Tag Archives: Costa Rica

The Best Costa Rica Wedding Venues in 2021/22

Costa Rica weddingAs planning for Costa Rica destination weddings in 2021/22 picks up momentum, we thought we’d introduce you to the best and most coveted celebration venues in the country. Whether you’re dreaming of a luxury resort or laid-back and remote eco-lodge, you’ll find your ideal wedding haven among these incredible establishments.

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

First up, however, here are a few things you should know about Costa Rica wedding venues…

  1. Almost ‘any venue’ can be your wedding venue!

Although most of Costa Rica’s major resorts and hotels offer specific destination wedding services, you can actually plan a celebration almost anywhere you like. You can have an Insta-worthy beach wedding, get married under a stunning waterfall or in the heart of a luscious jungle. You can choose to celebrate with just 10 guests in a remote lodge or go all out in an exclusive 5* hotel. As long as the ceremony is legally officiated, your marriage certificate will be valid in your home country. This is one of the many enticements of destination weddings in Costa Rica.

With the country boasting a wealth of wedding planners, officiants, florists, photographers, etc., you don’t have to consider only ‘wedding packages’ in an all-inclusive resort.

Speaking of which…

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

  1. Carefully consider your all-inclusive wedding package

For many, an all-inclusive and all-planned wedding package screams peace of mind and hassle-free planning, although note that you will obviously pay more for the service. Usually, luxury mega-resorts will charge near-US prices for things like catering and will include an extensive array of activities and extras that you may not need nor have even time to enjoy, so scrutinize your wedding package carefully and decide if it’s right for you.

Aside from those extras, however, all-inclusive wedding packages offer the invaluable services of a wedding planner and the booking of just about everything you need for your big day. The venue coordinates the entire day’s events so you can just ‘show up, get married and have the time of your life’. If you want to plan your Costa Rica destination wedding with just a handful of emails, this is certainly the best way to do. Yes, you will pay a little more but the convenience can be an absolute lifesaver for those with little time to plan their wedding from afar.

  1. Want to save and still enjoy an all-inclusive destination wedding? Opt for a smaller boutique hotel instead

Costa Rica is one of the most popular destination wedding countries in the world so it may not surprise you to know that just about every hotel and eco-lodge will eagerly help you plan your wedding on their property. They may not have a wedding planner on staff, but they can arrange for one – the same goes for a florist, photographer, DJ and anything else you’d like.

A wedding in a smaller boutique hotel can be immensely unique and it can also help you save some money to boot.

Now that you know how it all works, here are some of our favorite and best Costa Rica destination venues for 2021/22.

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

For couples who want the most luxurious Costa Rica wedding

Wedding venueImage courtesy @fourseasons.com/costarica

Four Seasons Resort, Papagayo

The Papagayo Peninsula is essentially a cluster of the country’s most exclusive resorts so it’s no surprise you’ll find the most movie-worthy setting for your exclusive wedding right here.

The undisputed ‘queen’ of Costa Rica wedding venues, the Four Seasons Resort ranks among the 1% of best worldwide resorts on common review sites and is elegance and luxury personified. The resort adopted the strictest health and safety measures when the COVID-19 pandemic began so you can plan your Costa Rica wedding in 2021/22 with the utmost confidence, knowing that even this large-scale resort will offer impeccable safety.

Given its unique position within Papagayo, the Four Seasons Resort feels incredibly remote, and you’ll still have the best of the Pacific coast at your fingertips. A world leading hotel offering an exceptional array of activities and services, the Four Seasons goes above and beyond to offer wedding celebrations that’ll take your breath away.

Choose a beach ceremony and candle-lit reception and you’ll be creating incomparable lifelong memories.

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

For cost-savvy yet equally enchanting weddings

Costa Rica beach weddingImage courtesy @calaluna.com

Cala Luna Boutique Hotel, Tamarindo

This stunning 31-room boutique hotel continues to wow discerning couples looking for fantastic value for money and a wedding setting that impresses. Rated as one of the very best wedding venues in Costa Rica on TripAdvisor, this splendid Playa Langosta haven of tranquility and charm is not just mindful of the pristine nature that surrounds it but is a bonafide part of it. Environmentally conscious as well as family-owned and run, Cala Luna proves that luxury and exclusivity does not need to be all about the glitz and glamour – and does not need to cost a small fortune either.

The private villas are divine, as is the array of extras on offer, which includes fine dining, a jaw-dropping setting, wellness treatments and many activities and excursions. We’ve been huge fans of Cala Luna for years because they offer a perfect wedding package that includes everything you need and nothing you don’t, as well as three distinct ‘themes’ to suit your style and budget. Couples are then free to add as many extras as they like.

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

For a unique wedding setting

Costa Rica wedding resortSi Como No Resort & Wildlife Refuge, Manuel Antonio

Si Como No sits amidst the wild jungles above the Manuel Antonio National Park, just a short distance from the stunning beauty of the central Pacific coast. It markets itself as a ‘barefoot luxury with a pura vida vibe’ resort and we must say that this award-winning eco-lodge takes barefoot luxury to a whole new level. With its signature wellness treatments, fine dining, impeccable service and drop-dead-gorgeous location, you’re guaranteed a destination wedding with a difference.

What guests love most about Si Como No is that it is located in one of the most developed and convenient areas of Costa Rica although, because of its wilder-than-wild setting, it feels as if you’re in the heart of a truly remote jungle. Planning a short and sweet wedding over a long weekend with just a handful of family and friends? This is where you’ll want to be! Enjoy the Costa Rica destination wedding of your dreams and then you’ll be free to enjoy an adventure honeymoon with your beloved.

Check out the wedding services on offer.

For an unforgettable jungle wedding

La Paloma Lodge, Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s most isolated corners and is home to the renowned Corcovado National Park, one of the most biodiverse reserves in the world. It is right here, in La Paloma Lodge overlooking jaw-dropping Drake Bay, that you can celebrate and enjoy an unrivalled jungle destination wedding.

You’ll need more time and funds to plan your destination wedding at La Paloma, but those lucky enough to have celebrated their nuptials here say it was the single best decision they ever made. La Paloma is like a slice a heaven, they say, and about the best place to celebrate the most important day in your life.

This eco luxury lodge was created using locally sourced materials and designed to blend into its untarnished environment. If you’d love to be immersed in wilderness yet have all the luxuries you need at your beck and call, then you really could do no better. This small luxury hotel is undoubtedly one of Costa Rica’s most precious properties and is a fantastic springboard for Corcovado adventures, either before or after your wedding day.

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

For couples looking to combine their wedding with an adventure honeymoon?

Talk to us!

Many first-time visitors to Costa Rica want to combine their destination wedding with an adventure-filled honeymoon. At Costa Rica Rios, we specialize in the former and can help you choose the ideal location for your wedding if you’d like it to be ‘close’ to your preferred honeymoon action.

Costa Rica is quite a small and compact country so, if you wish to hold your wedding on the Pacific coast but want honeymoon adventures on the Caribbean, that’s quite easy to arrange. Given the sheer concentration of amazing wedding venues in just about every province, most adventurous couples plan their wedding ceremony around their adventure honeymoon trip. First decide what kind of Costa Rica honeymoon package you’d love and then we can suggest the best and most convenient areas for your destination wedding.

From Arenal to the Osa, Nicoya or Papagayo peninsulas, and the spectacular wilderness around the Savegre and Pacuare Rivers (where the world’s best whitewater rafting can be enjoyed): we can plan bespoke honeymoons to suit your wishes and budgets.

Then, all you need to do is plan the tailor-made Costa Rica wedding of your dreams.

Here are some articles you may find useful:

Plan Your 2021/22 Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

At Costa Rica Rios, we offer our guests a helping hand: we are currently sourcing all clinics offering COVID tests to foreign visitors and, wherever possible, will make appointments on their behalf before their return flight home. Anything to make their adventure with us easier and more enjoyable!

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Best Months to Plan a Destination Wedding in Costa Rica

Costa Rica destination weddingObsessed with planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica? Us too! Read on to find out the very best months for unforgettable weddings in the land of dreamy beaches and ridiculously beautiful rain forests…

You may have noticed we’ve become a little obsessed with planning destination weddings in Costa Rica of late. This past month alone, we’ve given you a lowdown on what you should expect to budget for a wedding down our tropical shores and helped you pack for your unforgettable but also adventurous wedding in paradise.

