Tag Archives: Costa Rica vacation

Amazing Adventures in the Osa Peninsula

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

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

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

Lose yourself in the Corcovado National Park

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

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

Head Out on an Ocean Safari

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

Tick Innumerable Unique Birds off Your List

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

Kayak Through Mangroves

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

Enjoy the Sea and the Surf

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

Explore the Underwater World

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

Include a Day of Cultural Discoveries

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

The Logistics of Visiting the Osa Peninsula

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

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

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Why Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s Crown Jewel

Manuel Antonio National Park honeymoonNo other destination in Costa Rica boasts the kind of tourist fame and fortune that Manuel Antonio enjoys. And it’s certainly not hard to understand why this national park, found on the Pacific coast of the Central American country, boasts such reputation and appeal. To say that Manuel Antonio ‘has it all’ would not be some grandiose overstatement. Considering Costa Rica is renowned for its incredibly beautiful beaches, pristine rain forests, amazing wildlife, striking volcanoes and multitude of active pursuits, then to ‘have it all’ means that you’d be able to find all of these enticing attractions in the one place. And if you visit Manuel Antonio, you most certainly can. This is, above all else, what makes Manuel Antonio the country’s premier destination.

Monkey in Manuel Antonio National ParkIf you’re short on time, big on wishes and don’t want to spend a lot of time traveling from one place to another, than a vacation in and around Manuel Antonio is ideal. You can take hikes through rain forests in the morning and spend the afternoon luxuriating on the pristine shores of a startling beach. You can satisfy your adrenaline itch with thrilling water sports from one of the local beaches, and take daylong boat trips to swim and snorkel among gorgeous coral reefs. There are super fun canopy tours which suite anyone of any age, and insightful cultural tours to local farming villages, coffee plantations and craft markets. You can take sunset cruise, or go sea kayaking. And if you’re an avid hiker than your options will be plentiful.

Whether you’re traveling solo, as a couple or with your family, Manuel Antonio offers that comprehensive Costa Rica experience no first-time traveler should miss. Because although the whole country is magnificent to explore at length, Manuel Antonio is where you’ll get the best introduction to Costa Rica.

Manuel Antonio Nature at its Best

Manuel Antonio CoatiManuel Antonio represents everything that Costa Rica is proud to show off and market. The whole park is a natural wonderland, home to a plethora of endemic and unique wildlife. It’s easily explored on foot and boasts and home to some of the most magnificent beaches in the whole country. When it comes to animals, Manuel Antonio reigns supreme. The park is compact and home to a flurry of gorgeous creatures, including several types of monkeys, sloths, coatis, iguanas, spiders and fantastically colored snakes, among many more. The wildlife diversity is quite astounding. Plus, there are waterfalls to swim under and a maze of rain forests in which to get lost. If you love nature and wish to be completely immersed in it, then Manuel Antonio will satisfy every single one of your senses. The park itself doesn’t boast a volcano, but Poas is only a 3 hour drive away, so most visitors include an overnight trip here in their itinerary.

Authentic and Modernity, Combined

Manuel Antonio luxury hotelExceptional resorts, a world-class marina and a collection of authentic villages. In the Manuel Antonio area you will find a taste of old Costa Rica, and the fabulous luxury of new Costa Rica. Just take your pick and – the best option of all – experience a little of both. Luxury resorts in Costs Rica cost but a fraction of what they do at home, or in other renowned destinations in the region, so indulging in luxury here is both rewarding and affordable. Having said that, Costa Rica also boasts a beautiful local culture, great food and warm and friendly locals. Traveling here without sampling that would be a travesty, so make sure to include some cultural highlights during your visit.

Fab Convenience

From the moment you clear customs at San Jose airport, you could be in the heart of the Manuel Antonio National Park within 3 hours. Only 100 miles separate the park from the capital city, making it immensely convenient to visit, even just on a long weekend getaway.

