Sophia Binkert

Joined December 2017
  • Day32

    Jack Blù Beach Club

    January 28, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

    My last days in Costa Rica

    Without getting any sleep after partying the whole night I had to take the bus at 5 a.m. to get to Jacó were I would meet Sandro who also stood with us in Lazy Loft in Puerto Viejo. Tired as I was, I slept through the whole bus ride. When I finally arrived in Jacó I had to ask various people to get to the hostel. It was 9 a.m. but hot as usual and packed with my backpack I was sweating to the fullest! In the end I asked a man who told me that I had walked too far and that I had already passed the hostel by far. I think he saw my horrified facial expression and felt very sorry for me that he borrowed me his bike. When I arrived at the hostel I was bathed in sweat but happy to have found my final destination! Sandro hadn’t arrived yet so I decided to leave the luggage and bring back the bike. Lucky me, I could already get into my room when I came back and take a shower. The hostel is really beautiful and the best accommodation I had so far during my trip in Costa Rica. The room was very spacious, with private bathroom and the best thing was that a typical Costa Rican breakfast and the Swimming Pool Club nearby was included in the hostel price. Therefore, I decided to try out the the Jacó Blù Beach Club where guests normally have to pay 20$ to get into the club. When Sandro arrived we went to beach which is located directly outside the Beach Club. I had really low expectations of Jacó because all the opinions I heard so far about this place were that Jacó is no special place and that the beachside is not worth to visit - however, we really enjoyed our stay here in Jacó. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, shops and Jacó is famous for its good surfer waves. There are two beautiful beaches in the surrounding near Jacó - Playa Herraduras and Playa Hermosa. Both are quite beautiful and very tranquil.

    The second day we spent the whole day at the beach in Herraduras and the third day we rented a moped to discover some waterfalls and Playa Hermosa - such a pity that the quads were too expensive to rent, so we had to reject the idea. Still it was pretty fun and we would have never expected the waterfalls to be this beautiful. The waterfalls were pretty hidden and we had to pass some gravel paths. But the torture was worth it. There were 5 ascending waterfalls with a basin each to jump in which was loads of fun!

    In the end of my travelblog, I want to say a big thank you to all the people I have met during my stay who made my stay to be a real special experience - especially to Mia, Aina, Patrick, Luca and Sandro!!
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  • Day29

    Uvita National Park

    January 25, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Cool Vibes

    Meanwhile, the guys have already left Costa Rica and Aina and me are heading to Dominical. Dominical is a really small village but it was nice to have a center after Manuel Antonio’s city center and its places were located far apart from each other. Our accommodation Cool Vibes Beach Hostel turned out to be a real place to relax and calm down, located directly at the beach. After our backpack hostel without any luxury this was simply a palace: Big rooms, private bathrooms, a huge kitchen, chill out areas with couches and TV and last but not least a swimming pool surrounded by hammoks and deckchairs. That was exactly the first thing what we did - to jump into the ice cold water of the pool. This day just ended in a lazy and laid back afternoon.

    The next morning we started our day trip to Uvita. It’s a nice beach town south of Dominical at the Pacific Coast. They have a National Park that offers a large beach side, adorned by tropical rain forest facade and in the middle at ebbe, a path becomes visible were one can discover a part that looks similar to a whale’s tale fin. In the end we laid underneath tree and watched a huge parrot family eat the fruits of the tree. Uvita is really a visit worth it. Such a pity we had not enough days to discover all the cool places.

