A stay at the Hotel Banana Azul includes breakfast which was a different fresh fruit juice offering daily, coffee, cereal, pastries, fruit and a special hot breakfast item made to order. Breakfast was delicious both days and the staff was wonderful.
After breakfast we headed out in search of a beach. Tony's dad thought he had an idea of where we were going but we couldn't seem to find a good swimming beach in the areas he was looking. I had mentioned to him that the Cahuita National Park beach but he wasn't sure where that was. We eventually found it and it was heaven.
|Cahuita National Park beach.|
The beach was pristine and I'm not sure if it was high tide or what but we could walk out forever and still not be deeper than out chests.
|Tony and his dad and Johanna about 100ft from shore.|
|My natural sunscreen...the shady spot.|
|Standing in the water, taking a picture of heaven.|
|Look how clear the water is! I was out about 25ft from shore.|
|Beauty in every direction. And soccer on the beach!|
|Our shady spot form the water.|
Eventually, we had to leave. :( But on the way out of the park Tony's dad bought me a coconut so I could drink my beloved coconut water straight from the source! Best coconut water ever! And it was like a dollar. What a deal!
|Fresh coconut + straw = Happy Kim. And look, no sunburn! |
Side note, under that bridge is a little river. And there are crocs!
|Restaurante La Fe Bombata|
We were the only ones eating there in the middle of the afternoon and they let us bring in the beers we'd been drinking. They were incredibly friendly and were happy to recommend dishes for us. I'm fairly certain I couldn't go wrong with anything on the menu, however. I got the shrimp coconut curry-ish dish. They're famous for their coconut sauce and for good reason. I wanted to stick my face in the bowl. It came with a huge bowl of the shrimp and sauce and a plate of rice, salad and BREAD FRUIT. OMG. Can someone please tell me where in the hell to find bread fruit here? It's literally a fruit that has the consistency of a dense bread. I used it to mop up the sauce instead of licking the bowl clean. :) Of course, I had a tasty blended, boozy drink to go with it. Look at the table, Pepsi in a glass bottle with real sugar, Imperial, blended tropical drink, coconut shrimp (mine), coconut chicken (Tony's), and of course sunscreen. Can't get much better than that! :)
|Caribbean meal to die for.|
Not only was the staff okay with us bringing in our own beer, but they were actually excited for us when we went and bought patí from a guy selling them in the street. I had to go buy one from this guy. He'd ring his bell on his bike and people came from all over the place to buy his patí. Patí is a very specific kind of empanada type thing that is specific to Limón. A random dude on the street outside the restaurant saw me looking from the table and he told me they're the best patí I'll ever have and I needed to buy one. Johanna and I went and bought some for our table for a total of four dollars and the hype was totally worth it. They were filled with spicy meat and were freaking amazing. The waiter of the restaurant told us that he's glad we got some because they're the best in the region and we'd be missing out if we didn't. All of the people raving about them were locals that waited for him to come out and ring his bell every day. So, not only did we bring beer into the restaurant but food, too! And they were happy to let us! Pura Vida indeed. :)
|The patí from the street vendor. I'm drooling.|
|Fancy wine out of thermal mugs.|
|Me and Tony at Playa Manzanillo.|
|Again, no "real" sunset. Oh well, it was still pretty!|
Maxi's is famous for it's seafood so I had high expectations.
|Maxi's at Playa Manzanillo.|
We were pretty much exhausted before, during and after this meal. Instead of beer I opted for coke in a glass bottle with real sugar. MMM. Hoped it'd help me perk up, but no...caffeine does nothing to me. :)
Also, it was hot like fire in that upstairs dining area so that didn't help.
|Sleepy. And sweaty.|
The food was good, but it was no Café Viejo! The meal started with a special appetizer of little plantain bowls loaded with guacamole and bacon. The lighting was bad so I apologize for the unflattering pictures.
I went with a mixed dish of whole red snapper and lobster. Hey, if they're going to be known for lobster and the red snapper is also very popular I'm gonna try both!
|My lobster and red snapper.|
The red snapper was the highlight of my meal. It had a great crust on it and a nice smokey flavor from the wood grill. They're also supposed to be known for their rice and beans but I wasn't a fan. There were far better rice and beans dishes at other places we visited during the trip.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep for our drive back to San Jose the next day. I'm so glad that Tony agreed to take me to the Limón province and that his dad was willing to drive us. That part of the country is truly unique and I had an awesome time. And I think the food that we had was some of the best of the entire trip! It's definitely worth the time to get there.