Costa RicaCosta Rica

Liberia to Pirate's Bay

Destination: Playa Grande

After such a long and tiring journey, a bit of recovery was necessary, and today we slept in until 9 a.m. It was good to sleep in my own apartment again. Kim, my friend and neighbor, called to wake us up. It looked like rain, but today was our last day in Costa Rica. The four of us were headed 35 miles west to a pristine and unfamiliar beach called Pirate's Bay, known as Bahia de los Piratas.

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After brewing a pot of coffee, we stopped for chicken salad sandwiches to go at my favorite lunch place, Cafe Liberia. On the way to the highway we detoured over to the park for some fresh coconuts to drink that afternoon with our lunch. Two hours and one Reggaeton CD later, we arrived at the beach. We'd followed the signs to Playa Grande, a known leatherback turtle nesting ground on Guanacaste's northern Pacific Coast. We turned at the last minute onto an unpaved path leading to Bahia de los Piratas.

The secluded bay is not in any of my guidebooks. If you search for "Bahia de los Piratas" online, nothing but a handful of first-hand accounts and personal photographs will pop up. The cove is virtually unknown, and I hope it stays that way. Tim, Jess, Kim and I found the bay to be breathtaking, even in such windy weather. Apart from one sleeping girl a mile or so away, we were the only people in sight. Far off, our private inlet was spotted with caves, which were violently splashing water back at the ocean like squirt guns. Rocks the size of small islands jutted from the sea at uneven intervals. The beach sand was pure and spotless, not littered with rocks or even seashells. We relaxed in the sun, sipping our coconuts and feeling like we'd been plopped into the set of our very own Corona commercial.

I thought about all the places we'd been that week, and wished I had more time to explore. I vowed to return to the Nicoya Peninsula, especially to explore the trails of Curu National Wildlife Refuge. A day of relaxing and swimming in Pirate's Bay was just what we needed bring our amazing trip to a close.

Liberia to Pirate's Bay in Pictures

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