Costa Rica Honeymoon

Planning a 2018 Costa Rica Wedding? We Show You How!

Costa Rica weddingPlanning an exceptional 2018 Costa Rica wedding and adventure honeymoon? Read on to discover all the ins and outs of planning and enjoying your BIG day in one of the most sensational destinations on earth.

From finding the right venue to choosing the right planner, plus legalities, etiquette and more: your 2018 Costa Rica wedding guide will ensure your wedded bliss will kick off in the most sensational way possible.

Planning your 2018 Costa Rica destination wedding – where to start?

First things first: in such a diverse country as Costa Rica, the first thing you should decide is what kind of wedding sets your heart aflutter. Will it be a barefoot sunset ceremony on a stretch of startling beach? Or do you dream of exchanging your vows immersed in a magnificent jungle? Costa Rica offers honeymooners a bevy of choices, from luxury beach resorts to breathtaking jungle eco-lodges and, because weddings are so popular here, many of them offer wedding packages that include the ceremony, reception lunch or dinner, flowers, cake and accommodation for you and your wedding party.

The most popular choices are in and around the Manuel Antonio and Arenal National Parks as well as the Gulf of Papagayo, which is particularly suited to stunning 5* beach-side weddings. Once you’ve set your sights on your ideal setting, it’ll be time to start planning in more detail. Costa Rica wedding season kicks off in January yet the best months for weddings are April and May, when the big holiday crowds are gone and prices drop dramatically. Although Costa Rica weddings are renowned for being great value for money, they’re even more so in these two months. The weather will still be ideal (it’s still dry season!) but high temps will have dropped slightly, making a wedding and active honeymoon just perfect. Having said this, do note that Costa Rica enjoys a ‘little dry summer’ even during rainy season so you can certainly enjoy a sensational wedding even outside of the prime months. Read our Wedding Guide – How to Time it Right for more information on what you can expect – in terms of availability and climate – at different times of year.

Finding the right venue for your 2018 Costa Rica wedding

Few countries offer couples the kind of wedding venue choice that Costa Rica offers. From jaw-dropping private villas to all-inclusive luxury resorts, boutique eco-lodges and even luxury private yachts: your choice of wedding venue in this stellar destinations is limited only by your budget and your imagination. Read on to discover Unique Wedding Venues and the Top 3 Luxury Venues for 2017.

Other considerations when planning a 2018 Costa Rica wedding – wedding packages, legalities & local planners

Many couples mistakenly believe that planning a Costa Rica wedding is a lot of work yet what most don’t realize is that this country is the poster-child for destination weddings so help is always at hand. Wedding packages are extremely popular and almost every luxury hotel, resort and lodge offer the added help of a wedding planner along with all the other extras.

Local wedding planners will help you with the legalities and logistics of getting married in Costa Rica so they are rather invaluable, even if you choose a resort or wedding venue that doesn’t include one. Read our guide to Finding the Perfect Wedding Planner before you start planning your big day in paradise.

What makes planning a Costa Rica wedding easy is the fact that the legalities needed to make your ‘I do’ official are so straightforward. There’s no need to apply for an expensive license or provide a dossier of documentation to get married here: just a copy of your passports and a few personal details are enough, especially if you’re planning to get married in church. If you prefer a non-religious ceremony, your wedding planner will organize for a lawyer to be present, who’ll submit a certificate on your behalf. Details of your intention to marry should be passed on to your planner or resort about a month before the ceremony and the marriage certificate will be mailed to you once all is finalized.

You may also be interested to read our guide to Costa Rica Wedding Etiquette, which details a few aspects of a wedding abroad that you may not have considered. From who to invite to what you should pay for, how far in advance you should send your invitation and how best to organize for your loved ones to join you, our guide is meant to guide and assist you along the way.

How much should you budget for your 2018 Costa Rica Wedding?

Costa Rica offers couples a wide array of choices when it comes to wedding budgets. Whilst the sky’s the limit for luxurious affairs in some of the country’s premier private villas, you’ll be surprised to learn that, generally speaking, most wedding packages offered in stunning resorts and eco-lodges start from as low as USD 5,000. Merely a fraction of what a day of celebrations would cost you at home! Moreover, most packages include all big-ticket items, such as private venue and reception dinner, celebrant, flowers, photos, wedding cake and, in many cases, even entertainment.

Planning your exceptional Costa Rica adventure honeymoon

If there’s one thing that could ever possibly outshine a Costa Rica wedding, it would have to be a Costa Rica adventure honeymoon. Because nothing spells TRUE LOVE FOREVER like a once in a lifetime adrenaline-packed adventure with your dearly beloved, in some of the most pristine wilderness on earth. From the excitement of whitewater rafting and kayaking to days spent mountain biking, surfing, zip lining, snorkeling, horse riding and mountain bike riding: a Costa Rica honeymoon is the ideal way to celebrate the biggest commitment of your life.

Visit our honeymoon adventure packages page for inspiration and itinerary ideas, and to learn more about all the adventures that await you in Costa Rica and, as always, contact us for more information.