The sheer variety of things to see and do in Manuel Antonio is primarily what makes is Costa Rica’s crown jewel. Yes, it’s just the cherry atop a delectable cake that it’s so close to the capital city – for easy access – but at the end of the day, this place is so popular and loved because it is just simply superb. Want to come and see for yourself? Call us, and let us plan a tailor-made tour itinerary that will take all the worry and hassle of planning your trip, and include all the very best this region has to offer.

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Part I: Costa Rica Vacation – Getting Here is Now Faster…and Cheaper!

Vacation flightCosta Rica is an amazing vacation choice at the best of times yet with hot new flight deals coming up in the next few months, the choice just got simply too good to pass up.

The most exciting news to come out of the stellar tropical paradise is that new non-stop flights are now offered from far-afield destinations. Whether you’re East-side, West-side, or even other-end-of-the-Atlantic-side (think France and the UK), you can now dive straight into the Costa Rican wilderness – and frolic in her superb seas – in even less time.

Here are the latest airlines to offer non-stop flights to Costa Rica:

Air France –On mainland Europe, Paris has now become the ‘hot spot’ springboard for Costa Rica adventure vacations. Air France direct flights from Paris to San Jose are scheduled to take place twice a week (Saturdays and Wednesdays) with more planned in the future.

British Airways – BA’s 2015 announcement of its new flights to Costa Rica has been a much-anticipated event in the UK, and flights have finally started. For less than £600, British tourists can soak up the rays in one of the world’s most sought after holiday destinations faster AND cheaper. The new non-stop flights from London to San Jose are not only aimed at the British market, of course, but meant to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for fast and cheaper airfares from Europe to Costa Rica.

Removing the need for a usually time-consuming (not to mention expensive) transfer through an airport in the USA, direct services from Europe will no doubt revolutionize the already thriving tourism industry in Costa Rica.

Air France and British Airways now join Iberia – which offers direct 10-15hr flights from Madrid to San Jose.

Southwest Airlines – Southwest has been a trusted carrier in Costa Rica and the addition of new flights linking Los Angeles to the country’s eco-tourism mecca of Guanacaste adds to their appeal. Daily flights make getting in and out of Costa Rica an absolute breeze, and perfect for those last-minute getaways

Air Canada – At the end of 2016, Canada will begin its new schedule of direct flights between Montreal and San Jose, the Costa Rican capital. Just in time for that sun-drenched tropical Christmas you’ve been dreaming about!

If convenience and amazing holiday-value-for-your-cash are not enough, there’s also an added bonus to sweeten the Costa Rica adventure vacation deal. Due to a considerable drop in jet fuel prices across the globe in recent months, international airline travel is set to get immensely cheaper this summer. So much so, that if you book your flight in June, and fly by the end of August, flights are set to be the cheapest they’ve been for 7 years. Although this is mostly predicted for the domestic market within the USA, flight prices to Costa Rica are already slashed by one-third, making them the best value-for-money deal we’ve seen in years.

So don’t hold off any longer! Book your flights to San Jose pronto and you could be enjoying a superlative Costa Rica adventure vacation sooner (and cheaper!) than you ever thought possible. And don’t forget to keep up with our 4-part comprehensive series of blogs that’ll help you get in, get settled, get active with your family and even get married in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations.

Part II: Costa Rica Vacation Accommodation to Suit All Tastes and Budgets
Part III: Costa Rica Vacation – Family Adventure Vacation
Part IV: Costa Rica Vacation – Wedding and Honeymoon

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Top 10 Packing Tips for your Costa Rica Adventure

SummitCosta Rica’s varied array of attractions, landscapes and eco-systems have cemented its position as one of the most enticing and adventurous holiday destinations in the world. Discerning adventurers know that if you wish to savor a kaleidoscope of adrenalin-pumping sports, romantic eco-resorts and wildlife spotting, there’s no better place to be. Beaches, jungles, forests and vertiginous mountain tops…travel to Costa Rica and you’ll have the best of Mother Nature at your feet.

Yet when the vacation’s set in stone, flight tickets booked and an array of activities organized, a question of logistics creeps up.

How on earth does one pack for such a varied destination?

