Costa Rica Adventures

How Much Time Do You Need for a Costa Rica Adventure Vacation?

Costa Rica adventure vacationCosta Rica’s breathtaking mountains, rainforests, stunning beaches and awesome volcanoes attract adventure seekers from every corner of the globe. They come here not only because the nature is impressive but, primarily, because this is one of the most interactive travel destinations on earth and the PERFECT adventure vacation.

There is a TON of fun and invigorating stuff to do among all this natural beauty! In Costa Rica, you won’t just sit back and admire the wilderness; you can dive right into it. You can whitewater raft and kayak down raging rivers, you can surf awesome waves, hike mountains and volcanoes and you can snorkel and scuba dive in turquoise waters brimming with colorful marine life. You can also fly on zip lines, walk on hanging bridges suspended in the clouds and, more than anything else, you can get away from it all and relax with your loved ones immersed in pristine nature.

And what’s not to love about that?

A Week of Adventures in Costa Rica

Generally speaking, we think Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a one-week adventure vacation, ideal for those who are big on dreams and short on time. You’d be surprised at just how much adventure, discovery, culture and wildlife encounters you can squeeze into even just a single week of travels to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica adventure vacationFrom the Pacific to the Caribbean coast and all through the central highlands, you can soak up an array of contrasting scenery and partake in plenty of exhilarating adventure sports. On our own 8-day adventure tours, we also love to include an overnight rafting trip as this gives you the chance not only to enjoy phenomenal rafting in III and IV-graded rapids but also to seamlessly change locations to boot. When a tour is perfectly organized, you could enjoy 3 base points in a week without hassle. Moreover, the mix of activities can be brilliant, and include not only adventure sports but also wildlife watching, coffee tours, cultural encounters and stays in tropical jungle lodges and resorts.

Plenty of choices make a week-long adventure tour ideal for those whose traveling partners have diverging interests. You need not do the same activity if you don’t want to, and can split up for the day and reunite for sun downers and a recap at day’s end.

Short & Sweet Adventure Tours

Sometimes, time is of the essence. But fear not, for a 5-day itinerary need not feel restrictive in any way. With just 5 days to enjoy the best in Costa Rica, you’ll still have the chance to soak up the splendors of Costa Rica and three full days of outings can see you canyon, raft and zipline with abandon in two iconic locations.

Adventure Honeymoons

The sheer variety of honeymoon experiences makes Costa Rica a very coveted destination for newlyweds, especially those who want more than a simple lay-on-a-beach type vacay. Unique and unforgettable, Costa Rica honeymoons can be thrill-filled, relaxing, romantic and exhilarating, depending on your specific wishes. Again, a week is the most popular time-frame for a rewarding honeymoon here, with the most revered itineraries being split evenly between adventure sports and relaxing days on idyllic beaches. Our Best of Costa Rica honeymoon tour, for example, covers the two most popular destinations (Arenal and Manuel Antonio) and offers hot spring soaks at the sublime Tabacon Spa Resort, canopy swinging, whitewater rafting and 3 days of fun and relaxation on the glistening Pacific Coast beaches. When you hone in on these most popular and well-developed areas, you can really fill your days to the brim because infrastructure and sheer volume of activities are simply excellent.

Lucky enough to have even more time for your Costa Rica honeymoon? Then an intrepid 18-day honeymoon tour is for you. In just over two weeks, you can expect to cover a lot more distance and indulge in many more adventures. With added day-long hikes, cave explorations and plenty of downtime, a two-week (or longer!) honeymoon can see you discover wonderful, remote and spectacular Corcovado as well as the more visited northern hubs.

natl'l parkCorcovado is home to 50% of the country’s wildlife species and is one of the most priceless natural reserves on the planet. Hidden in the far western reaches of the Pacific coastline, Corcovado is a magnificent nature wonderland of its own accord and the most biodiverse region of Costa Rica. It calls for a few extra days to explore well but if you have the time and you do make it there, your rewards will be infinite. Read our Corcovado National Park guide for even more inspiration.

Of course, a long weekend getaway to Costa Rica is nothing to be sneezed at, either, if that’s all the time you have. As we love to say: a weekend in Costa Rica is better adventure vacation than a weekend anywhere else!

With even more time, the world is your delectable oyster. Combining adventure trips in several destinations means you can return to Costa Rica time and again, year after year, exploring new and exciting horizons. And it also means you can plan a journey of weeks and even months, without ever needing to backtrack – unless you want to, naturally! With custom-made tours you can literally build your own vacation, based on your time and budget constraints, as well as your wish list for travel styles, activities and comfort level.