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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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Costa Rica’s Magical Arribada of Olive Ridley Turtles

Arribadas are synchronized turtle nesting events on a mass scale, whereby tens of thousands of turtles converge on very specific beaches to lay millions of eggs, simultaneously. For threatened Olive Ridley Turtles, the favored beaches are along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline and, more famously, Ostional Beach in the Nicoya Peninsula. Arribadas, whose term translates to ‘arrivals’, are incredibly magical events to witness and occur over a period of several days, usually up to a week.

Costa Rica’s magical arribada of Olive Ridley turtles are recognized as one of the world’s true wonders of nature.

 

olive ridley turtlesWhat makes arribadas so exceptional is the fact that not much is known about them. To this day, scientists are still in the dark as to how thousands of turtles know to return to their own nesting beaches, year after year, and all at the same time. Their innate homing ability is one of the greatest mysteries of nature, especially when one considers the sheer distances each animal covers, over the course of a year. Moreover, as turtles reach maturity at about 10 years of age, it means that hatchlings who are born here will not return for at least 10 years. Yet they will still know that this is the beach they were hatched and this is the only place in the world they must return to

In Costa Rica, bearing witness to an arribada is one of the most iconic experiences you could ever dream to have and if you time your visit to the country just right, you could include one in your itinerary.

Costa Rica’s Olive Ridley Turtles – One of the Country’s Most Precious Assets

One of the world’s last true unspoilt countries, Costa Rica is home seven marine turtles, including the threatened Olive Ridley and the Giant Leatherback, the largest species of its kind on our planet.

Olive Ridley turtles arribadas occur sporadically all year long yet the ones with the highest numbers happen during the rainy season, between August and November. They take place about 10 days before each new moon during this period, and you’ll see endless waves of sea turtles to come ashore and lay millions of eggs in shallow holes in the sand. Aside from one other specific spot in India, this is the second largest Olive Ridley turtle nesting site on the planet. The immensely instinctive behavior of nesting turtles makes them very determined, so they seem not to be affected by onlookers at all. Understandably, there are very strict codes of conduct during arribadas in the most visited beaches, to help avoid the kind of disruption which occurred in Guanacaste back in 2015 when thousands of turtles, and onlookers, descended on the same beach simultaneously.

There are volunteer associations that help hatchlings make it ashore. Given that arribadas occur during low tourist season, the local Ostional Guide Association is always happy to accept help in times of need and if you’d love to be a part of this incredible event, and lend a hand, you can contact them here.

Arribadas – a Danger at Every Turn!

Arribadas are dangerous affairs, both for the mothers that come ashore to lay their eggs and the eventual hatchlings who will struggle and face unfavorable odds to make it to the sea. Predators and threats abound, not only from other animals (including human poachers) but also from their own kind. Arribadas happen in waves (literally and figuratively speaking) on any given night, and due to their sheer numbers and the turtle’s seemingly self-centered instinct, the first ‘wave’ of laid eggs actually has a high chance of being destroyed by subsequent turtles who trample all over them. The local government has been criticized for making this the only place where harvesting turtle eggs is legal yet their rather logical solution to a huge problem has actually been very effective at promoting the overall survival of the species.

In Ostional, locals are allowed to take and sell a certain number of turtle eggs that belong to the first wave of an arribada, eggs that have the highest chance of being destroyed. They can fetch a considerable amount of money. In return, however, locals keep a vigil over the subsequent waves, helping to keep poachers, stray dogs, crocs, vultures and coatimundi at bay and giving the hatchlings the best chance at life. It is a solution which drew skepticism at first, but one which seems to be working remarkably well. Local communities are also being educated as to the importance of these arribadas and are becoming quite vocal protectors of the events.

Although human help is arguably warranted, it is also restricted. Witnessing an arribada, in all its natural glory, therefore, can be both mesmerizing and totally heartbreaking. Not every turtle and egg can and should be saved or helped. Nature also needs to take its course.

Costa Rica’s Olive Ridley arribadas can attract up to 150,000 turtles. The largest ever recorded occurred in November, 1995, when half a million turtles turned up for an arribada of astronomical proportions.

After an Arribada…Come Hatchlings!

Around 45 days after eggs are first laid, another wave occurs. This time, of tiny little Olive Ridley turtles hatchlings! Their own struggle to reach the seas is monumental. Flapping over what is, to them, colossal sand dunes, the hatchlings must dodge predators at every turn. Although, once again, human help is at hand, the actual scrambling to sea from their nest is a very important process as it helps the baby turtles develop their lungs. Moreover, scientists –even though are not 100% certain – do believe that setting a course over sand to the sea helps them develop the very homing skills they’ll need to tap into, in order to return. So in this particular case, help is mostly limited to protecting the hatchlings, not picking them up and taking them to sea.

Scrambling to the sea is something they must do on their own.

Survival odds may be stacked against Olive Ridley turtles from before they are even born yet thanks to a little bit of human help, and Costa Rica’s magical arribadas, the state of the species continues to improve, year after year.

Traveling to Costa Rica during rainy season offers huge rewards. Not only can you bear witness to a magical arribada on the Pacific Coast, but you’ll find fewer tourists and lower prices no matter where you go. For help in planning an adventure-filled trip to this outstanding country, contact us today.

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Costa Rica’s Top Five Most Romantic Getaway Locations

In a country that oozes romance at every turn, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Costa Rica, the honeymoon choice of all adventure-lusting couples, offers several romantic getaway locations. From adrenaline pumping action down raging rivers and on active volcanoes to candlelit beach side dinners, spa treatments for two, luxury adults-only resorts and dreamy sunset horseback rides and catamaran cruises: your options for injecting some serious R.O.M.A.N.C.E. on your Costa Rica vacation are out of this world.

So fine, we’ll choose some favorites if we must! Here are just a few of Costa Rica’s Most Romantic Getaways.

Romantic Getaway Locations:

Manuel Antonio – When Only the Best Will Do

Romantic getaway locationsThe country’s premier travel destination boasts the most established infrastructure and arguably the most comprehensive array of luxury accommodation and activities in the whole country. If it’s ‘the best’, most hassle-free, most comfortable and most luxurious that you’re after, then Manuel Antonio is the romantic getaway for you. Luxury upscale boutique hotels and restaurants abound, each one offering a little something unique. Moreover, the sheer array of wildlife and breathtaking scenery in the Manuel Antonio National Park will make you love Costa Rica, as much as your partner! No wonder this is the Costa Rica splurge honeymoon destination of choice.

Volcano Arenal – For the ‘WOW’ Factor Alone

romantic getaway locationsThere’s something about a smokin’ hot volcano that makes everyone a little amorous. And in Costa Rica, that postcard-perfect sight is Arenal. There’s no denying this is the most coveted scene in Costa Rica, and with Arenal’s nearly endless array of fantastic hot spring resorts (check out this exclusive one!) romantic times are just about guaranteed. When you choose an intimate hotel set amidst exotic tropical rain forests, surrounded by a flurry of creatures and boasting magnificent views from every corner, your unforgettable honeymoon is made.

Osa Peninsula – For Adventurous Couples Craving Solitude

The remote and unspoilt Osa Peninsula is a little pesky to reach, granted, but adventure-seeking couples who want to get away from it all will be handsomely rewarded for their efforts. And don’t worry, you’ll still find plenty of romantic resorts and hotels tucked in amidst pristine wilderness. Only here, you’ll have loads of room to yourself, fantastic wildlife watching options and oodles of solitude. The perfect romantic getaway, you ask? Could well be!

Puntarenas – For Beach-Loving Active Couples on a Whim

For short romantic getaways or last-minute trips on a whim, Puntarenas can’t be beaten. The closest seaside destination to the capital, San Jose, this phenomenal region actually stretches more than half of Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline. The beaches are long, sandy and gorgeous, the interior national parks brimming with waterfalls and hiking trails and just off the coast lie a multitude of stunning islands just itching to be explored. Perhaps, by a honeymoon couple just like you! Charming fishing villages, excellent snorkel trips, zip lining, horseback riding, mountain biking and wildlife watching are just a few of the amazing activities on offer here. So if you’re in the mood to be active and/or are headed to Costa Rica on a whim, just beeline it for Puntarenas and you’ll have an unforgettable time.

Tortuguero – for Lovers of Jungles, Remoteness and Uniqueness

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast is revered my lovers of all that is exotic. It is here that you’ll discover untouched jungles, masses of wildlife and uniquely romantic hotels.  In Tortuguero, the beloved mecca for nesting turtles and a stretch of coast that is simply spectacular, the tropical rain forest literally cascades into the sea, making for awe-inspiring sunrises. Exclusive romantic resorts here are few and far between. But when you do find one, you can trust that it will be something very special. From boutique riverside hotels for only 20 guests to private estates literally embedded in pristine jungle, and resorts only accessible by boat: Tortuguero romantic getaways are sensational to say the least.

Ready for various romantic getaway locations with a difference? Then skip the cookie-cutter itineraries and choose Costa Rica! We have something to offer all adventure-seeking honeymooning couples and can include as much luxury and adrenaline-pumping fun as you’d like. Simply 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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Your Guide to Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National ParkHome to half of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna, the remote and spectacular Corcovado National Park is considered the most bio diverse region in the world.

Nowhere will you find this many species of flora and fauna thriving in such a small pocket of natural wonderland. Within its boundaries, which are still impressively large, there exist 13 different ecosystems, including several different types of forests, swamps, mangroves, and marine environments. For nature loving enthusiasts, few places elicit the kind of excitement and expectation that Corcovado does. For it is here that you have the best chance of spotting some of the most elusive animals in Costa Rica, like tapirs, jaguars, squirrel monkeys, scarlet macaws and Harpy eagles.

Moreover, the park’s remoteness means that no matter where you go, you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself. Oftentimes, you really do. Gone are the tourist crowds and long stretches of souvenir stalls.  The only thing that reigns supreme here is nature, in all its wonderful glory.

For the adventure and wilderness seeker, and the traveler who prefers exploring way off the beaten path, an action-packed adventure in Corcovado is an absolute must.

Where is Corcovado National Park?

Located on the south-western tip of Costa Rica, Corcovado makes up a great chunk of the beautiful Osa Peninsula. There are several entry points into the park but Puerto Jimenez remains the most popular, and most convenient. Although only 240 miles from the capital, San Jose, driving time to Corcovado National Park is approximately 9 hours.

Unless you’re planning to take two days to reach Puerto Jimenez (there’s certainly plenty to see along the way) you should consider flying down instead. The chartered flight is inexpensive and a great option, yet they’re extremely strict on weight allowance so you must pack light from home. An alternative and immensely beautiful entry point (by boat) is Drake Bay, in the north.

When’s the Best Time to Visit?

Exploring Corcovado will require a few river crossings, so it is recommended to travel here during the dry season, in the months, between December and April. The moment you step out of the tourist areas in Costa Rica, you’ll see the rest of the country beating to a completely different drum. Down in the Osa Peninsula, it is another world, one where 4WDs are almost mandatory, especially when visiting Corcovado. The state of the roads makes transfer time-consuming, but it’s also immensely fun.

What Activities Are There?

The majority of Corcovado is completely inaccessible to visitors, yet there are still enough hiking trails here to keep you entranced for days on end. The trails take you right into the heart of the rainforests and along the startling beach, and connect the 4 different ranger stations: La Sirena, La Leona, San Pedrillo and Los Patos, with the latter being the only one inland, and not along the coast. It is on hikes through this spectacular reserve that you’ll enjoy up close and personal encounters with some of its most enticing animal species.

Upon arrival, you can grab a copy of the trails map, and get an updated condition on tide levels. Whether you walk through the forest, or along the 23 miles of rugged beach, you’ll be required to cross rivers, some of which are inhabited by American crocodiles and bull sharks. There is also the incredible opportunity to kayak through the estuaries within the rainforest, but this must be planned ahead. In the town of Puerto Jimenez, you can rent kayaks, bicycles, and even horses for excursions.

In Corcovado, even the shortest hike is a full-day affair, so multi-day hikers (as opposed to day trippers who visit a ranger station and walk nearby) will need to carry camping equipment, and book their stay along the way.

What Animals Will I See At Corcovado?

If it lives and thrives in Costa Rica, chances are you’ll find it in Corcovado. This includes all the felines living in the country, all nesting turtle species, all the monkey species, over 40 different types of frogs, dozens upon dozens of snakes and lizards, hundreds of birds and tens of thousands of insects.

For wildlife lovers, Corcovado promises a truly unforgettable experience, one that plays out among some of the most unspoilt wilderness on earth.

What’s it Like to Hike in Corcovado?

This would have to rate as one of the hardest – and simultaneously most rewarding – places to visit in all of Costa Rica. Getting there is half the fun and half the struggle, as the remoteness of the region and lack of development translate to hours spent hiking, on a boat, in a car, or on a charter plane. Once there, you’ll be welcomed by a humid, wet rainforest that drenches everything, including you. Yet for all the hard work, the rewards are stupendous. This is a spectacular place, a pocket of natural wilderness the likes of which you simply won’t find anywhere. A feast for the senses, Corcovado is a world of unique sounds, deafening sounds at times, and intense smells. Yet it’s the sights that impress most. The verdant colours of nature, from the trees to the flowers and all the animals, makes this an unparalleled visual feast.

Where Can You Stay When Visiting?

There is a smattering of lodgings in Corcovado National Park (and surrounds) ranging from cheap and cheerful backpackers’ hostels and dorms at ranger’s stations, to luxury jungle lodges that are out of this world.

The Logistics of Visiting Corcovado

If you want to visit Corcovado you’ll need to add a USD $10 per day into your budget, as well as rates for local guides. As of a few years ago, guides are compulsory, and visiting independently is not allowed.

You can choose to visit Corcovado on a multi-day hike (but be prepared for a hard slog!) or set your sights on La Sirena (the most beautiful park headquarters in the world, we think!) on a day trip from Drake Bay. La Sirena is actually a brilliant ‘end point’ for first-time hikers to tropical rainforests, because if you can’t manage to cope with the very basic accommodation choice at the park headquarters, you’ll have the option to leave by boat, and head back to Drake Bay and stay in one of the beautiful Corcovado hotels there instead.

Want to explore one of the world’s most incredible treasures? We can take you there. Contact us for more details, and let us show you how easy it is to combine a visit to Corcovado with a host of active pursuits in the region’s pristine nature.

 

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How to Find the Best Planner for Your Costa Rica Wedding

Costa Rica weddingAnyone who’s ever planned a wedding will attest to it being a tad stressful. There are 101 things to think about, all simultaneously, and 101 more that’ll slip one’s mind until the time it becomes obvious that they have been all but forgotten. When you plan a wedding abroad, however, you can just about quintuple the stress! Not only do you have countless things to think about and organize, but you and your wedding venue manager, cake maker, florist, make-up artist and string quarter are in different countries. How on earth does one organize a seamlessly beautiful and breathtaking Costa Rica wedding?! With a fantastic wedding planner, that’s how.

Costa Rica wedding planners are renowned for being exceptional at what they do. They live in a country that has become the epitome backdrop for a destination wedding, and they have the know-how to make your special day something extraordinary.

Need some help scoring that one-in-a-million-planner that’ll make your day an unforgettable experience?

We’re here to help.

To Plan or Not to Plan

Many couples will indeed be wondering if they can actually organize their Costa Rica wedding without a local planner. The short answer is ‘Yes, you can!’ yet the more comprehensive response would be ‘Of course you can, yet you may find it too time-consuming and stressful to make going it alone worthwhile’. Whilst many resorts in Costa Rica offer wedding packages which include reception dinner, flowers, wedding cake and the likes, you will be left to organize quite a few things on your own. Moreover, if you wish to do anything out of the norm, like have a beach wedding or organize a full weeklong event held in a private villa, a little external help will be not just helpful, but rather essential.