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

Why the obsession, you ask? Well, because we are in the heart of wedding season in Costa Rica right now!

Getting the timing right of your destination wedding in Costa Rica is about a lot more than ensuring your day is sunny and perfect. After all, seasonal changes in our luscious lands, although not as dramatic as elsewhere in the world, can make a huge difference to your day.

The month you choose will likewise determine how easy it will be for your cherished few guests to join you for a Costa Rica adventure vacation, how expensive flights (and everything else will be), and also what your desired ‘destination’ in the country will be like. The east and west coasts boast opposing rainy seasons – but not entirely and certainly not everywhere.

Here are a few things you should know when deciding which month to plan your destination wedding in Costa Rica.

The exact spot for your destination wedding in Costa Rica is more important than you think

Costa Rica destination weddingCosta Rica may seem like a small and compact country yet the diving central mountain range, and two opposing coastlines (Pacific on the west, Caribbean on the east) means it boasts over a dozen micro-climates, each with its own weather nuances. When researching the best months to plan your wedding, hone in on a specific place – say, your chosen wedding venue or closest town. Even a search as wide as an entire province is not detailed enough!

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

There is a very general guideline, however, as to the best overall months

While you may want to research specifics, there are a few months of the year deemed to be ‘the most perfect’ at least where the climate is concerned  – they are:

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

As well as from about mid-November to December

Costa Rica is at its driest during these months and, given all the possible ‘downsides’, it seems torrential rain is the one most couples wish to avoid.

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

The dry season does NOT mean it will not rain at all

The fact that Costa Rica is so ludicrously luscious is probably one of the main reasons that destination weddings are so very popular. Yet a country does not get this gorgeous on exceptionally dry weather – at any time of year. No matter which month you choose to get married, do know that a dry day is never guaranteed.

However, (the good part!) dry season months carry risks of short-lived showers only so, no matter what, the overwhelming part of your wedding day will be astonishingly sunny nevertheless. The rare rains during the dry season are usually not a hindrance, neither to the wedding nor the bevy of adventurous activities you can indulge in, so don’t worry too much and enjoy the beautiful tropics!

The northern Pacific Coast is drier than the south

While the western half of Costa Rica enjoys its driest months at the beginning of the year, it’s worth noting that there are considerable differences along this side. The far north is much drier than the south – the Guanacaste is actually the driest province of all, one of the reasons it’s coveted by coupled planning their destination weddings and honeymoons in Costa Rica. The rain season starts later here and doesn’t last nearly as long as in other regions.

Meanwhile, in the southern Osa Peninsula, November is usually quite wet still and rainfall is more intense. The peninsula hosts the Corcovado National Park, the most bio diverse in the entire country and an extraordinary place to explore. The peninsula receives over 16’ of rain every year! Wonderful news for the endemic flora and fauna varieties and, in turn, anyone who wants to truly experience the pristine tropical wilderness.

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

The Caribbean coast is, by and large, wetter than the Pacific coast

The easter coastline of Costa Rica receives a lot more rain than the western side – however, in a genial turn of fate thanks to those spectacular central mountains, the two sides play a game rainy-season-tag and boast opposing seasons. When one side is wet, the other is dry! This brings us to the next truly priceless point…

No matter which month you choose, there will always be a dry destination!

Costa Rica’s climatic diversity means there is always a dry spot in the house – this means you can actually plan your destination wedding here in reverse. Rather than choosing a venue and picking the best month for that area… choose the best and most convenient month for you and your guests to fly out to Costa Rica, and then find the driest region to suit. Either way, a magnificent experience is always guaranteed!

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

Dry also means hot. Like, seriously steamy!

The driest months are naturally also the hottest ones so weddings in Costa Rica, during the first four months of the year, should keep the formalities short and sweet. Making grandma sit out in the sun, wearing her Sunday’s best, for an hour and a half is probably not the best idea. You can mitigate heat by heading up into the cloud forests of Monte Verde or simply choosing higher elevation – weddings in the mountains of Costa Rica are absolutely glorious and help keep everyone cool as well, especially if you’re planning a more formal affair.

Don’t dismiss the mid-year months – they can be quite perfect too

So, here’s a little inside tip: getting married in Costa Rica in June, July and August is actually pretty awesome. Sure, you will experience some rain BUT it will actually be a very manageable amount, and holy moley, the benefits! Fewer tourists, cheaper prices, more choices, and fantastical options for outdoor activities, the wildlife will be more active (because they’re not hiding away from the intense heat) and everything will be so luscious that the wilderness will look like it’s been filtered by Instagram.

Most wedding planners and venues will include a ‘backup plan’ in case of last-minute downpours, which often adds a whole level of unforgettable memories to the mix. Magic.

The only rainy months to avoid are May, September, and October

We’re huge proponents of rainy season adventures in Costa Rica and we think the rewards far outweigh the downsides. Having said that, the three above-mentioned months do see consistent downpours, the kind that can last a few days straight. Given you have nine other months to choose then, they’re quite easy to avoid.

Other considerations when choosing the best month of a Costa Rica destination wedding

There are other considerations, aside from the weather, that you need to know about when planning your BIG day on our neck of the rain forest. Local holidays. The busiest and most expensive time of year for destination weddings are during local holidays – the Christmas/New Year period and Easter, in particular, sees a surge of both local and international tourism movement. Would you have an awful wedding if you can only plan it then? Certainly not, but you will pay more and will have to contend with higher crowds than at any other time of year, that’s all.

Plus, Costa Rica boasts innumerable options to get off the usual tourist path and that means you will always find a quieter nook to hold your precious destination wedding and have an amazing adventure vacation to boot.

And we can help!

Plan Your Costa Rica Destination Wedding Today!

At Costa Rica Rios, we can help you plan an outstanding Costa Rica Adventure Vacation around your destination wedding. We can time it just right and help you work out the logistics when choosing the very best month to hold your wedding.

Contact us  to know more.

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Which Costa Rica Volcanoes Can You Climb?

Costa Rica is home to some of the most impressive and active volcanoes in the world, so it’s unsurprising that we often field questions about which ones you can climb.

Given that ‘climbing’ can be a relative word (do you mean right up to the crater or close enough to it?) we thought we would offer a breakdown of the most famous volcanic peaks in the country and the kind of hiking trails they all offer adventure-seekers.

But first, let’s clear up a couple of common misconceptions about the best volcanoes to climb in Costa Rica…

Not all Costa Rica volcanoes are created equal

Many volcanoes in Costa Rica are still active whilst others have been dormant for years. Some others are so extinct that scientists don’t even know the last time they erupted. The latter are among the most rewarding to climb – their craters often boast stunning lakes and, given extensive erosion, they are usually not as tall so they are much easier to climb.

You cannot climb to the peak of a recently active volcano in Costa Rica!

Some countries may allow visitors to risk life and limb climbing to the peak of a currently active volcano. Not Costa Rica! In this country, we think you can have a hell of a lot more fun doing 101 other things on a Week of Adventures than risking your life chasing a puff of smoke and river of lava. Therefore, some volcano hiking trails are routinely closed around the country. When a peak rumbles, safety will trump adventure and visitors will be forbidden from climbing to the top.

Having said that…

Hiking AROUND a volcano in Costa Rica can be even more enjoyable!

Costa Rica’s best volcanoes you can climb all boast phenomenal hiking trails that explore the super fertile base of the peaks and allow you to soak up spectacular views in every direction. A few begin right from convenient car parks on paved roads and take up just a couple of hours out of your adventure-filled day. Others are longer and more strenuous: ideal for true-blue climbers who just want to immerse themselves in the kind of pristine wilderness of volcanic landscapes.

Climbing a volcano in Costa Rica is so much more than simply slogging away until you reach the peak. The country boasts some quite spectacular mountains you can ascend if that’s your goal – ones that aren’t volcanic, so don’t come with the added risk of random eruption!

Best time of year to visit Costa Rica to climb volcanoes

You will definitely want to visit during the driest months of the year, which is December to April. No need to add a landslide to the mix, which is what may happen during the rainy season.

Now that we have the basics of Costa Rica volcano climbing out of the way, time to introduce you to 6 of the most magical volcanic peaks you can climb on your next adventure vacation to our shores.

