Most Indulgent Costa Rica Spa Treatments

Adventure and pleasure go hand in hand on a Costa Rica vacation and, to help you on your merry way, we’ve scoured high and low to find the best Costa Rica spa treatments on offer, so you don’t have to. You’re welcome. Whether you’re heading to Costa Rica on a unique honeymoon adventure, planning a destination wedding or looking forward to a fantastic family fun vacation, we’re certain you could always find some time to indulge in a little ‘me’ time.

Costa Rica Spa Treatments

Brown Sugar & Orange Soufflé Scrub, at Tabacon

Costa Rica Spa TreatmentsIf you’re looking for the best and most revered, award-winning spa resort then you shouldn’t float past the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, the country’s premier mecca for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Between the volcanic mud wrap, coffee exfoliation and milk baths – all treatments that sound good enough to eat – you can soak in the steaming thermal pools or your private mineral-enriched Jacuzzi, to unleash any leftover stress. There probably won’t be much chance of there being any, to be honest. Set in splendidly wild surroundings near Arenal and offering luxury along with plenty of Costa Rica’s authenticity, this place is an absolute stress-free choice.

Green Clay Detox and Sugar Cane Therapy at Andaz ONDA Spa

Costa Rica Spa TreatmentsIf you’re feeling like you’ve been transported literally in the heart of the jungle during your sumptuous aromatherapy massage at ONDA, that’s because you have. With 9 exotic rooms to choose from, all set in open air terraces and surrounded by unspoilt Papagayo wilderness, the treatments at this resort offer a complete sensory rejuvenation.

Part of the international Hyatt group, Andaz ONDA Spa tailors treatments to guest’s needs and desires, and offers a plethora of treatments which incorporate the country’s ancestral wellness treatments and organic, local botanical ingredients.

Hot & Cold Stone Couple Massage at Nayara Spa & Gardens

Honeymooners wishing to relax together should make a point of visiting the Nayara Spa & Gardens in Arenal, where his & hers treatments include hot stone massage and facials.

Nayara also offers classes for couples who wish to learn how to massage each other. As they say: if it’s good enough for Conde Naste Traveler to swoon over, it’s good enough for us.

At Spa Sha, Kura Design Villas

We love this place and named it one of our favorite honeymoon sundowner spots in the whole country. Well, now you’ll have yet another reason to visit.

Kura Design Villas’ in-house spa offers a full-service spa that includes massages, facials, deep tub soaks, rubs, wraps and even a couple therapy aptly named Kura Paradise that’ll have you both floating on cloud 9 for hours afterwards.

Four-Hand Deep Tissue Massage at Harmony

At the Harmony Hotel in Nosara they call it the Octopus Massage but we call PURELY.DIVINE. Revered by discerning holidaymakers, this gorgeous ecoresort certainly offers many indulgences, including a 2-therapist massage that’ll rub all those stresses right out of your back and shoulders. The Harmony Healing Centre is exactly as it’s named, and after a full day tackling the Nosara waves on a surfboard, that could be precisely what you crave.

Looking for a spa destination?  Costa Rica Spa Treatment’s are swiftly becoming one of the world’s leading spa vacation destinations, testament to the sheer concentration and diversity of wellness retreats and resorts. And that just goes to show what an all-encompassing travel destination this is: a place where you can set off on a week of incredible adventures and cap your vacation off with a sublime spa treatment or two. And we can help with both. Contact us for more info.

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Best Places for a Honeymoon Nightcap in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s western coastline is arguably its most revered destination and that’s certainly no incidental, for it is here that you can soak up some truly mesmerizing sunsets. Heading to Costa Rica on honeymoon? Then hold a cocktail glass in one hand and your dearly beloved in the other, and check out the best places for a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica.

Hotel La Mariposa, Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio, the most visited area in the country, is awash with spectacular hotels and resorts set amidst dense jungle cover, and facing the pristine Pacific coast. Yet very few can boast the honeymoon sundowner effect of La Mariposa.

With an infinity pool and gorgeous bar looking out over blissfully unobstructed views of stellar sunsets, this one is an unparalleled couple favorite.

Kura Design Villas, Uvita

honeymoon nightcap in Costa RicaThe sky over Uvita seems to take on a life of its own at sunset, and infinite shades of red drench the entire landscape. It’s simply magical. And you know what else is magical?

Enjoying the spectacle from a private balcony of this luxurious honeymoon boutique hotel, set high in a remote area of Uvita overlooking the ocean. There’s even a hammock for two in the terrace, so there you have it. Pure honeymoon sundowner perfection.

Observatory Lodge & Spa, Arenal

honeymoon nightcap in Costa RicaJust to prove a point, we’ve found a stunning location that’s not on the coast but still rewards you with an incredibly spectacular sunset. The place? The stunning Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, a remote and gorgeous resort set on the foothills of Costa Rica’s most revered peak.

The sunset view? Over Lake Arenal! Soak up the spectacular volcano views by day and head to the restaurant’s terrace for breathtaking sunset views by night. The perfect combination for a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica.

