A friend in Costa Rica - Alex on the Beach
Updated: Mar 1
Costa Rica quickly went from a vacation destination to a second home. We didn’t discover Alex on the Beach the first time we set foot in beautiful Costa Rica. On that first trip, we booked two excursions; one through the hotel (to the rainforest) and one through another local company (to Palo Verde). Both were amazing and helped shape our love of the country and its people.
The next year, we returned, and having researched possible tours and excursions prior to arriving, were introduced to Alex on the Beach through their website. That visit, we came prepared with which tours we wanted to book; Palo Verde, Beach trekking and a Rainforest combination tour. We learned from the website that rather than searching for the representative on the beach, we could take a stroll down to The Monkey Bar and ask for one. While we waited, we were greeted by more of the famous Costa Rican hospitality and some delicious (and potent) drinks. This is also where we discovered Lizano Salsa, one of the most delicious condiments, that compliments almost anything. Sergio came to see us and we booked everything we wanted for the week in one go, all our questions answered.
Even if you don’t plan on booking anything with Alex, you should visit The Monkey Bar and support the local business. As you stroll down Playa Matapalo off of The Riu Palace or The Riu Guanacaste, you will find a small wooden arrow pointing to a trail off the beach. Half way down the train you will find The Money bar. They are so warm and welcoming. We got caught there once when a torrential downpour hit the area, but it was no bother, it fact it was quite romantic. The lights went out and they lit candles while we continued to enjoy our food and drinks. At one point, the owner sat with us and introduced us to some local liquors. If you walk down the path from the beach, passed The Monkey Bar, in the early morning, you will find white-faced monkeys eager to take fresh fruit from your hands. Experience this if you can, but go back when the bar is open, have a drink or two and leave a big tip. They are so worth it.
The following year, we returned again, this time for 2 weeks and with a much grander plan. We wanted to spend some time in the Cloud Forests of Monteverde, but needed a way to get there. We reached out to Alex and inquired about passage. We exchanged a few emails and arranged for a pick up from our hotel in Guanacaste to our hotel in Monteverde (a 4 hour drive). We also arranged for a few stops along the way. The year prior, on the Rainforest Combination Tour, we had the pleasure of visiting the Llanos del Cortes Waterfall. We loved it so much that we had to go back. Since it was on the way, Alex made a stop for us so we could climb down the rocky hills and dip ourselves once again in the majestic beauty of the Waterfall. When we stopped at a nearby supermarket to use the facilities to change into our swimsuits, we decided to pick up some snacks and discovered Chiky Cookies. If you ever have the opportunity to try these, do so, they are delicious morsels of chocolate and shortbread.
We also stopped for lunch at a small local restaurant, where a group of colourful Macaws had made their home in the nearby trees. Once our time came to an end in Monteverde, Alex had his drivers pick us up and drive us back to Guanacaste, complete with unexpected stops along the way. In addition to the Monteverde excursion, we also booked a Beach Tour and a fantastic day trip across the border to Nicaragua through Alex. We would not have been able to do this all in a two-week vacation if it wasn’t for Alex on the Beach.