Dedicated Costa Rica wedding planners are adept at bringing all the pieces of the puzzle together effortlessly, leaving you and your beloved to simply show up, make your vows, and celebrate. The best part? Hiring a wedding planner in Costa Rica costs just a fraction of what it does at home, making their services even more enticing.

Locate Your Perfect Costa Rica Wedding Planner

Wedding coupleTrusting the most important day of your life to a complete stranger may be daunting, we know. Yet there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you catch yourself a priceless ally. Someone who understands you, knows your likes and dislikes and totally gets where you’re coming from. Someone on your wavelength. To this end, here’s our list of tips and hints to help you find that perfect Costa Rica wedding planner match made in heaven:

  1. Trust personal recommendations – with a tiny grain of salt. Professionalism, great communication skills and competency are the main attributes you ought to look for in a wedding planner. Everything else, becomes very objective. Just because your friend just luuuurved her wedding planner in Costa Rica, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to build the same rapport with him/her. You can’t expect the same result just because you choose the same wedding planner. Costa Rica destination weddings are always unique, as is every couple, and your aim is to find a planner that’s just right for the two of you. Recommendations are wonderful and should be graciously accepted, but don’t rely on them completely. Contact as many planners as you can and make your decision based on your heart and gut feeling, primarily.
  2. Make sure you and your planner can communicate well The great majority of the time, you’ll be communicating with your planner via email. It is imperative that you understand each other and can communicate well. Perhaps you speak Spanish fluently, but if you don’t, you really ought to ensure your planner can express her/himself clearly in English. A slight misunderstanding via email can translate into a huge disappointment on your big day.
  3. Know what you’re getting Be very clear and knowledgeable about what you planner can and can’t organize. Ask your planner to make a precise list of what they can do for you, and to outline what is needed for a Costa Rica wedding (they will know this) and the details with which they cannot help.
  4. Only choose a planner who’ll be there on your wedding day Make sure your wedding planner and the whole planning team will be on hand to take care of your special day on the actual day. They must be there, from beginning, to end. If they can’t – because they are booking 4 weddings on the same day – look for someone else. You will only have a stress-free day if you know your planner will be by your side and available to fix any problems should they arise.
  5. Experience and accreditation are a must Choose a wedding planner who’s been at it for a while, a few years at least, and who is certified and a member of the Costa Rica Tourism Board.
  6. Short of ideas? Ask your planner! They are a boundless source of info and creative ideas, and can incorporate a myriad of crazy beautiful wishes into your event. Never mistake your wedding planner for a simple logistical facilitator: these guys are artists. They have visions, experiences and know what works best where and when.
  7. Trust is key Once you find a planner you absolutely adore….trust them. When it comes to planning unique and amazing wedding in Costa Rica, they really do know best.

Before heading out into the virtual yonder to seek your one-of-a-kind wedding planner, you may appreciate a little more info:

*Want to know when you should plan to get married? Read our Guide on How to Time Your Costa Rica Wedding Right

*Want to know the legalities involved in getting married here? Read our Everything You Need to Know About Costa Rica Destination Wedding Guide

*Want to know what the best part of a Costa Rica weeding is? Then do read our guide to Planning the Perfect Bespoke Honeymoon in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica Honeymoon Holiday Tips for Active Couples

Costa Rica honeymoonIt is often said that the couple who plays together, stays together, and if you’re a firm believer in that you’ll definitely enjoy a Costa Rica honeymoon.

Costa Rica is revered as an active holiday destination, with its myriad of zip lines, abseiling, white water rafting, hiking, surfing, SCUBA diving, horseback riding…and about a million more active pursuits. Of course, thanks to the sublime pristine nature and laid-back vibe, Costa Rica still offers plenty of downtime activities, when all you want to do is lay on a glorious beach, soak in a thermal spring or enjoy a fantastic massage in a 5* eco-lodge.

The best of everything, you say? We certainly think so!

Here are some of our favorite Costa Rica Honeymoon Holiday Tips for Active Couples.

Take Surfing Lessons

Costa Rica honeymoon surfingCosta Rica is an insider’s surfing mecca, a place where enthusiasts head to when they want wicked waves and a chilled out vacation. No fuss, no glitz, no crowds. Just you, your love, two boards and endlessly rolling waves. Whether you’re both experienced surfers, or wish to learn a new sport together, taking a few surfing lessons on one of the country’s premier beaches is an absolute must.

The western coastline of Costa Rica, as well as the Nicoya Peninsula, boasts the best and most accessible surfing beaches. For casual surfing lessons with professional and friendly local instructors, head to Tamarindo Beach, Playa Grande, Playa Negra and Playa Avellana in Guanacaste; Playa Bejuco (near Manuel Antonio Nature Reserve) and Playa Hermosa in the Central Pacific. If you’re visiting the stunning Nicoya Peninsula, then include a few days in Malpais or Montezuma, both tried and tested surfer’s paradise.