Whether in Costa Rica for a weekend, a week or a fortnight, you can always experience the best this country has to offer. And remember, whatever you can’t fit into your itinerary will make for a wonderful incentive to come back, time and again.

How much time do you need for a Costa Rica adventure vacation?

Whatever time you have!

Contact us for more itinerary ideas, planning help and to dream up YOUR ideal itinerary through one of the world’s most astonishing adventure destinations.

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Costa Rica’s Most Memorable Road Trips

Fancy taking a memorable road trip through Costa Rica? We show you how!

Top Road Trips:

Top road tripsA compact country that’s easy to navigate and brimming with exceptional attractions, Costa Rica is full of truly EPIC road trips. Within merely an hour of exiting the capital’s international airport, you could be exploring some of the world’s most astonishing natural landscapes, discovering cloud forests, tropical rain forests, stunning volcanoes and countless valleys brimming with rivers, waterfalls and wildlife. For the adventurous traveler, one doesn’t mind going way off the beaten path, Costa Rica is a gem. A rewarding, exhilarating and unforgettable treasure. And the best part of it all is that whether you’re a self-drive vacation novice or expert, you’ll find a Costa Rica road trip that’s perfectly suited to your set skills and adventurous spirit.

For ease of planning, we’ve combined our favorite of Costa Rica’s Most Memorable Road Trips starting from San Jose, the capital. Although there is a slight chance you will arrive at the northern airport in Liberia, chances are higher you will land in the capital. Once you circle the most enticing spots on a map, you’ll get a good idea of how to combine the different destinations to create one continuous, awe-inspiring road trip through the whole country, if time allows and you so wish.

Please do note that drive times reflect time spent behind the wheel. Combine these memorable Costa Rica road trips with plenty of rest stops, lunch stops and overnight stays for a most rewarding travel experience.

San Jose to Arenal Volcano National Park, 90 miles, 3.5 hours

The most iconic destination in Costa Ria is reached after just a couple of hours’ drive from the capital, San Jose. Whilst there are plenty of curves and a bit of traffic to negotiate out of the city, the road trip is spectacular and a wonderful introduction not only to the country itself but also to the driving conditions and overall appeal of overland travel here. Arenal is stupendous and the whole region brimming with fantastic adventure sports like white water rafting, trekking, horseriding, kayaking and so much more. A 3-day stay would be ideal here if you have the time.

San Jose to Monteverde, 87 miles, 4 hours

The drive to the northern ethereal cloud forests of Monteverde is outstanding, as the road kisses the western coastline before ascending up into the clouds. Costa Rica’s most unique and spellbinding destination comprises virgin forests literally set on a bed of clouds, with dense wilderness and spectacular viewpoints making it difficult to stay focused on the actual driving. Take breaks, stop at every turn and soak up the magnificent scenery. With a bevy of activities on offer, with special focus on hiking, canopy tours, ziplining and hanging bridges, you’ll certainly be enticed to stay here for a couple of days, especially if you choose to spend a night on the cost in Punta Arenas.

San Jose to Manuel Antonio National Park, 85 miles, 5 hours

Take the road south of the San Jose and immerse yourself in the splendid wilderness of the Manuel Antonio National Park, by taking the long way down that cuts through the Quetzales National Park. This route may be longer than the alternative (it will see you emerge in Dominical on the coast before heading north but will grant an array of landscape vistas. Plenty of mountains curves on this route suit the experienced self-drive traveler but with plenty of time for multiple stops this memorable Costa Rica road trip is just sensational. Besides the road trip itself, the route ends in the country’s most celebrated national park. A wonderland of dense forests literally cascading onto stupendous beaches. A most fitting destination, we say!

San Jose to Tamarindo, 160 miles, 4.5hrs

Gained your confidence on the road? Then why not tackle a cross-country drive that’ll see you first head to the coast in Punta Arenas, head northwest and into the Nicoya Peninsula, finally across to Tamarindo. This Pacific coast destination is one of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destination so it offers a plethora of options, from accommodation to dining, activities and extras. Great shopping, plenty of yoga retreats, fine dining, excellent resorts and a myriad of sea sports are just the start. The wonderful beaches of Tamarindo are a sight to behold, especially if you stretch this road trip to a few days, spending time in the mountains first. Combine this with a visit to Monteverde and it will be a most memorable Costa Rica road trip indeed.

Self-drive road trips are indeed phenomenal but they aren’t for everyone. That’s why we offer an exhilarating collection of adventure vacations in Costa Rica that’ll see you explore the country’s best regions AND have an absolute blast along the way. Prefer us to be in charge of the driving? No problem! Contact us for more info and let us plan your own memorable Costa Rica road trip, with us at the wheel.

