Tag Archives: Honeymoons in Costa Rica

Newlywed Interview – Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a popular honeymoon destination for those who want an adventure to remember. From sunny white or black sand beaches, to rainforest canopy ziplines, to rural villages and days spent at artisan markets, there are many activities and joys to be shared for the newlywed couple.

Here’s our interview with a recently married couple from North Carolina, Alan and Arlissa, who honeymooned in Costa Rica in December. We’ve asked them to share some of their thoughts and experiences.

Costa Rica Rios: Out of all of the destination you could have chosen for a honeymoon, what drew you to visit Costa Rica?

Arlissa:  I’ve always dreamed of visiting Costa Rica, mostly because I love nature. I wanted to see first-hand the exotic animals and plants found throughout the country. I wanted to visit the rainforest.

Alan: I was intrigued by the rainforest, sure, but I can’t lie. I really wanted to go there for the surfing. I’ve been surfing since I was a kid, and I wanted a totally new experience. Visiting the Pacific Coast and hitting the surf was really high on my list.

Costa Rica Rios: During your honeymoon in Costa Rica, what were some unexpected delights you encountered?

Arlissa: The very first morning after we arrived in Costa Rica, I got up early because I was just so excited to be there. Alan was still sleeping, so I decided to take a walk around the hotel’s gardens and was delighted to see a sloth in the tree right next to our bungalow! I took it to be a sign of a great honeymoon to come and the experience was breathtaking and priceless.

Alan: I’m not sure if you’d call this a delight exactly, but more of a funny and memorable experience. While visiting the Manuel Antonio National Park near Quepos, we went in for a swim. While in the water, we spotted a pesky monkey trying to sort through our bags on the beach. We rushed up to scurry him off, and discovered he had been smart enough to unzip my backpack and open a package of plastic wrapped crackers! It was one of many little things that made our trip memorable. It’s something we still joke about now and then, especially when there are raccoons in the discussion.

Costa Rica Rios: Do you have any advice for other couples planning a honeymoon in Costa Rica?

Arlissa: Take as long of a trip as you can. We were there for almost two weeks and still didn’t get to do everything we wanted. We had a wonderful time, and we plan to go back sometime – hopefully soon, maybe for a special anniversary trip.

Alan: Don’t let anyone spoil your honeymoon ideas. There were some well-meaning people who tried to talk me out of a honeymoon in Costa Rica or from surfing while on our trip, but Arlissa and I were so excited to go there, and I’m so glad we did. We have some awesome memories and great pictures that we took.  I really think it was great for our relationship to take an adventurous trip together like that.

Costa Rica Rios: Thank you both for your time in answering our questions about your honeymoon in Costa Rica. For our readers interested in planning a special newlywed getaway to our lush and exciting destination, contact us for suggested itineraries and travel advice.


Taking It Slow: In Search of Turtles in Costa Rica

Turtles are known for taking it slow and basking in the sun in Costa Rica. They love swimming in the coastal waters and are sometimes found on the beach, especially during nesting season. If you’re looking for turtles in Costa Rica, you’ll find three different types at Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica. Tortuguero is home to the Green Sea Turtle, Giant Leatherback and Hawksbill Turtles. It’s fascinating to watch the hatchlings crawl from their nests down to the water. It typically happens at night, when the sand is cooler.

Green Sea Turtles

The Green Sea Turtle is one of the oldest species on Earth, existing before even the dinosaurs. They have green skin and brown, black, yellow, gray, green or olive shells. They are an endangered species, also referred to as the Eastern Pacific Green Turtle, and are sometimes simply called green turtles. They are one of the few species that leave the sea and come onto land to sun themselves when they’re not nesting. They are the largest of the sea turtles. Adults commonly weigh in above 300 pounds and can be as much as five feet long. The females nest on the beaches from July to October.

 Giant Leatherback

Leatherback turtles often grow more than three feet long, weighing in at close to a ton. Their large front flippers can grow to be more than eight feet long, giving them a distinct advantage in the water. Leatherbacks are dark gray or black with white speckles and a much lighter underside. The females come ashore between February and June to dig nests and lay their eggs. When the turtles hatch, they all move down the beach, paddling through the surf and into the water. Most males will never return to land. The Giant Leatherback is the largest known living turtle species. It’s a deep diver that spends more than 99 percent of its day swimming. It doesn’t have a bony shell like most other types of turtles. There are ridges on Leatherbacks, but they have no claws in their flippers and no teeth in their mouths. They use spines in the throat and horny points on the upper lip to eat. They are an endangered one of several endangered species protected in Costa Rica

Hawksbill Turtles

The Hawksbill Turtle typical grows up to just under three feet long. They weigh in at a maximum of 200 pounds.  Hawskbills are named for their hawk-like beaks for mouths. They are among the most endangered turtle species, often hunted for their colorful shells. They eat mostly sea sponges, using their sharp beaks to catch them. Hawksbill Turtles are harder to spot around the beaches of Tortuguero, because they like to nest in seclusion about every two weeks beginning in July. They usually build a maximum of four nests per season, laying 150 to 200 eggs per nest.

