Costa Rica is set to celebrate the kick off the 2017 wedding season in roaring form. With projected spikes in visitor numbers, this incredibly beautiful country is once again rated as one of the world’s top 3 wedding and honeymoon destinations. The appeal is certainly easy to understand. Merely a few hours’ flight from North America, this tropical haven is utterly blessed with pristine beaches, roaring volcanoes, stellar rain forests and a plethora of unique wildlife. If that’s not enough, Costa Rica has marketed itself as an active lover’s playground, so for those looking to do more on their honeymoon than simply sit on a beach catching sun rays, this country is an absolute dream. It packs in plenty of action with romance and passion, and throws in innumerable exotic locations and an idyllic tropical climate to top it off.
So what’s not to love?
Yet with all the options available, choosing an itinerary that’s right for you may seem a little overwhelming. We’re here to help!
Following are some itinerary ideas and destination timelines, which will help you work out just how much you can fit into your honeymoon. Whether you have 7, 10 or 18 days at your disposal, you’ll be surprised just how much you can squeeze into your unique Costa Rica honeymoon.
Arriving in Costa Rica
There are two options for entry into the country. The first and most popular – and often the one with the cheapest flights – is the capital city, San Jose, which sits right at the heart of the country. The second, the Liberia International Airport, lies at the north-western corner. These two springboards are conveniently located and offer easy gateways for active jaunts through every corner of the country.
Getting Out and About
Whilst it’s true that the infrastructure in Costa Rica has made impressive progress over the last decade, and the fact that the country isn’t all that big, transfer times are still considerable. This is why it pays to maximize your holiday time by drawing up an itinerary that includes little or no backtracking, and always including one ‘free’ day near your departure city, in case of any transport mishaps or delays.
It’s also worth remembering that every destination in Costa Rica offers multiple attractions and activities, some requiring half-day excursions while others, a full day outing. Combine this with the need for some R&R while on honeymoon (half days spent doing nothing except enjoying your beloved’s company while luxuriating in some stellar resort) and it becomes obvious that you probably wouldn’t want to spend less than 3-4 nights at each destination you visit.
One-Week Costa Rica Honeymoon
If you’re heading to Costa Rica on a one-week active honeymoon, you can count on including the two most popular destinations, Manuel Antonio and Arenal Volcano, into your itinerary. Each of these delightful destinations offers a wealth of varying attractions and activities, making for a comprehensive honeymoon vacation that’s exhilarating, romantic, relaxing and invigorating, all at once.
Conveniently enough, Manuel Antonio and Arenal are literally on the way between San Jose and the Liberia International Airport, so your point of entry will simply determine which one you’ll visit first.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio is often dubbed the ‘crown jewel’ of Costa Rica, given its startling collection of exceptional highlights. This amazing national park comprises lush tropical forests cascading onto a long stretch of outstanding Pacific Ocean coastline.
Once here, you can hike through rainforests, horseback ride, swim and snorkel among pristine coral reefs and mountain bike amidst brimming of coffee plantations. And that’s just day 1. For a comprehensive active honeymoon itinerary which includes the best of forest, mountains and beaches, then Manuel Antonio is where you’ll want to be. With plenty of land and water-based pursuits to keep you out and about, and stellar resorts in which to luxuriate in the evenings, Manuel Antonio offers a honeymoon escapade like no other.
Arenal Volcano – La Fortuna
La Fortuna rests right at the base of stunning Arenal Volcano, one of the world’s (former) most active peaks and one of Costa Rica’s truly romantic destinations, thanks to its array of outstanding volcanic thermal pool resorts. Luxury, comfort and romance are interwoven into the very fabric of La Fortuna, with the most famous hot springs delightfully set amidst luscious tropical rainforests. If you’re looking for a relaxing place for some post-wedding R&R, you really couldn’t pick a better place. A full day’s relaxation is on the cards, before diving straight into the adrenalin-pumping sports for which the area is revered.
On the second day of your La Fortuna adventure, it’s time to explore the amazing rainforest, by way of cable car, walking trails, hanging bridges and ziplines. There’s nothing quite like discovering this dense wonderland from every height imaginable, and in every way possible, and adding an adrenalin rush to top it off.
Want even more action? You got it! Arenal is home to exhileraying Class III and IV white water rafting rapids, and on a full-day outing you can tackle over 40 rapids on a raging river gorge that stretches form more than 30 miles. Keep your eyes on the shoreline forests – if you dare – and you may even be lucky enough to spot monkeys and sloths.
Two-Week Costa Rica Honeymoon
If you have an extra week at your disposal, then you can set off to explore the further reaches of this incredible country. Simply continue your itinerary from the one-week honeymoon idea mentioned above, and add the following exhilarating destinations.
The extreme north-western region of Guanacaste is home to some of the most divine beaches in the whole country, where you can spend endless days relaxing on glistening sandy beaches, taking surfing and SUP lessons and joining snorkeling tours.
In the evening, you’ll be privy to some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever see. Popular towns (and beaches) to explore here include the ever-famous Playa Hermosa, Tamarindo and Playa Samara. Along the stretch between Playa Hermosa and Tamarindo is where you’ll find some of the country’s most exclusive honeymoon and all-inclusive resorts, so if you’re looking for a splurge during your once-in-a-lifetime Costa Rica trip, you may want to indulge right here.
Heading further south, you’ll discover the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica’s wild child. This magnificent peninsula is as remote and desolate as it is stunning, and with fewer crowds around you’ll get that privacy and intimacy you’ll no doubt desire on the second week of your honeymoon.
The Nicoya Peninsula straddles two of Costa Rica’s provinces and is one of the world’s famed ‘Blue Zones’, unique corners of the world where people enjoy exceptional longevity. This is one of Costa Rica’s least developed areas and its natural attributes, a fiercely protected highlight, means it will remain unspoilt. The attractions here are numerous, so the most adventurous couples may choose to spend their entire honeymoon vacation down here. Along with its vast array of wildlife, Nicoya offers action in spades. You can hike to waterfalls, horseback ride along the beach, explore wet and dry forests and surf some of the wildest waves in the country. Make sure you include a day trip to Isla Tortuga, a striking island whose turquoise waters attract sharks and rays, and verdant forests host sloths, monkeys and a multitude of birds.
For a particularly unique way to tour the country during your honeymoon, you can take a car transfer from San Jose to Puntarenas, where a passenger ferry will take you across to Nicoya, before making your way back to San Jose through the northern reaches of Guanacaste, the Arenal Volcano area and Manuel Antonio. A two-week Costa Rica honeymoon itinerary doesn’t get any better than that.
Itching to start planning your Costa Rica honeymoon? Call us today. We have an extensive array of fantastic honeymoon itineraries you can peruse, and the priceless option of planning a bespoke, tailor-made itinerary to suit your timing, desires and budgets.