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Must See Wildlife in Costa Rica

Revered for being one of the most bio diverse countries on the planet, the wildlife in Costa Rica is an animal lover’s dream playground. So enriched is the country with unique and interesting creatures, that you need not even specifically go on dedicated wildlife-watching tours, if you don’t have the time or wish to keep expenses down. For in Costa Rica, wildlife is everywhere.

The most common, the most famous, the most beloved and even the most feared: here is the top wildlife in Costa Rica.


What they lack in size, insects more than make up for in sheer numbers in Costa Rica, where they make up almost 60% of ALL the wildlife species. Here, you’ll see over 1,200 vibrantly colorful butterflies, which equate to more than 10% of all butterfly species on the planet. Together with an impressive array of bee species, butterflies are responsible for the enormous variety of flora which blankets Costa Rica in its entirety.


Four species of monkeys inhabit the luscious forests of Costa Rica and the fabulous thing about them is that they live and travel in big troops, so once you spot one you will have time to grab your camera and, soon enough, you’ll spot several. These noisy and clever creatures can be sneaky and have been known to steal visitor’s lunches, so hold on to your foodie stash the moment you hear the cries of the cheeky mantled howler monkey.


wildlife in Costa RicaOut of the 900 species of birds found in Costa Rica, over 600 live there permanently. Non-birders can’t help but notice the more eye-catching species like the magnificent toucans and scarlet macaws, but fact is this is one of the most respected dedicated bird-watching destinations on the planet. From the lovely Yiguirro, the country’s national bird, to the stunning quetzal and impressive jabiru, Costa Rica’s birds come in all colors, shapes and make for astonishing viewing. In total, you’ll find six species of toucans inhabiting all the wonderful forests throughout Costa Rica.


Ever-smiley sloths are arguably everyone’s favorite Costa Rica wildlife and even if going in search of them gives you a crick in the neck it will be well worthwhile once you come face to face with this goofy character. Sloths do a mighty fine job of camouflaging in the canopy of low and mid-elevation forests and spotting them can actually be quite pesky. So channel your inner sloth, move slowly and carefully and you’ll no doubt soon see one just ‘hanging about’.

Sea Turtles

Renowned as one of the world’s premier turtle nesting destinations, Costa Rica is home to 5 out of the 7 existing sea turtle species, with each species preferring certain stretches of beaches. So take it slow when visiting Costa Rica, and follow our turtle-watching guide to get the most out of your trip.


Given Costa Rica’s prime location, its pristine seas are brimming with migrating whales in July and March, the gargantuan sea kings and queens make their yearly pilgrimage.

If catching a glimpse of these magnificent beasts is a priority, check out our guide to whale watching in Costa Rica for more detailed info.

Tree frogs

Over three-quarters of all of Costa Rica’s amphibians are frogs, the most notable of which is the red eyed tree frog. As a great many of frogs are nocturnal, the best chance of spotting several species of frogs is to go on a nighttime hike, but we do recommend you take a local experienced guide with you. Not only will it be safer for you but you’ll also see many, many more creatures than you would on your own.


The Costa Rica racoon gets a lot of flak from North American tourists, with many first-time visitors assuming they are as bothersome as those back home. But this gorgeous coatimundi is much more placid but just as curious, so although you should definitely never approach one or try to pet one, there’s no reason to run away screaming! But yes…do make sure you don’t wave your sandwich around should you spot one. They are very sweet…but they still wouldn’t turn down a free lunch!


Now here’s a species of wildlife you should definitely admire from a little distance! In Costa Rica, you’ll find two crocodilians: the large American crocodile and the much smaller and less threatening spectacled caiman.


Between November and May, large pods of dolphins can be easily spotted swimming off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Although dolphins live along this coast all year long, winter is when they breed so your chances of spotting many of them on a boat outing, are infinitely enhanced.

Big cats

Costa Rica is home to several big cats, many of them remaining elusive and very difficult to spot. Of the 7 species, the most coveted would have to be the jaguar and the puma, with the former being the largest wild cat in the country, growing up to an impressive 2 meters in length. Of all the top wildlife in Costa Rica, the jaguar remains the hardest to spot in the wild.

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Whales & Dolphin Festival Heats Up Costa Rica in September!

Whales & Dolphin FestivalCosta Rica’s Whales & Dolphin Festival, held on the idyllic coast of Bahia Ballena in Uvita, will take place during the first two weekends in September. Considering this is the ideal month for whale watching in Costa Rica, now’s the perfect time to plan a last-minute getaway to the world’s best adventure travel destination.