If you love turtles, and sea turtles in particular, be sure to tell our staff when you’re booking your vacation with Costa Rica Rios. We’ll help you find the best turtle-watching spots to see these fascinating creatures. Contact Costa Rica Rios today to make plans and reservations.



Costa Rica Rios: Our story.

My name is Fraser Tyrrell, and I’m one of the owners of Costa Rica Rios. The year 2000 was when it all started for us. We were both living in the British Virgin Islands, working on yachts, when Jane literally sailed into my life. Almost 14 years later, we are still going strong and things just seem to be getting better and better.

When we met each other, it was clear from the outset that we came from similar backgrounds and that we were destined to do great things together. Before meeting around the Millennium we spent quite a bit of time traveling the world, and between us we have visited more than 100 countries. When I first met Jane, she was working as a yacht skipper, one of only two female skippers in the Caribbean at the time. We immediately realized that we shared a passion for travel, and with backgrounds in tourism, we thought it was time to make our mark.

Our first foray into the world of business started in Queenstown, New Zealand, where we bought our first house and turned it into a high-end bed and breakfast. It was an incredible experience turning a house into a business, and we had four years of fun doing it. We learned some valuable lessons during this time that have helped us get to where we are today. We realized quite quickly that Queenstown was never going to be a long-term home for us, and we were desperate to get back to the tropics and to a climate that we both love.

The decision was made, and it was time to start searching for our new venture. We had two criteria that were non-negotiable when deciding on what we wanted to do: Our new business had to be in tourism, and it had to be in the tropics. Our attitude was that we could live anywhere and do anything, and when we found the right business we would know it. Our search lasted over a year, and every time we found a potential “goer,” something put us off until we found Costa Rica Rios.

We discovered that the company was for sale by three American guys who had been running it for four years after having bought it from the founder, who started it all in 1995. This was our chance and we knew it! We saw massive untapped potential in Costa Rica Rios, and with a combined 35 years of experience working in the tourism industry, we thought we had the ability to realize that potential.

Of course, we had to ask ourselves some serious questions. Can we live in Costa Rica? We didn’t know the country at all! Jane had very little Spanish, I had none. Will it be an easy language to learn? Will it be easy, as foreigners, to work, employ, do business and be accepted by the local community? Luckily, after visiting the country and the company, we decided the answer was yes to all of these questions.

Now, almost seven years in, we believe we have made the best decision of our lives. We love where we live, we love what we do, we have two young boys who were both born in Costa Rica (both fully bilingual, which still blows us away!) and we have expanded our company from a small local business into a Costa Rican wide one.

We are now the largest kayaking company in Costa Rica, taking more paddlers down more rivers than anyone else. We have quickly established ourselves as one of the premier honeymoon providers in the country. After having spent the last six-and-a- half years discovering the country and what it can offer, we believe we can give any newlyweds a honeymoon they will never forget, whether it be a romantic relaxing beach honeymoon to a more adventurous one, with anything from ziplining to whitewater rafting to even staying a night in a remote cave, right in the heart of the rainforest set behind twin waterfalls. We have expanded into family adventure vacations, and we guarantee you will never have a family bonding trip like you will in Costa Rica.

Our guides are a huge part of what makes us what we are. They are some of the best adventure guides in the country, with two of them having represented Costa Rica at the world kayaking championships, two at the world rafting championships and one of them is one of the top triathletes in the country.

Jane and I are still very hands-on and any guest that chooses an itinerary that comes through our town will meet us, so if you are planning your next vacation and Costa Rica is on your radar, drop us an email or give us a call and hopefully we will get to meet you at some point in the future.

Adventure tour operators in Costa Rica
Living the dream

Dance Your Way Through Your Honeymoon In Costa Rica

In most parts of Latin America, there is one thing that brings all people together. Regardless of religion, economic status, or political beliefs, one thing unites everyone: dancing. It is this that is the blood of the culture.

And Costa Rica is no exception. Indeed, you would be hard pressed to find a city or village (“pueblo”) without a dance on Friday night (or, in many places, every night). Here are some of the most popular dances that you can enjoy with your new life partner. Practice the steps before your trip (or take a class in country, or just wing it) and go wild!


