All posts by costaricarios

Why Costa Rica Rates Among the World’s Best for an Immersive Travel Experience

Spending more on experiences rather than souvenirs, coming home with a more enlightened vision rather than just a suntan, and gaining a deeper understanding of a foreign culture – instead of being on the lookout for recognizable hints of ‘home’: this is the kind of immersive travel experience Costa Rica offers. As more and more people seek out the unique, the different and the experiential, Costa Rica is swiftly rising in popularity, thanks to a bevy of unique traits that attract those who want to fully experience their holiday destination.

For those wanting to steer clear of Disneyland-type tourist traps and all those who want a cultural experience along with plenty of adventure and R&R, Costa Rica is ideal. The sheer diversity of the country, the ancient history, culture and incredibly organic essence, means vacations here are never superficial.

Costa Rica has a way of capturing the heart of all those who visit, so go ahead and discover more of this incredible country and come see for yourself why Costa Rica rates among the world’s best countries for truly immersive travel experiences.

Each of Costa Rica’s regions offers very distinctive experiences

Homogenous landscapes, cities besieged by international fast-food chains and glitzy hotels are the usual calling cards of mainstream travel destinations, the kind you could just about interchange. Costa Rica, however, showcases the kind of distinctiveness that’s revered among discerning travelers looking for a multi-dimensional vacation. Want to have an incentive to not just travel to a new country but travel through it, too? Then Costa Rica is for you!

Unique volcanic travel experienceEverything about Costa Rica is unique and unmistakable: from the country’s volcanic peaks framed by luscious primordial rain forests to its exceptional wildlife, its gorgeous authentic villages, cuisine and architecture and the unparalleled friendliness of its people.

Moreover, every corner of the country displays its own distinct flavor and offers its own specific attractions and, given its compact size, even on a short Costa Rica adventure vacation you can soak up an array of different sights: hike up an active volcano, search for sloths and jaguars in the jungle, surf and snorkel its turquoise waters and have the option of remoteness and modern luxuries, depending on where you go. So leave the same-same destinations behind and come discover a country that’ll blow you away with its diversity.

Costa Rica spearheaded the ‘eco-friendly tourism’ movement

The environmental impact of travel is fast becoming a real concern for a lot of people and it’s in this regard that Costa Rica shines resplendent. Considered the poster child for ecotourism, Costa Rica made environmental preservation a priority before the concept became a worldwide trend.

Responsible tourists love knowing their impact, on their planet, is kept at a minimum when they visit Costa Rica, a country that rates its lodges and resorts on the merits of their eco-friendliness. The commitment to preserve its unique wilderness and wildlife is what has created a country that is, for the most part, a natural playground. Immersive travel experiences in Costa Rica mean you can dive into stunning forests, unspoiled nature reserves and pristine waters that lack the kind of pollution found elsewhere. Celebrated the world over for offering very organic travel experiences, Costa Rica boasts luxurious and rustic eco-resorts that are discretely built in glorious wilderness, offers eco-friendly adventure sports aimed at enjoying the startling nature (without spoiling it) and serves up fresh local produce at every turn. One of the most bio diverse nations on earth, as well as one of its most conscientious: Costa Rica personifies the best of ecotourism and you can indulge here guilt-free, knowing your own outstanding adventure makes but the tiniest of impacts.

Costa Rica is safe and peaceful – you can travel extensively

Latin America, as a whole, has suffered greatly over the past few decades due to a few countries making headline news for all the wrong reasons. Yet among political and social unrest in the region, Costa Rica has always remained a beacon of peace and stability. Unlike many other countries worldwide, the whole country is free and safe for you to visit: there isn’t a corner of Costa Rica that’s out of bounds for foreigners due to lack of safety. You can visit Costa Rica and not worry about a military coup (the country has no army!) or social revolution. This is one of the safest and happiest countries on earth, so you needn’t lock yourself up in some swanky resort and shut out any domestic problem but are free to explore far and wide, meet locals and discover the most remote corners of the country.

Costa Rica offers seclusion, remoteness and adventure – at one with nature

Immersive travel, nowadays, is synonymous with experiential travel in natural surroundings. Today’s modern adventurer wants to ‘do’ stuff rather than just admire it from afar and local travel specialists agree that this recent change in travel focus is not just restricted to the young generation: specialty adventure travel is fast becoming Costa Rica’s most sought-after highlight, for young adventurers, multi-generational families and honeymooners alike. Tourists head here to hike and bike and whitewater raft, to zip line, snorkel and SCUBA dive. They come here for wildlife spotting and volcano climbing and, above all, they come here to escape the hectic routine of their everyday and very modern lives. They want to feel at one with nature, they want to fall asleep to the call of howler monkeys and toucans and want to partake in activities that will revitalize their souls and inject some heart-thumping adventure into their lives.

Want an immersive and interactive travel experience that’s totally out of the mainstream tourism? Costa Rica is it! Visit our adventure travel page for inspiration and contact us to know more about unique, action-packed adventures in one of the world’s most spectacular countries.

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Discover the Pacuare River: Costa Rica’s Best Adrenaline Rush

Named by National Geographic as one of the world’s greatest rafting rivers, the Pacuare is Costa Rica’s most phenomenal playground. Revered by adventure seekers in the know, the Pacuare River is indeed Costa Rica’s best adrenaline rush. A collection of exceptional rapids have made this the whitewater rafting, kayaking and river boarding capital of the country and the prized river has hosted no less than three World Rafting Championships in the last two decades. Yet the immense attraction of the Pacuare River isn’t found only in its raging rapids: flowing for more than 60 miles from its source in the Talamanca Mountains all the way to the Caribbean, the Pacuare River crosses some of the most spectacular and diverse wilderness in the entire country.