Nogui’s Restaurant, Tamarindo

To highlight the fact that Costa Rica dishes up sensational sunsets no matter where you go, here we have a local low-key favorite that’s all about the views. Nogui’s is set right on the beach in the vibrant seaside town of Tamarindo and serves local specialties right by the seaside.

An inexpensive local dinner with a fab happy hour deal and priceless honeymoon sunset views? Yep…we’re into that too.

Hotel Villas Alturas, Puntarenas

But let’s be honest, honeymoon sundowners should probably be a bit special, right? Then head down to Dominical, in the lesser-visited southern Pacific Coast and you can soak up startling sunset views in one of only a few select hotels which boast spectacularly elevated settings.

Hotel Villas Alturas is set on levels with prime position given to the terrace pool, although magnificent views are afforded from every corner.

All of the above-mentioned resorts are open to the public, which means you need not spend the night to enjoy a honeymoon nightcap in Costa Rica with killer views. That just goes to show how incredibly proud and generous locals are in this picture-perfect honeymoon destination. And when you’re all done with the romance and sunset indulging, why not join us on a once-in-a-lifetime Costa Rica honeymoon adventure? Because in this part of the world, glorious sunsets are just the beginning.

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Costa Rica Green Season – A Rewarding Hidden Secret

Costa Rica Green SeasonWe love Costa Rica green season. To us, it’s the calm before the storm although it may seem the opposite to those who’ve never visited during the months of June and July. During the Green Season, the country is blissfully drenched in sporadic downpours, the revered rain cleansing the wilderness and filling those raging rivers (we love to raft in) up to bursting point.

Experiencing the heavy rains, knowing they are the precursor to an upcoming exciting rafting season, has us all smiling contentedly with every drop. So we relax and rest, await in anticipation, and take advantage of the ‘calm season’ to tour the country. Because to seasoned Costa Rica aficionados, Green Season is the ideal time of year to experience parts of the country you’ve yet to visit.

You’ll still see plenty of glorious sunshine when you travel to Costa Rica during Green Season.

Get Costa Rica all to Yourself

Travel through Costa Rica in Green Season and you’ll find beaches are devoid of crowds. You won’t need to be a booking-master and can wing it anywhere at the last minute, can score exceptional deals on resorts and – more often than not – end up having the whole place to yourself. It’s the kind of loneliness discerning travelers simply cherish to bits. You’ll definitely come across other visitors, no doubt, adventurers who actually go out of their way to only ever visit Costa Rica during Green Season. Some come here year after year, only in June or November. They find that the whole country is at its absolute verdant best, and the lack of crowds and stifling heat are priceless bonuses to boot.

Rest Your Body & Rejuvenate Your Soul

Costa Rica Green SeasonWhat we also adore about Green Season is that those afternoon rains (which come like clockwork anytime between 3 and 4pm) force us to indulge in a local tradition that’s far too underrated: the siesta! Rather than running around like headless chickens, we take a book (or maybe just an eye-mask) and bask in some afternoon rest, arguably the most coveted luxury all travelers seek. Travel here during the busiest months and your FOMO will propel you out the door at first light, trying to fit in as many activities as possible into a single day. Vacations in Costa Rica can be exciting and fun-packed, which also means you may need another vacation just to rest from all the adrenaline rushes. Travel to Costa Rica in Green Season and the once a day rains will force you to stop, breath, chill and recoup. It’s an absolutely delightful – and addictive – way to travel. You can use the afternoons to indulge in spa treatments, really savor a long and leisurely lunch and soak up the sight, smells and delights of the many beautiful eco-lodges all over the country. Doesn’t that sound a tad delicious?

And it’s Gaining Popularity…

Having said all this, Green Season travel in Costa Rica is increasing in popularity. Apparently…someone let the cat out of the bag! So July, which actually coincides with European school holidays, is becoming progressively busier down this neck of the luscious woods. But June is still sublimely quiet and, to many, it’s still the best month to visit. Everything just about drops in price in June: from flights to accommodation and car rental deals, the usual big-ticket expenses, can be nabbed at anything up to 30 and sometimes even 40% off.

It’s not the first time we’ve waxed lyrical about Green Season travel in Costa Rica. We’ve already blogged about the brilliant delights of Green Season, and even given you a rundown of the best places to visit during the rainy months.

Because above all else, the Costa Rica green season is still a brilliant way to explore the country and discover its pristine wilderness and its exceptional wildlife. With so many animals out to play thanks to the rains, tours and excursions are immensely rewarding, even with gum boots and poncho in tow. So come on down! Hike a volcano, go zip lining, or thermal pool soaking and don’t, whatever you do, let a few drops of rain deter you.

Traveling while in a Costa Rica green season is that hidden secret you absolutely must experience for yourself.