    The time passed way too quick and so it was already the time to say farewell to Aina because she would leave Costa Rica and fly back to Spain. Therefore, the last night was celebrated a lo máximo!! Hasta pronto..:)
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  • Day27

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    January 23, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Probably one of the most beautiful National Parks in Costa Rica

    The day couldn’t start better than with our daily delicious breakfast - Pancakes. At 9 a.m. we wanted to meet with the guys at the National Park of Manuel Antonio. But with the hora costa ricense we showed up at 10 a.m. It’s always the same story - tourists pay 16$ entry whereas locals pay 3$. But in the end, I would say that the 16$ were worth it. In the beginning the paths were pretty crowded and we nearly couldn’t see any animals. But after a while the main path is divided into various trails so the crowd was parted and the park seemed more tranquil. We saw many sloths and families of raccoons and monkeys on our way who tried to robb our food. I never saw so many raccoons in one place and so near. It was very impressive. They look so cute but can get very aggressive - so better don’t trust their cute faces! We did all the circular routes through the park what takes you a whole day. The park includes various beaches every beach has its own shape and charm. Some with rocks, some with white sand,..In the end, we stood at the beach we liked the most were again we were attacked by some hungry monkeys. In the evening we had a beautiful sunset - I really missed the sunsets at the Caribbean coast!! In the evening the guys visited us in the hostel and we played the drinking game „bus driver“ what especially, hit Luca and me because we had to take the most bus drives. After that we fell pretty tired but happy in our beds. Good night!Read more

  • Day26

    Playa Biesanz

    January 22, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    Pacific Coast

    After I had left the Lazy Loft and Puerto Viejo behind me, I reunited with Aina at the Pacific Coast in Manuel Antonio. The Pacific Coast is very different from the Caribbean Coast, especially this part. The beaches are incredible and the best thing is that the landscape is dominated by hills which offer the most stunning views over the whole beachside of Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is a small town which has no real center but has very distributed places and is obviously a touristic town. The hostel we stood in was one of the last buildings at the end of the town. For the price it was ok but nevertheless, I missed our good old Lazy Loft. The weather was so much better than at the Caribbean side - though the sun is very hot here!! The first beach we visited is a small and more hidden beach called Playa Biesanz. It was nice to stay there for a few hours. Then we wanted to go up the hill because some people told us we could see everything from above. The only thing they didn’t tell us, were that this place is not a public place but a Hotel of the Spanish hotel chain Parador. Because we really were looking forward to see the view point Aina invented the story about her parents are going to visit Costa Rica and we would like to inform us about the prices of the rooms. We became a private guided tour and some free drinks. The Parador is like a resort. They have tennis, miniature golf, a swimming pool with an incredible view and so on..I think we should visit some more hotels and invent some other stories..In the afternoon Patrick and Luca arrived in Manuel Antonio. It was nice to meet them again! Together we went to get some dinner in the restaurant "El avian" with the best view of the sunset. After dinner we went to a bar and played some pool.

    It was a first nice day in Manuel Antonio - in another town than Puerto Viejo - reunited with Aina and the Swiss guys - the best weather - sunset - ...
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  • Day21

    Playa Chiquita

    January 17, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Small, but impressive

    Since I’ve got to seen nearly every beach in the area of Puerto Viejo there was no beach left than Playa Chiquita. It’s a very nice beach though. Like its name Playa Chiquita is pretty small but therefore, one can nearly enjoy to have the whole beach for himself. Mia and I went by bicycle and wondered why we never had come here before. It’s also a nice setting for taking a lots of photos - and with a lots of photos I mean many.

    When we returned I asked Elisabeth, the cleaning lady of our hostel, if she would like to cook together after her shift - She already invited me once to eat from her prepared food the other day. It was a lot of fun and I’m always open to learn some new latin american recipes.

    In the evening we made some music in the living room. Then Jorge, Vicky and I swam to the stranded boat near the hostel and set on top to watch the spangled sky and the colorful lighted beachside. In the night we went out with the whole hostel.

    There are only a few days left in the Lazy Loft..
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  • Day17

    Lazy Mon Bar

    January 13, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

    It's just a short Farewell

    The next day was the Aina’s last day here in Puerto Viejo. I helped her getting all the rest of the stuff she needed as we went through the center to buy the bus ticket. Then Mia and I went for a walk with Backster, the hostel dog. He’s not aloud to run outside than the other dog Jackie upstairs - she’s kind of a street dog, passing by because we feed her. When you go for a walk with a dog here in Costa Rica everyone stares at you because there not used to somebody’s doing that. Nevertheless, Backster seemed to be satisfied.

