This time of year my family is usually gearing up for our annual beach week in the Outer Banks- tracking the weather, talking about what happy hour drinks we’ll be making, figuring out when we’ll be picking crabs, preparing to wake up for sunrise every morning (it’s a weird tradition), and wondering if we’ll be motivated enough to do anything besides sit on the beach, play cornhole, and watch our dogs act like idiots. This is the first year in a looong time that we’re not making the trip and I’m already going through withdrawals. So to torture myself (and the rest of my family) I put together a little blog post of last year’s vacation…


Pura Vida! Simply translated, that means “pure life”, but in Costa Rica, those are words to live by- a way of life. Travis and I have been meaning to make a trip to Costa Rica for years and never got around to making it happen. But when Tori and Drew decided to get married in Key West in February, we decided that since we were already halfway there, we may as well extend our trip- the multi city flight was just a little too good to pass up. So after spending a week in the Keys, we flew into San Jose, rented a car, and spent the next week finally exploring Costa Rica!

We started the trip by spending the first few days around Arenal Volcano, staying at Arenal Observatory Lodge. We hiked around the volcano, zip-lined through the trees, awoke to howler monkeys, relaxed in the hot springs, found a waterfall, sipped on guaro sours, listened to video game birds, stalked coatis, walked along hanging bridges, took in some amazing views, ducked inside every 10 minutes when a rainstorm breezed through, and tried to brush up on our Spanish.

Next we took a ridiculously long bumpy unpaved road to Monteverde and stayed at El Establo. We hiked through the clouds, took a night walk through the rainforest, found tarantulas and a bunch of other nocturnal rainforest creatures, ate with the locals, explored the Cloud Forest trails, learned how coffee is made, tasted fresh chocolate and sugar cane juice, found a double rainbow, had breakfast with a capuchin monkey, and made our own happy hour on the top of a mountain in the mist.

Our last stop was Uvita beach, where we stayed at Oxygen Jungle Villas– in a private all-glass villa with amazing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains. Uvita is a little off the beaten path and not as touristy as many of Costa Rica’s beach towns, which was what drew us there to begin with. But Uvita is also the closest town to Marino Ballena National Park- a beautiful beach, lined with palm trees, mountains, coral reefs, and protected wildlife… and at low tide, breathtaking views of the famous whale tail, a giant sandbar shaped just like that of a whale fin. This place is exactly what I thought Costa Rica would look like before I arrived- a little remote and completely authentic. This was definitely our favorite place- we could have spent the entire week there! We went hiking through the palm trees and overgrown mangroves, slid down a giant waterfall, followed a pack of howler monkeys, spent hours snorkeling, kayaked around the whale tail sandbar, watched an amazing sunset on the beach, relaxed by the pool, ate breakfast with toucans, walked through a natural sea cave… and cried a little because we had to leave.

Costa Rica was pretty amazing- we will definitely be going back!


And of course a few iPhone photos too! Some of which are on Instagram…

Aaaaand one day we’ll edit all the GoPro videos we took. One day.


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lifestyle and wedding photographers living in and loving richmond, va

Allison Kuhn

Travis Kuhn

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