By Sarah Ann Allen
For picking a random city on the map, we did pretty well. Our original selection process in deciding our last few days before flying out was laxidasical to say the least. We pulled up google maps and looked for a costal town between the border and San Jose where we were flying out. Uvita won the selection as it seemed little known and pretty cool as it was close to the beach, national park and is home to a wonderful maze of waterfalls.
We checked into hostels via hostelworld.com and found Cascada Verde, the Hostel next to the waterfall. Not only was it decently priced but it was an eco-friendly, naturally cooled, surrounded by nature hostel. We paid $15 a night for a bed in the four-bed dorm and $28 for a double private room with a shared bathroom.
It was a great decision. The hostel owners emailed us very soon after we made the reservation and told us how to get there (walking uphill 20 minutes, or take a $4/2.000Colones taxi ride) as well as gave us a heads up that it was a little ways outside of town so if we wanted groceries we should get them from the BM Market before we make the journey up. We took their advice and bought $62 worth of food (or 31 colones) which would provide our meals for the next 2 days.
We caught a taxi up to the hostel and it was a beautiful drive. We still had to walk about 50 meters to the actual hostel but it was totally worth it. The owners are so sweet! She gave us a tour of the place, the huge very-well organized kitchen (there was a different trash bin for plastic bottles, tin cans, plastic, paper and organic waste — the little that was not covered went into the actual trash bin), the spacious dining area with a view of the jungle from the open terrace, the upstairs bedrooms and terrace where a yoga classes are held every other morning at 9am. We checked-in, got settled and just chilled for the next few hours.
A storm blew in about an hour after we arrived. It was beautiful. Monkeys talked, frogs croaked and other animals chimed in to add layers to the natural water’s serenade. It would have been wonderful to fall asleep to, but unfortunately it ended too early and lets just say sound travels easily in the open environment.
We woke up the following morning to the very heated conversation between Howler monkeys. We spent a lazy morning making french toast and packing lunches to spend the day at the waterfall (only a 7 minute walk from our hostel). Most travel cites only rate the Cascada Verde Hostel as only ‘good’ in location but it really depends on what you are looking to do in Uvita. For us the location was perfect. The main thing we were interested in was the waterfall so it was quite convenient. (Not to mention a few degrees celsius cooler than in town as it is up higher in the mountain.)
We spent the day eating sandwiches and munching on plums and chips on rocks and cooling off in the river water. The waterfall was only $2/1.000 colones to get in (though we suggest bringing your own drinks as a 1 liter water was $3/1.500 colones at the entrance restaurant and they don’t care if you bring your own stuffs). We met a few people as we played in the water with the fish and entertained ourselves by asking each other “What would you have done if _______?” (which of course knowing us ended up going through picking side in very obscure wars, or what decade would we have left England for America).
We swam in the very cold water underneath the waterfall, but it was wonderful. Jordan decided to take the plunge and slide down the 15-20 meter waterfall. We caught it all on video. It was definitely a bumpy ride. But fun. Soon after we headed back to the hostel to sit and enjoy the bird-and-monkey-watching from the hammocks. We finished it out by watching a couple of shows on the computer, cooking dinner and going to bed.
The next morning we checked out by 11am but hung around the hostel for another couple of hours before calling a taxi to go into town to wait for a collectivo bus to San Jose at 1:45 which costs 5.500 colones or $11. It ended up being a nice bus but instead of the three hour ride we were expecting it was 5.5 hours. And it was quite windy and rough towards the end but we got to San Jose safe and sound and survived our last bus of Latin America!!!