With our help, that’s how!

Follow our best insider’s packing tips for Costa Rica Adventures and we guarantee you’ll be prepared for all eventualities.

1.     Causal Trumps Dressy

The pure essence of Costa Rica, the pura vida philosophy and the closeness to nature exudes casualness. Even if you’ve booked a few nights in an exclusive 5* resort, do note that, at most, you’ll probably get dressed up just once. For that super special night out. Most of the time you’ll want to be in easy-to-wear clothes and (perhaps more importantly) comfortable shoes.

After you spend a full day hiking, horse riding, white water rafting, volcano climbing, waterfall hiking, snorkeling or SCUBA diving, the last thing you’ll feel like doing is donning a pair of heels or dressy shoes. Trust us on this. Pack one special dressy outfit for that night out in San Jose or that anniversary dinner you’ve got lined up, and make sure the rest of your suitcase is filled up with practical clothing.

2.     Make ‘Quick Dry’ your Mantra

Quick dry fabrics and tropical countries go hand in hand. When humidity is high, activities aplenty and rain quite common, you need clothing which is easy to wash and super-fast to dry. Your pants, T-shirts and travel towel should all be made out of quick dry fabrics.

3.     Ain’t No Place for Jeans

Many a visitor has regretted bringing a pair of jeans to Costa Rica. If you’re visiting for a week, rest assured your vacation will be over before a single pair of jeans has the chance to dry. For the reasons stated above, denim is just not a convenient material to bring to Costa Rica. Make sure you clothing is lightweight and go for cargo pants (zipped up at the knee!) for forest hikes and evenings out. For best breathability in hot and sticky climates, choose cotton as much as possible, especially for your undergarments.

4.     Expect a Chill in the Air…

One zip up fleece is absolutely essentially, as you’ll be surprised at the times you can experience a definite drop in temperatures. In certain areas, Costa Rica can get downright cold at night, and even a boat ride on a windy overcast day can chill you to the bone.

5.     Bring the Right Shoes

Water sneakers (like Keens) are incredibly useful in Costa Rica, especially if you’re planning to hike, visit waterfalls or enjoy some white-water rafting. We suggest a pair of flip flops for relaxing evenings in your eco-lodge, and a pair of flats for nights out in town.

6.     Sarongs are Heaven-Sent

Sarongs are your best friend – they work as a dress, a towel, a bikini cover-all and a shawl in times when culture dictates (when visiting churches, for example) and when the temperature drops unexpectedly.

7.     Prepare for Rain, but…

The reason Costa Rica is so luscious is because it receives a healthy amount of rainfall, all year long. Although you should always expect rain – or at the very least, to get wet at some point, waterfall hiking for example – we suggest you don’t bring a thick raincoat but purchase a cheap and cheerful poncho-in-a-pouch as soon as you arrive. They’re available everywhere, are cheap and you can donate them on your last day in the country.

8.     Don’t Forget the Hardware

A pair of small travel binoculars, a flashlight and Ziploc bags of all sizes are never wasted; and neither is a compact Spanish dictionary or phrasebook.

9.     Invaluable Toiletries

Along with your essentials, pack some strong insect repellent (cream or spray) and plenty of SPF30+ sunscreen. In Costa Rica, this is exorbitantly expensive, so bring as much as you think you’ll need for the duration of your trip. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunglasses too, the sun can get quite fierce here, at any time of year.

10.    Travel-Size 1st Aid Kit

Having a compact 1st aid kit in your day pack is always a great idea. At the very least, it should include band-aids and blister packs, rehydration sachets and motion sickness tablets.

Bonus #11 Leave Room in your Suitcase!

The most invaluable thing you’ll want to include in your suitcase, when visiting Costa Rica, is empty space. You’ll no doubt want to stock up on delectable coffee and lots of amazing handmade jewellery and souvenirs of all sorts. So don’t fall into the trap of over packing! Bring just a couple of changes of clothes and make sure you leave enough room to take home a little piece of Costa Rica.