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Costa Rica’s Best Farmers Markets

Going to a feria, a local farmer’s market, is a weekly highlight for all of us who live in Costa Rica. Heading out to peruse the fresh, organic and local-grown produce – which actually also includes meat, fish and a lot of home-made delights – is not just your average shopping trip but a bona fide social and cultural event. And that’s even without considering the amazing savings. In Costa Rica, where fresh vegetable sell at the local market for $2 a kilo, following a healthy organic diet based on fresh produce is so easy and enjoyable, that for many it’s one of the primary reasons they love living here.

Costa Rica Farmers Markets

Costa Rica farmers marketsAnywhoo. It dawned on us that you need not live in Costa Rica to enjoy a day out at a local feria. Even if you’re just visiting for a week or two, you’ll no doubt enjoy discovering all the amazing and exotic produce grown in the country. And besides, every market boasts its fair share of sodas (food stalls) selling local Tico dishes so if you feel the hunger pangs screaming for your attention, you’ll certainly be able to satisfy them abundantly.

Have we enticed you to fit in a visit to a feria during your trip? Then check out Costa Rica’s best farmers markets and come see how lucky we are to call this place home. And keep in mind that although the largest markets are found in the largest cities and towns, every town boasts a weekly produce market so ask around and you shall find!

San Jose

It stands to reason that farmers go out of their way to travel to the capital to sell their weekly spoils. San Jose has several excellent produce market, including the Mercado Central on Avenida Central which is actually a great place to buy local souvenirs as well. But for a thoroughly delicious and less touristy treat, head to the Organic Farmer’s Market in Aranjuez on a Saturday morning. Growers come here from all over the country and you’ll get to see what wondrous produce is in season during your visit.

San Isidro de El General

Costa Rica farmers marketsThe Feria del Agricultor in San Isidro de El General (about 80 miles south of San Jose) is one of the largest farmer’s markets you’ll find and although prices are a little higher than elsewhere, it is a well-organized, clean and incredibly well stocked. Held at the Fairground in Santa Cecilia, the San Isidro markets comprise over 200 stalls and are best visited at the crack of dawn on a Thursday. We love these markets because they seem to be way off the tourist path although expats have certainly caught on and as Western start appearing, more and more vendors are joining the tribe. Wonderful!

Tinamastes

Held along Routa 243 about half way between San Isidro and the west coast, the Feria Tinamastes is a fab alternative if you happen to be in the area on a Tuesday instead, headed towards Dominical. This market may be way smaller but it’s oh-so cool and chock-full of superbly delicious home-made foods, as well as a bevy of fantastic fresh produce.

Tamarindo

Over in Tamarindo, along the Pacific coast in Guanacaste, you’ll find a weekly mecca brimming with fruits, vegetables, ice cream, smoked cheese, spices and a host of exotic food. Also held on a Saturday (from 8am to 1pm), the Tamarindo Feria is a huge hit so head here early as stalls empty out in a jiffy. You’ll find stalls setting up early on Calle Tigris. Oh…and bring some extra cash: the hand-made jewelry and artefacts are a stunning surprise!

San Ramon

If you’re heading north out of San Jose, then don’t miss your chance to drop into the Saturday feria in San Ramon, a lovely old town in the splendid Alajuela province. At these markets you’ll experience a totally different vibe, and get a taste for the real country life. Farmers bring not only their produce but also their wares and cattle to sell at the weekly market, and the whole town is buzzing in anticipation. The town itself is a delight to explore on foot and nearby cloud forests means you could be out in the wilderness in no time at all. After your morning shopping spree, naturally.

Ready to explore more of Costa Rica’s best farmer’s markets? Then head down here already! We have a fantastic array of adventure vacation packages on offer and will be delighted to show you some of our many hidden spots around this beautiful country. Contact us for more info.

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Fascinating Facts About Costa Rica’s Kings of the Wild: Jaguars

Costa Rica’s Kings of the WildAs Tortuguero National Park eagerly closes off a portion of its nature reserve in order to safeguard more habitat for the endangered jaguar, we introduce you to this iconic symbol of Costa Rica’s wildlife world. A fierce and elusive predator, the jaguar is one of the most coveted sights and is among Costa Rica’s Kings of the Wildand.   Tortuguero is arguably the hot-spot where your best chances of seeing Jaguars rests.

With its golden-hued coat and distinctive black spots, the jaguar closely resembles the leopard although is much larger in size and stockier in build. Want to find out more fascinating facts about jaguars? Then read on and discover more about this magnificent animal before you head to Costa Rica.

Jaguars are the Largest Cats in the Americas

The jaguar (panthera onca) is the third-largest cat in the world, trailing behind the lion and tiger, although boasts the strongest bite-power of all three when taken pound-for-pound. On average, males weigh between 100 and 250 pounds (whilst females are about one-third smaller) and can grow up to 7.8 ft in length.

You Could Say they Have Good Self-Esteem!

Not known to be a shrinking violet, the jaguar will take on formidable prey if it thinks it has a good chance of overpowering it. Sir David Attenborough once famously called jaguars the ‘killers of killers’ duetheir knack for taking down large and dangerous predators. Just take a look at the video below and see a jaguar phenomenally tackling a crocodile.