The 2017 Whales & Dolphin Festival will be in its 5th year and is a well-organized event that shines a spotlight on one of the world’s most magnificent natural phenomena: the mass migration of humpback whales along the coast of Costa Rica. Aside from whale watching tours, you’ll find the town of Uvita and its surrounding areas awash with fairs, concerts, exhibitions, environmental workshops that teach all about the marine life found here and, as always anticipated, a wonderful array of exceptional food. Attracting families, singles, old and young alike – not only from other regions in Costa Rica but from every corner of the globe – the festival is a wonderful celebration of one of the country’s most revered attractions.

For any animal lover, the Marino Ballena National Park is a perfect destination. At this time of year, you’ll see not only humpback whales, but several species of dolphins, pilot whales, sharks and plenty of turtles, as well as colonies of unique and endemic birds. For experienced sea lovers, there are also options for whale watching tours by SUP and kayaks.

Amazingly, the southern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica actually harbors humpbacks almost all year round, as pods flee the cold of Antarctica and the Arctic to seek shelter in the balmy waters of this glorious country. It is in September, however, when numbers (and your chances of spotting them) are at their highest.

Whales & Dolphin Festival Locations

Uvita & the Marino Ballena National Park

The small and unassuming town of Uvita is preferred by those who want a more laid-back beach vacation when in Costa Rica. Away from the well-developed north, you’ll find long stretches of palm-tree fringed, pristine sandy beaches, and just a smattering of accommodation choices.

Uvita is the best base town for adventures in Marino Ballena, the marine crowning glory of the Puntarenas Province. The park encompasses over 100 hectares of unspoilt land wilderness, as well as 5,400 hectares of pristine marine areas, including the largest coral reef on Costa Rica’s western coast.

The aptly named ‘Marine Whale National Park’ boasts a captivating landscape, with a ‘whale tail’ promontory that is simply breathtaking, especially from a higher vantage point.

This is one of the country’s youngest and most protected national parks and attracts visitors who seek an organic experience (with fewer commodities, perhaps) but with the priceless chance to be completely at one with unspoilt nature. The park hosts at least 85 unique species of marine wildlife and almost 20 species of coral. Snorkeling the reef is outstanding here and, because of its protected status, the park’s beaches are perfect for quiet sunbathing and lounging, away from the at-times rowdy crowds of surfers found further north. The waters and currents can be a bit fierce but you’ll find plenty of tranquil coves and swimming holes.

Getting to Uvita

A 3 hour drive from San Jose will see you take in the countryside of Puntarenas and arrive in Uvita. Alternatively, you could also fly into the small regional airport at Quepos.

If you’re looking for one of a kind adventure-filled tours in Costa Rica, check out our comprehensive list of tours and contact us for further info. We’d be delighted to plan an itinerary that’s just right for you and help you have a WHALE of a time in Costa Rica!

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Costa Rica’s Enviable Living Costs

It really is no wonder that Costa Rica is fast becoming one of the most coveted expat destinations on the planet known for its enviable living costs. And not only for retirees looking for a warmer climate and good health care. Waves of young entrepreneurs, digital nomads and ecotourism operators are scrambling to get a piece of the Costa Rica pie. And no wonder: with such enviable living costs, exceptional health benefits, fantastic natural landscapes, clean living and a stress-free living…who wouldn’t want to live here?

An Enviable Lifestyle – A Priceless Bonus

Costa Rica living costsCosta Rica is one of those rare countries that offers a fantastic lifestyle for a fraction of the cost you’d normally expect. This is what ultimately makes it such a coveted expat destination. Sure, other countries may be just as inexpensive to live in, yet none match all the added bonuses that Costa Rica can. With its array of fresh produce and penchant for clean eating and an active life, living in Costa Rica is simply better for you, price irrespective. More sunlight, tastier fruit and vegetables, walking or cycling everywhere, skipping the high levels of stress that go hand in hand with big city living and easily building social connections with like-minded expats.

Yet when it comes to the bottom line…yes, Costa Rica’s enviable living costs play a huge role in people’s ‘big move’.

Monthly Living Costs

Most retired couples who move to Costa Rica find they can enjoy an unrestricted lifestyle here for about 2,000 to 3,000 USD a month, including entertainment expenses, plenty of fresh food, health care and, of course, housing and utilities.

MEDICARE – The Caja, the local universal health care, is of exceptional high quality, this being arguably one of the best relocation incentives for older couples looking for peace of mind. For a low monthly fee, expats have access to all the Medicare benefits granted to Ticos and, for a fraction of what they’d pay at home, they can also pay cash for specialist surgeries or anything else not covered by the State-run healthcare.