The Pacuare River is the true personification of ‘tropical paradise’, as it meanders through deeply carved gorges right in the heart of some of the most pristine and unspoilt rain forests on earth. Not only does the river offer warm waters in which to play but its surrounding landscapes hide a kaleidoscope of unique wildlife, including sloths, monkeys, raccoons, iguanas, an infinite array of exotic birds, as well as coatis, ocelots and – for the luckiest of visitors –  even elusive jaguars.

Pacuare RiverAn unforgettable ride on the Pacuare River isn’t just exhilarating and soul-reviving, it is also insanely scenic.

Eco-lodges embedded in the jungle – like the Pacuare Eco Lodge – make for fantastic base points and when you embark on an adventure-vacation in Costa Rica’s best rafting region you’ll get to experience no only the country’s pristine wilderness but also its indigenous culture. That’s what makes the Pacuare River so unmissable: it’s easy to get to yet still feels incredibly remote, and offers the best of the country’s nature and culture.

Rafting the Pacuare River is, perhaps surprisingly, suitable for anyone with an adventurous spirit. Although there are plenty of Class IV and V rapids, there are also a handful of sections suitable for beginners who visit on guided trips. Aside for the expert stretches which require a great deal of skill, the Pacuare is also renowned as a fantastic beginner rafter’s river. Unlike many other rafting rivers all over the world, moreover, the Pacuare offers year-round adventures so no matter what time of year you can manage a week off work and routine, you can always come over and enjoy a superlative adventure.

The Pacuare may travel unrestricted for its entire length yet this doesn’t mean that the landscape remains uniform. The Lower Section, for example, runs for more than 20 miles and drops over 1000 feet, offering Class III and IV rapids and breathtaking waterfalls as the river flows into the stunning Huacas Gorge. Hikes and other non-rafting activities (such as canopy tours, ziplining and mountain biking) are always on offer in this superb wonderland of nature and the proximity of the turquoise seas means you can easily add a day or two of snorkeling, surfing and SCUBA diving to your itinerary.

The best starting points for adventure vacations on the Pacuare River are only 80 kilometres east of San Jose which you means you can step off the plane and find yourself immersed in this pristine wilderness within just a few hours. Ease of access, short transfer times and, of course, the luxury of short flights from the US is what makes a week of adventure in Costa Rica such a popular vacation option. No long-haul flights, no jet lag, no tiredness and fabulous value for money are just a few of the reasons Costa Rica is one of the most popular destinations for US and Canadian residents, and when you choose an adventure vacation on the Pacuare River your rewards are tenfold.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime on the Pacuare River? Then visit our Costa Rica Rios page and come discover how much fun, exhilaration and relaxation you have on one of the world’s most celebrated rivers.

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A Costa Rica Vacation: The Best Time to Do What, When, and Where

Glorious surfing and snorkeling, incredible wildlife watching and the best adventure sports makes for an incredible Costa Rica vacation.

A Costa Rica vacationPlanning a fabulous adventure vacation in Costa Rica can seem a bit overwhelming at first. A quick research soon revealing that the sheer variety in micro-climates in the country, as well as superb destinations, serves up a head-spinning array of options.

Yet in reality, the best way to think of it is like this: no matter what time of the year YOU can travel to Costa Rica, it will always be the best time somewhere in the country. This spells great news for the many who don’t have a lot of leeway in when they can take their yearly vacation. Should your trip be restricted to, say, school holidays or your company’s scheduled yearly closing time, then rest assured you can always find an idyllic corner of Costa Rica where the weather is at its best, leaving you excellent options for wildlife spotting and adventure sports.

Yet should you have more freedom to choose ‘the right time to travel’ and wish, instead, to hone in on your favorite activity or destination, then read on and find out the very best time of year to travel to Costa Rica and what you can see and do when you get there.

Best time for beach vacations

Crystal clear skies, calm seas and manageable temperatures: that’s the usual criteria one considers when planning a beach vacation, anywhere. In Costa Rica, the best months to bag all three are between December and April on the Pacific Coast and September and October on the Caribbean coast. The northwest Guanacaste province, in particular, just about guarantees dry days in January, February and March so if it’s ‘postcard perfect’ beach days you’re after, you’d be well advised to plan your trip for the beginning of the year. And when it comes to the eastern Caribbean side, do note that this is, generally speaking, the much rainier side of the country, so you should expect some rain even during the driest months.

Best time for wildlife spotting

There isn’t a single month in the year when you won’t be able to admire Costa Rica’s exceptional wildlife, the only differences depending on specific species and locations. Turtle nesting starts in earnest in many spots throughout the country in June and will continue until mass arribadas, phenomenal and mesmerizing affairs, occur between October and November. July and August sees pods of humpback whales take up residence in the Golfo Dulce, as they migrate from the freezing waters of Antarctica during the southern hemisphere winter although northern humpback whales can be spotted in January, a month when the Pacific coast showcases its four turtles species too: hawksbill, Olive Ridley, green and leatherback. By and large, rain season (July-August) is the best time to explore the luscious rainforests of Costa Rica in search of wildlife. As the rains bring the wilderness to life, the animals come out in astronomical numbers.

Best time for adventure sports

Rivers start flowing rapidly from June and the subsequent months are considered the best for rafting, continuing towards the end of the green season, all the way to December. The second half of the year really is ideal for adrenaline-pumping river action and, considering wildlife spotting is also prime at this time, it is perfect for comprehensive active vacations, in general. Scuba diving and snorkeling are best done during the driest months, for maximum visibility, whilst canyoning, rappelling and kayaking are also sought-after between June and December, when rivers are flowing just right. Too much rain, or not enough, can affect river based sports here although there are spectacular areas, especially the river system on the Pacuare in the Limon Province (considered the best rafting river in the country) that facilitate active vacations all year long.