Volcano Arenal

The most famous and beautiful volcano in Costa Rica, Arenal, is also its most active. Considered quite young, Arenal is ‘only’ 3,000 years old and is the crown jewel of a national park bearing its name.

The last major eruption of Arenal occurred in 1968 (when everything within a 10-mile radius was burnt to smithereens) yet the peak has been rumbling on and off in the last two decades. This has prompted officials to ban hikes to the peak and designate a 3-mile perimeter buffer zone.

You cannot climb to the peak of Arenal BUT the many trails around it offer plenty of hiking chances. Plus, Arenal is voted one of the most ‘conically perfect’ volcanoes in the world, so it’s a sight you’ll want to be looking AT, not FROM!

Beautiful view of the green side of the Arenal volcano, Costa Rica.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volcano Irazu

Irazu is the highest volcano in all of Costa Rica and one of just a handful of places, in the entire American continent, where you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans at the same time. Irazu has erupted a few times, quite spectacularly. The first major eruption that we know of, 1723, totally levelled the then-capital, Cartago – that being the reason the capital status moved to San Jose.

Although classified as active, Irazu can be ascended to the crater, filled with what looks like a pretty turquoise lake. In fact, it is a sulphur-infused lake that stinks to the heavens! Nevertheless, climbing Volcano Irazu is an extraordinary experience and, at this high altitude, you’ll experience a barren landscape that makes you feel like you’re on another planet.

Hike to Irazu Volcano in Central America. Costa Rica

 

 

 

 

 

 

Volcano Turrialba

Believed to be active for more than 8,000 years (which puts Arenal’s age into better perspective), Turrialba is the second-highest volcano in Costa Rica you can climb. According to accounts left behind by Spanish conquistadores, Turrialba must have been exceptionally active in the 18th century, given its name is a derivative of ‘white tower’ in Spanish.

Turrialba is nearby Irazu but is harder to reach so it’s lesser known. Turrialba has been rumbling in the last decade or so, hence climbing to the peak is not allowed.

Scenic view of Turrialba Volcano in Cartago, Costa Rica

 

 

 

 

 

Volcano Poas

Just inches short of 9000ft, Poas is as high as it is jaw-dropping. The hike to the rim is ‘easy’ because a parking lot allows you to reach nearly to the very top. This is perfect if you want to soak up the stunning views of the dramatic landscape of such high volcanoes, but don’t have time to hike for hours on end.

Poas’ three-crater peak is amazing, one crater also boasting a beautiful emerald-green lake. The whole national park surrounding it is filled with fantastic hiking trails and spectacular crater lakes with bubbling geysers.

 

 

 

 

 

Volcano Rincon de la Vieja

Experts believe that the ‘Corner of the Old Lady’ volcano has been a fixture of the Costa Rican landscape for a million years. In ancient lore, an old and irritable witch used to live in the crater, sending plumes of smoke and lava flowing whenever things did not please her. Hissing fumaroles can be spotted throughout the peak, which is wide and comprises over half a dozen craters.

Rincon oozed minor eruptions throughout the 80s and 90s, although she has been eerily quiet as of late. Perhaps the witch has just found her inner peace…

At just over 6000ft high, Rincon is a hard rim to climb but the views up the top are out of this world so this is one of the most popular volcanos climbs in all of Costa Rica.

Expect a full climb of this Costa Rica volcano to take an entire day.

 

 

 

 

 

Volcano Tenorio

The easternmost volcano in Guanacaste is distinctive because it boasts no-less than four peaks and two craters. Standing just above 6000ft elevation from sea level, Tenorio boasts luscious tropical rainforests at mid-level and ethereal cloud forests before its peak. The Tenorio National Park is phenomenal, with hanging bridges, natural hot springs and a sensational crater rim hike that delights all the senses.

 

 

 

 

 

At Costa Rica Rios, we love planning bespoke adventure itineraries that include all your favorite activities. Wish to climb a Costa Rica volcano? We can take you there!

Simply contact us to know more.

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10 Quirky Treehouse Lodges for Family Adventure Vacations in Costa Rica

A quirky treehouse lodge stay can be a sensational highlight on a superb family adventure vacation in Costa Rica. Given the country is essentially one ginormous pristine jungle, you’ll find a crazy variety of choice when it comes to this unique style of accommodation. Finding a fabulous treehouse lodge to meet your family’s desires and budget is super easy.

Quirky, fun and traditionally immersed in pristine wilderness. Costa Rica’s best treehouse lodges make for amazing experiences. THIS close to nature means you’ll fall asleep to the call of monkeys and wake up to the chirping of a thousand tropical birds. Like a three-in-one experience that’s rated as ‘priceless’ by all those who’ve been lucky enough to enjoy it. Costa Rica’s best treehouse lodges offer blissful rest, wildlife spotting and a nature-intensive experience you and your family will never forget.

Here are the best family-friendly treehouse options in the country:

Lapa Rios Ecolodge – Osa Peninsula

Lapa Rios is one of the best bird-watching treehouse lodge sin all of Costa Rica and one of our personal favorites. Nestled within 1,000 spectacular acres of prime forest in the resplendent Osa Peninsula, the lodge is an incredible wildlife spotting haven. The open-air cabins, all comforted by mosquito nets, offer mind-blowing views and a blissful ocean breeze. That glorious beach? It’s just a few minutes’ walk away. Lapas Rio Ecolodge is a fantastic choice in the Osa but note that (like many other treehouse lodges) children must be 6 years old and older to stay here.

See more Corcovado Hotel Options

Photo Courtesy of Lapa Rios Ecolodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finca Bellavista Eco-lodge, Puntarenas

At the opposite end of the ‘glitz and glamour’ scale is where you’ll find Bellavista. A treehouse lodge that takes ‘unplugged, off-grid and barefoot adventures’ to a whole other level. To totally disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature. The dozen or so family-friendly cabins here are absolutely ideal. Rustic and hassle-free yet comfortable and alluring. This no-fuss, no-glamour finca is perfect for those dreaming of Robinson Crusoe adventures in the heart of Golfito’s wilderness. Here, you’ll be immersed in primary and secondary rainforests brimming with all manner of exotic wildlife.

Rafiki Safari Lodge

The Rafiki is yet another of our favorite treehouse lodges in Costa Rica. A marvelous choice just an hour from the ultra-popular Manuel Antonio National Park. The Rafiki Safari Lodge is sprawled along the shores of one of the country’s best whitewater rafting and kayaking rivers. The Savegre, where we take our treasured guests on unforgettable and thrilling adventures. This is the perfect river for family adventures! The quirky ‘glamping’ style treehouse accommodation is set on 800 acres of superb jungle. The elevated canvas cabins afford some of the most incredible views in the country. The oversized terraces are absolutely idyllic for sundowners and sunrises!

 

 

 

 

 

Rancho Pacifico – Uvita

We absolutely LOVE Rancho Pacifico because – aside from the fact that every single villa boasts eye-popping views of the Pacific – it actually offers a variety of accommodation options. Luxury on-the-ground villas for grandparents, dreamy villas for your and quirky treehouses? Yes, you’ll find them all here. This luxury eco-lodge is a little on the expensive side but, in all honesty, you’d find no better way to splurge on your Costa Rica family adventure than adding a night or two of total bliss. Right here 5 star concierge service, a wonderful restaurant, fitness facilities and a gorgeous bar lounge are just the start!

Please note that Rancho Pacifico offers an extraordinary 5* luxury experience for guests aged 18 and above (no little ones!)

Photo courtesy of Rancho Pacifico

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treehouses Hotel – La Fortuna

Given the very nature of treehouse lodges in Costa Rica, you’re always guaranteed remoteness and quietude . Even if you’re visiting one of the most popular spots in the country. And so it is with the Treehouse Hotel, right in the heart of La Fortuna, one of the most touristic highlights in all of Costa Rica. The seven jaw-dropping luxury treehouses boast air-conditioning, electricity, private terraces (those views!) and full-sized en-suites and bunk-beds in the 2nd bedrooms. Stay here and you’ll be surrounded by pristine forests home to toucans, sloths, monkeys, a thousand hummingbirds, colorful butterflies and delightful natural springs.