FRESH FOOD – Fresh food is where Costa Rica really shines and, as long as you keep it local (by going to the weekly feria produce markets, for example) you’ll find your weekly food bill slashed. From fruits and vegetables to meat, eggs, cheeses, milk, bread, coffee and more: a fridge full of delicious fresh produce sets you back only about 30USD a week. With fruit and vegetables at less than 1USD a kilo and meat and seafood for under 5USD, eating well and plentifully is super easy in Costa Rica.

HOUSING – Luxury, US-style condos are becoming popular in Costa Rica and are ideal for those who only spend a portion of their time in the country – perhaps splitting their year with family stays back home – or those who don’t want the hassle of a garden. Flash condos can be rented for less than 1,000USD a month , whilst a 2-3 bedroom house can range in price between just 500USD and 1200USd depending on location, size of the home, age and overall land size.

UTILITIES – For under 100USD a month you can cover all your needed utilities, including unlimited internet access and cable TV.

HOUSE HELP – Need help around the house and garden? Helpers can be hired for just a couple of dollars an hour or, if you’d like their services exclusively, you should expect to pay a salary of about 200-300USD a month, depending on their task and expertise.

The Ins and Outs of Living in Costa Rica

Many long-term expat residents say that although you could get by well for 1,000USD a month, per person, stretching the budget will make for a much more enjoyable life. This is especially true for those who wish to fly home often or travel extensively through the country and the general Central American region. Because that’s an absolute must, right? On the upper limit, well, there really isn’t one. If you wanted to, you could also spend upwards of 5,000USD a month by renting the most luxurious digs, dining in top-notch restaurants, having 5* spa treatments every week and a team of helpers at home to look after the garden, pool, dogs and children. Curiously, although this may seem to be a lot of money, it is still only a fraction of what the same Hollywood lifestyle would cost back home.

What may strike many as idyllic is the fact that life in Costa Rica feels remarkably more ‘Western’ than one may first imagine. There’s a feeling of familiarity, here, that seems to be missing in many of the neighboring countries. Because foreign and exotic may be alluring for a vacation, granted, but you will likely desire your choice of home to be more homely and less challenging.

Expat communities have sprung up in every single region of Costa Rica, some a little more substantial in numbers than others. Although budget is not necessarily at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it pays to travel here and do your homework if you’re ever serious about moving here. And note than in a small country such as this, moving just 15 minutes’ drive from a known hub can easily halve living costs. No matter where you go, trust that there will be an expat community, however small, ready to welcome you home.

Costa Rica’s enviable living costs have helped cement the country’s spot as a top retirement and expat destination. But it is clear as day that there is so much more to this country than simply low prices. When life is prioritized and free time is spent hiking, kayaking, surfing and sharing meals with dear new friends, life can be quite priceless indeed.

A much coveted expat destination, Cost Rica is your ultimate adventure vacation destination. So why not come discover what all the fuss is about? We can show you the best of this country and can guarantee that once you get a taste of this heavenly place you’ll also never want to leave!

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Top 10 Attractions in Costa Rica

Dreaming of a Costa Rica adventure vacation and don’t even know where to start planning?

How about here!

Aimed at the first-time visitor who wants his or her first tentative taste of this diverse and unspoilt country, our list of attractions in Costa Rica brings you face to face with the most beloved, visited and celebrated sights. And considering the fact you will undoubtedly be back for more (trust us, you will), there will always be next year to check out the hidden treasures off the well-beaten path. But for now, go ahead and drool as we introduce you to the best the country has to offer. Here is just an entrée of all that makes Costa Rica one of the world’s premier adventure vacation destinations.

Attractions in Costa Rica

1.   Arenal Volcano

attractions in Costa RicaCosta Rica’s poster child and most iconic highlight, Arenal is an absolute breathtaker. With its perfectly conical peak kissing the sky and luscious forests framing it on every side, Arenal is that one sight you won’t want to miss. Plenty of accommodation choices make this a fantastic first-stop in a countrywide tour, and a wealth of hiking trails, activities and blissful hot thermal pools will keep you enthralled for days on end.

2.   Manuel Antonio National Park

attractions in Costa RicaIt’s fair to say that Costa Rica is simply one colossal national park yet there are a few pockets of the country that sparkle a little brighter. Manuel Antonio is one. Why? Because as far as national parks go, Manuel Antonio has it all and offers arguably the most comprehensive adventure experiences in the whole country. It stretches over an extensive strip of Pacific coastline so here you’ll find sparkling beaches and plenty of water sports on offer. Take just one step away from the sand, however, and you’ll be really in the thick of things, literally speaking. Rainforests brimming with capuchin monkeys and sloths, refreshing waterfalls, historic ranches and raging rivers ideal for whitewater rafting and kayaking. In Manuel Antonio, that’s just the start.