Best for smaller crowds

Whilst the Caribbean dries up in September and October, the Pacific side – the most visited in Costa Rica – enjoys its wettest and quietest season. If you wish to have the most popular attractions seemingly all to yourself, this is definitely the time to go. Yes, you’ll have to contend with some heavy (yet short lived) rainfall and you may have restricted access to some of the more remote regions (like Corcovado, for example but if you’re willing to wait out the rains for a couple of hours a day, you will enjoy an unrivalled tranquil vacation in some of the luscious wilderness of all, both on the Pacific coastline and the central mountain range. The other upside of travel in rain season (also called green season) is that the wildlife is out in force so you’ll see plenty more monkeys and birds than you would in dry season.

Best time for less expensive vacations

Rain season is considered off-tourist time in Costa Rica, however, this is still a very rewarding time to travel here and this is now reflected in the prices. Price differences nowadays between peak dry season and rain season (in July and August) are not nearly as dramatic as they used to be, although you will still find better last-minute deals and smaller crowds if traveling here mid-year. What does make a huge difference, instead, is traveling to Costa Rica outside local holiday times, which are at Christmas and Easter week. The best value for money months tend to be in the shoulder season (May-June, and again Sept-November) a time when the climate can still be more than perfect yet crowds, and prices, are still quite low.

Summary: One of the most amazing aspects of Costa Rica is that, despite its relatively small size, it boasts such a variety of landscapes and ecosystems that creates a very complex countrywide climate. The upside is that, generally speaking, you can travel here at any time of year, remembering that the Pacific side is dry and busy during the winter and that the Caribbean is, also generally speaking, the much wetter side at any time. This idyllic tropical country enjoys dreamy temps all year long and offers so much for the curious and active explorer that makes traveling here simply magic no matter when!

Check out our award-winning array of professional, guided and unforgettable Costa Rica vacation in Costa Rica and come discover just how priceless, and memorable, this country can be.

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Best Costa Rica Honeymoon Resorts for 2018

Results are in! Fabulous resorts, gorgeous boutique hotels and some of the best eco-lodges on the planet: discover the best Costa Rica honeymoon resorts for 2018.

It’s not surprising to learn that Costa Rica, arguably THE best adventure honeymoon destination on the planet, is home to some pretty fabulous resorts that cater for adventurous, nature-loving newlyweds looking for a totally unique way to start their married life. Even if you’re not traveling here on honeymoon, the sheer romance, fun and beauty of the place will surely make you feel like you are! With inexpensive short flights from just about anywhere in the US and a ton of totally cool stuff to see and do, this small but stunning country is just purrrfect for adventurous couples looking for a unique and unforgettable way to celebrate their incredible life-step.

From all-inclusive luxury resorts to boutique hotels and exceptional eco-lodges, here are the best Costa Rica honeymoon resorts for 2018.

Top Honeymoon Resorts

Four Seasons Resort, Papagayo Peninsula

One of Costa Rica's honeymoon resortsWith its own world-class golf-course and a standard of luxury you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, the Four Seasons Resort continues to lead the honeymoon resort pack in Costa Rica. Revered by couples looking for a perfectly located honeymoon resort (one they don’t need to leave if they don’t want to) the Four Seasons really does offer the best of all this glorious country has to offer.

With the spectacular Papagayo Peninsula at your suite- door, however, you may just want to peak your head outside the resort and indulge in amazing diving, snorkeling and wildlife-spotting day-trips whilst you’re there. In-house, you’ll have several private beaches to enjoy, a blissful health and beauty spa and gourmet feasting in abundance. If you’re looking for a super romantic luxury honeymoon with adventure options on the side then the Papagayo Peninsula, and the Four Seasons Resort, are ideal. What’s more, this heavenly honeymoon resort is only a 20-minute drive from the Liberia Airport.

Nayara Springs Resort, Arenal

Another of Costa Rica's honeymoon resortsThe adults-only twin of the Arenal Nayara Resort literally serves up the best of the country’s most popular destination on your luxury villa patio. With your own private thermal plunge pool, you’d needn’t brave the crowds of Arenal’s famous hot springs and can enjoy all the privacy and romance you crave.

The villas are immersed in pristine wilderness at Nayara Springs and feel immensely secluded although you’ll still be close to all the Arenal action…if you can drag yourself away, that is. Recently named one of the country’s top resorts by Forbes Magazine, Nayara Springs is set to continue wowing honeymooners for many years to come.

Hotel Makanda by the Sea, Manuel Antonio

Much like Nayara Springs, Makanda by the Sea also offers adults-only seclusion in one of the country’s most popular (and visited) destinations. Manuel Antonio, with its incredible biodiversity, wildlife, hiking and zip-lining, is only a few minutes away by car, so you can spend hours enjoying the active side of your honeymoon whilst having a private rainforest paradise await your return. Breathtaking views, personalized service and oozing more romance than you could ever desire, Makanda, with its mesmerizing sunset dinners over the Pacific, is pure honeymoon magic.

Westin Playa Conchal, Guanacaste

All-inclusive resorts are very popular with families hence the reason you may find it difficult to locate a honeymoon, adults-only resort that offers full-package vacations. Westin Playa Conchal to the rescue! Adding a much-loved ‘adults-only’ section to their resort has certainly paid back ten-fold, with the popular option snapped up by adventurous couples who want a hassle-free and all-inclusive honeymoon without having to contend with splashing kiddies, poolside. A wonderful compromise and, might we add, a gorgeous resort to boot, the Westin offers private pool and beach club access in splendid Guanacaste, just an hour’s drive from the Liberia Airport.

