Central America Costa Rica

Day trip to Playa San Juanillo, Costa Rica


It was finally everyone’s day off in Ostional so we wake up early to catch the bus to Playa San Juanillo. Though, as a result of last nights patrolling shifts, I now had two throbbing feet. The blisters were massive and a couple had popped walking home over the rocky gravel road- sorry for the image. I have a quick breakfast of tortillas and a halloumi like cheese, which seems to be our breakfast every other day. We all meet at the bus stop at 7am. Being Costa Rica, everything here is on Tico time. Meaning the bus arrives at 7.30am, but being only 600 colones or $1.30 you can’t really complain.

San Juanillo is another village about twenty minutes away. They are also hosting another ISV group who are working in the school. We visit the local school and see all the work they have done. After a not so interesting talk by their project leader we make our way down to the beach. It is quite different to Ostional with beautiful clear water, but extremely rocky.

The third bay across is where we decide to set up alongside a few other tourists. Though, I notice something unusual at the top of the beach, a family between the ages of 5-50 all topless. This includes the mother and teenage daughter- needless to say the boys enjoyed themselves. Even with the decent view we all decide to head back to the first bay. Jumping into the ocean and looking back towards the beach looked so beautiful. It honestly seemed as though we are in some sort of tropical paradise with the clearest water and white sand.



After a decent swim our bright red sunburned group heads up to the local restaurant which we have heard great things about. I order a chocolate milkshake, guacamole and a margarita pizza. It was all absolutely delicious and the milkshake reminded me of the childhood nesquik milk drink.


At about 2pm we head back to the bus stop. Though, due to tico time the bus is over an hour late so we kill time by throwing around a Frisbee.

Arriving back at Ostional we go chill in the cabana and shade from the sun. Playing cards we relax. This is the moment where I discover the true monstrosity of my blisters. They are absolutely filled with black sand from the previous night.

At home  there is a dinner of beans and rice waiting. As well as a new volunteer, Verena from Germany. She is travelling as part of IVHQ and speaks perfect Spanish. That night we have a chilled movie night down at the station, though due to my disinterest in Pirates of the Caribbean I fall asleep on the hard wooden floor.

I am travelling through Costa Rica with a volunteer program called International Student Volunteers or ISV. For the next two weeks I will be calling Playa Ostional home while participating in conservation work to help protect the leatherback and black turtles.