3.   Monteverde Cloud Forest

Monteverde is where Costa Rica’s eco-tourism life began and is one of the most ethereal destination in the country. Drenched in life-sustaining clouds, the forests of Monteverde are a unique ecosystem where endemic flora and fauna happily thrive. A cooler place to visit at any time of year, Monteverde offers a gorgeous reprieve during the hot summer months, and makes for a wonderful stop-over on the way to the coast, with plenty of hiking trails and hanging bridges set deep within the forest.

4.   Corcovado National Park

In this supremely biodiverse country, here you have the most biodiverse park of them all. Corcovado is indeed regarded the world’s most flora and fauna-enriched park and its remoteness, set deep in the Osa Peninsula, adds to its colossal appeal. If you wish to be at one with pristine nature then this is definitely the destination for you. Even though it is a remote location, getting to Corcovado is neither difficult nor expensive, although once there your best bet for getting around will be on foot, on bicycle, by kayak or even on horseback. Doesn’t that sounds magical? Corcovado is also home to some of the most outstanding eco-lodges in the entire country.

5.   Tortuguero National Park

There are times when even a first-time visitor will crave a little ‘out there’ travel experience. In Costa Rica’s case, it’s Tortuguero they should be heading to. A splendidly remote coastal national park on the Caribbean coast, only accessible by boat or plane, Tortuguero, as the name suggests, is a haven for turtle lovers. Travel here during nesting season you can see hundreds and even thousands of nesting leatherback and green turtles. Worth every effort under the blazing sun, Tortuguero is that off-the-beaten attraction you ought to keep in mind, a place where exploring by boat and on foot will see you discover a wealth of superb wildlife, including birds, monkeys, tapirs, sloths, snakes and frogs galore.

6.   Tamarindo

If you’re planning a Costa Rica vacation lured by the seemingly endless stretches of glorious beach, then Tamarindo is where you’ll want to end your adventure. The ideal surfing paradise and a mecca for beach lovers, Tamarindo is on the northern end of the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, home to an array of accommodation options and offering a mind-boggling choice of active pursuits, including surfing, zip lining, hiking, sailing, diving, snorkeling and so much more. This is one of the country’s most developed nooks so first-timers will love the comforts and ease of travel too.

7.   Irazu Volcano

Costa Rica’s highest peak sits at a breathtaking height of 11,260’ and the spellbinding craters atop the peak can be reached on foot, making this a hiker’s ideal playground. Over 2,000 hectares of protected reserve cradles the base of the volcano and hiking trails offer incredible rewards. On a crystal clear day, you could stand atop Irazu and peek at both the Pacific and Caribbean seas.

8.   Eco-adventures

As testament to the fact that this is one of the most diverse countries you could ever visit, the next three of Costa Rica’s top 10 attractions will concentrate on experiences rather than specific places. Experiences you can and will have just about EVERYWHERE you travel. First up is the exhilarating option of eco-adventure sports. Costa Rica is not just a natural haven but is a nature-filled paradise where you are allowed to climb, swim, swing and zipline your way right through the heart of it. You can learn to surf, go on canyoning adventures, propel yourself off waterfalls and down the sides of steep mountains on thrilling bike rides. The marvelous thing about Costa Rica’s eco-adventures is that they gift adrenalin seeking visitors a wide array of experiences as they discover, scour and experience the country’s most celebrated highlights along the way.

9.   Wildlife

There are a few rare countries the world over whose wildlife inhabitants alone make a trip worthwhile. Costa Rica is right up the top of that list. From colorful toucans to fierce-looking iguanas, enchanting sloths, rowdy monkeys, lazy turtles, cunning jaguars and scary crocs, alongside birds and insects galore: Costa Rica is a wildlife lover’s utopia and hides some of the world’s rarest and cutest creatures. And we haven’t even mentioned the wonders of the country’s underwater world! A marine life treasure trove that needs to be discovered by all who visit.

10.  Ticos

Yet when all is said and done, with all the amazing unforgettable wildlife, adventures and sites, there’s one special highlight that deserves a mention in Costa Rica: the locals. Ticos are some of the most hospitable and friendly people you’ll ever come across, and no matter where you go, you will undoubtedly make connections with locals you simply won’t experience anywhere else. Proud of their cultural and natural heritage, head over heels in love with their country and lifestyle (and who would blame them?) Ticos share their infectious love of their own backyard with all who visit and will, rest assured, become one of the most memorable aspects of your trip.

We certainly hope to have given you plenty of juicy info on Costa Rica’s top 10 attractions. If you’d love some help in organizing a whirlwind adventure trip through this phenomenal country, simply contact us. We’ll show you this and more of all this incredible nation has to offer.