Photo courtesy of Treehouses Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lapas Nest Treehouse – Osa Peninsula

Take that Robinson Crusoe experience and raise it by a few notches: that’s the Lapas Nest Treehouse experience! An outstanding open-air, SEVEN-story treehouse to give Tarzan some true lodge-envy. The Lapas Nest makes for an amazing springboard for Corcovado wilderness adventures. A true respite from the hectic pace of everyday life, Lapas Nest is that oasis in the jungle you never realized you desperately needed. Add superb chefs, massages, adventures and yoga to the mix and you’ve got yourself an unrivalled family vacation adventure in Costa Rica. The lodge sleeps 12 guests.

PHOTO Photo courtesy of SomersetTravels

Santa Juana Lodge – Manuel Antonio

The rugged but spellbinding drive up to Santa Juana is, hands down, one of the best reasons to stay. Get snuggled and cozy in the forests of Manuel Antonio and enjoy spellbinding and unobstructed views across the magnificent rainforest views. The casitas have an amazing open-floor plan that makes you feel as if you’re literally suspended above the treetop canopy – because you are! The cabins on stilts are built around the spectacular trees of the forest. Yet the experience is one and the same. Nearby waterfalls, indescribable natural immersion and million-dollar views are your wonderful rewards.

Photo courtesy of Santa Juana Lodge

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Canopy Treehouses Boutique Hotel – Monteverde

Half a dozen gorgeous treehouses make up this lodge. Which is secretly hidden in the mountain tops of Monteverde’s cloud forests. Expect breathtaking views, magnificent waterfalls and luscious gardens to be your constant companions. Alongside wellness treatments, gourmet dining and amazing canopy walking trails.

Photo courtesy of Hidden Canopy Treehouses Boutique Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treehouse Lodge – Limon

Nestled in the wilds of the Gandoza-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge on the southern Caribbean coast. The spectacular Treehouse Lodge is one of the most incredible eco treehouse lodges in Costa Rica. Built (almost) entirely out of sustainably-sourced bamboo. The lodge offers five distinct family-friendly treehouses. Each one offering its own unique style and enticements. A winner of multiple sustainability awards, the Treehouse Lodge offers split-level family cabins with double and king-sized beds, a fully-equipped kitchen and gorgeous outdoor shower. With a stunning beach just steps away and the kind of quietude you’d pay a million bucks for. This Costa Rica treehouse hotel makes for a sensational end to a week chock-full of adrenalin-pumping adventures.

Photo courtesy of Treehouse Lodge, Limon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Observatorio – Limon

Alas, just a few steps inland from the Treehouse Lodge is this amazing 3-floor treehouse built within the trunk of a ginormous tree. And also in the heart of the Gandoza-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. Offering stays for just 4 people at a time. The Nature Observatorio is one of the more unique treehouse options. Perfect if you’d love to feel as if you have the entire forest all to yourself. A night’s stay includes three delicious meals so if you never want to get down from your own personal tree, you don’t need to!

Photo courtesy of Nature Observatorio, Limon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us here at Costa Rica Rios for a fabulous family adventure vacation your will NEVER forget! Our private & tailor-made family adventure tours are the ideal antidote to 2020. Just about the best way to get 2021 off to a phenomenal start. So why not say goodbye to your stress and anxiety, pack up the kids, and come spend an unforgettable week with us here in Costa Rica?

We’re waiting!

 

 

 

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Laid-back Costa Rica Beach Vacations – Spotlight on Playa Samara

If you’re looking for a blissfully laid-back beach destination to add to your Costa Rica adventure vacation itinerary, Playa Samara might just fit the bill. Stunning and uncrowded, with waves gentle enough to entice families, Playa Samara is one of the top choices along the western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s perfect if you’re craving a low-key stint of R&R way off the beaten path, but offers plenty of options for when your energy levels spring back up.

Playa SamaraRevered as a beginner surfer mecca and home to a plethora of surfing camps, Samara is one of our favorite family beaches in the whole country. A nearby river, where you can kayak and paddle, makes for even more relaxing fun-in-the-sun adventures.

Here’s all you need to know about beautiful Playa Samara – the Guanacaste gem that’ll steal your heart with its gentle waves, wonderful warm seas and sensational sunsets.

Ready to plan your Playa Samara vacation?  Let’s go!

Where is Playa Samara?

The beach stands at the epicenter of the half-moon-shaped Samara Bay, half-way between Cangrejal and Torito on the western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. You can reach the beach directly from the Liberia Airport (about a 2hr drive) or, if you’re flying into San Jose, expect a leisurely 4hr drive.

Most adventure seekers exploring Nicoya will simply add a few days at Playa Samara at the end of their itinerary, after a week of adrenalin-packed activities. If you like rustic, off the-beaten-path adventures, this unassuming town with a stunning beach is absolutely ideal.

What’s so special about Samara?

If you’ve ever met anyone who visited Costa Rica, fell in love with a ridiculously beautiful beach, and decided to move there permanently, it’s highly likely that beach was Samara. This is the tropical Costa Rica of postcards and one of the most highly-coveted spots in the entire country. Although the town does have a taste of the ‘Americana’, it isn’t overdone at all.

This side of Costa Rica, the wild west of the Nicoya, is outstandingly dramatic which means it’s also a hard place in which to build exorbitant resorts and hotels. Plus, the country’s commitment to preserving its wilderness means that commercialization is kept away from pristine forests and jungles.

In Samara, you get great food, services and activities (which are only found in well-touristed places) yet the place isn’t overrun with foreigners (expats and tourists alike) the way other places are. This perfect balance is what gifts Samara its authenticity and enticement: enough tourism and expat-living to make it comfortable and enjoyable but not so much that it makes you forget you’re Costa Rica.

Just a tranquil beach beauty that’s somehow remained true to its essence.

That’s the Costa Rica we love!

Ready to plan your Playa Samara vacation?  Let’s go!

What’s there to do on Playa Samara?

Get to know the town – Samara is totally walkable and it won’t take you long to get a gist of the place and the sweet little shops, cafes and restaurants.

Channel your inner beach-bum – Between Samara, Carillo and Buena Vista, your beach-bumming choices are extensive. This is the best place to perfect the art of doing ‘sweet, sweet nothing’, except you can do in a palm-fringed beach with cocktail in hand. If you choose Carillo, just a few miles out of town, do bring your day’s supplies with you as the beach is devoid of infrastructure. Heavenly!

Surfing at Playa SamaraLearn how to surf – Surfing is Samara’s most iconic activity and if you don’t think you could ever learn to stand on a board and catch a wave, you NEED to take a lesson (or 5) here. The local schools and guides are outstanding and this is, by far, one of the best learning beaches so give it a go!

Never miss a single sunset – Unless an asteroid is about to crash into our planet and you have something urgent to do, you’ll want to be ON the beach, cold drink in hand, to see the sunset in Samara every single day. Actually, scrap that: if an asteroid is coming, a Samara sunset is definitely the last thing you’ll want to see. Pure magic.

Ready to plan your Playa Samara vacation?  Let’s go!

Explore the Werner-Sauter Bio Reserve This was once a cattle farm and the family who owned it was so inspired by the government’s environmental protection plan that they set aside a large swath of their property so it could revert back to wilderness. Wildly successful, the reserve is now home to a host of amazing wildlife. Take a guided tour and enjoy the stunning experience.

Turtle nesting Playa SamaraCatch turtles nesting (seasonal) – Just half an hour out of Samara is where you’ll find Ostional, home to a dozen miles of protected beachfront. The beaches here are favored by nesting Olive Ridley, leatherback and other sea turtles and they head here to nest, all year long. From August to December, however, Ostional hosts mass nesting events (called arribadas) that sees turtles arrive in their thousands, every single night. Visit in October and November for the best chances to catch glimpses of jaw-dropping arribadas.

Yoga – Samara is a yoga-haven and here you can indulge in week-long dedicated retreats or simply take occasional classes when you get in the mood for a stretch.

Nourish your body and soul – Samara’s yoga, surf and chillax crowd has helped create a very organic vibe in town. Here, you’ll find vegan and vegetarian cafés, lost of juice bars and a local cuisine that’s all about wholesome, delicious, locally-sourced food.

Enjoy quiet and restorative nights – Samara is not a party town and although a few bars are open a little later, this is not THAT kind of beach town. It’s the other kind: the kind where you sip a sundowner on the beach, have a gorgeous dinner at a local joint and then retire early to read, chat or enjoy a glorious rest.

Where can I stay in Playa Samara?

Samara town offers plenty of budget and mid-range options although all around Samara you’ll find stunning eco-lodges that are perfect for honeymooning couples. Hacienda Barrigona is one of our favorite remote lodges to visit in Costa Rica.

We can help you find your ideal accommodation place in Samara: just tell us your budget and desires and we’ll send you a list of suitable options.

Ready to plan your Playa Samara vacation?  Let’s go!

Best time to visit Playa Samara

Given most people only want to visit Samara Beach when blue skies are guaranteed 100%, the ‘best time’ to visit is during the dry season, between December and May. If you ask us, however, we think the shoulder season is ideal – you feel like you have the place to yourself and, at most, you can enjoy a refreshing downpour after lunch. And what’s not to love about that?

Plus, the second half of the year sees Samara enjoy much cooler temperatures. If you’re in the habit of getting up early and filling your morning with activities, the wet season will suit you just fine.

Learn more about Costa Rica’s best beaches way off the tourist radar.

Contact us to know how we can incorporate a visit to Playa Samara into your Costa Rica Adventure Vacation tour.

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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5 of the Most AMAZING Zip Lines to Discover in Costa Rica

Costa Rica zip line canopy tours are undoubtedly one of Costa Rica’s best known (and most loved) outdoor adventures. It figures, given the thrilling sport was actually invented here by nature researchers, who wanted to reach the remotest parts of the Costa Rica wilderness back in the 1970s. It also figures that the country that invented it is the very best country that offers it still.

Zip lining in Costa Rica has been at the core of Costa Rica’s eco-tourism movement since the early 1990s. The country’s best zip line trails are set in pristine wilderness and, because this is Costa Rica, that precious wilderness is inhabited by some of the most unique and exotic wildlife on earth.

For the intrepid Tarzans and Janes among us, zip lining is an exciting venture: not quite as death-defying as skydiving yet with just as much adrenalin-pumping fun. What’s more, taking a zip-line tour in Costa Rica is always about immersing yourself in exceptional nature and, given the family-friendly nature of the local culture, options abound for adults and children to join in on the fun.

Enjoy the best zipline in Costa Rica experience and you can start here. Here are the most AMAZING zip lines you need to discover in Costa Rica:

  1. Diamante Superman – Diamante Eco Adventure Park, Guanacaste

If you’re looking for the best ziplining in Costa Rica, Diamante is the Central America’s (and Costa Rica’s) second-longest dual zip line, which means you can soar like a superhero alongside your partner, friend or intrepid offspring. For almost a whole, seemingly endless mile, you can fly like a toucan, soaking up spectacular views of the Pacific (upside down, if you wish!) the whole way across. The 2-hour course is suitable for anyone over the age of 5 (the minimum weight limit is 60lb) which is fantastic for families with thrill-seeking kids and, of course, anyone who wants bragging rights.

With bilingual expert guides, world-class safety equipment and added COVID-precautions this year, Diamante’s outstanding thrill is bound to get your Costa Rica adventure vacation to a FANTASTIC flying start.

best zipline in costa rica

 

  1. Sky Adventures, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna

At the crossroads between a semi-active volcano, luscious rainforest and high-altitude cloud-forests, Sky Adventures enjoys the most idyllic setting. If you’re looking for best zip line in costa rica this is indeed the poster-child for Costa Rica zip line tours. Sky’s popularity is no big mystery: the convenience of its location, the ease of access and the ridiculously beautiful views, let alone the fact that you’ll be at the doorstep of one of Costa Rica’s top 2 national parks.

Sky is well set up and what we love is the sheer variety of choice – here, you can walk along a trail of suspended bridges, take an open-air gondola ride (the Sky Tram) and enjoy the thrills of a multi-active tour that combines rappelling with bridge swings, a high-rope course, canyoning and much more. The Arenal zip line tour is the return tramway trip and includes half a dozen cables set up over 650’ in the air, reaching speeds of up to 44mph. Children aged 5 and 6 will need to zip line with a guide and older kids (7-10) have the option of riding together if a guide is not available.

This is the best and most convenient choice for families adventuring together in Costa Rica for the first time. There’s an option to ‘bail out’ after the first two zips so if you’re hesitant about trying zip lining, this is a wonderful and safe first-option for you to try.

best ziplining in costa rica

 

  1. Selvatura Adventure Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Just next door to Arenal but high amongst the ethereal clouds, Selvatura offers an altogether different sensory overload. This is the kind of place you can spend an entire day exploring. The zipline comprises more than a dozen cables (one that is over half a mile long) and 15 platforms, with a Tarzan Swing that’ll make you wish you hadn’t overindulged at breakfast. Unreal fun! The only zip line to be stationed within the world-famous cloud forest of Monteverde, Selvatura is a nature-lover’s dream. At Selvatura, you’ll get over two miles of fox-flying fun and a canopy walking tour that serves up the best close-up encounters with the unique ecosystem here.

The combination zipline, hike and swing tour at Selvatura is suitable for kids (4+) and adults alike, although weight restrictions apply (as they do on all zip line tours).

best zip line in costa rica

 

  1. El Santuario Canopy Adventure, Manuel Antonio National Park

El Santuario’s dual Costa Rica zip line adventure is the longest in the country (and the whole Central American region) and located merely 20 minutes from Manuel Antonio, that spectacular pocket of wilderness treasure that tumbles into the Pacific, in the province of Puntarenas. The park is one of the best wildlife spotting destination given it’s so small and compact yet even at El Santuario, set across 500 acres of magnificent nature, your animal spotting chances are huge.

The twin zip line tour at El Santuari is phenomenal and staffed by some of the most passionate guides you’ll meet in your entire trip. They take the time needed to get everyone comfortable in their gear, abate their fears and continuously enlighten guests with info on surrounding nature and wildlife. The tour is open for anyone aged 4+, groups tours are possible (what an AMAZING wedding party activity idea!) and return transport is included in a visit.

Costa Rica zip line

 

  1. Pacuare River Zipline, Turrialba

Turrialba is the best whitewater rafting and kayaking base in Costa Rica (and our home!) and it’s here that you can combine the best thrill-seeking adventures the country has to offer, on the shores of the world-famous Pacuare River. This is one of the least known, and most fun, zip line options in Costa Rica because it’s enjoyed in conjunction with world-class rafting. If it’s a multi-sport adventure you’re after then this is the option you shouldn’t miss!

The in-house zip line course at the Pacuare Lodge is wonderful and includes a stunning half-hour hike through the rainforest to reach the starting point. From here, tackle a maze of zip-lines for an hour, all the way back to the front steps of the lodge. This is one of Pacuare’s best hidden secrets and an absolute delight to discover when staying overnight.

Zip lining in Costa Rica

If zip lining is a new concept for you, here’s your Complete Guide to Zip Lining in Costa Rica, where we discuss the safety aspects, what you should wear and other things to keep in mind.

The wonderful thing about the zip lining in Costa Rica is that it’s such a popular and iconic activity that for every ‘famous’ course, there are several lesser-known options, located wherever verdant forests grow. And, in Costa Rica, that’s almost the entire country!

Love to give zip lining a go? Then join us! At Costa Rica Rios, we’ve been running award-winning adventure tours in this magical playground for 25 years and have perfected the art of combining the best the country has to offer. We create bespoke itineraries for families, couples and groups of friends who want to share an unforgettable experience, and a jaw-dropping zip line adventure, in the most beautiful country on earth.

Simply contact us to know more.

Costa Rica zip line

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Spotlight on Santa Teresa – Costa Rica’s Dreamiest Seaside Hot-Spot

Finding a dreamy seaside spot for a few days of R&R is ridiculously easy in Costa Rica although with the kind of international fame some beaches boast, finding a quieter beach may be a challenge. Santa Teresa is one of many beaches in Costa Rica just off the tourist radar: established enough to offer an abundance of activities and choices yet far enough from the tourist trail that it feels remote and uncrowded.

Santa Teresa

 

Where is Santa Teresa Beach?

Nestled on the southern end of the wild western coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is one of Costa Rica’s most Instagrammable treasures. This kind of paradise will need some effort to reach but – trust us on this – it’ll be worth every mile covered.