Occidental, Papagayo

This adults-only resort sits at a startling promontory on the Gulf of Papagayo in northwest Costa Rica and offers amazing value for its 5* service. A small private beach, pool with swim-up bar, a ton of adventures on offer, great food and plenty of wildlife to spot in the property’s perfectly maintained tropical gardens, as well as an in-house disco, offer that perfect balance of romance, adventure, fun and beautiful relaxation. Popular with honeymooners, bachelor and bachelorette getaways and couple retreats, the Occidental is just a short drive away from Playa Coco.

Pacuare Lodge, Limon

Honeymoon and destination wedding vacations are what Pacuare Lodge does best, offering privacy, tranquility and fun among some of the most spectacular tropical wilderness you’ll ever set eyes on. Immersed in the heart of the Limon Province, right on the shores of the exhilarating Pacuare River (arguably the country’s top kayaking and white water rafting destination) this sensational lodge appeals to true adventurers who crave some adrenaline-pumping fun on their dreamy honeymoon, whilst still luxuriating in comfort and indulgence. Craving some luxury in the wilds of Costa Rica? Then this lodge is for you. Spend your days swinging through the forest canopy, rafting the thrilling river and hiking through prime rain forest brimming with creatures, and your evenings delighting your taste buds on delectable meals with organic local produce and listening to the sounds of the wild. For animal and nature lovers, this lodge is unmatched.

Your own hanging bridge outside your luxury rain forest suite? Yes, please!

Need some help planning your very own unforgettable Cost Rica honeymoon adventure vacation in 2018? We’re here to help! We offer an exceptional array of honeymoon itineraries that include excitement, amazement, romance and adventure and endeavor to showcase all the magnificent traits of this phenomenal destination. For more info and help, contact us today and start planning a truly remarkable start to your own wedded bliss.

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Make 2018 the Year You Experience a Costa Rica Adventure

Have you been dreaming of a Costa Rica adventure for years? Make 2018 the year it happens!

Every year, Costa Rica leads international lists as one of the world’s most rewarding and exceptionally unique active travel destinations. Just recently, Forbes Magazine waxed lyrical about our most beloved corner of the world, citing the friendly and welcoming culture, safety, ease of life, affordability and high-quality of healthcare as prime reasons to vote Costa Rica the #1 country everyone dreams of retiring to, even outranking long-held favorites like Panama and Mexico. We couldn’t agree more: make 2018 the year you finally experience a Costa Rica adventure and we guarantee you’ll also dream of spending the rest of your life here.

You’ve no doubt heard about all the magnificent rewards Costa Rica offers and they all hold true whether you sell up and move here for an idyllic retirement or simply visit on a heart-pumping adventure vacation.

Because everyone has to start somewhere, right?

If you love immersive, active vacations, you’ll LOVE Costa Rica adventures

Costa Rica adventureSome destinations are wonderful to look at, to admire from a quiet corner, to enjoy as a mere observer. Costa Rica, however, has the sneaky habit of sucking you into being an active part of her immense wilderness. Here, you don’t just picnic by a river, you dive headfirst into her crystalline raging torrents on a kayak or white water raft and have the absolute time of your life barreling down rapids BEFORE you stop to catch your breath and, yes, have the riverside picnic after all.

Forests in Costa Rica are to be explore on foot and by swinging on zip lines, beaches are for surfing, snorkeling and SCUBA diving, mangroves are to be explored by kayak and the entire country is one nearly endless stretch of hiking trails to be discovered on foot. If you dream of a place that’ll captivate your heart and soul, shake you to the core and plunge you into an adrenaline-filled adventure then Costa Rica is YOUR place to be in 2018.

Costa Rica is a top family-vacation destination, where the fun suits young and old alike

Parents searching for an ideal destination for a family vacation are used to simply choosing an oversized resort, in a beautiful country, that offers a kids’ club. This way, they surmise, both parents and children are bound to have a good time. Yet Costa Rica offers a very different kind of family fun, one that the whole family enjoys together, making it a very distinctive destination indeed.

If quality fun time with your kids is at the top of your list, then look no further than Costa Rica in 2018. You, and your kids, will have a ball rafting, kayaking, horse riding, surfing, snorkeling, mountain biking and hiking in pristine wilderness, all the while encountering exotic wildlife. Finally, you no longer have to compromise between what’s fun for you and what’s fun for them! Costa Rica is simply fun for the whole family, making it one of the most rewarding family vacation destinations on the planet. And don’t worry…no matter which Costa Rica adventure tour you choose, there will always be options for the more/less active companions.

Costa Rica offers some of the most affordable tailor-made tours in the world

If you’re a fan of adventure group tours you’ve no doubt fantasized about having the opportunity to enjoy a private, bespoke tour where the itinerary and all the activities are tailored with only the desires of you and your loved ones in mind. Well, in Costa Rica, you can. Why? Because this is one of the most affordable and best value-for-money travel destinations on the planet, a place where luxury is not just sensational but also costa a fraction of what you’d pay elsewhere. You’d be surprised at just how affordable a custom tour of Costa Rica can be. Here at Costa Rica Rios, all we need to know is everything you love, and your budget: we’ll make sure we stick to it and endeavor to offer the most unforgettable travel experience of your life. Contact us here and share your dream. Together, we can make 2018 your most unforgettable travel year of your life.

For private, group, family and honeymoon adventure vacations in Costa Rica, a land where the sun is always shining, the sea is always warm and the rivers are always flowing, contact us today.

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Guide to Costa Rica’s Best Natural Hot Spring

Costa Rica hot springA natural and therapeutic hot thermal spring is the ultimate calling card of Costa Rica, the world’s most coveted wellness destination. If soaking in a natural spring, surrounded by sensational tropical wilderness, is your dream, then trust that you won’t find a better destination.

Blessed by over 200 separate volcanic areas and five active volcanoes, and endowed with an impressive infrastructure, Costa Rica is home to a host of geothermally heated thermal pools and volcanic mud baths which, unlike the standard ‘spas’ one finds at home (which are no-doubt relaxing) are proven to have beneficial health benefits.

Not all spas are created equal…

At times, there can be confusion in regards to the terms ‘hot spring’ and ‘spa’ and you may have seen them used interchangeably to mean either an establishment (anywhere) offering treatments based on natural products or an establishment actually located at the source of where those minerals emerge. Technically speaking, however, a true spa is only the latter but as times change the more used term to denote a naturally-occurring therapeutic source is hot spring.

For a hot spring to be considered genuine, it must satisfy three basic conditions: the spring must be mineral-infused, natural (organic) in nature and thermally heated.

The stunning benefits of therapeutic hot springs

Most countries boasting high volcanic activity have been indulging in therapeutic springs since time immemorial. The combination of heat and minerals have been proven to improve circulation, treat skin conditions and cure a wide array of ailments. In countries like Costa Rica, hot springs are used as cures and health treatments (not merely for relaxation) and cooled spring water is also sometimes suitable for drinking. But not always! Make sure you always ask before ingesting any – usually way too hot – spring water.

Costa Rica – the world leader in natural hot spring treatments

Given its unique geology, Costa Rica is a world-leader in genuine hot spring treatments and offers a vast array of options in all of its most popular destinations. What makes this country so very special in this regard, is the sheer number of luxury resorts centered on naturally-occurring springs and mud pools, as well as of-the-beaten path destinations where you can safely soak in an untouched natural hot-spring pool.

Here are our favorite:

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal-Resort – Arenal Volcano National Park

The most established luxurious resort in the Arenal region, Tabacon is the queen of spas in Costa Rica and the one by which all others are measured. That’s because the spring in Tabacon are 100% naturally utilized from Volcano Arenal, with the resort not using any kind of pump to supply the water from a nearby source or element to reheat their pools. Ranging in warmth from 80 to 122F, the springs at Tabacon are divided, offering you the option of family-friendly or adults-only pools. What makes this place so very special, it must be said, is the native wilderness which frames the springs and has been left to thrive and shelter the pools. This marriage of premier luxury and unspoilt wilderness is arguably what makes Tabacon the most sought-after resort in the whole country.

Baldi Hot Springs – Arenal Volcano National Park

One of the most popular and visited hot spring resorts in the country, Baldi is set on the flanks of Arenal Volcano and boasts no less than 25 hot springs for you to choose from. As the resort gives day passes at very reasonable prices, and given its sheer size (Baldi is touted as the largest hot spring resorts in the world) this is one of the busiest to boot and particularly beloved by local and visiting families. There’s LOADS to do here, with exhilarating slides for kids and adults alike, kids’ programs, sauna and food services designed to keep you entertained and soaking, all day long.

Whilst Arenal can claim to have the monopoly of best-established and most popular hot-spring resorts, there are certainly plenty of hidden natural spring treasures all over the country.

Vandara Hot Springs – Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Rincon de la Vieja is one of five active volcanoes in Costa Rica and the Vandara hot springs its wonderful side-kick. A man-made pool filled with spring water is a fantastic playground and the options in the park include mud and mineral treatments amongst a host of active pursuits. Fabulous as a full-day visit when passing through the region. If you wish to stay a little longer (like, forever!) and enjoy this incredible, fun-filled national park, then check out the gorgeous Borinquen Resort, a great base for active pursuits and, naturally, boasting plenty of hot spring action as well.

Rio Perdido – Miravalles Volcano

The turquoise spring waters of the Rio Perdido are immensely enticing, combining with breathtaking luscious wilderness to create what must be one of the most picturesque settings of all. A relative newcomer to the scene, the Rio Perdido hot springs offer a much wilder and less polished experience which, for many, can be even more appealing. Here in the Guanacaste region, the hot spring resort offers a world of adventure in combination to wellness treatments, and just enough luxurious comfort to make an extended stay absolutely rewarding. Beautifully appointed forest bungalows bring you at one with the beautiful and dramatically rocky nature, and a selection of massages, yoga classes and walking trails allow you to soak up the surrounding gems, from mountain top to mineral springs.

If you’re a fan of spa treatments then there’s no doubt Costa Rica will appeal. And why not? With the kind of natural assets and magnificent wilderness the country possesses, not indulging in the local favorite passion would be a travesty!

Fancy including a natural mineral hot spring experience on your next Costa Rica adventure vacation? Simply contact us…and ask us how.

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10 Reasons Costa Rica Does it Better

Closer, cheaper, safer, friendlier AND with so much more wildlife and fun to offer: there are countless reasons Costa Rica just DOES.IT.BETTER!

Offering more active pursuits than Hawaii and Tahiti, better beaches than Asia, easier to reach than Australia and more value for money than Europe and just about everywhere else, Costa Rica really is an unmatched travel destination. The undisputed queen of sensational active vacations, Costa Rica simply offers more, so much more, for your time, efforts and holiday funds.

And what’s not to love about that?

Here are just 10 reasons Costa Rica does it better!

  1. There’s more wildlife

Costa Rica wildlifeThe sheer concentration and diversity of wildlife makes it a superior animal-lover’s choice destination, anywhere on earth. Not only will you find unique species like sloths, jaguars, ocelots, turtles and an endless array of monkeys and birds, but you’ll find them all in close proximity to one another and immersed in the same pristine wilderness where your eco-lodge or resort is located.

Unlike Africa or elsewhere in Latin America, you need not head out on mammoth expeditions specifically in search of wildlife. Here, the wildlife finds you.

  1. The area is compact and traveling around is easy

Good infrastructure, well-connected airports and a wide array of accommodation options makes traveling around the country very easy. What’s more, Costa Rica simply isn’t all that big and the most popular and beloved attractions, from Arenal Volcano to the Manuel Antonio National Park and the startling Pacific coast beaches, are reached within just a couple of hours’ drive from the capital, San Jose, or merely minutes from the northern airport in Liberia.

