Written by Ilene Solomon
Today’s post is the final chapter of all things Potrero. Ilene’s final post discusses the top 10 things to experience in Potrero. Enjoy!
Top 10 Places to Experience
1. Abriendo Mentes English Class. Even if you are not an official Abriendo Mentes volunteer, you are more than welcome to come check out our English classes and get to know some of the amazing Potrero kids. If you decide to stick around for a while, we are always open to incorporating new people into the mix. Share with us your passions or talents; offer up an idea for a class theme; or help us create something new. The kids’ smiles are worth every minute of your time invested!
2. Futbol game in the plaza in Potrero. Like most Costa Rican towns, the heart and soul of Potrero is in the plaza, on the soccer field. Nearly any time of day, someone is practicing corner kicks or drills. Come watch the local kid’s team or adult league in a match. Or better yet, join in on the fun yourself!
3. Las Brisas Ladies’ Night in Potrero. At least one Wednesday night/Thursday morning should be dedicated to Ladies’ Night at Las Brisas. Free drinks from 10-11 pm for ladies, music and salsa dancing all on the beach? Not bad. Locals travel from near and far for this weekly event. Party for an hour or stay all night. Just be sure you have nothing planned for Thursday morning…
4. Fiestas of Guanacaste. If you are lucky enough to visit Potrero in Fiesta season (November-April), this is one cultural experience you do not want to miss! Each town in the province of Guanacaste hosts its own fiesta, to celebrate the sabaneros (the cowboys of Costa Rica who take pride in their horses and cattle). The fiestas start with the tope, an equestrian parade with sabaneros, riding on decorated horses to the fairground. Then a rodeo takes place, complete with bull riding and roping. When the rodeo is finished everyone gathers at the baile (a HUGE dance) in the community hall where the celebration continues into the early morning hours.
5. Surfing. Although there are numerous places to surf in the area and companies to choose from, I highly recommend Point Break Surf. Kiwi Matt knows his stuff! You’re personally picked up and transported to Playa Grande, where you’re first given personal instructions on surfing technique and water safety. Then it’s time to venture out into open water. Matt is right behind you, guiding your every wave. After hours spent paddling out and riding in, you close your time together with drinks and a personal t-shirt.
6. Paddle Boarding. For paddle boarding, may I suggest a late afternoon rental at Playa Danta? Spend your time paddling around two offshore islands, anchor and bring a snorkel mask…but be sure to catch the sunset as it descends between those two islands. Picture perfect! Try paddling on your own, or pay extra and get a lesson.
Another must experience: Paddle Board Yoga (or SUP Yoga). Certified instructor Dori guides you through an onshore meditation before paddling out on the board. Sun salutations, headstands and backbends have never been so exciting! No worries, you’re anchored in so if you fall into the water (and you will!), your board won’t go out to sea.
7. Sunset at Mar y Sol in Flamingo. I’ll admit it; I have a thing for sunsets. No matter which day you decide to go, the sunset at Mar y Sol will be spectacular. Bright pinks, oranges, reds, yellows, purples cover the sky as the sun makes it’s way to the other side of the world. Order a mojito or a passion fruit margarita, grab a seat on a comfy white couch, and stay for a few hours. Mar y Sol also boasts some of the best food in the area, so it’s worth staying on after the sunset to enjoy some dinner.
8. Catamaran Tour in Flamingo. Book a Catamaran Tour for the day and you won’t be sorry. Do some research to see which tour offers what, to get the most bang for your buck. You’re almost always guaranteed dolphin sightings and snorkeling gear. Most leave from the marina in Flamingo. Gather together a big group or share the experience with a select few. Go in the morning or for sunset, but whatever you do…go!
9. Yoga on the beach. Whether you’re a new yogi or a seasoned practitioner, there are a handful of excellent yoga teachers in the Potrero area. Most even give Abriendo Mentes volunteers a discount! The best part about yoga here is the location…on the beach! Nothing is more relaxing than listening to the sound of the ocean waves during a meditation. Or, wake up early and greet with sun with your own round of beach Sun Salutations. No matter what, it’ll be OMMMMazing.
10. Local bus ride. Going near or far, taking the local bus to get there is an experience worth having…at least once. The hop-on/hop-off nature of the bus system, the interesting characters you meet, or the Spanish you’ll be able to practice are just a few highlights on a local bus ride. Make sure you ask for the bus schedule at a local Super…and arrive at least 20 minutes before the estimated departure time—“Tico Time” is not easily predictable.
And there you have it. I invite you to try all of these place and experiences and then create a list of your own Top 10s! Happy and safe travels and enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer!