Best Things To Do, Eat and Stay in La Fortuna, Costa Rica


You have heard us talk before about how much we love Costa Rica and about all of the beautiful diverse cities it has to offer. Well if you are looking for that perfect balance of adventure and relaxation, look no further than the small city of La Fortuna.


La Fortuna is a beautiful little town situated in the shadows of two absolutely breath-taking volcanoes. It is definitely a bigger tourist stop with a ton of things to do and places to stay but, during our time there, it never felt too crowded. When a destination feels too crowded it can make it really stressful. La Fortuna is one of those perfect destinations.



Two Volcanos Tour

If you only have a day or two in La Fortuna and still want to see the absolute maximum amount of things, we highly recommend you check out the Two Volcanos Tour. It is about a 10-hour tour, so be aware, this will take up an entire day. Transportation from your accommodations is around 9 in the morning. We booked our tour through our hostel.  They will return you back to wherever you are staying at the end of the tour which is around 7-7:30 pm. The day consists of a rigorous hike up to the 1968 lava flow that has a beautiful view of the Arenal Volcano and an amazing vantage point for the surrounding area. After your hike you are welcome to cool off in the nearby lagoon complete with it's own Tarzan swing. Lunch is included in the tour but it is neither vegan nor vegetarian so if that is outside of your dietary needs I highly suggest packing a lunch or bringing lots of snacks. After lunch, you head over to the Arenal Observatory for more walking trails, a waterfall, two hanging bridges and an absolutely beautiful sunset over Lake Arenal with the volcanos beside you. To wind down the tour you head on over to the natural hot river to soak and enjoy a celebratory drink. Our guide also offered a therapeutic face mask made from some of the mineral-rich mud that comes from the volcano. The tour guides are amazing and knowledgeable and honestly for $55 USD this tour is absolutely worth it. (WARNING: the hike up to the lava flow will be physically intense with steep AND long climbs. Most young, physically-active individuals will find it challenging, but manageble. Make sure you bring plenty of water, the right kind of hiking shoes and sunblock!)



Lava Lounge

We actually ended up eating at the Lava Lounge twice during our stay in La Fortuna. That was definitely not for the lack of other options but more for the convenience of the restaurant. And if we are being completely honest, one of the big reasons we ate there the first night was because the restaurant is open air and allows the resident dogs and cats into the establishment to socialize with patrons. And you know how much we love dogs! The food is very good and they have many options from American dishes to traditional Costa Rican cuisine. We also went for breakfast which was really good. The menu and the staff are both English-friendly and pleasant. You may even see the Ex-Pat owner running around, which I always think is cool!

Veggie Sub

Ok, ok! You know how you just get hit with cravings out of nowhere? Well, this happened to me in La Fortuna. All of a sudden, on our rest day, my body decided I just had to have a veggie burger! And, honestly, what better place than Veggie Sub. This cute little restaurant was some of the best food and best service we had on the entire trip. While the menu was English friendly the staff had a harder time with English and I found that I had an easier time communicating than mom did. Highly recommend!


Arenal Backpackers Resort

As usual we booked our hostel accommodations through  And, when it came to La Fortuna, our only desire was to be able to see the volcano from outside our room, and boy did we hit the jackpot. Arenal Backpackers Resort (ABR) had some pretty amazing amenities including hammocks, a pool, volley ball area and green space for exercise or lounging. It also has a small restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. ABR offers traditional rooms and dorms but they also offer something that I thought was really cool and unique; really nice tents. I know what you are probably thinking, because, it was the same thing mom thought "Brandy, are you serious? A tent?" but I found it to be so nice and mom did eventually came around. The tents are set up on top of platforms and contain: a full size bed, a fan, an electrical strip, two towels and a trash can. It was a really cool, unique experience. The exact kind of thing you want when you are out exploring the world!

First hostel we've stayed at with a pool! 

First hostel we've stayed at with a pool! 

Our own personal homes

Our own personal homes

View of the Volcano from our tent

View of the Volcano from our tent

Staying in La Fortuna and hiking the Arenal Volcano is possibly the coolest thing we have ever done on our travels. If you are looking for adventure and want to feel like you are in a completely different world, we 100% recommend planning a stay in La Fortuna. Great restaurants, incredible excursions and amazing opportunities for a little relaxation. We hope this guide aids you in your travels and you have a trip you will never forget. Pura vida and remember...

It's an adventure!

Best Things To Do, Eat and Stay in Monte Verde, Costa Rica

Best things to do, eat and stay in.jpg

Ahhh yeah! Heading to Costa Rica and trying to decide which towns to hit? Well, let me be honest, for being such a small country (compared to countries like America, Mexico, and Australia) Costa Rica has more to offer than you could ever see in one trip! You have many different kinds of ecosystems from the beautiful beaches to the awe-inspiring volcanos to the luscious rain forests to the thick jungles.

I say, why not all of it? BUT, if the rain forests that caught your eye, I highly recommend checking out Monte Verde!

Monte Verde is in Northern Costa Rica, located inside the Cloud Forest and it is absolutely beautiful.

Things to do:

Tour of the Monte Verde Cloud Forest Ecological Reserve


The Monte Verde Cloud Forest Ecological Reserve is an absolutely lovely park with tons of wildlife and beautiful trails. If you are looking for a tour that is more walking trails than a climbing hike we would highly suggest this one. You can enter the park on your own (with an entrance fee) however booking with a tour guide is totally worth it! When you book with a tour guide they will provide you with transportation from and to your hotel/hostel, show you around the park pointing out wildlife that is often very difficult to see with the naked eye and will normally assist you in taking really lovely photos of some of your finds through their scopes. On our tour, we saw multiple different species of birds, including many species of hummingbirds, a tarantula, a sleeping sloth and some coatis. Of course, I can not promise you will see all of those animals but you could also see much more than we did! It was an amazing tour! Would definitely do again!


100% Aventura Zip-lining

If you are seeking a little adventure then I highly recommend booking something with 100% Aventura. We decided to go with the zip-lining package but they seemed to have many other excursions to choose from like ATVs and rafting. I personally love zip-lining and somehow I convinced mom to join me so we signed up for that! 100% Aventura is home to the longest zip-line in Central America and it is absolutely incredible! We 100% recommend 100% Aventura.

Selvatura Park

Ok, so we have all seen those travel photos of people on those beautiful hanging bridges, right? Well, I certainly have, and I was getting super jelly that I had never gotten to visit one. Well that all changed at Selvatura Park in Monte Verde. Here you can take a lovely walking trail that takes you across 8 beautiful hanging bridges with beautiful views. It is a nice and easy hike with a promise of picturesque moments and of course, since you are still in the forest, you do have the possibility of coming across some of the local wildlife. So, keep your eyes open!


Good Eats:


The first restaurant we ate at in Monte Verde after a long day of traveling, Morphos, was a great intro to the cuisine for us. I got a simple pasta dish that was loaded with yummy veggies and mom got our first vegetarian Casado of the trip. This was the restaurant that began our love affair of Casados! The staff was super sweet and the menu was English friendly.

Tico Y Rico

Tico y Rico was another restaurant that the front desk at our hostel recommended to us and we were not disappointed. They had a good size English friendly menu but I got to say we ended up sharing another Casado! Yeah don't be surprised if I am talking about Costa Rican food and I only talk about Casados, they are just so good! We also got an order of fried yucca, can't go wrong with yucca! Great staff and good prices.


Neko Sushi


Ok, I know I have been seriously talking up these Casados but let's just take a step back and talk about my absolute favorite restaurant of our time in Monte Verde and you know what possibly our whole stay in Costa Rica, Neko Sushi. If you have read some of our articles from our time in Europe,  you will know that we joke about constantly about the over-abundance of sushi places, well this trend continued with us in Costa Rica as well. Directly across the street from Tico y Rico, you will find Neko Sushi, who's menu is very English friendly AND, also, very vegan-friendly. It was amazing! We ended up getting so much food, but it was so good we ate it all: vegan spring rolls, vegan miso soup, and veggie rolls that had plantain on top! I know that sounds kind of odd but it was so good! The staff was super nice and the food was well priced.

Restaurante de Amy`s

Restaurante de Amy's was actually suggested to us by a friend I have in the states who is from Monte Verde. If you are craving some pizza this is the place to go. I got a cheeseless pizza that was piled high with veggies. Mom ended up getting a veggie fajita and was also pleased with all the veggies. It was more on the expensive side which would not be the best if you are on a budget but the food was good. English friendly menu but you will want to know a little bit of Spanish to communicate effectively with the staff.


Open Kitchen


Favorite Accommodations:

We never actually ate at Open Kitchen (we just didn't have the time) but every time we passed it I just thought it was so cute. Yes, I am basing this restaurant suggestion purely off of the fact that it was aesthetically pleasing but I think we have all gone into restaurants, especially when traveling, just because we liked how it looked.



The Camino Verde Bed and Breakfast was not only an amazing place to stay in Monte Verde, but I think it is safe to say that it has made our top ten list of favorite hostels we have ever stayed at. This B&B comes highly recommended for multiple reasons! It is easily bookable being associated with and a great price for the quality of rooms. Breakfast is included every morning of your stay and the staff is absolutely incredible! We honestly have only good things to say about our stay at Camino Verde.

Monte Verde was an amazing stop on our tour of Costa Rica. If you have never been, we highly recommend! It is a walkable town with friendly locals and great excursions. We hope that if you find yourself traveling to Monte Verde in the future that this little guide helps you and that you have an amazing time! Pura Vida and remember...

It's an adventure!

Chichen Itza VS Tulum

Ahh, the million dollar question when traveling to Cancun! Should you make a trip to Chichen Itza or Tulum? To make things really easy and also not be any help at all, go to both! 

Now I know you're like, "Really? If I could go to both I wouldn't be here right now." Ok, ok. I understand. Well in our 72 hours in Cancun blog we talked about our tour of Tulum but we didn't really talk about why we chose Tulum over Chichen Itza, so here it is!

When we originally got to Cancun we were determined to go to both seeing as we had three days and each was only about a 12-14 hour tour. However, money for this trip was a little tight and so we felt it was necessary to choose between the two. The prices were practically the same with Tulum only being a few dollars cheaper.

The next question is which would we have more fun at. Now, that was a really hard question to answer. After scouring the internet and talking to many people, both natives and tourists alike, we came to an agreement on Tulum.  

The biggest selling point on Tulum was that the tour offered more to see and do, including, two archaeological sites and a cenote (for a little bit cheaper than a tour that only took you to Chichen Itza). 

I had honestly never heard of Tulum until we had started to plan the trip, but it came so highly recommended. Being that we are such huge water people, it also was a big plus that it was right on the water. I think it is safe to say that, if and when we make our next trip down to Mexico, we will consider actually staying in Tulum for a few days of culture, history, sunshine and waves! Hope this helps you make your decision! 


72 hours in Cancun!


Since you guys really seemed to enjoy our last 72-hour travel guide to New Orleans, we figured we'd come back with another one! Sometimes, you just don't have the amount time in a city that you'd like to. To be honest, 72 hours is a pretty good time frame to get an overarching sample of a city. 

We've got some suggestions of things to do, see, and eat if you only have 72-hours in Cancun Mexico! 

Must Sees:

The Tulum Ruins:

Let's begin with my absolute favorite place we visited, Tulum! Tulum is not exactly in Cancun. It is about 130 km to the south, but is super-accessible by both tour buses and public ADO buses. Having only seen a fraction of its glory, Tulum is absolutely beautiful. The number one stop has to be the Mayan archaeological site that is right on the water. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the beauty and history of this amazing city.


Do you like hiking and maybe a little bit of a physical challenge with an amazing view of the jungle as the reward? Well, then your place is Coba. While being another location out of Cancun, many of the tour buses also make a stop at the Coba archaeological site. The site is what remains of a Mayan village with residential buildings, sporting arena, and temples. Climb to the top of the Nohoch Mul Pyramid to get an untouched, incredible view of the Yucatan. WARNING: This is a pretty intense climb and even harder to climb down from. Please assess your physical condition before making the climb to avoid any accidents or injuries!

Playa del Carmen:

On your way out of Cancun, you can pass through Playa del Carmen. This little coastal city is filled with things to do! It is right on the water with shops, restaurants, and bars lining the area. There is even a fantastic outdoor mall with some shops you may be familiar with (Starbucks) mixed in with some local establishments. If you are looking to get out of Cancun, but want that beach city vibe, Playa del Carmen is 100% recommended. 

Playa Delfines:

While there are a ton of beaches to visit in Cancun, we recommend heading down to Playa Delfines! While it is still within the hotel zone, just much further down, you can still access it on the city bus. Keep an eye out for the super colorful Cancun site and that is your stop! White sand, free beach umbrellas (that is if they are not all taken) and breathtaking water.  NOTE: We definitely suggest bringing any drinks you may want with you while you are there, because, while they do have people selling drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) those drinks are marked up about 3x the price and take forever to be brought to you!

Mercado 28:

When visiting Cancun, we suggest you visit Mercado 28. You won't need to spend a ton of time here, but you certainly could if you wanted to. Mercado 28 is a huge open-air flea market, and when we say huge, we mean HUGE! You can definitely get lost in there. It is a great place to find some delicious food and great souvenirs for a good price. This is definitely a place to hone your bargaining skills. Be prepared for people to call out to you from each stall you pass and in some areas it can get a little claustrophobic.

Isla Mujeres:

Right off the coast of Cancun, Isla Mujeres is a fantastic place for a few days, a day trip or even an afternoon trip. Just the ferry trip over to the Isle is gorgeous. The water doesn't look real. There is so much to do on this one tiny island. From beaches to the lighthouse, the turtle sanctuary, and the underwater Mayan ruins. it's just a super-cute getaway destination!


100% Natural: 

The first place we ate at in Cancun was 100% Natural. This is a great, mostly-vegan restaurant with amazing lentil and mushroom burgers! We highly suggest getting one of the juices, and, you HAVE to get the sweet potato chips! They are so delicious. Not the most English-friendly restaurant, but they do have English menus!


Cheesters is very close to the Hostel Ka'beh, where we stayed. When we got back really late one night, it was really the only place that was still open. To start, their smoothies are incredible! I went back more than once in 72 hours to get one of their smoothies. Now for the food, they serve a variety of pasta and pizza dishes in insane portions. You are definitely going to be sharing one of these meals. They, unfortunately, don't have any vegan options on their actual menu, but were very accommodating by making us a special pasta dish with a bunch of veggies. Not very English-friendly, so we mostly spoke Spanish while there.


This little hole in the wall restaurant is directly next to Cheesters and caters to a vegetarian and vegan clientele. NOTE: This is actually where we learned how to say vegan in Spanish.... vegano. I know, it seems obvious. They served a simple menu of sandwiches, wraps, and smoothies. This is a great place to grab some lunch, which is basically all you can get there because their hours are very short. We kept missing when they were open and only ended up being able to get smoothies from there.

Vegan Planet:

This was the only restaurant we went out of our way to get to, and it was completely worth it! The menu was huge with both cooked and raw options. The two meals we suggest the most are the Raw Tacos or the Raw Pizza. I mean come on, any chance you get to have really good raw, vegan food, you take it! It is so worth it.  


Tulum and Coba

The only tour we actually went on in our time in Mexico was on the Tulum/Coba tour! It is a 12-14 hour tour that includes the bus, entrance into both the Tulum and Coba archaeological sites, swimming in a cenote and food. The base price does not include drinks, but you may buy an unlimited drink band from the bus driver, which we recommend. You will get hot and need lots of water and they also offer some juices and beer as well. This tour is a great way to get a ton done in one day, and by visiting these sites with a tour, you learn more about the sites.

*Now, as I said above, we only went on one tour during our time and that was due to both money and time. But, if you are more focused on tours and/or have more time in Mexico, Chichen Itza and MUSA, Cancun's Underwater Museum, are highly recommended.



72 hours in New Orleans!

Sometimes, you just don't have the amount time in a city that you'd like to. To be honest, 72 hours is a pretty good time frame to get an overarching sample of a city. 

With 72 hours in New Orleans, Louisiana you can get a little taste of everything the town has to offer! 

Must Sees:

Magazine Street:

This is one of the main streets of New Orleans, where you can find quite a selection of small, independent and local shops and restaurants. Magazine Street is recommended for anyone looking for thrift stores!

The French Quarter:

Most of the sites, bars, and restaurants you are going to will be within the French Quarter, New Orleans oldest neighborhood. If you want to pack in as much as possible into a short trip you will definitely be devoting a whole day to this neighborhood.

Bourbon Street:

You cannot go to New Orleans and not go to Bourbon Street! Even if you do not drink, Bourbon Street is iconic.  Go to Bourbon Street in the evening to see the street come to life with music, lights, and people from all over the world. 

The French Market:

The French Market, in the French Quarter neighborhood, is described as three centuries of history in six blocks of shopping. This would be another spot I would recommend to people who like to thrift or looking for some really good food.  The Market is very similar to an outdoor flea market with booth-style shops, restaurants, and dining!

Jackson Square:

There is always something going on in Jackson Square. This is a great place to go if you are looking for street vendors. There is music, art, and street performances.  Check out Jackson Square for good vibes and a lot of culture.

The River Walk: 

It is not actually in the French Quarter, but is still easily accessible. The River Walk is a very nice indoor shopping area right on the Mississippi River. We would definitely recommend walking down the river through Woldenberg Park. This area is really great if you would like to go for a run.


Pizza Delicious:

This is a super cute little pizza joint with a few vegan options! Pizza Delicious offers great food for the price! 