  1. Costa Rica is close to home

Not everyone has a month’s vacation to spare OR days to waste dealing with jetlag and extensive trans-continental flights.

Travel here and you don’t have to deal with any of that, and that’s what makes this such a revered short-vacation destination. You can go from your front door to an idyllic tropical beach in just a matter of a few hours.

From home to paradise in a jiffy, from sitting at your work desk to rafting one of the world’s best rated rivers, in a matter of hours. Costa Rica offers you a superb value-for-time vacation even in just a single week away because you can fit a lot into each and every day.

Vacation perfection? We think so!

  1. Costa Rica is always a safe bet

Having dodged the kind of political, social and economic turmoil that has affected its neighbors on a regular basis over the last century, Costa Rica is a very safe and predictable holiday destination. Perfect for planning a trip months in advance and ideal if you wish to travel with your family and just don’t want to worry about safety or last-minute disruptions due to unforeseen domestic issues. Considered one of the safest countries in all of Central America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica is not only a very rewarding bet but a very safe one too.

  1. Boasts better beaches

Costa Rica beachA beach vacay in the heart of winter is what everyone dreams yet unless you want to share your ideal beach with a ton of rubbish or exceptional crowds, you’d do well to choose Costa Rica.

More dreamy than in Europe, cleaner than in Asia, more accessible than in Australia and infinitely cheaper than in Africa, the beaches in Costa Rica are better, any which way you look at it.

  1. In fact, water is EVERYWHERE

It’s not only in idyllic beaches that Costa Rica showcases best; the country also boasts more waterfalls than Hawaii and an incredible maze of crystal-clear rivers you can have a world of fun in. If you’re a water baby, or at least dream to be, Costa Rica is your endless wonderland. Snorkel, surf, dive, kayak, raft, swim and paddle your way through the country, whether you choose to stay on the coast or explore the wild interior. With hundreds of startling beaches to choose from and a head spinning number of riverside lodges, you’ll have the revitalizing and relaxing effects of flowing water no matter where you go. Plus, the water’s warmer here! Need we say more?

  1. There’s a natural landscape to suit you. Yes, all of you

There may be plenty of lovely tropical beach destinations in the world but, 99% of the time, the variety is what’s lacking; making family vacations more than a little restrictive. What if one loves the beach but another wants to climb mountains? Well, in Costa Rica, you can do both…and more! Costa Rica is the most biodiverse country in the world and offers a kaleidoscope of landscapes to suit every taste. Vertiginous volcanic peaks shrouded in clouds, several different types of forests alongside wildlife-brimming mangroves, luscious countryside and, of course, thousands of miles of pristine coastline. No matter what your eyes love feasting on, you’re bound to find it here. If variety really is the spice of life than Costa Rica offers the tastiest vacation for you and your loved ones. More than a dozen distinct ecosystems, all boasting a spectacular array of unique wildlife and landscapes: Costa Rica is like a dozen nature-filled countries all rolled into one.

  1. The people are friendlier in Costa Rica

Friendly, hospitable, fun and humble, Costa Ricans are a personification of their country. Recently rated by the Happy Planet Index as the happiest country in the world, Costa Rica is considered the most satisfying place to live and, as far as its inhabitants go, it certainly shows. Ticos love children and are sociable, laid-back, quick to smile and eager to help, making them some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Proud of their culture, culinary prowess and certainly proud of their nature, you’ll find locals to be among the most memorable treats of all. Families, in particular, are often overwhelmed by the friendliness of the locals, especially towards children, something that seems to be increasingly lacking back home. The smiles are genuine and warm here and make you feel welcomed and cherished from the first moment you set foot off the plane.

  1. The fun in Costa Rica is totally immersive

There’s nowhere else on earth that offers the kind of nature-filled adventures that Costa Rica offers, in every corner of the country. Yes, you can admire waterfalls elsewhere but you’re not allowed to swim at their base, you can hike through rain forests but you’re not allowed to zip line through them and although you may be able to enjoy a picnic on the shores of a crystalline river, you’re probably not allowed to white-water raft through it. But in Costa Rica, you can. You can do it all. There’s no other country that has invested so much effort and funds in creating a natural playground whilst still preserving the integrity of its unspoilt nature and that’s what makes Costa Rica revered among adventure travelers. The spellbinding nature here can be enjoyed in a myriad of ways so if you’re not happy merely admiring it but want to FEEL part of it, then you’ll never find a more worthy choice.

  1. Costa Rica offers the best value for money. Hands down

Could you possibly find a cheaper destination than Costa Rica, with this much stuff to do and so close to home? We think not. Authentic experiences and luxury accommodation in Costa Rica cost but a fraction of the price of what you’d get anywhere else, making ‘indulgences’ much more affordable. Overall, you get more – and can DO more – for the price of a mid-range vacation in comparative destinations and, for this reason alone, Costa Rica continues to top all the lists for the best honeymoon, family and adventure vacation destinations in the world. Costa Rica isn’t merely ‘cheap’ but is, hands-down, the best value-for-money destination you’ll ever find.

More adventure, more fun, more diversity, more beauty and more of everything, for much less.

Costa Rica doesn’t just do it better: Costa Rica does it best.

For a wide array of fantastic adventure vacations in Costa Rica, with the country’s foremost active vacation experts, click here and contact us today.

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The Best Foodie Tours in Costa Rica

Costa Rica foodie toursFoodie tours are becoming increasingly popular in Costa Rica and make for fantastic additions to active vacations, where the emphasis is, primarily, on enjoying the adrenaline-pumping pursuits for which this country is so revered.