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Top Rated Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica

Yoga retreats seem to be a natural progression of the eco-tourism movement which started many years ago in Costa Rica. It’s certainly not surprising, considering the abundance of gorgeous nature-drenched destinations and blissful peace and quiet. People travel to Costa Rica in order to escape the stresses of everyday life, to disconnect from our technology-obsessed modern societies, reconnect with nature and find some inner peace and rejuvenation. And yoga is all about helping people achieve all of this in a wholesome and physically invigorating way. The best yoga retreats in Costa Rica take advantage of the country’s inherent natural treasures, and have been popping up on seaside locations, in the heart of stunning forests and atop the mountain ranges that traverse the country. All the while attracting some of the best yoga teachers from all over the world.

While some yoga retreats are precisely that, and only offer yoga alongside healthy and organic eating, others combine yoga classes with other popular Costa Rica pursuits, such as surfing or hiking. So no matter what kind of yoga experience you’re after, you’re bound to find one that’ll suit you perfectly.

Here are just a few of the best yoga retreats in Costa Rica, offering a wonderful add-on to any adventure-filled jaunt in this exceptionally beautiful country.

Top Yoga Retreats:

Anamaya Resort & Retreat, Puntarenas

Costa Rica yoga retreatsOne of the most popular yoga retreats in the whole country, Anamaya is located in Puntarenas and sits high atop a hill overlooking the ever-popular seaside town of Montezuma.

The location alone is incredibly dreamy and just setting foot on this property ought to lower those stress levels pronto. However, the cherries on the cake would have to be the infinity pool and stunning outdoor yoga deck, which offer breathtaking views of the coast and rain forest surroundings. Aside from yoga, Anamaya offers plenty of active pursuits, including surfing lessons, hikes to waterfalls and (a little less active yet equally heart-melting) spa treatments. With a bevy of organic meals served daily and plenty of classes (and even yoga teacher training) on offer, it’s easy to see why Anamaya consistently rates as one of the best yoga retreats in Costa Rica. The accommodation options are divine and return customers rave about the staff and service, so this one is really a consistent winner.

Costa Rica Yoga Spa, Guanacaste

Costa Rica yoga retreatsIf you’re escaping the buzz of the city and looking for that little piece of paradise where you can immerse yourself in nature, amazing food and soul-satisfying yoga practices, then Costa Rica Yoga Spa will more than have your back.

With its wrap-around outdoor deck, light and airy indoor yoga space and beautiful rooms, this yoga retreat will capture your heart from the first moment. The in-house chef creates magic in the kitchen, using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients to create healthy meals which beautifully complement all the goodness that’s on offer. Your days can include yoga practices, ziplining tours, hikes, massages, amazing culinary indulgences and some of the most glorious sunsets in the world. A wonderful all-in-one package!

El Sabanero Eco-Lodge, Guanacaste

For a comprehensive yoga retreat experience, don’t stretch your calves past El Sabanero, where you can indulge in yoga, meditation, teacher training, mud baths, hot spring soaks, rock climbing, hiking and so much more. This outlandishly beautiful property, all created using locally sourced wood, is drenched in nature and just steps away from some of the country’s most popular beaches.

Amatierra Retreat & Wellness Centre, San Jose

This wonderful eco-retreat does rest and rejuvenation like a pro, kidnapping you for days on end in a secluded rural setting merely an hour’s drive from the capital, San Jose. The outdoor deck is just what the yogi ordered, with superb views, fresh air and wonderful ambience transporting you into a state of blissful relaxation in no time flat.

The pool is ideal for sunbathing and surrounding jungle perfect if you wish to stretch your legs a little more. A drool-worthy range of organic meal and excellent value packages make Amatierra a fabulous choice, especially as a ‘last treat’ add-on at the end of your trip.

Samasati Nature Retreat, Limon

The best yoga retreats in Costa Rica share quite a few pivotal attributes, aside offering yoga classes with abandon. They all boast truly spectacular settings and, in this regard, Samasati certainly follows the trend. Covering 8 hectares of a protected 100-hectare virgin rainforest in the Limon province, Samasati is all about experiencing the best of Costa Rica in the most eco-friendly way possible, which means gorgeous wooden bungalows of polished teak, organic vegetarian dining, a flurry of protected wildlife on site and plenty of tours to nearby attractions. Yoga, massages and training courses are what attract first-time visitors, and the sublimely relaxing vibe and top-notch friendly service are what keep people coming back here, year after year.

Want a hand devising a wicked adventure tour of Costs Rica with the added bonus of a few days spent in one of these incredible yoga retreats. Let us help! At Costa Rica Rios, we are your Costa Rica travel specialist, exert in all things relaxing, adventurous and romantic. Contact us for more info.