Tackle a Costa Rica Honeymoon Day Hike

Costa Rica honeymoon hikeGet that blood pumping by tackling a full-day hike with your beloved. Whether you want the satisfaction of ending your hike on a breathtaking waterfall, or the challenge of ascending a vertiginous volcano, you’ll find a hiking trail that’s just right for you. Among the most popular trails are those of the Arenal Volcano Park (with various paths leading through forests and offering stunning views of the volcano), Tenorio Volcano (which end at the eerily translucent Rio Celeste waterfall and include a dip in hot thermal springs), the Manuel Antonio National Park (take the trail on the edge of the park and accost sparkling beaches the whole way) and the Santa Rosa National Park.

This last destination, in the Guanacaste Province, is beyond precious. This is Costa Rica’s oldest protected reserve and boasts trails among forests brimming with wildlife, before emerging on a superb beach which is favored by nesting Olive Ridley turtles when in season.

Scream Your Way Through a Zip Line Course

Costa Rica honeymoon zip lineComing to Costa Rica and not screaming your way down a zip line course while suspended up 1,400 feet is like going to Italy and not trying pizza. It would be a travesty! Canopy and zip line tours are scattered all over the country, and although the activity is offered the world over, Costa Rica really does seem to have a monopoly over the adrenaline-pumping exploit. A collection of a dozen or so bases, connected via cable, hanging bridges and flying foxes, all suspended up to head-spinning heights above the ground of cloud and tropical rain forests. If you and you partner love nothing more than to share adventures, giggles, and screams of excitement, then this activity will tick all your boxes

There are at least two dozen canopy tour companies who’ve set up trails all over the country. The most popular are in the most visited areas (around the Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest) but if you are visiting any of the national parks and forests, you can bet there will be a canopy zip line tour on offer nearby. Simply ask at your hotel or resort at any point during your Costa Rica honeymoon stay.

Multi-Sport Adventure Tours

A multi-sport adventure honeymoon is the Holy Grail of many honeymooning couples. Spending days hopping between whitewater rafting on raging rivers, kayaking in secluded lagoons, zip lining above rain forests, horseback riding on the beach, rappelling down hidden canyons, and mountain biking through some of the most remote trails in the country, is about as good as an adventurous honeymoon can get.

Problem is…how on earth do you organize all of this on your own?!

You don’t!

Simple.

We do!

Bahía Junquillal National Wildlife snorkelingCosta Rica is popular because it is an extraordinary country offering a myriad of attractions, yet what lures many couples here is the fact that it is so incredibly affordable. So much so, that enjoying a full week on a fully planned vacation (that’s the vacation where you do nothing but show up at the airport, and we take care of the rest) can cost a mere fraction of just a couple of days spent anywhere else.

At Costa Rica Rios, we plan unforgettable Costa Rica honeymoon vacations that can be tailor-made to suit your pace, likes, and budget. Moreover, we can take you way off the tourist trail and show you incredible places you many never get to experience on your own. We can fit in all the adrenaline pumping action you like, and make sure to include plenty of relaxing and romantic pursuits to boot. We do all the work, so that you don’t have to, and can just concentrate on having an amazing, memorable time with the love of your life.

And isn’t that what honeymoons are all about?

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Guide to Costa Rica Destination Wedding Etiquette

Costa Rica catamaran weddingPlanning a destination wedding to Costa Rica is one of the most enjoyable things to look forward it. Considering the country is brimming with exceptional wedding venues and experienced planners, you’d be surprised how seamlessly easy the whole process can be. Yet no ‘wedding planner magician’ can possibly solve all the conundrums you’ll inevitably face. Who will you invite? Who should you invite? What are you expected to pay for…and what should you leave up to your guests?

These are just a few etiquette puzzles you may be faced with when planning your Costa Rica destination wedding. But never fear…we’re here to help!

Follow our Guide to Costa Rica Destinations Wedding Etiquette and sort out the do’s and dont’s before you go. You’ll be mighty glad you did, we assure you.

Get Your Dates Right

Save-the-date invitation should go out no later than 6 months before the wedding and, ideally, closer to 10. Naturally, you’re not inviting people to just a ‘wedding day’ but you’re asking them to plan their (probably) only yearly holiday to come share the big day with you in Costa Rica. Although we’re quite sure they’ll be just as excited as you to head to this powerhouse of nature, adventure, culture and history, you still need to give them plenty of time to organize work/school timetables – as well as budget. Make sure you include the location on your initial invite, so people can start booking early bird flights if they wish.

Once you have the date set, you can send formal invites about 3 months before your wedding date. Include as much info as possible, such venue, country info, transport options and accommodation choices too. The latter will help burst illusions anyone may have that a ‘destination wedding’ means the bride and groom are paying for their entire holiday abroad. Including a few links to the also gives guests a chance to research the region of Costa Rica where you’ll be married, and work out ways to enjoy day trips or extended vacation after the vows are exchanged. Don’t forget to add a website of your chosen wedding venue and, if you really want to get their excitement to build, our Costa Rica Rios collection of outstanding getaways which make ideal pre or post-wedding vacations.

Who Should You Invite?

