My Solo Trip to Costa Rica & Vegan Travel Tips

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I recently returned from a solo trip to Costa Rica.I had the most amazing time. I was able to reflect on 2015 and set time aside to envision what I want to accomplish in 2016. The most memorable experiences of my trip were seeing two volcanoes, monkeys and crocodiles in their natural habitat, swimming in the ocean and the hotel pool, soaking in a natural hot springs, hiking in a rain forest and driving a Toyota Yaris 20 miles on an unpaved road.

Costa Rican Sunset, Jaco Beach
Costa Rican Sunset, Jaco Beach
Hiking at Manuel Antonio National Park.
Hiking at Manuel Antonio National Park.

 

Hiking at the La Paz waterfalls.
Hiking at the La Paz waterfalls.

 

View from my room, Poas Volcano.
View from my room, Poas Volcano.

 

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

 

The food in Costa Rica was delicious. I started each morning with an assortment of fresh, local fruits such a plantains, pineapple, coconut juice, and papaya. I’ve never eaten so much fruit in my life. I was expecting to feel bloated and sluggish but the opposite happened, I felt light and energetic my entire trip.

It can be a struggle to find vegan foods while traveling. Below are some tips for eating vegan while traveling:

Most airlines allow you to select a vegan meal option 24 hours before your departure.

Don’t have high hopes for the vegan food on airplanes. On my flight to Europe the vegan option was bread, salad and a piece of fruit. On my flight home the airline forgot my vegan meal all together and had to scramble to find me something to eat. I ended up with a plate of 5 different fruits!

It’s always a great idea to plan ahead and be prepared. Before I go to the airport, I make a pit stop at Whole Foods and pack myself a bag of food in case of emergency. For my flight to Costa Rica I bought bananas, a salad, trail mix, coconut chips, a Field Roast vegan sandwich, baked tofu and 5 Lara Bars.

Download the “Happy Cow” free app on your phone.

This app allows you to search for vegan food where ever you are in the world. Below are screenshots showing how the app locates vegan options by searching your current location.
happy cow 1

 

Happy cow 3

 

Happy cow 4

Choose the vegetarian option and veganize it.

Most restaurants will not have a vegan option. In this case, the best thing to do is choose the vegetarian option and request “no cheese.” When I’m really desperate and there are no other options, I’ll order a salad with dressing on the side. In Costa Rica, I ate a lot of pinto gallo (rice and beans) and tortillas. I was also thrilled that my favorite meal in the world, guac and tortilla chips were on most Costa Rican menus.

guac

Check out produce stands.

Depending on where you are produce stands are another great option. The food is fresh, local and usually cheap. I don’t speak Spanish, however, I was able to get a fresh pineapple cut up at this roadside produce stand. I also bought a bunch of plantains that lasted me a couple of days.

produce stands

 

Costa Rica was one of my favorite places to visit not only because of the beauty of the country but also for the abundance of locally grown produce. In Costa Rica, there are produce stands on the side of every road. It was so nice to buy pineapple, plaintains and drink coconut water straight out of the coconut. Many of these stands also sold fresh fruit smoothies. At the end of my Costa Rica trip, I felt healthier and lighter from eating so much fruit.

 

cr smoothie

 

Costa Rica holds a special place in my heart and I know I’ll return there one day. Is there a place in the world that holds a special place in your heart? I’d love to hear about your favorite travel destinations in the comments below.

Are you ready to switch to a plant-based diet in 2016? I’d love to help you reach your goals and transform your health. Email me at Brooks@theveganglow.com to set up a free The Vegan Glow Strategy Session.

With Gratitude,

 

Brooks

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