Mind you, the cuisine in Costa Rica and the country’s predilection for organic, home-grown ingredients and home-made food, means your taste buds will be delighted at every single meal here. Nevertheless, with the latest addition of Costa Rica to the slow-food movement and the world’s recognition of the country as an exceptional fresh-food grower and producer, food tours can add an in-depth experience to what is already bound to be an unforgettable journey.

Selection of the best foodie tours in Costa Rica for 2018:

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour – La Fortuna

Consistently rated THE favorite food tour in the country by visitors, Don Olivo is not to be missed if you’re in the Arenal Volcano region. This 2hr guided trip offers a behind the scenes look not only at local chocolate production methods but also all the other goodies grown in this luscious and prolific family-owned farm. Tastings are generous and varied (of fruit and cane sugar juice as well as mouthwatering chocolate) and, combined with the passion of the hosting family, help make this the most delicious and high-rated tour of all.

Costa Rica Cooking – La Fortuna

Cooking classes for the gourmand traveler who loves nothing more than to get involved in the making of local specialties, Costa Rica Cooking classes are inarguably the most polished and professional in the region. US chef and Costa Rica restaurateur Scott Alan and his dedicated team of local chefs will astound you with their culinary creations which, you follow all the steps correctly…can be your creations too! Local favorites and international delights using organic local ingredients make up the sumptuous meals in the cooking classes, which you can either help create or just admire and learn. Scott and his team will happily organize bespoke classes for families or groups of friends traveling together, and you can incorporate a visit to a local farmer’s market as well, for that ultimate ‘farm to table’ foodie tour experience.

Foodie Tours Costa Rica – San Jose

San Jose can be overwhelming to the unaccustomed, with the sprawling and busy city usually seen as a mere springboard for onwards travels through the country. But if there’s one reason to hang around for a day, it would definitely be Foodie Tours Costa Rica. Ingenious Adriana Font, the brains behind the concept, creates foodie tours itineraries that are custom-made for each client, matching tastes and interests with local hidden spots to deliver a personalized service that’s impossible to beat. Whether you want to delve into the vegetarian side of Costa Rican cuisine, or fusion, desserts or perhaps a farm-to-table experience (which includes 6 meals in 3 different restaurants) Adriana will take your taste buds to new heights and showcase the city’s trendiest and best eateries. Moreover, you’ll learn a lot about local cuisine and ancient recipes. A small, tailor-made service that’s certainly found its niche-market in the capital, Foodie Tours also organizes public tours on occasion, so check with their FB page before you go.

Tropical Gardens Cooking School – Playa Samara

A gorgeous private home set up to accommodate authentic cooking classes that incorporate organic local produce, a love for the earth and a desire for wholesome, healthy cooking, the Tropical Garden Cooking School is an absolute feast for all the senses. The cooking is traditional, the ingredients locally grown and the menu designed with your tastes and dietary restrictions in mind. A splendidly luscious foodie experience in one of Costa Rica’s most delightful coastal regions. A variety of cooking tours are on offer, including tamales-making and bond-fire cooking.

A foodie tour or cooking class makes for a wonderful add-on to Costa Rica adventure vacations. Keen to taste your way through the country as you indulge in exceptional adventure? Let us know! We’ll be happy to organize cultural and culinary experiences for your next trip with us.

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Travel to Costa Rica: Your Dream New Year Resolution

Whether you crave fun, excitement, relaxation, an adrenaline-rush or a blissful stint of soul searching, Costa Rica makes for a truly awesome New Year’s resolution. Why? Because when you travel to Costa Rica, the destination quite simply, has it all. Yoga retreats invigorating and soothing hot spring treatments, heart-pumping multi-sport tours, seaside escapades and volcano climbs, combined with a delicious and healthy cuisine and a wealth of attractions that would embarrass most large nations ten times its size. Compact, easy to reach and a breeze to explore, Costa Rica is that hassle-free yet hugely rewarding destination that ticks every box.

So don’t look down the barrel of a long year of work ahead without hope of reprieve. Plan your adventure vacation to Costa Rica and make your 2018 your best travel year yet.

Here’s why!

Costa Rica is warm and idyllic, all year long

Travel to Costa RicaBoasting divine year-round temps, Costa Rica is a paradise at any time, and especially during the long and cold northern winter, when you’ll find the country at its best.

Moreover, given the eclectic topography of the country and the choice of destinations, you can have an excellent adventure vacation here at any time of year. Rain season affects each region of the country at different times, and with varying intensity, so no matter when you wish to visit in 2018, you will find a destination that is at its prime.

Cosa Rica is ideal for family vacations

Tico’s love of children and the modernity of the infrastructure make Costa Rica a beloved and hassle-free family vacation destination. The food is not too spicy nor exotic and choices are plenty, so even the pickiest eater usually has no problems with the local food. Having said that, the most popular areas boast enough expats to offer an array of home food your kids will love. But food will be the least of your issues, we can assure you. The biggest problem you’ll have, when traveling with kids in Costa Rica, is stopping them from trying to hug all the monkeys and colorful birds that’ll beg for their breakfast at outdoor tables of every resort in the country. The wildlife here is copious and eclectic and is undoubtedly the most cherished aspects of a family vacation for all kids.

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best wedding & honeymoon destinations

Costa Rica seems to ooze romance at every turn, with idyllic sunsets, remote resorts and tons of unspoilt and hidden beaches attracting love-struck couples like nowhere else on earth. Tailor-made for the adventure honeymoon-seeker, the country is also rising in ranks as a very popular destination wedding destination, and a flurry of resorts offer wedding packages that care of everything, from the ceremony to the reception dinner and all the accommodation for your cherished guests. Can you imagine a more romantic and unforgettable experience than a Costa Rica wedding and honeymoon? Didn’t think so!