The Name Derives from the Native American Word ‘Yaguar’

Which means “pouncing killer”. Quite apt!

Jaguars Have All but Disappeared From the U.S.

Alas, when faced with its main threat (humankind) the jaguar has little chance. Loss of habitat has pushed this glorious big cat south to Latin America – and Costa Rica in particular – and the US is thought to now be home to only a couple of male individuals. The last female known to have existed in the US was shot in 1963 by a hunter who thought she was a bobcat. A very sad state of affairs, considering that up until a century ago the jaguar was the wilderness king in states like Arizona, Texas and New Mexico.

They Thrive in Costa Rica’s Pristine Jungles

Make no mistake, the jaguar is still a highly endangered species in Costa Rica, but at least here it has comprehensive pockets of protected reserves where it can live and thrive. As opposed to most other cats, Costa Rica’s Kings of the Wild are water babies by nature and will never stray too far from rivers. Its preferred habitats are swamp lands, grasslands and tropical rain forests. Considering the fact that over a quarter of Costa Rica is protected reserves, the jaguar has a lot more space to roam. Jaguars are known to inhabit not only Tortuguero, but also Corcovado, Monteverde, Santa Rosa and the Rio Macho National Parks, as well as several nature reserves.

A jaguar will use its Tail to Lure Fish

Costa Rica’s Kings of the WildBeing the cunning predator it is, the jaguar will often dip its tail in rivers in order to lure fish (much like you would with a fishing line) before pouncing in the water and catching its prey unawares.

In Costa Rica the Jaguars Have Become More Sociable

Although solitary by nature, the jaguars in Costa Rica’s Tortuguero National Park have evolved into sociable creatures and experts believe this is due to so many of them sharing a conservation area of 100 square miles, and the fact that the reserve is teeming with turtles(which they love to eat) for at least 6 months of the year, so competing for food has become a non-issue.

In Ancient Times, Jaguars were Revered

Back in the days of the Aztec and Maya cultures, jaguars featured heavily in local mythology and were the epitome symbol of strength and courage.

Jaguars are Seen as Ecosystem ‘Health Meters’

Due to being apex predators, jaguars are seen as pivotal to a healthy ecosystem and their roles considered vital in preserving the balance of the food chain in their environment. That’s why jaguars are considered a ‘keystone species’.

PHOTO

Only Around 15,000 Jaguars are Thought to be Left in the Wild

Luckily, a bevy of conservation efforts are in place in several countries, all aimed at reducing habitat loss and protecting this magnificent beast.

Costa Rica is an outstanding wildlife and wilderness destination and jaguars aren’t the only ones who think this is the best place in the world to live! Why not plan your next adventure vacation in Costa Rica and come see what other fascinating facts you might discover? Simply contact us for more info.

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Best Kid-Friendly Activities in Costa Rica

Kid-Friendly Activities in Costa RicaFamily vacations are a wonderful way to reconnect with your partner and children and spend some quality time together, although it’s probably wise to point out that not all destinations can offer both bonuses in equal measure. When it comes to superlative family travel destinations,

We have researched and found the best kid-friendly activities in Costa Rica. If you’ve visited before, you’ll know that Cost Rica is the best kid-friendly destination on the planet! Aside the fact that the local culture is very family oriented and local Ticos simply love children – ah yes, you’ll undoubtedly be stopped in the street and told how cute your children are – the very essence of the country makes it an idyllic family vacation playground. With so much nature to explore and so many fun and safe activities suitable for anyone of any age (even grandma should come along!) family vacations in Costa Rica are an absolute bundle of fun. Fun that you can all have together.

In Costa Rica, smartphones and tablets soon become uninteresting and if you don’t believe us just try it! Your kids (even the broody teenager) will be far too busy zip lining, kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, horse riding and hiking up volcanoes to worry about the latest posts on Facebook. What’s more, you can be right there alongside them sharing the adrenaline rushes and the new and exciting adventures. Perhaps this, more than anything else, is what makes Costa Rica so ideal for families. YOU don’t have to compromise so THEY have fun, and vice versa.

Costa Rica is Simply Fun For Everyone

Kid-Friendly Activities in Costa RicaThe country is brimming with amazing family-friendly resorts, all designed with you and your little ones in mind. Set amidst pristine wilderness and filled with incredible wildlife, these resorts are the kind of places you and your children will never want to leave. We’re particularly fond of Si Como No, an unparalleled natural haven that’s set deep in the Manuel Antonio tropical rainforest and boasts the kind of amenities that are just perfect for kid-friendly vacations in Costa Rica – including nightly movie shows.

And if you think Costa Rica’s best family-friendly resorts are prohibitively expensive, then think again…because one of the important reasons this country is so very popular among traveling families, is that it’s an immensely affordable place to visit.

Below are just some of the fantastic destinations you should include in your itinerary.

