Costa Rica has always been a dream bucket list destination for me. I always felt like the palm tree lined beaches and indigenous sloths were calling my name. A trip with Outsite for Creator’s Week at the Playa Bejuco location was a dream opportunity and an incredible chance to finally head to the Pura Vida country.
Going into the trip, I was a little nervous. Admittedly, I have trouble staying focused from time to time when working remotely – who doesn’t?! How was I going to get any work done while staying a 3 minute walk away from the beach? How am I going to do all the things I want to do while still being able to keep in touch with clients? Will I be able to pull myself away from work to enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica?!
5 other creators and I arrived at the house with the intentions of having lots of fun...but it wasn’t a vacation! It was a work-ation, if you will. The 6 of us had to juggle our own work commitments, creating content for Outsite, and enjoying Costa Rica. Thank goodness for the endless amounts of coffee we drank to keep us fueled. I came to the conclusion that Costa Rica is a great place to find work life balance...something hard to grasp and unattainable for many freelancers out there.
Here’s a little run down of what I got up to–for both work and play–while in Playa Bejuco, to give you a little insight into freelancer life on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast!
I am a writer, social media manager, and digital marketer. Going into the trip, I had a good amount of projects lined up (a blessing for a freelancer!) and then while I was there I got the opportunity for a rush assignment that I was passionate about and couldn’t pass up!
To give you a better picture of what I do, here are a couple projects I was working on in the house.
- Writing: My speciality when it comes to writing is mental health. Speaking up about mental health and working towards breaking stigmas surrounding mental illness is one of the things I am most passionate about! Two of the articles I wrote in Costa Rica were about teenage mental health and making positive life changes before hitting rock bottom.
- Social Media Management: As a social media manager, I have to juggle multiple accounts and multiple platforms–mainly Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I had just taken on another client before my trip, and spent a decent amount of time sourcing images to post and scheduling posts across platforms. Social media managers (including myself!) swear by Later, a great tool for scheduling Instagram posts.
- Digital Marketing: There are so many facets of digital marketing, but the one I mainly focus on is email marketing, which is a super important aspect of e-commerce businesses. I was working on designing an email welcome series (meaning, the series of emails you get from a brand once you join their email list...I’m sure you’ve gotten those!) for a new client who owns a luxury resort wear brand.
Oh boy, did we have some fun in Playa Bejuco and the surrounding area. Not to mention, we ate some gooood food. Here are a few tried and true places–from parks to bars–that we all loved and would recommend to future Outsite Costa Rica guests.
As you can imagine, we spent plenty of time down at the beach by the Outsite villas. Morning walks, runs, sunset walks, rainy night walks, tanning, surfing, photoshoots...you name it, at least one of us did it. The beach is lined with huge palm trees and seashells. We even saw the same sloth in the same almond tree at the beach each day of our stay. It only had moved a total of probably about 3 feet throughout the course of our stay. I miss that little guy!
You absolutely cannot go to Playa Bejuco without taking a day to visit Manuel Antonio
National Park. It’s such a cool place to be to truly immerse yourself in natural and wildlife. We saw a wide variety of animals along the paths, most of which were very easy to walk. We got stuck in a storm...but honestly, despite the fact we had no umbrellas or much protection, it was fun and sort of added to the experience for me. We were in a rainforest, after all! The beach on the other side of the rainforest is so beautiful, and the water was a little calmer than the water at Playa Bejuco, so it was perfect for taking a dip. Plus, the street that leads out of the park has a lot of souvenir stands, and towards the bottom near the main street, a variety of bars and restaurants which featured 2-for-1 happy hour deals.
We absolutely loved this place! Julio, our favorite local we met, took us here for scrumptious Carribean/Thai fusion cuisine. Los Almendros is a little hidden gem on an unassuming street in neighboring town, Esterillos Oeste. We started out with plantains with a spicy jerk sauce to share–so delicious! For my main course, I decided to go the Thai route and had the chicken pad thai. I also tried a bite of the coconut curry and I was a little jealous that I didn’t go for that one! Everyone was happy with their meals and the fun, homey atmosphere of the restaurant. There was also an amazing live band playing that had us swaying and singing in our seats. If you’re a fan of cocktails, there were plenty of unique options featuring fresh fruits...yum!
This place has a nice sized outdoor dining space with a cover, which was perfect for us since it was pouring rain on our last night! We headed here for our “Last Supper” and all had AMAZING meals. The restaurant specializes in Italian food and seafood. I’m a sucker for Italian food and carbs, so I went for the mushroom risotto–and it was to die for! I don’t eat seafood, but the presentation of my friends’ tuna tartare and red snapper actually made we want to try a bite–and lemme tell ya, I was not disappointed.
This bar is in the town of Playa Hermosa, about a 20 minute drive from Playa Bejuco. We went to see the surf competition that goes on every Saturday. It was so cool to watch the surfers and then enjoy the sunset while sipping on some Imperials...a Costa Rican beer that we drank quite a bit of during our stay! At Backyard Bar, you can drink on the beach, under a covered area, or inside on the dancefloor. Grab your tequila shots and get dancing! There’s a strip of a few other bars and restaurants nearby, making this a great starting place for your night if you want to hop around to a couple other places or take a cab over to the town of Jaco which is known for its nightlife.