What's better than waking up to the sound of howler monkeys outside your window? Well...I could think of other things since they legit sound like dinosaurs or something from a horror movie but they are so cute and hey, we were in their environment after all. Howl away monkey friends! My husband was turning the big 3-0 this year so what better way to celebrate than with a somewhat impromptu trip to Costa Rica. We've heard that Costa Rica is very vegan-friendly so we were excited to do some exploring. And let me tell you, we were not disappointed. Be warned, a lot of food pictures lie ahead.
Our first stop, once we arrived in Costa Rica, was at Raw Co. which was delicious! It really hit the spot after coming off of a long plane ride. Everything was SO good and their tofu-scramble breakfast sandwich...just wow, that bagel was unlike anything I have ever had before (in a good way!). I mean, just look at the grainy, seedy goodness.We then made the 4-hour trek to Sámara, which is where our Airbnb was. The house was absolutely gorgeous and tranquil, even with all of the critters running around.
This was the Airbnb we rented which we shared with the very healthy insect and reptile population! We lovingly called this house the "Jurassic Park House."
At night, it was SO quiet...maybe a little too quiet. It definitely took some getting used to. We may have freaked ourselves a time or two. A secluded house in the mountains does call for some gorgeous sunsets though.
Before booking our travels, we checked out Happy Cow, Trip Advisor and a few blog posts for vegan dining recommendations and Luv Burger popped up continuously. And for a good reason. Their food was awesome! In fact, it was so good that we may have gone a couple of times...PLUS it was right on the beach!
Luv Burger Tacos and their Sámara Colada.
The Philly Cheeseburger...ahmazing.
In between stuffing our faces, we decided to try out zip lining! I was very nervous but after the first couple of lines, I started to have fun. I literally felt like I was going to slam into a tree a couple of times, that's how close the trees were but I tried to focus on gorgeous the views were. Our guides brought along some snacks to take a little break and this friendly pizote (they're part of the raccoon family) decided to join us.
His favorite time is snack time, who else can relate? ;)
And something else we did that was not centered around eating was visiting Sibu Sanctuary. Their mission is to "rescue injured, orphaned and displaced wild animals and provide them with immediate care, rehabilitation, and eventual release into the wild." Those animals they feel will not survive in the wild will be safe in Sibu's habitat for the rest of their life. The sanctuary is beauuutiful. So lush and so green. There are a ton of healthy vegetation that is specific to the needs of its residents.
They also work with the government and other organizations to encourage the respect of all animals and help the animals thrive in their environment. For example, they have a project called the Wildlife Electrocution Prevention. Electrocution from power lines is the #1 killer of howler monkeys. As Costa Rica continues to develop as a country, the number of power lines increase. Sibu is working with the government and electricians to insulate the power lines and then eventually pass a law that makes it illegal to install uninsulated power lines and transformers in Costa Rica.
Sibu is helping to save the lives of so many howler monkeys like these little guys...
After touring the sanctuary, we stopped at Robin's Cafe which is located close to Sibu. They are not a vegan restaurant but they had a good amount of vegan options which were clearly marked. Their food was on point. And their bread, o.m.g. SO good. They make their bread fresh daily and you can definitely tell.
From left: the veggie burger and oriental tofu wrap.
On our last night in Samara, we went to Ma Ma Gui which is also not a vegan restaurant but the owner was so nice and so accommodating. I saw on Trip Advisor from a couple of reviews that Ma Ma Gui was vegan-friendly and they were right. We told the owner we were vegan and he said, "No problem at all!" He then proceeded to list off what he could have made for us. We opted to get a pizza and pasta and oh man, they were both so so good.
Bad quality photos, delicious tasting food.
The next morning, we left out lovely Jurassic Park house and headed up to the Tamarindo area. It was definitely a more touristy spot which was fine, especially since we were only going to be there for a day. When we first got there, we found Pura Vegan (if you can't tell from the name it is an all vegan restaurant) which was Pura Amazinggg (ok, dad jokes).
From Left: The tu'not sandwich, cheezy fries and the padi thai.
For dinner that night we went to Seasons by Shlomy, a Mediterranean fusion style restaurant with vegan options. It was cutely (is that a word?) situated inside of a hotel, right by the pool.
From Left: Seared mushrooms over polenta, gyozas and cauliflower over tomatoes with a tasty tahini dressing.
Alas, we came to our final meal in Costa Rica (for now!) which was some delicious falafel, hummus and dolmas at Falafel Bar.
Costa Rica was such a unique, beautiful place. I loved the relaxed vibe, it really makes you stop and savor the moment...along with savoring all of the delicious eats Costa Rica has to offer! Without a doubt we will be back, there is so much more exploring to be done. Until next time!