Izzo's Illegal Burrito Bar:

Izzo's is a chain restaurant specializing in Mexican style food and is similar to a Moe's or Chipotle.  You can get huge burritos for a good price and you can make it exactly how you want it.

Cafe Du Monde:

We 100% recommend putting this on your stop even though it is not vegan-friendly.  It was really cool to see the very first Cafe Du Monde. Open since 1862, they are famous for their cafe au laits and beignets. 

The Green Goddess:  

Found on a small side street in the French Quarter, The Green Goddess has such an amazing array of vegan and vegetarian dishes influenced by cultures around the world.  They have a great menu, amazing staff, and delicious food.  This is a great place for a quaint romantic dinner.  What could be better than fairy lights out on a patio with compassionate food?!

Mister B's:  

Also located in the French Quarter, Mister B's is a very fancy restaurant with a wide variety of meal selections.  Nothing on the menu is explicitly vegan, but the staff was very welcoming and accommodating to help find ways to make certain items vegan. They also have amazing vegan sherbert. However, like I said, this is a fairly fancy restaurant so expect to spend a little extra.  

*Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge:

This is not exactly a place for food, but we seriously cannot suggest it enough! Almost directly across the street from Mister B's, the Carousel Bar is just what its name says. It is inside the Hotel Monteleone and has a slow revolving bar that looks reminiscent of a carousel. They tend to have live jazz and the staff is amazing. Of course, the revolving bar is the main attraction so it does get pretty packed.  Luckily, if all you are after is a drink, there is a second bar a little further back.  Please be warned, the drinks are expensive, but strong. They definitely know how to pour a drink!


Carmo is a laid back vegan-friendly restaurant near the National WWII Museum with great tropical influence and good vibes. Probably one of our favorite places, the food is incredible and very well priced.  We 100% recommend trying the vegan Rico! 

Meals From The Heart Cafe:

If you find yourself in the French Market looking for some vegan cuisine, allow us to suggest Meals From The Heart Cafe. Set up as a very cute stand-alone diner, you can go right from shopping to eating some amazing vegan and gluten-free dishes! 


Audubon Zoo:  

With the choice between the zoo and the aquarium, we decided to go with the zoo. We mostly made this decision because it was a little cheaper and they had a student discount, which was nice, but we definitely were not disappointed with our choice. The Audubon Zoo is in the middle of Audubon Park and filled with amazingly beautiful animals, many of which are rescue animals.

The National WWII Museum:  

One of our favorite subjects to learn about, the WWII museum was really cool.  It was set up as an interactive story where you personally follow a historical figure throughout the story of the war. The scenery is incredible and very immersive.  This is definitely a museum we would suggest for young people as well as families. 

*In our 72 hours, we only did two "tours" but we would also like to note that both The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the New Orleans Cemeteries looked extremely intriguing.  If you have more time in New Orleans, or if tours are your thing, we would recommend you check these out!

And always remember,
It's an adventure!

Magazine Street NOLA


When it comes to New Orleans, Louisiana, there are thousands of things to do, especially if you visit during Mardis Gras. 

One of our favorite gems of the city has to be Magazine Street! It is quaint and cute and full of 100's of shops and restaurants!

If you are using public transport you can hop on the 11 bus on Magazine Street right off of Canal Street. If you take the bus down to the Milan or the stop right after you can get out and start walking back towards Canal Street. I know it sounds odd but I promise it gives you the best clumping of stores. (Fun fact! If you take the 11 bus even further you can get to the Audubon Zoo and Park)


The vibe of the area is very friendly and welcoming. It is definitely a spot shared by both tourist and locals. You can basically find whatever you could possibly want on Magazine Street, from coffee shops to thrift stores, antique shops to fine dinning, fast food to book stores! It is just so eclectic. 

We stepped into almost all the thrift stores including the Buffalo Exchange and The Funky Monkey We decided to grab a quick bite to eat at Izzo, which is known for their giant burritos, but let me tell you it was difficult to choose a single place to eat! Magazine Street is very vegan- friendly.

After a few hours strolling the streets and window shopping, we decided to hike back towards the River Walk. The best thing is that there is always an 11 bus running both ways, so whether or not you want to go deeper down Magazine Street towards the Zoo or make your way back up towards Canal Street where you can get to all the bars the public transportation, it is both easy and convenient! Of course, make sure you are checking for bus times and any changes made to the routes (that's just a good tip for traveling in general). 


So next time you find yourself in New Orleans, make sure you make time to stroll down Magazine Street and let us know your favorite store or restaurant! We might just have to go back again if we missed out, but until then...

It's an adventure!