    Because it was Saturday night, there would be a party in our bar downstairs. So we got ourselves ready, invited all the hotel guests and went downstairs. The bar is a pretty cool place with ping pong, billiard and beer pong. The restaurant outside turns into the dance floor at night time. There are always to live bands playing during dinner time and then the tables are put away and people can dance to the music of the DJ - which is mostly Reggae alternating with Electro, HipHop and Reggaeton. First, I wanted to play ping pong but as two men were still playing, I had to wait. When I asked one of them if we could take over, he offered me the deal to play against them and the one who wins could stay. To their annoyance, I beat both of them and Mia and I could play. Even if I had watched the fire show now for a million times, it is still an event to watch. This night we danced all night long till the DJ had to stop the music. It was a good farewell party - I will definitely miss Aina!!

    See you soon at the Pacific cariño! <3

    No sooner had Aina gone, it started to rain again. But this time more than ever. Our apartment was completely flooded which is lower located than the Lazy Loft. Luckily, I was prepared and I had already put all my stuff above in the shelves. Because it was to dangerous with the electricity our boss Nicole called and told us to sleep upstairs in the beds that were still available and on the couches and extra mattresses in the living room. Actually, it was pretty fun and had the flair of a sleepover party night!

    Together with Jackie we fell asleep - Dulces sueños!
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  • Day16

    Koki Beach Restaurant

    January 12, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Awesome Workaway Team

    Today pretty everyone was off from work, so Martin, Vishal, Aina and I decided to stay the day at Playa Cocles. Martin went by skateboard carrying his surfboard while we others went by bike, me carrying his guitar. Since I couldn’t surf so far because of bad weather, being ill and not having a surfboard, I was pretty excited to try it again - it has been one year since I surfed in Haleiwa. Playa Cocles has pretty good waves but however, my arms are not trained enough and the waves are changing their location very quickly what makes it difficult for me to even be able to catch a wave. The next problem was Martin’s surf board - it’s definitely not a beginner board. Even if I struggled the whole time and had to put a lot of effort into it, I still felt more than happy to be back surfing in the water! After surfing we began to jam. People were passing by and some asked to play the guitar for a while. This day, there was also a surfing competition going on - pretty good surfers! Aina and I got hungry and so we bought some meat stick from a street food stand - very spicy!

    In the evening, as we got back, we decided to go out and to wander a bit through the center of Puerto Viejo. The Swiss guys, Patrick and Luca, wanted to join us. It was pretty much fun with them and finally, we ended in the fancy bar, I always had passed but never had gone inside so far. The Koki Beach Bar is really worth a visit! The cocktails were "super rico“ and after a while a sloth was passing by the roof. After the bar nearly closed, we went back to the hostel. Aina went to bed and the rest of us played some ping pong. We were talking on the balcony until late in the night. The guys taught me some Swiss farmer dialect from St. Gallen: „Hay doi, gö ma i dä möscht!“, was so viel bedeutet wie: „Hey you, let’s go to the bar!“ They were pretty fun and I will definitely miss them when they’re leaving tomorrow! But that’s the point about working in a backpacker hostel: You get to know a lot of awesome people but they will never stay for a long time…

    Looking forward to reunite at the Pacific Coast!
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  • Day15

    Manzanillo

    January 11, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Welcome to the Caribbean!

    This morning we rode by bicycle to the Manzanillo Park. It’s the most beautiful beach I have seen so far - pure Caribbean flair and simply paradisiacal! But to get there it takes you like one hour. We always ride in bikini because it’s simply to hot and sweaty to keep your clothes on - What effects especially, the car horns of the cars passing by..It’s a nice way though. Sometimes shady, sometimes in the sun and at the end one has to overcome a few hills to reach Manzanillo - what is really a lot of exercise as the bicycles have no gear. To enter the park one needs to pass a bridge. Then we followed the path right beneath the sea - similar to the Cahuita Park. We could see a lot of animals as well but the beaches were a way much better than the ones in Cahuita. But the peak of the trip was yet to come. Out of nowhere, we were surprised by a breathtaking view - this was simply paradise. I think I only saw two beaches comparable to this one in Galapagos at Tortuga Bay and Hawaii at the Haleiwa. The water was so transparent and blue - it’s actually, one of the best snorkeling spots in this area. I could have stayed there all day long. But we moved on because we wanted to see the cave. We were told to find a cave after the viewing point with a very hidden entry in the riff wall. It’s seven meters long and has a hole through which one can observe the sky above - however, we weren’t able to find the entry and turned. On the way back, we stayed at one of the beaches and enjoyed the coconuts we bought. To eat the fruit we found a woman who opened the coconut for us and cut out a spoon from another coconut - yammi!! After a while we had to make our way back home because Aina had to work the evening shift.

