8 day Rincon de la Vieja Volcano & Samara Beach Itinerary
Traveling to Costa Rica during Covid
We left from Midway Airport. The lines were short and spaced out, everyone was wearing masks, and very few shops/restaurants were open. We flew out with Delta, so the middle seats were open and entering/exiting the plane was regulated. On one of the flights there were a few people that had to sit next to each other and they were offered vouchers for other flights.
When we got to the Liberia Airport, lines were spaced out and everyone was constantly reminded on Covid protocols. Even with those in place, it was very fast to get through customs. We did need to have our travel insurance and our places that we were staying.
Our guide, Jose Pablo, picked us up from the airport and we were off. Masks were required everywhere and in all transportation. There were hand washing stations and hand sanitizer spray outside of every restaurant throughout the country. Throughout our trip we remarked that it seemed like Costa Rica was taking Covid much more seriously than the US.
We spent our first three/four days at the Hacienda Guachipelin by the Rincon de la Vieja volcano. It was amazing – beautiful hikes, swimming in waterfalls, watching monkeys play in the trees, tubing down small rapids, ziplining, swimming in the pool, horseback riding, and bathing in the hot springs. We could have spent many more days here. Their COVID protocols were serious and we felt very safe. We had to make reservations for everything (including the hikes) so that only a few people were in each area at a time. Only one family was allowed in the pool at a time. Everyone wore masks everywhere, even ziplining. We preordered our food and reserved our time to go to the restaurant. It was very easy to reserve or preorder anything with just a text.
One Day Adventure Pass included canyon tour, horseback riding to river, then tubing!
Jose Pablo [guide] is our favorite person ever!
We spent our last four days in Playa Samara at Villas Kalimba. Everyone wore masks as soon as they were on property, but we didn’t really see many people around the lodge (even though they were filled up) other than those that worked there. Each little villa was covered with beautiful landscaping. We spent most of our time at the beach or at the pool, so far away from others. The streets were pretty crowded, but it did seem like restaurants and stores were following normal COVID precautions (masks, only a certain number of people allowed in, hand sanitizer and hand washing stations, and plexiglass up by cash registers).
Villas Kalimba, our villa’s patio and view out to pool
Samara Beach New Year’s Eve bonfires ready
Back to Liberia Airport, things were a bit different. The lines were short and spaced out but once we got into the terminal it was really packed with people. We flew American Airlines home and I would not recommend booking that airline this year. I certainly will be avoiding it. They packed us on the plane for both flights. They were completely full and took very little precautions other than masks. We were not warned or offered other flights. It was a very different feel from Delta.