How to Get There – To reach Santa Teresa from the capital, San Jose, you’ll need to take a short flight (20min) to the town of Tambor in the peninsula proper and, from here, enjoy a ridiculously scenic half-hour drive across the southern tip of Nicoya. Better still, if you plan your adventure vacation around Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Turrialba, you’ll already be half-way to the Nicoya Peninsula, a thrilling adventure hub of its own accord. See all the great activities available in Nicoya. Once there, you can take private transport to Santa Teresa for your seaside vacay and fly back to San Jose.

 

What’s special about Santa Teresa?

Everything about Santa Teresa screams ‘paradise’ and although this once sleepy village has evolved into a thriving destination in its own right, complete with gorgeous eco-resorts, luxury villas and amazing restaurants, it still hasn’t lost that old-world appeal. Santa Teresa may be tipped to be the next up-and-coming ‘it’ beach in Costa Rica but it’s still a long way away from the at-times over-built and over-crowded northern Pacific coast.

Away from the mainland and the busloads of tourists, you’ll discover a side of the country that’s still laid-back, rustic and immensely idyllic. Framed by exotic wilderness and stretching out to the horizon, Santa Teresa Beach attracts surfers, families and discerning travelers who just wish to get away from it all for a while. With year-round perfect temps and glorious sunshine (accentuated by magnificent storms in rain season), a still-unpaved main road and countless hidden coves and nearby highlights, Santa Teresa is the kind of place that’ll make you fall in love with Costa Rica.

Many expats started off just like you: visiting for a few days and, essentially, never leaving. They’ve built beautiful homes on the hills behind the beach and have opened up bars, cafés, restaurants and lodges, offering some seriously luxurious comforts and indulgences that simply didn’t exist in Santa Teresa 20 years ago.

And that’s what makes this beach the dreamiest seaside hot-spot in Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa

 

Relax, Unwind and Immerse Yourself in Pristine Nature

Surfing, yoga and organic produce have become Santa Teresa’s best calling cards and they’ve helped attract a young, vibrant, laid-back crowd of outdoor enthusiasts.

Here are some of the amazing things to do in Santa Teresa:

Wellness & Yoga – Devoid of mega-resorts yet filled with a smattering of excellent hotels and lodges, the whole area around Santa Teresa is tailor-made for relaxation. Here, you’ll find a few exceptional wellness spa hotels that are a treat to visit after a full day of surfing, as well as yoga retreats that’ll reset your rhythm – from multi-day course to day classes, everything’s on offer and all in the most idyllic setting of all.

Santa Teresa

Surfing – Santa Teresa is now home to a few excellent surf camps, given it’s also home to some of the best surf breaks in the whole country. Private, couple and family lessons are available, if you don’t wish to commit to a whole week of practice.

Santa Teresa

Hiking Just a few miles south of Santa Teresa is the Cabo Blanco Absolute Nature Reserve that covers over 3,000 acres of land wilderness and 4,000 acres of marine habitat. The reserve boasts two fantastic hiking trails, the longer one (6miles) guiding you to a jaw-dropping beach lapped by crystal-clear water. Head here early (this is the reputed hottest part of the country) and take a guide to spot elusive wildlife – capuchin monkeys, wildcats, anteaters and deer inhabit the reserve.

Santa Teresa

Beach hopping – This area of the Nicoya is home to four splendid beaches, all linked by the one dirt road. Aside from Santa Teresa (still the best base to explore them all), you can visit Mal Pais, Playa Hermosa and Playa Carmen. Hermosa boasts calmer waves that are perfect for beginner surfers.

Santa Teresa

Snorkeling Isla Tortuga (Turtle Island) is a great snorkeling destination, one of the best for families. Usually, day-trippers head here from the mainland but you can easily visit from Santa Teresa, given the island is just off the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. See the Highlights of Isla Tortuga Day Cruises.

Santa Teresa

Fishing Mal Pais is the fishing capital of the region and you can enjoy a one-day fishing trip in search of tuna, grouper, snapper and jack.

Enjoy clean eating – The abundance of organic smoothie bars in Santa Teresa gives away the game: this town is all about super fresh, locally-sourced produce. All the restaurants here will tempt you with their delights, which feature vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian and plenty of delicious meaty dishes for the carnivore among you. Head to The Bakery for a filling morning bagel before hitting the beach, treat your tastebuds to a fresh taco ceviche at La Cevicheria for lunch and enjoy a sunset cocktail at Manzu, where the home-made guacamole has become legendary.

Santa Teresa

Soak up the sunsets – Santa Teresa’s sunsets are as famous as her yoga retreats – when there’s nothing between you and those amazing burnt-orange horizons, life doesn’t get any better.

 

Best Places to Stay in Santa Teresa Beach

Santa Teresa

Florblanca – One of the finest accommodation choices here, Florblanca is a dreamy honeymoon retreat and one of Santa Teresa’s best wedding destinations. Just 10 secluded luxury villas, fine gourmet dining, a bevy of wellness treatments on offer, yoga and pilates lessons and impeccable service.

Red Palm Villas This adults-only retreat is another honeymoon gem, offering the ultimate in privacy and exclusivity – the two-floor beachside villas are out of this world and make it ideal for destination wedding events. There’s no restaurant but private chef services are provided.

Latitude 10 Just 10 luxury casitas and an open-air clubhouse make up Latitude 10, one of the most striking rustic luxury choices in Santa Teresa. The outdoor showers and bungalow terraces make you feel at one with the surrounding wilderness – an excellent barefoot romance luxury choice!

Blue Surf Sanctuary With direct beach access, daily yoga and surf classes, spa treatments and a laid-back, totally chill vibe, this boutique hotel is the key to a totally unplugged Santa Teresa vacation.

Tropico Latino An excellent family-friendly choice in Santa Teresa, Tropico Latino offers room options to suit various budgets, spa services, yoga classes, two swimming pool and brilliant child services.

 

Despite the excellent services and amenities offered in and around Santa Teresa, this glorious village is still one of Costa Rica’s hidden gems and given it’s framed by untouched wilderness, a stay is always a nature-infused, soul-reviving experience. Whether you wish to end your Costa Rica adventure vacation in Santa Teresa, or make your visit reason alone to visit us, rest assured this tropical corner of our paradise will offer a lifetime of incredible memories.

Contact us to know about bespoke vacations in Santa Teresa.

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US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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NEWSFLASH: Costa Rica to Welcome ALL US residents from November 1!

Fantastic news out of our idyllic shores this week: Costa Rica will reopen its borders to tourism for ALL US States (as well as Canada and Mexico) from the 1st of November. The news comes after the country was the first in the world to welcome US tourists based on their residency.

The first wave of Costa Rica border openings for US citizens occurred back in September, when the government announced it would welcome residents of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. More US States have been added to the list in the last month and we’re ecstatic to know that the country will open up to the whole of the US as of next month.

 

Moreover, there will be an in-between allowance added, with residents of Georgia, Florida and Texas allowed in as of mid-October.

 

As was the case with the previous openings, some conditions do apply. All US tourists must:

 

  • All travelers must have tested negative in a COVID-19 PCR test up to 72 hours maximum prior to flight departure time from the country of origin
  • Hold travel health insurance with COVID-specific clause for extended medical & living expenses
  • Fill in a Health Certificate before entering the country

 

You can buy COVID-specific insurance once you arrive in Costa Rica but most tourists choose to purchase a policy beforehand, through their travel agent, to save time upon arrival.

 

Costa Rica Reopens Completely to US tourism: Why The Sudden Change?

Costa Rica has handled the COVID-19 pandemic remarkably well, implementing harsh restrictions from the get-go. This has helped the country keep an impressively low record of infections and deaths. This was also the reason why Costa Rica has taken such a unique approach to its border reopening: yes, the country relies heavily on US tourism, in particular, but it also wanted to find a balance between keeping the economy churning and keeping COVID infections within acceptable (and handleable) limits.

 

The idea behind the staggered reopening was to ‘watch what happened’ and, since borders were first opened to the outside world in August, no ‘external’ infections have ever been detected. This means that no foreign tourist has brought the virus with them into Costa Rica, which is amazing news!

 

What is the COVID Situation in Costa Rica, Right Now?