Kid-Friendly Activities in Costa Rica

Playa Hermosa – Any family will love spending a few days in Playa Hermosa. The bay waters are calm and inviting, ideal when traveling with kids. Moreover, the Aqua Sport Centre rents a host of fun water sport equipment, so you can soak up the rays while older children burn off energy heading off on adventures on kayaks, paddleboats and sailboards.

Playa Tamarindo – Have an active teenager who wants to take some surfing lessons? Then Playa Tamarindo’s the beach for you. After they get their fill of the surf and sun, you can all head off on a full-day excursion to explore the nearby delights.

Lake Arenal – If you have smaller kids with you then you can opt to take a boat trip on Lake Arenal, which is much more conducive for little ones than a full-day hiking trip. Actually, there are a lot of alternatives for younger children around. Take the Monteverde Cloud Forest, for example. Yes, older children may want to scream their lungs out while ziplining on the forest canopy at breakneck speed, yet younger ones need not miss out on the fun. There’s a fantastic enclosed aerial tram ride (and sky walk) that offers all the views but with added comfort of a slow and steady ride which, is perfect for younger kids.

Hot springs – All kids put up an argument at bath time at home, but that’s because there’s no home on the planet that boasts a Costa Rica thermal pool.  Make sure your accommodation includes a thermal bath in-house (like the Tabacon Hot Springs Resort) and the biggest challenge you’ll face every day is getting the kids OUT of the bath after a full day of adventures!

Sundays in towns – Every town is the same the world over and never is this truer than when talking about kid-friendly activities. No matter where in Costa Rica you are on a Sunday, hit your nearest town square and you’ll meet countless local families out for some entertainment. Larger towns put on fairs and rides to entice the kids, and all will have a bevy of food and drink stalls as well. Take a soccer ball along (which you can buy in any local market) and watch your kids make brand new friends in an instant.

Take a wildlife guide along for the hike – Wildlife is abundant in Costa Rica yet even though you may be tempted to spend a whole day on your own trying to spot endemic creatures, it really pays to take a local expert guide along. This is especially true when traveling with children, as they are often most impressed with insects and reptiles, which are both hard to spot for the untrained eye. A local guide can really make the jungle come to life, which not only makes children ecstatic but also helps take the pressure off parents. If you are going to take a guided wildlife tour then we couldn’t recommend a night excursion highly enough. For most families, this is the absolute highlight of their trip.

San Jose’s Children Museum – Now don’t let the name deter you: Los Museo de los Ninos is a fantastic place to visit in the capital, for children and adults alike. Educational and interactive, this museum offers interesting insights into all aspects of life in Costa Rica and boasts a really eclectic mix of attractions. Housed in a former military prison, the museum can easily take up half a day to explore at length (there are some 40-odd rooms here!) and children will be enthralled with the exhibits ranging from history to astronomy, music and science.

At Costa Rica Rios, we specialize in family adventure vacation and have the most magnificent country to thank for this opportunity. Costa Rica is the place to go for kid-friendly activities and is the one place you should visit if fun, adventure, family time and relaxation are on top of your must-do list. So simply contact us for more info and let us help you plan the family trip of a lifetime.

 

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Top Tourism Activities in Tamarindo Costa Rica

Renowned as the hub of tourist activity in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, Tamarindo is that relaxed yet thrilling beach side paradise you dream of when you think of a tropical vacation. Arguably the first region to hit tourism superstardom in the country, Tamarindo straddles Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coastline and is often considered its surfing and socialising mecca. With good infrastructure and plenty of accommodation and dining options – not to mention plethora of exciting outdoor pursuits and impressive nightlife – Tamarindo is an all-encompassing destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re into surfing, zip lining, hiking, indulging in gastronomic delights or simply soaking up the rays on a stretch of idyllic beach, you’ll certainly find a corner of this region with your name all over it.

Top Tourism Activities in Tamarindo:

Surfing

Tourism Activities in TamarindoCosta Rica’s Pacific Coast is brimming with excellent surfing beaches yet if you’re a beginner then Tamarindo is where you’ll want to head. Here, you’ll find a collection of reputable surfing schools and camps that offer lessons for absolute beginners as well as intermediate surfers.

The long stretch of beach at Tamarindo offers waves to suit all skill sets but what makes them ideal (for anyone) is the fact that they are reliably consistent. Surfers head here from every corner of the globe because they know they can head out to catch waves every day of their vacation. From week-long surf camps to private hourly lessons or simple hourly rentals of boards, there’s a surfing plan on offer in Tamarindo to suit everyone.

Ziplining

Ziplining would have to be the most iconic of all Costa Rican adventures and in Tamarindo you need not travel far to indulge in some adrenaline-pumping fun. As you swing and fly through the treetops you’ll get breathtaking views of the pristine wilderness and spot howler monkeys, toucans, iguanas and a vast array of exotic animals. Zip lining options in Tamarindo abound and many include add-on adventures such as horse-riding, repelling, waterfall hiking and visits to natural hot thermal pools. While it may sound ‘too exciting’ for some, zip lining in Costa Rica is actually a very safe sport and there are tours suitable for children as well. Everyone who partakes in a tour claims it is an absolute must-do when in Costa Rica…and we couldn’t agree more!

