To answer this question, I had to dig up my old economics textbooks from my days at the University of Michigan for some inspiration. After an hour of hard work, I crafted the Guns And Butter: A Better Way to Travel methodology, the handbook for what you should do, skip, and attempt to do if you have the time and resources when traveling to new locales.
A more detailed primer is in the link above but for the sake of simplicity here is a quick overview:
- A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy
- Anything on the line (Production Possibilities Frontier for my fellow economists) is an efficient use of your time depending on your tastes and preferences.
- Anything inside the line is inefficient as should be avoided.
- Anything outside is aspirational but may be impossible to do given the constraints of time and resources.
- The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa.
And with that, let’s head to Liberia, Costa Rica!
Scrolling through the Country Count List and clicking on Costa Rica will reveal to you everything you need to know about this country from the stupid fees of the airport to the fees of Frontier. Aside from those annoyances, Costa Rica is a must for anyone searching for adventure and an adrenaline rush. Luckily, getting there is as Easy as Steps 1, 2, 3.
I stayed at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort which is adjacent to the Four Seasons. While the resort is nice enough, (a full review will be done later in the Hotel Reviews section) the location is inconvenient. The cost to get to and from the airport is $40-50 depending on your bargaining skills and level of patience with your taxi driver and tour guide. Furthermore, there are not many dining options outside of what’s in the hotel, the 4 Seasons, or the marina leaving you to miss out on delicious local food.
The real fun comes when you find a way out of the fortress of the hotel and plot your ziplining adventure. A note of caution: Don’t book through the hotel, it is over the top expensive. Contact a local ahead of time for a more reasonable rate. I ended up paying $140/person for the following:
- Ziplining, Tarzan, and Rappel
- Hot Springs, Water slide, and Volcano
- Local Dining
Getting out to the ziplines and mustering the courage to do one of the most enjoyable activities required the most Labor though it was well worth it. Eating delicious Costa Rican foods requires some work but is more appropriately aligned with Lazy. Everything else fell within that spectrum.
Day 2 the choice was Tamarindo and the airport for $150 for two or head to the Four Seasons. I think we made the right choice:
But next time, Tamarindo is definitely on the list.