As with most other countries around the world, second-wave infections have been increasing in Costa Rica. However, numbers remain manageable. As of right now, just over half the ICU beds and almost 30% of moderate-care beds are being used to treat COVID patients in the country, and the health system has never been stretched to capacity at any time during the pandemic.

 

What Does the Reopening Mean for Costa Rican Tourism?

Although US tourists do make up a huge chunk of the tourism income in Costa Rica, the restrictions in flight numbers and world-wide travel bans mean the country will still only receive about 50% of the usual high-tourist-season crowds.

 

High-season in Costa Rica usually starts in December (until about April), coinciding with dry season and international holiday periods.

 

What if You Want to Visit Before November 1?

Residents of the following US States can visit before November 1. However, they will need to show proof of residency upon entry:

 

As of October 1: New York, New Jersey, Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan, Rhode Island, California, and Ohio

 

As of October 15: As mentioned above, Texas, Georgia and Florida residents allowed

 

As of November 1: ALL US citizens

 

Caveats:

  • If you’re from an allowed State but can only fly to Costa Rica via a non-allowed State right now, you can still enter the country, provided your layover lasts no more than 18 hours.

 

  • US citizens who hold Costa Rican residency are allowed back into the country, no matter the State or country they’re coming from. If the origin is in an allowed country/State, or you have spent the last 14 days there, then you won’t have to quarantine. However, if you’re flying in from a currently unallowed State/country, then you will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.

 

Confused? You’re not the only one! There seems to have been a lot of confusion at airports all over the world in regards to Costa Rica’s allowances. Read this insightful Tico Times article for a detailed breakdown of the rules, at time of writing.

 

At Costa Rica Rios, we are eagerly awaiting the start of tourist season and are thrilled to know that we can welcome back all US tourists, as well as citizens from a myriad of other countries.

 

Ready for the adventure vacation of a lifetime?

 

Make 2020 the year you adventure in Costa Rica and you’ll remember it for all the right reasons!

 

Contact us to know more.

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US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

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Costa Rica Family Adventure Vacations – The Best Kid-friendly Activities

Family vacations and thrilling adventures don’t usually go hand-in-hand…unless you visit Costa Rica. The eco-adventure capital of the world is a sensational playground and the array of adrenalin-pumping outdoor sports means adults, and their thrill-seeking kids, can have the absolute adventure of a lifetime, without compromising on ANY of the fun.

Check out this awesome slide-show and see why, when it comes to family adventure vacations, Costa Rica does it better!

From exhilarating canopy ziplines to safe and exciting whitewater rafting, volcano climbing, horseback riding, snorkeling, surfing, ATV riding, hot springs, hanging bridges tours and the crowd fave, wildlife-spotting hikes: if you’re an active family and love the great outdoors, Costa Rica will well and truly get you hooked.

Here are just some of the best kid-friendly activities in Costa Rica!

Zipline, hike, hanging bridges and aerial tram – Arenal Volcano National Park

The most famous park in all of Costa Rica offers the ultimate introduction to Costa Rica family adventures: kids love nothing more than to squeal with delight at the almost two-mile-long zipline course (and so will you) and to discover the astonishing beauty of the Arenal rainforest. Here, you can soar up high and soak up spectacular views of the park’s namesake lake and volcano, both on foot across ethereal hanging bridges and on open-air gondolas.

If you’re planning your first-ever visit to Costa Rica, we suggest you start with a full-day of outdoor fun in Arenal. The ziplines are super safe and kids (ages 6 to 12) have the option of ziplining with a local guide if they’d feel more comfortable in company.

Canyoning – La Fortuna Waterfalls

Canyoning is the ideal adrenalin rush for the whole family and in La Fortuna, the base-point for waterfall adventures, is where you’ll find the most incredible gorge trail that’ll see you all rappelling alongside waterfalls up to 200ft deep. Refreshing (yes, you will get drenched!), soul-reviving and totally addictive, canyoning is an incredible way to immerse yourself in nature and conquer sensational waterfalls and rock walls.

As with the zipline, kids can be guided down with an instructor, leaving you worry-free to also enjoy the thrill of a lifetime.

Craving a bigger thrill for your active family? Then you need to learn all about our unique canyoneering tours!

zip lining

Plan Your Trip

Whitewater Rafting – Various destinations

You may have heard that Costa Rica is world-renowned for whitewater sports, with the rafting and kayaking rated among the best in the world. This is due to the country being blessed with over a dozen major rivers, creating a maze of river-based activities that suit all ages. Here you’ll find Class II rapids that are ideal for beginners and families with young children, all the way to rapids Class IV and V for families with thrill-seeking teens.

Whitewater rafting rewards in a multitude of ways: not only does it offer amazing thrills but it also gives you a chance to travel down a river that’s immersed in pristine rainforests and, in Costa Rica, you know that those forests are chock-full of wildlife. On a tour (which can be half-day, full day and even multi-day) you can make plenty of rest stops to enjoy refreshing swims.

For families with kids aged 8 and above who are trying out rafting for the very first time, we’d usually recommend the Balsa or Savegre River, both offering mild Class II and III rapids and both framed by luscious rainforest packed with wildlife. If you have slightly older kids and want to experience even bigger thrills, then hone in on the Sarapiqui, Tenorio and Pacuare rivers, the last one offering outstanding overnight rafting trips thanks to its impressive length.

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Wildlife-spotting Hike – Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio is a small and compact national park that tumbles into the Pacific and offers perhaps the best and easiest chances to spot a lot of unique exotic wildlife in Costa Rica, including sloths, monkeys, toucans, iguanas and much more. A guided hike is your best bet to get the most out of your visit, as local naturalists guides are champions at spotting elusive animals.

For the highest chances of seeing the greatest variety of wildlife, we suggest you plan your visit early in the morning, a time when the forest is cool and animals are more active. And don’t forget to pack your bathers! Manuel Antonio is home to some of the most idyllic beaches in the country and you’ll want to extend your visit to enjoy a glorious swim in the Pacific. For those with more time, the Corcovado and the Tortuguero national parks offer the kind of immersive wildlife experiences that’ll blow you away.

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Plan Your Trip

Surfing – Various Destinations

Water-based sports in Costa Rica aren’t just limited to rivers – this magnificent country is also renowned worldwide for its wicked surfing beaches. Although many are seriously world-class and unsuitable for families with small kids, there are plenty more which are in protected coves that are perfect for beginner surfing lessons.

Private surfing lessons can be enjoyed on one of Manuel Antonio’s calmest beaches and this is the best option if you’d love to squeeze even more adventures out of your visit. With a professional and experienced guide at hand, families can enjoy a group surf lesson together, in one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches.

If you have time to explore further check out Playa Samara, in the Guanacaste Province (northern Pacific coast), which also boasts gentle waves and is considered one of the best family-friendly beaches in the country. A myriad of surfing schools offers beginner lessons for kids and adults alike, and you’ll find a nearby calm river where you can also enjoy stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking.

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Snorkeling, Isla Tortuga – Nicoya Peninsula

The magic of Costa Rica’s underwater world isn’t just the domain of SCUBA divers: snorkelers can also tap into this incredible ecosystem. The most family-friendly snorkeling destination is Isla Tortuga (just off the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula) an island framed by turquoise waters inhabited by sea turtles, rays, dolphins and a flurry of colorful fish like angelfish, morays, porcupine fish and so much more. An Isla Tortuga day-trip usually includes a morning snorkeling stint and a free afternoon to enjoy the picturesque sandy beaches, where you can rent kayaks, enjoy a banana-boat ride or simply kick back and relax.

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Costa Rica family adventures are easy and relaxed yet filled with an abundance of active pursuits no matter how young your kids may be. This is, by far, the best and most convenient family adventure destination on earth: the local culture is family-oriented and if it seems like all the best activities are aimed specifically at young and old alike, that’s because they truly are.

Who we are & what we do: Named one of the world’s best adventure travel companies in the world by National Geographic, we are Costa Rica’s leading company for all-inclusive adventure vacations. We’ve been at this gig since 1995 and have planned countless unforgettable itineraries for couples, family and single travelers alike.

During COVID-times, we’re running private bespoke tours for adventure-seeking families, which leaves us the freedom to plan a trip suited specifically to YOUR desires and budget.

Want to know more? Then check out our most popular itinerary ideas for family adventure vacations and call us to know more!