    This day was one of my favorites so far!
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  • Day14

    Punta Uva

    January 10, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    Good morning everyone!

    With new energy we started our day trip to Punta Uva. It’s a beautiful beach with a viewing point and also one of the places one shouldn’t miss when staying in the region of Puerto Viejo. It was still pretty early but nevertheless, we started our bicycle ride in a tropical heat. However, we should’t complain after one week of rain these hot days were simply perfect!! To get to Punta Uva one has to ride on the „normal“ street where cars pass by in a dangerously highway-speed. But as soon as we got there we recognized that the way was really worth it. Punta Uva is a very tranquil place. Even if there are a lot of visitors its length alouds one always to find a more private and calm place. We spend some time at the beach and then we climbed up the viewing point which is kind of hidden at the end of the beach by some cliffs. We were rewarded with an incredible view over the beaches to both sides. The peak at the end of the hike is a tunnel which connects both seasides and can be passed. The only catch was that the way was very slippery. It happened even faster than I was able to react. In the moment I slipped down the rocks my first thought was to hold my bag up high and protect the mobile phone of being drown in the sea. But it was too late - together with my bag I was thrown into the sea. Lucky me, I could get out my bag really quickly, I could take off the cover and turn it off. But even worse was to come. Because the ground was slippery, I had taken off my Flip Flops what got me something sharp in the foot.

    Back home I tried to get it out. Luca and Patrick, two guys from Switzerland, tried to help me get it out. But as we had no needle the operation turned out to be much more difficult than previously expected. But Swiss people, prepared as always, never go on travel without their Swiss pocket knife. Together we tried to open it a bit because it turned out to be stuck into my foot very deep. Unsuccessfully, I heard that some doctors from the United States were staying with us in the hostel - Lucky me! He checked my injection pass - everything seemed to be fine. After half an our the operation was finalized. Relieved, I could go to bed.

    'Till tomorrow, then!
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  • Day13

    Playa Cocles

    January 9, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Sun Is Up

    I don’t know what caused the change but this morning the weather promised the day to be a good and sunny one again. Since the weather changed I feel so enterprising and curious to see as many places as possible. Today we planned to visit the Bri Bri Waterfalls. By bus we were chauffeured directly in front of the entry. The guard told us to take some sticks because the way could be slippery and explained in which waterfall we could bathe and in which not because the water jet was to strong and dangerous. Actually, it is not the biggest waterfall and only like 10 minutes walk in total. It turned out that the bus driver let us off at the wrong waterfalls - the so-called Home Creek Waterfalls. Nevertheless, it was a really nice setting and worth to visit.

    After we had still so much time we decided to go back and spend some time at the Playa Cocles. I was very curious to see this beach actually, because everybody was talking about it. Especially, for surfing one can enjoy the perfect waves in Cocles. The way to get there, however, turned out to be more difficult than expected. The bus which passes like every half an hour just passed when we waved so we tried to tramp by private cars. However, here in Costa Rica it seems not to be so easy to tramp than for example in Ecuador where everyone carries everyone. (Later on somebody some guys told us that they often don’t like to carry people. Even if we were just three innocent-looking girls, most people might be afraid of others hiding in the back and robbing the car when they would stop to let us jump on.) In the end, nonetheless, three guys were willing to let us jump on their pick up. We spent a really beautiful afternoon at the beach!
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