Day Trips to National Parks

The Tamarindo area is blessed with some of the most magnificent national parks in the whole country, each offering a particular highlight. The revered Las Baulas National Marine Park is home to leatherback turtles during nesting season, whilst Barra Honda offers a collection of underground caves you can explore on tour. Avid hikers can head to Rincon de la Vieja, where nine volcanic craters and host of striking waterfalls can be explored on foot, or set off on a day trip to Palo Verde or Diria National Park for wildlife viewing.

Catamaran Sailing

The sheer collection of stunning beaches and beautiful snorkeling spots makes catamaran sailing in Tamarindo an incredibly rewarding experience. You can choose from morning or sunset sails (the latter ideal for honeymooners) and if traveling at the right time of year you may even spot migrating whales along the way. The two best companies in Tamarindo are Marlin del Rey and Sailing Hibiscus, and both offer exceptional catamaran tours which include fantastic snorkeling spots and delicious refreshments.

Beachcombing

If there’s one thing we can’t stress enough is to always make sure you leave a couple of days in your itinerary to simply enjoy Tamarindo’s many beaches. Many first-time visitors make the mistake of overbooking themselves (not that we can blame them, with all the exciting things to see and do here!) yet there’s something to be said for actually pencilling in some down-time to do absolutely nothing. Well…except beachcombing, perhaps. In Tamarindo, you’ll find a beach to suit all tastes and desires: there’s breathtaking Conchal with its crystalline water, Avellanas with its social and chilled-out vibe, Langosta with its beautifully relaxing shore and, of course, Tamarindo with all of the above combined.

Not only are the tourism activities in Tamarindo a stellar destination for your next Costa Rica vacation, but it’s also an immensely convenient place to reach, being merely an hour’s drive from the Liberia Airport. Want a hand planning an unforgettable adventure vacation in this pristine part of the world? We can help! We offer Costa Rica adventure tours and bespoke itineraries to this and all other regions of the country, so contact us for more info and we’ll help you plan the trip of a lifetime to the most astonishing country in the world!

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Work on a Costa Rica Extravagant Adventure Park Set to Begin

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solis has recently announced that American giant Discovery Communications – owners of the Discovery and Animal Planet channels – are set to lend their name to a $1 billion dollar Costa Rica Extravagant Adventure Park, which is set to open in the Guanacaste province in 2020.

The ambitious project will cover an area of over 880 hectares, adjacent to the Liberia Airport, and will include a vast array of services and attractions. Alongside the Discovery Ranch, the estate will boast an ‘inland ocean’, a water theme park, a wellness centre, various biking, hiking and outdoor adventure options, as well as plenty of accommodation choices. Developers say the park is aimed at showcasing the very best of Costa Rican culture to the world, and it is hoped that the project will give the region a much-needed employment boost in the short and long-term, and tourism boost in the long-term. Once completed, the park is set to generate about 4,000 jobs in the immediate area.

Costa Rica Extravagant Adventure Park

Critics have been quick to question how a project such as Discovery Costa Rica could be materialised in a province of the country which routinely suffers from severe droughts, and whose locals deal with water shortages on a daily basis.  However, assurances have been made that the park will utilize water wells which already exist on the private property which Discovery purchased, and both the developers and the Costa Rican government have expressed their commitment to ensuring the park reflect the country’s fervent stance on sustainable tourism.

An Overview of the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s premier beach tourism destination lies less than 200 miles north of the capital, San Jose. It is a both a hub for tourism and a gateway, as visitors must pass through here to reach the north-western Pacific coastline where most of the country’s resorts are located. The Liberia airport, which is set for expansion, is swiftly becoming a convenient alternative to the main airport of San Jose, offering foreign tourists the chance to fly in and be at the beach within an hour of clearing customs.

A popular hub for surfers, kayakers, scuba divers and hikers alike, Guanacaste’s main strength is in its incredible biodiversity. Some of the most popular beaches in the country are found here, like idyllic Playa Hermosa and Playa Blanca, as well as a host of luxury resorts along the pristine stretch of coast off the Papagayo Peninsula, and a formidable mountain range brimming with volcanic calderas and lush national parks.

This is, by far, the most developed region in the country and offers a wealth of attractions and activities for those who are BIG on wishes and short on time. Infrastructure is good and traveling is ever so easy. Although some may begrudge the extensive gentrification of this part of Costa Rica, there’s no denying that the tourism boom has had a beneficial effect on the country’s economy. And besides, being the kind of exceptional country it is, finding a quiet nook for relaxing contemplation, a desolate beach or a remote hiking trail that you can have all to yourself, is always easy in Costa Rica.

Want to find out more about this and other regions of Costa Rica? The check out our range of Costa Rica adventure tours and contact us for more info.