Costa Rica destination weddings tend to be small and intimate affairs, with many couples choosing to invite only their closest friends and family members. Although you may be tempted to invite a close(ish) friend or work colleague whom you think wouldn’t come anyway, do be careful. You’ll be surprised what kind of magnetic pull Costa Rica has on people! Our advice is to only invite those people you’d be ecstatic to see on your wedding day. No matter how ‘distant’ you think a friend or colleague may be, they may see it as an brilliant way to strengthen the friendship and enjoy a superlative holiday.

Moreover, even though traditionally whomever you invite to your engagement party should be invited to your wedding, the waters are a little murkier when it comes to destination weddings. Nowadays, it is very common to have a large engagement party with many guests, and a very intimate wedding in Costa Rica for only your closest circle of love. A little post-wedding do at home, for those who didn’t attend the weddng, is also a terrific idea.

Who Pays for What?

It goes without saying that the couple who’s getting married is responsible for the ceremony, reception, entertainment and pre-wedding rehearsal dinner. Having said that, destination weddings are not usually one-day affairs so including a couple more group activities during the course of 2-3 days would be ideal, and rather classy. Luckily, no matter where you choose to marry in Costa Rica, you’ll have a bundle of choices! Take your wedding party whitewater rafting for a day! Or perhaps kayaking, horse-riding, or on a memorable sunset cruise. A farewell brunch will also be appreciated, so pick and choose what you prefer (two is more than sufficient) and do make separate invite cards for each event. Guests are expected to pay for their own flights, transport, accommodation and any extra expenses that isn’t expressly paid for by the bride and groom.

Except, Perhaps, for the Bridal Party Members…

Technically speaking, you are not required to cover the costs of the wedding party members attending your big day. However, being asked to be a bridesmaid or better still, a witness, is a whole different ballgame than just being asked to attend. The latter they could politely decline, the former not so much.

The etiquette for this is somewhat simple. If you can afford to pick up the accommodation (and even flight) tabs for your wedding party, then you’ll certainly win huge brownie points with all involved. After all, for a small intimate Costa Rica wedding these are bound to be your bestest friends. If not, don’t feel bad, but be very active in researching special group discounts. Renting a villa (or two) for your wedding party and perhaps contributing a token amount to the overall cost, will surely also be very appreciated.

Can You Help Pay for a Friend in Dire Financial Need?

This scenario is more common than you imagine and as far as we’re concerned, we say ‘go for gold’ and help them attend by covering their expenses, if you really couldn’t imagine your wedding without them. You may just want to keep it a little on the secretive side so no one else feels unfairly treated. No need for loudspeaker announcements here: love for a special friend to be there? Keep it between you two and you’re sweet to go.

Skip the Registry

Gift registries are nowadays as common as multiple-toaster-giving was a mere generation ago. Yet a little word of caution. A destination wedding can be financially straining for some guests, so showing appreciation for their efforts (to fly abroad for your wedding) by omitting a gift registry, will take a lot of pressure off. Even your closest friend will possibly spend more on attending your wedding in Costa Rica than they would if you got married at home. To avoid any doubt, do state your intention on the invitations by telling guests that your most treasured wedding gift would be their company. It’s a win-win.

Gifts and Keepsakes

Turn the traditional tables around. Instead of receiving gifts from your guests, why not organize a gorgeous welcome gift for them? Popular choices are hampers with traditional Costa Rica products like coffee, vanilla beans, wine, and a totally fun and kitsch souvenir.

What if You Want an Adult-Only Affair?

Ouch. Tact can go a long way if you wish for an adult-only destination wedding. Being brutally honest, in this case, is a no-go. “Sorry but I don’t want your spoilt brat at my idyllic Costa Rica destination wedding” is the ultimate friendship-executioner. Instead, make sure only the names of your adult friends are included on the wedding invitation (an old school etiquette which is actually lost on many people today) and then let your closest friends know that they can be honest should they be asked about your ‘children or no children’ intentions.

And on a last note: do know that Costa Rica is an exceptionally child-friendly country to visit and many resorts offer childminding services for any of your guests who will fly with kids in tow. Just like people shouldn’t expect that their entire brood be invited to an overseas wedding, you should also not expect parents (especially of very young children) to fly to Costa Rica minus their little ones.

It’s possible that we’ve answered some questions you probably hadn’t even thought about. You’re welcome! A Guide to Costa Rica Destination Wedding Etiquette ought to help relieve some of the anxiety you may be feeling about the logistics of organizing a wedding abroad.

And when you’re ready for some post-wedding fun…join us on a romantic, relaxing or totally adventurous Costa Rica honeymoon vacation that you’ll never forget.

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Why a Costa Rica Honeymoon Rocks!

Manuel Antonio National Park honeymoonIt probably won’t surprise you to learn that an overwhelming majority of couples are more excited about their impending honeymoon than they are about their wedding. We have an inkling, in fact, that 100% of couples who are planning a honeymoon in Costa Rica fall in that very same category.

And who would blame them? When heading to Costa Rica on honeymoon, not only do loved-up couples have the chance to enjoy the superlative luxuries befit an unforgettable luna de miel (it even sounds more romantic in Spanish!) but they also have the priceless opportunity to see and experience one of the world’s most spectacular countries. All the while, of course, whispering sweet nothings into each others ears…

So are Costa Rica honeymoons really all that great?! Yes, they are!

