Jason and I were very lucky to spend to travel to Central America for our Costa Rica honeymoon. We stayed at Condovac La Costa, which is in the province of Guanacaste, on the country's Pacific Ocean side.
It was a hot, humid adventure filled with firsts (suspension bridges and volcanic craters and rainforests!), fruity cocktails and some really amazing food. The beer offerings were average at best, but still refreshing for days on the beach and casual dinners.
Here's an overview of what we drank and where we ate during our time on Playa Hermosa.
Drinking our way through a Costa Rica honeymoon!
From what we could tell, Costa Rica proudly brews three beers: Imperial, Bavaria and Pilsen. We didn't get to try Pilsen where we were (Guanacaste). Imperial was pretty much Bud Light with a fancy eagle on the bottle. We both liked the Bavaria line better – Bavaria Gold was a nice German pilsner, and Bavaria Dark, a Munich Dunkel Lager (there's some German influence here, obviously). There's a Bavaria Chill – an American Adjunct Lager – but we didn't try that while we were there.
Since we were honeymooning we focused a lot of our drinking energy on piña coladas and other fun cocktails, which we enjoyed at dinner, at lunch, at the swim-up bar, etc.
We also drank a lot of fresh fruit juice (like pineapple and papaya juice) and millions of dollars worth of bottled water (though we heard good things about Costa Rica's water system, we didn't stray too far from our Alpina).
Moving onto food...
The first thing to note about the food in Costa Rica is how fresh the fruit is. We usually had pineapple and/or watermelon at some point every day and it was so juicy and flavorful. Nothing around the Northeast compares. I miss it every day.
Another thing to know is that the restaurants – particularly the places along the beach – don't seem like much from the outside, but your food will be plated and taste like it came from a five-star eatery.
Tourism is Costa Rica's fastest growing industry, and the people take very good care of their visitors – especially with food.
If you're looking for diversity and plenty of options, you might be disappointed – but remember that freshness is the focus. A typical meal includes protein, starch and/or carb (often potatoes and/or rice), and fresh veggies. I usually opted for grilled fish (there was mahi-mahi, tuna, red snapper and tilapia, and always a few different sauces and seasonings to choose from) with potatoes and veggies, like the photo above. Jason liked getting a shrimp dish, like below:
One night, we both got shrimp with rice and were surprised with the giant portion and the sides that it came with (potato with a slice of plantain)! We had leftovers for dinner the next day. It was awesome.
When we weren't eating grilled fish, we were eating fish tacos from Aqua Sport, one of our favorite spots to eat on Playa Hermosa!
I believe the fish was mahi-mahi, pan-fried and coated with coconut, served with a fresh mango salsa and chipotle sauce. This was my FAVORITE dish.
As you can tell, I was really impressed by the quality of the food. But there's also the atmosphere. Due to Costa Rica's proximity to the equator, the sun goes down early every day (around 6 pm while we were there). The humidity drops down a little, and unless it's raining, you eat right on the beach, under the stars. It's pretty much the perfect place to honeymoon, even for just this reason.
Breakfast was usually eggs, rice and beans, sour cream, tortillas and fried plantain. We ate at the resort most mornings.
I could have eaten this every day (what can I say, I love eggs!) but Jason needed to change it up. We took a free shuttle from the resort one morning at the end of our trip to Playas del Coco, which had more of a "downtown" area and more restaurants to choose from.
We stopped at Java 654 for a breakfast sandwich (me) and waffles (him), as well as some delicious iced coffee.
That concludes an overview of what we ate and drank throughout our Costa Rica honeymoon! If you're planning a trip to this beautiful country, consider checking out these restaurants. (They are all in Guanacaste, mostly in Playa Hermosa.)
- Aqua Sport – home of the incredible coconut-dusted fish tacos;
- Ginger – a tapas place where you'll find all the American tourists;
- La Casita del Marisco – don't be fooled, it may just look like a 3-walled wooden hut, but it served up the best grilled fish I've ever eaten;
- Roberto's – the place with the great shrimp and rice mentioned above;
- Java 654 – for when you can't eat any more eggs with rice and beans;
- Vista Dorada – Condovac's on-site restaurant, where we ate breakfast most mornings and made good use of the swim-up bar.