pavones, it became clear that sometimes “the journey is the reward.”

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