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Costa Rica Rios Adventures: Where Compromise Need Not Apply

Sometimes, we get the distinct impression that the main purpose of a vacation is to undo all the stress caused by the planning of said vacation.

Picture this…

Costa Rica beachYou dream of spending endless days soaking up the sun’s rays and surfing in turquoise waters, while he, on the other hand, is salivating at the mere thought of casting his eyes on one of the most majestic volcanoes on earth. You fantasize about steaming thermal pools and rafting down raging rivers, and he keeps raving on about hiking on ancient lava fields.

If this sounds familiar, then you may be one of the countless couples who are starting to plan their first ever trip to Costa Rica.

Frustrated much?

Sure, we get it. Relationships are all about compromising, sacrificing and satisfying your partner’s wishes. But what about meeee?! We hear you ask. It’s MY holiday too?!

Yes it is. And, luckily for you, this is Costa Rica, one of the most compact and adventure-rich countries on earth; where compromise is about the only thing you won’t be allowed to do. Everything else is up for grabs.

Heading off on an adventure to Costa Rica is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime dream for many and that’s something Costa Rica Rios certainly doesn’t take for granted. Yet kudos here should be reserved for Costa Rica itself, a country so chock-full of amazing adventures that having to choose one over another is utterly superfluous.

Rincon de la Vieja VolcanoIn just a mere week, you could be surfing, dolphin watching and swimming off a tropical Caribbean beach, rafting down the Lower Pacuare River, zip-lining along the canopy of a verdant tropical rainforest and huffin’ and puffin’ along the base of magnificent Rincon de la Vieja Volcano park.

And that’s not even half the story.

Costa Rica is a phenomenal place and what makes it so unique is that it’s home to some of Central America’s most appealing attractions, all within convenient proximity of each other. Here, you can do it all with ease and can pack in as much (or as little) adventure as you wish. If you’re finding it near impossible to choose where/what/how and when then rest assured that Costa Rica’s the one place which will answer: everywhere, everything, every way and at any time.

Because sometimes…compromises are highly overrated.

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Why Costa Rica Rios Excels At Vacations

Costa Rica Rios AdventuresYou might be surprised to know that Costa Rica Rios isn’t just in the vacation travel business. They take their role in your adventure much more seriously than that. Costa Rica Rios is raising the stakes by offering breathing room, well deserved time off, family bonding time, courage, confidence and long lasting memories.

When you book with Costa Rica Rios, get ready to choose your own adventure amidst breathtaking scenery and heart pounding activities. Turn your next vacation into the trip of a lifetime including luxurious lodging, thrilling activities and delicious local flavor. They’ve put together the perfect team, the best tours and the most exciting adventure imaginable. But what is it that really sets them apart from any other exotic vacation destination?

Dedicated Staff
Costa Rica Rios receives more compliments regarding their staff than anything else. All staff are English-speaking customer service professionals with a passion for adventure and putting smiles on people’s faces. With a strong emphasis on training, on-going education and a positive company culture, Costa Rica Rios can confidently say they have world-class employees who put safety first.

Choices, Choices and More Choices
There are many types of vacation packages available, including an option to customize every aspect to your personal taste. With an abundance of exhilarating activities available, you are sure to find something that appeals to everyone in your group. If you like to relax, soak up the sun and gaze on the gorgeous tropical landscape, you can enjoy an afternoon at the beach, horseback riding, guided tours and more. If adventure runs through your veins then try zip lining, white water rafting or kayaking. Make your vacation the perfect blend of thrills and chills.

Sustainable Travel
Costa Rica Rios wants to make sure that future generations get to enjoy this land and all of its majestic beauty just as you are about to. That is why they have dedicated themselves to the idea of sustainable travel. This dedication includes not only supporting the environment but the local residents as well. Providing a share of their profits to 1% for the planet is just one way Costa Rica Rios gives back. They also have many processes put in place to reduce, reuse and recycle in everything they do. This includes staff training as well. In doing so, they are ensuring the your great grandchildren can come vacation in Costa Rica someday.

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