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Discover Costa Rica’s Blue Zone – The Healthiest Place on Earth

The Nicoya Peninsula is one of a few rare places in the world (known as a blue zone) where people live longer, happier and much healthier lives. This is, quite simply, the healthiest place on earth.

Renowned for being home to more centenarians than any other place on earth, Costa Rica’s Blue Zone has fascinated the world and captivated the attention of scientists for decades. The Nicoya Peninsula, in northwest Costa Rica, is home to a staggering number of old, happy and healthy folks (like, really, really old) and it is said that living here doubles your chances of reaching a very healthy state at 90 years of age, and very high chance that you’ll get to 100 still enjoying la Pura Vida. It’s certainly incentive enough to move to Costa Rica in retirement, some may think, although scientists believe that it’s a full life lived in this stupendously luscious wilderness, and genetic inheritance, that actually counts most.

Oh well. We could always visit and soak up the benefits. And plenty of green coffee. That couldn’t possibly hurt.

When was Costa Rica’s Blue Zone Discovered?

Scientists have been moseying about Nicoya for decades but it wasn’t until US researcher Dan Buettner published his 2004 study (which he carried out in conjunction with National Geographic) on the world’s Blue Zones that the rest of the world learnt of this phenomenon, and its new moniker. Buttner’s book shone the light on this incredible region, and that of specific pockets of Japan, Italy and Greece, and even California where people don’t just live longer but also enjoy a much better state of overall health, requiring far fewer medication because they simply don’t suffer as many ailments. Not even much later in life.

Costa Rica blue zoneIn Costa Rica, longevity has always been celebrated and anytime someone turns one hundred a special mention is made in the national newspaper. Needless to say, this happens a lot. Out of the five Blue Zone regions, Costa Rica boasts the most number of male centenarians and the lowest rate of middle-age mortality.

What Essential Factors Hint at this Unique Longevity?

Demographers have been trying for the last decade to hone in their research on the specific reasons people in Blue Zones enjoy such healthy longevity. So far, they’ve managed to narrow it down to a few commonalities of all five regions:

  • They feel a strong sense of community with focus on nuclear families
  • They feel needed and have plenty of reasons to live
  • They live in sociable communities which include them
  • They’ve all enjoyed active lives, mostly working on the land
  • They boast a healthy amount of daily exercise, although for most it’s through work
  • They’ve enjoyed mineral-rich drinking water all their lives
  • Leading outdoor lives ensure they’ve all had their fill of Vitamin D and all boast stronger bones
  • Whether religious or spiritual, they all maintain a deep faith of one kind or another
  • They all maintain an overall healthy lifestyle, with a focus very much on moderation for just about everything. From drinking to eating, exercising and resting

The Costa Rica Blue Zone Effect

These reasons, in general, account for the high rate of good health in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. There are fewer instances of heart disease, obesity, cancers and ailments (at any age), given the healthy lifestyle and uber-healthy eating habits, with most diets based on raw and organic fresh produce, which boast plenty of antioxidants. Heavily processed foods, animal fat and added refined sugars are almost non-existent here.

What is beautiful to know is that the emotional wellbeing really seems to place an emphasis on physical wellbeing. Ticos are a sociable and loving people and this is a culture where older people are respected and included, not locked away in homes and hardly ever visited. There are certainly old age homes in Costa Rica, but visit one in your 40s and you may be excused for wanting to move in right away. Jovial, helpful and communal, Costa Rica’s aged home care centers are totally unique.

Nuclear families and daily social contact seems to be imperative in ensuring one’s heart, mind and body, reach a ripe old age. In Costa Rica, grandparents are encouraged to contribute to family life, so whether it’s to babysit a little one, peel potatoes or buy groceries, they all have a reason to get up in the morning and head out, which undoubtedly helps them feel needed and loved.

There are plenty who would argue that Costa Rica’s top notch health care system and peaceful essence help people live longer, yet what is important to note is that centenarians of the Nicoya Peninsula have had little need for modern medicines. And, besides, there are quite a few peaceful countries around the world, yet they don’t seem to benefit to such high degrees as Costa Ricans.

Perhaps all visitors to this magnificent country could take home a few pointers. Have a reason to get up in the morning, enjoy a close family life, don’t overindulge in anything and enjoy everything…in moderation. Keep active, keep interested, nurture friendships and, above all else, remove the excessive stresses of modern day life in frenetic countries where the pace seems to overrun everybody.

And if you can enjoy a cup of green coffee and a –plate of maze and beans every day, then you’ll be well on your way to discovering the secrets that lie behind Costa Rica’s Blue Zone.

Fall in love with Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. We have.

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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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