Costa Rica is safe and fun for singles

Single travelers are often torn between finding a destination that’s safe enough for them to travel alone and finding one that’s interesting enough to visit, time and again. That’s why so many choose Costa Rica. Our adventure vacation packages, for example, are suited to anyone who dreams of exploring this thrilling country and partaking in its most heart-pumping activities. Traveling alone? Come join us! Our group tours are sensational to say the least and always attract a brilliant array of super fun, curious and interesting characters who cherish having company with whom to experience Costa Rica. Check out some of the reviews of past guests and you’ll discover what fantastic fun we can have together.

Costa Rica makes you MOVE!

Yes, you could head to Costa Rica and spend all your time sunbathing on some pristine beach or lounging by the sensational pool of some uber-cool eco-lodge. But we bet you’ll last barely half a day before the temptation to DO something urges you on your feet. The world’s premier adventure vacation destination offers plenty of exhilarating and fun stuff for the whole family, from horseback riding to kayaking, white water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, hiking, wildlife-watching and more. Even the most brooding and impossibly uninspired teenager will find it hard to resist. With its array of active pursuits, Costa Rica beckons the adventure seeker and the active travelers, the one who isn’t just happy admiring nature but the one who wants to be among it. Preferably, swinging from a canopy and zip lining at breakneck speed.

Costa Rica rewards all your senses

Organic food, freshly grilled fish, hotly roasted coffee, glorious sunsets, luscious forest, loud and curious wildlife: Costa Rica is a feast for all the senses.

Costa Rica is close and inexpensive

At the end of the day, all this gorgeousness would be amiss if only the country were on the other side of the planet or prohibitively expensive. But it’s neither of those. Short and inexpensive flights from major US cities will have you IN the country and AT the beach or mountains just a few hours after leaving home. No need to deal with jetlag and long transfers! Costa Rica makes an especially ideal short holiday destination as well as a genial last-minute escapade. Moreover, US citizens don’t need a visa to visit Costa Rica, making a last minute visit a truly doable alternative.

The perfect springboard to jump start your fabulous new year?

We think so too.

Contact us for more info on tours and help in planning a bespoke itinerary, and we’ll see you when you travel to Costa Rica!

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Ditch the Winter Freeze & Escape to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the best countries in the world to visit at the beginning of the year as it coincides with its driest – and most idyllic – season. Imagine the delight, then, when you discover how easy, affordable and hassle-free a Costa Rica adventure vacation can be.

Ready to ditch the winter freeze and escape to this adventurous playground brimming with volcanoes, jungles, cloud forests and sensational beaches?

Go on…Costa Rica awaits!

Last-minute escapes – because it’s never too late to be totally amazed

What winter freeze?Perhaps you haven’t had any time, in the last few months, to think about an end-of-year vacation to celebrate in style. To propel yourself down raging waterfalls, raft and kayak exhilarating rivers and to reconnect with nature, and your loved one, on a fantastic adventure in a tropical wonderland.

There’s still time! Our Costa Rica adventure vacations are tailor-made to showcase the very best this incredible country has to offer and our itineraries include kayaking, rafting, ziplining, snorkeling, surfing and canyoning in the heart of the country’s most picturesque regions. Among all the fun and excitement, there’s still plenty of chances for relaxing and enjoying gorgeous eco-lodges, something for which Costa Rica is world-renowned. Last-minute spots are still available and, as always, we’re ready to design a custom and all-inclusive tour where you – and your travel companions – are in charge of the itinerary and inclusions. You’ll be amazed to discover how affordable this all is, in Costa Rica, where a week’s unforgettable adventure can cost as much as just a couple of days in Disneyland.

When it comes to value for money, Costa Rica is an unrivalled travel destination.

Impromptu family getaways – just pack up the kids and GO!

The end of the year is one of the most stressful times of all, with a host of social and family obligations adding to an already over-done, over-worked and over-tired household. So why not throw it all in, pack the bags and the kids, drop the dog off at the in-laws and take a last-minute flight to Costa Rica? Deals on our family favorite adventure vacation packages are this year’s very best bargain and deliver you all to a weeklong jaunt through unspoilt rainforests, pristine beaches and the base of the most eye-catching volcano of all. Rafting, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, hot springs and stunning beaches, in the two most coveted regions of the country: Manuel Antonio and Arenal. This family package vacation serves up an exceptional compromise between organized and spontaneous fun, leaving all the tedious organizational work to us and leaving you and your family to simply sit back…and relish.

Delayed honeymoon? Cosa Rica…for barefoot bliss

Barefoot romance really is the best way to describe Costa Rica, a country that’s risen through the ranks to be dubbed one of the world’s top honeymoon destinations. But to be honest, a couple need not even be actually on honeymoon to indulge in the delights. Surely every couple deserves at least one honeymoon a year?! Unwind, reconnect and revitalize on our Barefoot Romance Honeymoon packages – currently on sale – and let us plan your action-packed love fest, complete with accommodation, activities and some meals, for less than an average nightly hotel room rate back home. Insane! Indulge in two glorious resort stays, enjoy daily adrenalin-pumping activities and cap off your week with a few lazy days in a super-romantic beach bungalow, watching the waves lap at your feet and basking in one of the most glorious tropical sunsets you’ll ever witness.

Ready to inject some serious romance back in your life or planning a last-minute honeymoon?

Your honeymoon paradise awaits!

At Costa Rica Rios, we love to plan and offer the best value-for-money adventure packages in the country and have been awarded copiously for our efforts over the years. Not only with industry awards, always so graciously received, but primarily by our treasured guests. Our continued commitment to showcasing the best of Costa Rica is evident in the continuous glowing reviews of those who come, enjoy, indulge and return, time and again, to explore yet another hidden corner of this jewel of a country WITH US.

So what are you waiting for?

If there’s ever been a perfect time to ditch the freeze and escape to Costa Rica…it is right NOW!

 

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