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Amazing Adventures in the Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica’s ‘wild west’ is one of the most remote and rugged regions of the whole country, one that offers an incredible array of fantastic adventures that are way off the beaten path. Isolated, undeveloped and blissfully drenched in pristine wilderness, the Osa Peninsula is the perfect destination for those who want to immerse themselves in nature and feel like they’re a million miles away from the hectic pace of everyday life in the city. As an active honeymoon destination, the Osa Peninsula is unsurpassed and offers experiences that are far removed from the usual cookie-cutter options found in other tropical destinations.

Osa PeninsulaMoreover, the Osa Peninsula offers you a glimpse into the authentic side of rural life in the country. Once here, you can discover the history of the gold rush era and explore archaeological sites that pre-date colonial rule.

Want to discover just how unforgettable your Costa Rica adventure vacation can be? Then learn all about the amazing adventures awaiting you in the Osa Peninsula.

Lose yourself in the Corcovado National Park

Our guide to the Corcovado National Park should give you a pretty good idea of just how incredibly special and unique this nook of the country really is. Corcovado takes up a great chunk of the Osa Peninsula and will arguably be the main reason you choose to visit. You won’t find massive luxury resorts in Corcovado nor a long strip of restaurants and bars. But what you will find is the kind of virgin wilderness that’ll make you feel as if you’ve landed in paradise, a paradise where it’s jaguars, giant anteaters, armadillos, exotic birds, tapirs and monkeys that rule the roost.

Corcovado National ParkReaching Corcovado is an adventure in and of itself but the rewards are immense. This rates as one of the most biodiverse regions of the most bio diverse countries on earth, and for nature lovers is a pure and simple Nirvana. You can either drop in for a day-long tour of exploration around the main park entry point (which is actually pretty awesome) or, better still, rough it out a few days and head off on longer hiking trails within the park. A smattering of budget and rather stunning eco lodges offer you sufficient accommodation choices on the periphery of the park.

Head Out on an Ocean Safari

Out here, boat trips to view marine wildlife are called ocean safaris due to the sheer number of whales and dolphins most visitors get to see. The warm and tranquil Pacific waters are favored by big swimmers and it’s quite common to see pods of dolphins numbering in their absolute hundreds. This would have to be one of the most awe-inspiring sights you could ever experience.

Tick Innumerable Unique Birds off Your List

Bird enthusiasts tend to salivate at the mere thought of a trip to the Osa Peninsula. Over 350 species call this place home, many of them endemic to the region. Specialized bird-watching tours will match you up with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local guide.

Kayak Through Mangroves

The Osa Peninsula boasts a complex maze of mangroves home to a phenomenal array of wildlife. Exploring it aboard your own kayak, and gliding silently under and through the canopy of the virgin jungle, is both a relaxing and utterly mesmerizing activity. The great thing about kayaking is that it’s a gorgeous activity for pros and novices alike, and is suitable for just about anyone, of any age.

Enjoy the Sea and the Surf

The beaches of the Osa Peninsula, especially on the southwestern tip, attract surfers in search of relaxation and a chance to enjoy their sport in relatively desolate stretches of stunning coast, The waves here are superb and a smattering of surf agencies also cater to learners who wish for a private lesson or two. A couple of chillaxed surf and yoga retreats provide a few accommodation options for those who wish to spend a few days enjoying the sea and the surf in this quiet corner of the country.

Explore the Underwater World

Snorkelers and divers wishing to get off their feet will be in their element in the Osa Peninsula, a place where the what’s under the surface of the water is just as enticing as what is on land. From Drake Bay, you can head out to spend a day exploring the underwater world off uninhabited Caño Island, one of the most revered marine reserves in the whole country. See reef sharks, barracudas, manta rays, marine turtles and a wide array of exotic and very colorful fish.

Include a Day of Cultural Discoveries

The Costa Rican government is committed to boosting rural tourism in the country and, in the Osa Peninsula, efforts come in the shape of an extensive collection of hiking trails which take visitors through some of the most remote and unique settlements in the peninsula. Cultural tours through the Osa Peninsula run the gamut from visiting sugar cane and cacao farms to retracing the steps of the gold miners of yesteryear and staying in self-sufficient farmhouses.

The Logistics of Visiting the Osa Peninsula

The peninsula boasts two main base villages from where visiting the above mentioned places and enjoying adventures is hassle-free. Puerto Jimenez boasts its own little airport, which is quite convenient if you’re short on time and don’t wish to reach the peninsula by road or boat, and Drake Bay – whose town is called Agutijas) is the gateway the mainland transfers. Drake Bay is home to a few swanky lodges whilst Puerto Jimenez is the place to be if you want simple lodging and a bit of nightlife action. Outside of these two hubs, the Osa Peninsula is off the grid and undeveloped. Which is, at the end of the day, what makes it such a heavenly place to visit. Several species of dolphins swim here all year long, whilst the humpback whale migration is best caught in August, September and October.