 

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Guide to an Unforgettable Eco-friendly Honeymoon in Costa Rica

As more people heartily adopt a greener lifestyle, choices are going beyond recycling and reusing: curbing carbon-emissions when travelling and making sensible choices abroad are all becoming part and parcel of our sustainable dream. If we all do things just a little better, and a little greener, we’ll be able to enjoy living in this magnificent planet of ours for much, much longer.

Eco-friendly honeymoons are the latest trend to hit the tourism scene and, as far as we’re concerned, it’s one of the most worthwhile ‘fads’ that’s ever been concocted. Costa Rica being one of the world’s foremost eco-tourism destinations is naturally at the forefront of most people’s minds, the sheer number of sustainable tourism initiatives, lodges and activities offering adventure-seekers plenty of guilt-free pleasures.

 

What is an eco-friendly honeymoon?

Adventure honeymoons are nothing new yet eco-honeymoons take the journey one step further: this is about having the absolute thrill of a lifetime, in pristine nature, whilst leaving as minimal a footprint as possible. In essence, it is to honeymoon responsibly in a stunning place, where your visit directly benefits the wellbeing of the local population and helps protect the environment.

Here are a few ways you can plan your own eco-friendly honeymoon in Costa Rica:

 

Eco-lodges and eco-resorts abound in Costa Rica: go small and go local

Costa Rica boasts a variety of accommodation options and this includes oversized all-inclusive resorts that can take over entire towns. Although there are certainly benefits to larger resorts (which hire many locals and buy large quantities of local produce) mega-resorts can also place a great amount of stress on the local environment. Moreover, they can also afford to offer greater saving (given the sheer number of rooms) so they tend to make local lodges less competitive, and that’s the biggest downfall of all. Some are also foreign-owned, which means the largest chunk of profits is taken out of the country.

Smaller, family-owned eco-friendly lodges abound in this amazing country, many of them constructed in a section of private wilderness reserve. They’re usually built of sustainable material, are totally self-sufficient and place very little stress on the environment, bar their initial construction. The kind of sustainable practices smaller lodges can implement are simply not sustainable on a very large scale and, besides, they also help spread tourist crowds over a much larger area.

The benefits of impact-spreading are several and are easy to understand this is imagining a lone beach crammed with 500 tourists looking out for nesting turtles, versus 50 separate beaches, each with only 10 spectators. A lone beach can absorb the impact of 10 visitors with ease whilst no beach can cope with 500. ‘Spreading out the love’ is better for the environment and its endemic wildlife, as was made obvious during the overcrowding events of 2015.

 

Keep your travels to a minimum, once you arrive

On an eco-friendly honeymoon to Costa Rica, you’ll want the emphasis to be on the wilderness, so you may want to choose to stay near one of the major national parks or wildlife reserves. A very effective sustainable option is to minimize your carbon emissions by choosing to explore one region thoroughly, rather than visiting several regions and driving or flying between them.

 

Plan an all-in-one destination wedding and honeymoon vacation

Destinations weddings have been popular in Costa Rica for years and, for very obvious reasons, it’s a great option to extend the vacation to include an adventure honeymoon whilst here, rather than fly somewhere else. Not only is this a brilliant way to cut costs but it also greatly reduces your carbon emission and that of your closest friends and family members, as many will coincide their yearly vacation to fit in with your impending nuptials. An all-in-one deal for you and the environment!

 

wedding

 

Offset your carbon footprint before you fly to Costa Rica

Air-travel has been recognized as a huge contributor to climate change but your Costa Rica honeymoon need not be riddled with guilt if you offset that amount of carbon emission you just can’t help create. Aside from these 20 Ways to Offset Your Carbon Emission, you can calculate your trips’ carbon expense and purchase carbon offset credits from an accredited provider. You’ll find all the details in the link.

Costa Rica’s proximity and short flight-times are another great reason to choose this as your eco-friendly honeymoon destination. Rather than taking a long-haul flight, you could be in a matter of a few hours, not only avoiding jetlag but also reducing your overall travel footprints.

 

When in Costa Rica, eat only locally produced food

The longer an ingredient has to travel, the larger the carbon emission so it figures that eating local food is about the best decision you could make on your Costa Rica honeymoon. Luckily, Costa Rica is a truly delicious destination, with an abundance of fresh produce grown in just about every region. You’ll certainly find imported goods in all major cities and tourist center but if you avoid the imported goods, you’ll help entice local shopkeepers to only stock and serve local fare.

Eating local, in Costa Rica, is anything but boring.  Scour our culinary archives for fantastic gastronomic inspiration.

 

Shop wisely – the most sustainable souvenirs to bring home

Yes, it’s lovely to bring home ‘only memories’ but, sometimes, we want something a little more tangible. Eco-friendly choices include local produce (vacuum packed for travel), wooden artefacts (made of sustainable materials, of course) and anything that is hand-carved, hand-weaved and hand-made. Steering clear of mass-produced gear in large-scale markets and buying treasures directly from the artisan will ensure your souvenir is made locally. Find more tips here.

 

market

 

Think small: sometimes, small gestures can have the biggest impact

Packing a few cloth shopping bags will help you avoid the ubiquitous plastic bags that seem to be the bane of our planet. Not all destinations in Costa Rica have great recycling facility so leaving packaging behind isn’t necessarily helping the environment – that’s just leaving more rubbish behind. What would help is if you had a few bags of your own to store fruit, souvenirs and whatever else you buy along the way, thus avoiding having to collect an unmentionable number of plastic bags. It’s also worthwhile to bring your own water bottle: tap water may be unsafe to drink in many places but most lodges and hotels will have filtered taps from where you can refill your daily stash.

 

When honeymooning in Costa Rica – buy less, do more

Aside from sustainable souvenirs, there’s probably no need to pack your suitcase with stuff you neither need nor will ever use, so why not spend your time (and holiday funds) on immersive experiences instead? Costa Rica is home to amazing sustainable farms and wildlife refuges that are open to the public and they gift unique experiences. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at local organic farming and enjoy up-close animal encounters, all the while directly helping local business owners trying to do right by their land and wildlife – a real win-win. Moreover, you can enjoy a plethora of stunning adventures in nature, be it ziplining, whitewater rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking and more – all sustainable activities that promote the country as a superb adventure destination but aren’t causing overwhelming stress on the environment. This is particularly true of more remote locations, away from the most visited hubs like Manuel Antonio and Arenal.

 

bird

 

Take guided tours – learning is part of the eco-tourism movement

Many consider ‘learning’ part and parcel of eco-tourism: alongside fun and adventure, there needs to be some kind of enlightenment to make the whole trip worthwhile. Education is key in sustainable tourism because only through a spread of awareness can issue be tackled, head-on. The latest disastrous fires in the Amazon, and the ensuing backlash, have been an excellent example of this: speak out and loud and we’ll collectively force governments to act to protect our planet!

Choosing guided tours means you’ll learn a whole lot more about the places and people you meet than you otherwise would, were you to travel independently. Moreover, you’ll have access to a host of off-the-path destinations, events, cultural experiences and culinary discoveries thanks to your local contact. This is why those farm and wildlife refuges are important to visit, not only rewarding: you won’t just see attractions but you’ll learn so much about them too.

 

Why choose Costs Rica Rios?

We get frustrated and disappointed by greenwashing as much as everyone else and have seen, first-hand, how so many enterprises have no sustainable practices to show for all their flamboyant claims.

At Costa Rica Rios, we have always been committed to sustainable eco-tourism, before the whole ‘trend’ ever took off. We operate our business out of Turrialba (away from the most visited and developed region of the country), only purchase produce from local growers and help support the local recycling efforts, which are quite impressive in their own rights. We also employ local guides and only use lodges and hotels with proven track-records of sustainable practices. We also understand that, sometimes, it’s about the little things: the biodegradable soap to launder our gear, the recycled paper in our offices and the obsessiveness with which we clear our picnic sites on each and every excursion.

At the end of the day, we appreciate that a single person (or agency) will not change the world but, together, we have a shot at protecting its future. Every sustainable choice will help us all get there.

See our collection of Costa Rica Rios Honeymoons and contact us to know more.

 

costa rica rios

US & Canada: 888 434-0776 | UK: 0800 612 8718 | International: +1 920 434-7485

Plan Your Trip

Contact Us

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