Costa Rica was my 23rd country travelled and it’s in my top three of favourite places to be. We Wild Camped along the Western coast and was mesmerized by our surroundings. Costa Rica has everything; mountains, ocean, waterfalls, lakes, rainforests, cloud forrests and an abundance of wildlife. The biodiversity alone puts one in awe.
We rented a 4 x 4 from Nomad America, a company run out of San Josee by two young guys called Fabio and Luis. From the moment we inquired about a vehicle they were there, every step of the way to help us plan our trip and make the best choices for our travelling needs. The vehicle itself was the best travelling decision and enhanced our trip by ten fold. We rented a Toyota Prado which brought us down the western coast with a few stops along the way. Our final destination being Matapalo on the edge of Corcovado National Park.
Wild camping in a 4 x 4 is more of an expedition, than a vacation of relaxing in the sun. It takes some grit to spend days outside in the heat. One has to be comfortable with digging a hole to relieve oneself of bodily functions and be comfortable going without a shower. To me this is heaven. Yes, there were moments when the heat got to me and I wished for a hot shower, and a porcelain bowl to defecate in. In my world that is all part of the experience that allows me to step down from my western throne where everything is at my disposal. This gives me an appreciation for the simple things in life. Nature has a way of healing and no better way to reap her benefits by being right there with her amongst the trees and ocean.
We followed the western coast down to Puerto Jimenez and then Matapalo. On the way we stopped at Bowie's Point where the restaurant owner let us camp on his property in exchange for us eating in his restaurant. We also had access to the bathrooms and an outdoor hose as a shower. Dominical was our second stop and we stayed two nights on a quiet part of the beach and payed a hostel that was 800 metres away, 500 colones ($1.00 U.S.) to use their bathroom and shower. Our next stop was Matapalo. This was by far our favourite spot, we camped on the beach with the ocean waves, howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, and whales. Other than about 5 people on the beach at any given time, we were alone in the beauty of it all. To get there we road through a rugged road, full of big pot holes, huge rocks and appreciated the high clearance that our trusty Prado gave us. The road bumped and jostled us around, our camping gear jingled in the back and our laughter echoed in excitement.
Matapalo was wild camping at it's best with no bathroom or shower. In order to cool off we took a five minute hike to King Louis waterfall where we bathed in it's cool water pools (yes, we used biodegradable soap). Often the sound of howler monkeys bounced off the trees, lizards skipped along rocks and butterflies flitted about. Yes it was romantic, challenging, fun and I would do it all over again.