Here at Costa Rica Rios, we create bespoke itineraries for unique adventure vacations in Costa Rica. Want to include a stint in the Osa Peninsula on your next vacation south? Simply contact us and we’ll help you plan an unforgettable adventure.

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Top Three Costa Rica Luxury Wedding Venues for 2017

Planning your own Costa Rica wedding and want nothing but the best? One of the best 3 Costa Rica luxury wedding venues for 2017 will be your wedding dream come true.

A Costa Rica luxury wedding has the reputation as a premier wedding destination due its outstanding natural treasures. What seals the deal for adventurous couples is the fact that the country is brimming with amazing resorts and villas, many of which are experienced in planning weddings for couple who hail from abroad. Destination weddings can be tedious and time-consuming to plan, and that’s why most couples will select a venue that offers everything they need in one place: from the ceremony to the celebrant, the flowers, photographer, delectable catering and, naturally, accommodation for the couple and all their beloved guests.

While you’ll notice that these 3 venues are all located in the Central region of the country, this is not because we love to play favorites. This is Costa Rica’s most popular and picturesque destination, conveniently located close to the country’s two airports. It is also the most developed region in the country and consequentially plays host to its most lavish wedding venues.  But never fear. The country is blessed with an array of fantastic and unique wedding venues. No matter where you want to go, you’ll certainly find a dreamy place to say ‘I do’.

Costa Rica Luxury Wedding Locations:

1.   Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Arenal

Costa Rica luxury wedding ArenalThe country’s top resort continues to lead the ever-growing list of fantastic Costa Rica luxury wedding resorts, something which doesn’t surprise anyone who’s been lucky enough to have visited. This magical 5* luxury resort is set on the foothills of the country’s most picturesque volcano, Arenal, and the grounds set amidst luscious rain forests dotted with stunning natural thermal pools.

If it’s an ‘idyllic setting’ you’re looking for then trust Tabacon to deliver in spades. The resort’s long-standing reputation as a perfect wedding resort was earned through years of experience. These guys can literally pull off anything you dream, be it a small and intimate affair or extraordinarily lavish do, and include a wedding planner, photographer, florist and even an officiator for the ceremony. Want to elope to Costa Rica? At Tabacon, you can! The resort will not only plan your perfect dream wedding but can also supply two witnesses as required by the country’s law. But you’ll probably want to share your unique day with your nearest and dearest, and for this Tabacon is also perfect. They offer an array of excursions suitable for everyone, from hiking to horseback riding and world-famous zip lining, so your guests can have a wicked and unforgettable vacation as well. Oh, and don’t forget all the wellness treatments you can all indulge in! Overall, Tabacon offers a unique and exclusive wedding experience which suits that once-in-a-lifetime-experience down to a T.

2.   Villa Punto de Vista, Puntarenas

Costa Rica luxury wedding PuntarenasIf it’s the epitome in luxury weddings you’re searching, then you couldn’t do better than this exceptional villa, which offers you the sumptuous luxury of a grand resort with the added intimacy of a private estate. Designed by renowned American/Costa Rican architect David Konwiser, Villa Punto de Vista is an absolute architectural treasure, one which embodies the magnificent nature of the Manuel Antonio coastline to complement, and not compete, for your undivided attention.

Perfectly designed so you can soak up the views from just about every room, this ten bedroom mansion comes fully staffed and is only ever available for one function at a time. You could, of course, still host a much bigger wedding than its 27-person occupancy if you wish, as the villa boasts a ballroom and rooftop terrace which can host up to 100 guests, yet you and 25 of your closest and dearest can luxuriate in the accommodation here for as long as you wish. Set on over 2 acres of pristine reserve, the villa is just a skip and hop away from the sparkling beaches of Manuel Antonio and offers awe-inspiring ocean views from every corner of its glorious estate. In 2016, this villa received a coveted Conde Nast nod of approval, cementing its reputation as one of the most impressive accommodation choices in the world. Only issue with this place? As you soak up the views and atmosphere from the infinity pool, and watch monkeys and toucans fight it out for the juiciest fruits on the trees adjacent to the villa, you may find it ever-so-difficult to ever leave.

3. The Springs Resort and Spa, Arenal

Want a taste of Hollywood during your Costa Rica luxury wedding? Then The Springs Resort and Spa is certainly the place for you. Featured in 2011’s Bachelor TV series, this phenomenal luxury resort is absolutely breathtaking, and offers wedding services and options to match. Perched high on a hilltop and granting exceptional views of Arenal Volcano and the surrounding wilderness, The Springs manages to combine its premier natural setting with unrivalled luxuries. Arguably one of the most picturesque wedding resorts in Costa Rica, The Springs promises to be a highlight of your wedding, as well as the heart and soul of it. Plenty of hot springs and a renowned beauty spa will keep your guests happy and content throughout their stay, as will the beautiful suites and nature-infused estate.

Unforgettable weddings and adventure honeymoons are just two of the incredible experiences Costa Rica offers, making this one of the world’s most coveted wedding destinations. Contact us if you’d like to know more.

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