And here’s Why Costa Rica Honeymoons Rock…

There’s Something for Everyone

Costa Rica honeymoonAs cliché as that may sound, Costa Rica really does offer something for everyone. Quite amazing considering its diminutive size. Whether you’re an active couple, chillax duo, a twosome who wants to get back to basics, or newlyweds dreaming of superb luxury, you’ll find copious choices in this stellar land.

That’s because Costa Rica has made good on its promise to dedicate itself almost entirely to tourism and wilderness preservation. It’s the world leader in eco-resorts (to suit all budgets), boasts an array of fantastic National Parks for active pursuits, is at the top of the game when it comes to outdoor sports, and is framed on both sides by endless miles of pristine beaches. Surf on the Pacific and sunbake on the Caribbean. Kayak by day and swoon over a candlelit dinner by the beach by night. No matter what you dream of doing on your honeymoon…you’ll find a place to do it in Costa Rica.

A Honeymoon Close to Home

There are innumerable reasons why Costa Rica is one of the favored honeymoon destinations for North Americans, one of the most pivotal being that it’s insanely close to home. Where else could you enjoy such phenomenal nature and variety only a few hours’ plane ride away? Because let’s face it: as much as everyone would love to enjoy a 3-month honeymoon, most people can only manage a one to two-week break. Wasting half of it on jet-lag would be a colossal travesty.

It’s Affordable, Without Compromise

Costa Rica villaThere are a lot of affordable countries the world over, that’s granted, yet in 99% of the cases, you certainly get what you pay for. Not in Costa Rica…where the quality for price value is simply outstanding.

A week-long honeymoon spent in a 5* luxury resort in Costa Rica can costs as much (or as little) as just ONE day in an equally luxurious resort back home. If you’re after a destination that delivers in style, and wish for more bang for your hard-earned buck, then Costa Rica just can’t be beaten.

Everything Can Be Organized For You

Costa Rica hotel staffAll-inclusive Costa Rica honeymoons are precisely that: unforgettable vacations where all you have to do is show up. It’s this incredible service, by tour operators like us here at Costa Rica Rios, that have cemented the country’s reputation as one of the best honeymoon destinations of all.

From the moment you arrive until the second you leave, all of your needs will be catered. We take care of transport, accommodation, all your desired activities, your delectable meals, the sightseeing, the cultural experiences and everything else that comes up along the way. And because this is indeed an affordable place to visit, it means that all this service comes at a very low price. Honeymoons are meant to be a once-in-a-lifetime splurge, and how delightful to know that this kind of ‘splurge’ doesn’t even need to cost a fortune.

Love nature? You’ll love Costa Rica

Costa Rica bio-diversityOne of the most bio-diverse countries on earth, Costa Rica is a wonderland of natural highlights. This is arguably the number one reason couples choose it for their honeymoon.

Among the kaleidoscope of ecosystems, you’ll discover over 30 national parks and wildlife refuges, a dozen bio reserves, and almost 30 fiercely protected zones, where almost 900 species of birds, 1, 500 varieties of fish, more than 200 reptiles, 150 types of amphibians, and 13,000 species of plants flourish splendidly. If you’re thinking you may require several vacations to soak up all this beauty…you may be quite right.

The Weather is Idyllic

Year-round warm temps and a tropical disposition are what gift Costa Rica that ‘postcard picture perfect’ image. Sure, there’s a rainy season, when parts of the country can be inaccessible and too soggy to explore in depth, but most of the time, and in the greater majority of the country, there’s always one spot that’s just perfect. Two extensive coastlines, numerous mountains and an array of national parks mean that no matter what month of the year you choose for your Costa Rica honeymoon, you’ll always find an ideal spot to visit. No need to pack the thermals!

The Culture is Enticing

The people of Costa Rica, so called Ticos, are as warm as the days and nights here. They are humble and proud people, with a strong sense of community and heritage, who are always hospitable and welcoming to visitors. In the most popular areas you’ll find an overwhelming majority of Ticos speak English well, and if they don’t, they’ll still go out of their way to smile, say hello, and help you if needed. With a plethora of interesting cultural attractions all over the country, as well as festivals and celebrations at least once a month, the options for cultural enrichment are plentiful too. Moreover, Costa Rica is exotic enough to feel ‘a million miles away from home’, but not quite foreign enough that you feel like you’ve landed on an alien planet. Because even though a serving of culture shock can do wonders for the spirit, it’s safe to say it doesn’t lend well to a very relaxing or romantic honeymoon vacation.

There’s A Constant Adrenaline Rush

Costa Rica zip lineFrom zip lining to kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, horse riding, surfing, canyoning and more… a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation makes for the perfect honeymoon if you love nothing more than to get that blood pumping in exhilarating fashion.

Renowned as the adrenaline sports capital of Central America, Costa Rica offers not only superlative nature but a myriad of ways to get up close and personal with it. Combine wildlife spotting with a sting of heart pumping fun and feel the stresses of everyday life simply melt away. There’s just no better way to enjoy the very best this country has to offer.

Convinced yet?

Your Costa Rica Honeymoon Vacation can be as exciting, relaxing, and engaging as you’d like it to be, so if you want the start of your wedded bliss to rock your socks right off then let us help you plan that destination honeymoon you’ve been dreaming for years.

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