Have you ever gone overseas with a group of friends? If not, get inspired by this interview with the self-proclaimed “Ocean’s 13” crew of 7 guys and 6 girls who didn’t all know each other before the trip but ended up like family after a week in Jaco, Costa Rica.
Of all the places to choose from for your summer getaway, why Costa Rica?
CASS: I chose Costa Rica cause everyone and their mom had amazing reviews and not one bad comment. They also had a lot of activities to do.
TK: I know a lot of people who have recently traveled to Costa Rica and have all come back raving about it. I can now agree. Definitely in my top 5 vacation trips.
BACKYARD: The whole trip was based on my cousin coming home from Iraq. Literally 2 weeks after he got home we went on this group trip. It was kind of like a celebration/welcome home.
How did you pick your travel crew? Did you travel well together or did you wanna choke each other by the end of the trip?
CASS: Travel crew was a mixture of my friends and my neighbor Ant’s friends and we all got along for the most part.
BACKYARD: Of course there was one night like when keeping it real goes wrong. But everybody was there was confident and successful. We’re all stars, so when you put a bunch of stars together you’re bound to have some clashing. We had one guy who was the level head though, he was good to have. Real chill guy.
RISSE: It was all LOVE. We were telling all the locals we were on a family reunion and we were all cousins and Cassie was our mother LOL. We even argued & made up quickly like distant play cousins.
Tell me about your hotel. Where did you stay and did it live up to your expectations?
RISSE: Entering our condo for the first time, felt like we were on an episode of MTV’s “Real World.” We were jumping up and down, grabbing each other, laughing & screaming. By the time, we made it to the balcony and saw our view of the ocean and our pool, we were beside ourselves. We were rolling on the floor laughing, literally.
CASS: We stayed at Oceans Diamante de Sol, which are luxury condominiums with a full kitchen, living room, washer and dryer and three rooms each with their own balcony. I just randomly found it on Expedia and saw good reviews about it on Trip Advisor.
VH: Condo was dope. I loved it because we weren’t at a straight tourist resort but instead were in the midst of everybody. I’m a people person so I wanna know what the people are like. I found out the prostitutes were “mucho nice-o.”
Was the language barrier a challenge? Do you guys speak real like grown-up Spanish or were ya’ll down there speaking 9th grade broken Spanglish?
CASS: My 9th grade broken Spanish was on point yo! I was like, “Wow can’t believe I remembered how to say that!” However, there were mad charade sessions trying to describe and repeat what we wanted to the locals due to the language barrier.
TK: I deferred to Cass for all complicated translations, but most people spoke English or enough to at least understand the gist of what you were trying to say.
BACKYARD: We knew how to find out where the “fiesta” was and the cab would know exactly where we wanted to go.
VH: Cassie was our interpreter. The guys knew all the curse words, though. And the words to talk to the prostitutes.
You know I wanna hear about the food. What was your favorite meal? How did it taste? What did you drink with it? Did you go back for seconds? Tell me everything.
TK: The food was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G (and cheap too).
RISSE: Now Trace you know, I’m a foodie so I’m very critical when it come to the matters of food. However, I was pleasantly satisfied with most of the food in Jaco.
BACKYARD: I can’t remember the restaurants we went to b/c I was drunk most of the time but go to the Mom and Pop restaurants and the food there is amazing.
CASS: We went to this spot called Graffiti in Jaco that was really good and another called Wahoos. The seafood was really good too. The plantain and the Pineapple there was off the chain!! It’s probably due to the fact that that’s one of Costa Rica’s main exports.
I personally know several of you so I know there are some funny stories from this trip. Do tell!
CASS: Madame, this trip had jokes for days. A lot are inside jokes but some favorite quotes of the trip are:
“We need a bigger boat!”- annoyed Costa Rican white water rafting captain
“Grande Negro coming thru!!”- zipline workers talking about some of the guys from our trip
RISSE: One of us went to sleep early one night inebriated and someone played such a hilarious prank on him. The next day, he woke up like I have no idea what happened last night. I woke up and there was sand in my bed and…. (if I told you what else was in his bed, he would kill me) lol
TK: I think we’re forgetting the VERY FIRST funny moment of the trip…Cass walking into the glass door over the balcony. lolol ANNNND… the infamous response from game night when playing the questions game and someone responded “ride it like a donkey with extra Viagra”
VH: Yes, “ride it like a donkey” and DJ thinking he was gonna die on the zipline. He’s 300 lbs.
Any surprises? Did anything catch you off guard about the country?
BACKYARD: A lot of beautiful women and a lot of prostitution. Some of the women are really fine but 85% are prostitutes. Somebody hipped us to the game – if they are in heels they are prostitutes.
CASS: Jaco is apparently notorious for surfing and prostitutes. And man I tell ya, mad hookers everywhere! Never seen so many! I guess cause it’s legal there but damn! According to the locals “only hookers wear heels to the club” so we stayed in flats lol!
RISSE: LOL @ Cass. Yup. The locals call them “Whores.” The only way to not be labeled a whore is to not wear heels. The craziest thing is that these women are BEAUTIFUL. It’s really sad that these women think this is the only way they can make a living.
What is the one thing you would tell someone to do/see/visit if they travel to Costa Rica? What was the highlight of your trip?
VH: Make sure you go zip-lining, white water rafting, snorkeling and visit Tortuga Island. But the highlight for me was seeing the dolphins swim along the boat on the way back from Tortuga Island. Definitely the dolphins, and meeting someone special on the trip.
BACKYARD: Go to the Backyard party on the beach on Wednesday night. It was off the chain. They played hip hop all night and it wasn’t even tourists. Surfers, people from Brazil, Cali, all over the world listening to hip hop all night and everybody was dancing. I lost my license and when I came home I thought I had a bunch of money in my pocket but when I put it out on the table and it was like 15 receipts. Had so much fun buying drinks lol
CASS: Also go horseback riding on the beach, visit Arenal volcano and make sure you go into the hot springs. And visit the Caribbean side of the island, Limon.
Would you recommend this destination for another group of friends? If so, give them your travel tips and advice for a Costa Rican getaway.
CASS: I would definitely recommend this destination for another group of friends. I would say be ready to be adventurous cause there’s mad “nature” type stuff to do in Costa Rica. And if you go between April and August it’s rainy season. We went in August and it rained everyday, but it was only for like 1 to 2 hours closer to the evening so you’ll be straight. And the beaches are not white sand they’re more dirt type volcanic. There are a few white sand beaches and Tortuga island is one of them so make sure you go there.
VH: Definitely. Costa Rica is a must. Costa Rica needs to be on everybody’s bucket list.