We had an inkling that Quepos would be an ideal house sitting location for travellers, and it turns out we were right.
During our first house sit in Costa Rica, we were living well for less up in a small mountain town called Pursical. The house sit was completely incredible, however we weren’t able to explore much of Costa Rica and instead contentedly wiled away our time ambling around the local farmer’s market, drinking coffee on the porch and watching Mad Men.
Quepos is completely different. The town is home to an many long-term expats, though the neighbourhood we’re staying in is authentically Tico. With Manuel Antonio National Park only 15 minutes away by bus, Quepos also attracts a lot of backpackers. The mix of locals, expats and travellers makes for a vibrant and varied community.
House sitting here is ideal for travellers because it offers the best of both worlds. The area is exploding with things to do, and we’re super glad to have been able to stay here for longer, living in the local community and getting to know the people in the neighbourhood. Want to know why we think this area is so awesome?
Natural Beauty & Diverse Wildlife
The area around Quepos is rich in natural beauty, from white sand beaches to dense jungle, and is therefore the perfection place to discover Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife. Manuel Antonio National Park was where we saw raccoons, sloths, titi monkeys and capuchin monkeys for the very first time.
Town Living & Café Culture
Though Luke and I would happily house sit in the middle of nowhere, we do also enjoy what comes with living in a town. Being able to browse book stores, go out for coffee, and get whatever you need whenever you need it is nice.
Quepos and the road to Manuel Antonio are big on café culture and our
inner outer coffee addict has been able to indulge. For the best coffee in town you’ll want Café Milagro, for sweet treats and a beautiful view then opt for Café Emilio, for a good red wine in the evening check out the very free spirited Café Bohemia.
Local Food & the Farmer’s Market
As a self-confessed healthy eater and a vegetarian who only buys locally sourced dairy, the Quepos area has been ideal. The local farmer’s market, on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, has plenty of variety when it comes to fruit and veggies. You can also get hold of artisan cheese and sometimes even natural yoghurt are if you’re really lucky.
One of the benefits of house sitting in a local neighbourhood is access to a local bakery and sodas. In our neighbourhood, a small bakery called Don Pan sells just pan de coco (coconut bread) and pan de canela (cinnamon bread). It’s delicious and freshly baked. Our all time favourite soda is Soda Angel, tucked away near the football pitch on the hill to Manuel Antonio. Typical Costa Rican casados are cooked up fresh.
Villa Vanilla spice farm, where they grow organic spices and offer farm tours, is also awesome.
Taking Spanish & Yoga Classes
Of course, other than having our caffeine fix, the main benefit of being in a town is the availability of Spanish lessons. Our Spanish teacher, Os, has been awesome and we’ve actually started to make some decent progress with our speaking and listening by attending regular classes three times per week. I still have no idea what the baker around the corner is talking about though, but it’s definitely not bread or cake.
Spanish isn’t the only class we’ve been attending. Like all other health conscious travellers, we’ve also succumbed to the yoga bug whilst we’ve been here. We’ve tried doing yoga at home but turns out we’re just not really motivated to do it without being told to. In Manuel Antonio, the Holis Wellness Centre runs donation classes where anyone – tourists and locals – can drop-in for a yoga class and donate whatever amount they can. We ended up in the aerial yoga class, which we turned up to having no idea what is was. Turns out, it’s yoga hanging from the ceiling!
What has really shone about the neighbourhood we’re house sitting in is the community spirit. People gather to watch football on the sports field, the children have been drumming loudly to practise for Costa Rican independence day, nearly everyone I pass on the street says hola! to me and quite a few of them actually want to have a conversation (despite my broken Spanish).
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll also know that during our 6 weeks here we’ve rescued two stray kittens that we found meowing, shivering outside in the rain storms. A local animal rescue group, Paws, were able to help us out with advice and a local woman has adopted both of them. When she came round to collect the first kitten, she was carrying a box with another kitten that looked exactly the same. When we found the third kitten, who looked uncannily like the other two, we realised there must be a whole litter of these tiger striped cats roaming the neighbourhood. Three and counting…
I’m definitely going to be reluctant to leave when our 2 month house sit here comes to an end at the beginning of October. That said, I’m also looking forward to travelling on, exploring more of Nicaragua, returning to the mountain house in Puriscal in November and heading over to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.
What do you think of Quepos? Would you like to travel here?