  • Salsa. The most popular dance in Costa Rica, it merges quick direct and sensual movements. While it is beautiful to see expert salsa dancers whirling over the floor, the steps are pretty simple to pick up and a few simple spins are not difficult to pull off with a little practice. Originating in Cuba, the music features Afro-Caribbean beats and is influenced by Mambo.
  • Merengue. A fast, two step beat, it features quick footwork and swaying hips. Couples dance in a small circle, taking up little more than a few feet. But believe us, that is enough for an exhilarating dance!
  • Cumbia. A dance that originated in Colombia, its rich music features a strong percussive rhythm. Costa Ricans have made Cumbia their own–incorporating steps from their native “Swing Criollo,” a dance of bouncing steps and small kicks. This special version is a great source of national pride for Costa Ricans.
  • Folkloric Dances. Though these dances are more easily viewed than participated in, they can be a real treat to watch. Each dance tells a story. The Punto Guanacasteco is a heated dance of seduction, and La Cajeta is a long affair paired with the making of sweet candy (which gives its name to the dance) and socializing. Indigenous dances like the Boruca Diablitos, which is a celebration of the Indigenous people’s triumph over the colonizers (held every January), are a real treat to see.

For the perfect honeymoon in Costa Rica, there is little better than letting your feet fly. The plentiful dances can be a wild experience and a great way to meet locals and experience the authentic flavor of he country. Ready to go? We’re ready for you. Just contact us to plan the perfect adventure for you and your partner!


Why Same-Sex Couples Should Spend Their Honeymoons in Costa Rica

The U.S. Supreme Court recently made two historic decisions regarding marriage. It overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, allowing federal benefits for married same-sex couples. And it ruled that traditional marriage activists had no standing to defend Proposition 8 in California, allowing gay marriage to resume in that state.

Maybe those were enough reasons for you and many others to tie the knot with their same-sex loves.

At nearly the same time as those decisions, a funny thing happened in the Costa Rican legislature. The staunchly conservative body accidentally approved a bill with marriage language approving “the right to recognition without discrimination contrary to human dignity.”

Hello, same-sex unions.

So other than Costa Rica having two beautiful coastlines, verdant jungles, picturesque volcanic cones, and well-developed tourism, why should the country and its political snafus even figure into your same-sex honeymoon plans?

Money. Specifically, dollars that Americans bring in when they vacation in the country. When you book your vacation plans in Costa Rica, tell its tour operators, hotel proprietors, travel companies, and restaurant owners who you and your spouse are, and that you’re honeymooning in their wonderful country because of its supportive marriage laws.

If enough same-sex couples do this, the legislature will see the economic benefit of their “accidental” law and let it stand. And some day, when same-sex marriages performed in any country become legal and binding in the United States, gay couples will both get married and spend their honeymoons in Costa Rica.

Both your honeymoon and same-sex marriage in Costa Rica are worthwhile dreams. Get closer to them by contacting us.


Plan a trip to Costa Rica for your romantic getaway

A tropical destination has been the dream of many couples all over the world for years. While there are many beautiful destinations to choose from, one of the most beautiful and exotic locations to highly consider is Costa Rica. Lush scenery, warm friendly locals, gorgeous resorts and some of the most incredible beaches with the some of the clearest water in the world are in Costa Rica.

Spending your honeymoon in Costa Rica would definitely be a memorable and romantic experience. Located in Central America, Costa Rica sits between Nicaragua and Panama, both countries contributing to the diversity and rich culture of the area. Costa Rica lies in jeweled waters, and whether you’re looking for a luxurious beach resort, or an active and adventurous honeymoon, get ready to love it!

This lovely country presents many other options for any type of honeymoon experience you might be looking for. Whether you want an introverted or extroverted experience, Costa Rica is  the place. So cuddle up on the beach or canoe down a river, under the tropical sun or the moonlight. Don’t stop there, embrace your relaxation by spending time in a spa with your significant other; receiving couples massages and pedicures. Costa Rica is the perfect choice for anyone!  For years this attractive country has been a popular choice for vacations and honeymoons, and it is an awesome place to spend your first days as as  married couple. The numerous venues countrywide allow for many choices to suit your budget, accommodation needs, and activity level desires.

For more information, contact us.


Useful Spanish Phrases for Your Costa Rica Adventure

While there’s no language requirement on Costa Rica Rios trips, it’s always fun to use a bit of the local dialect, right? Here are a few phrases to get you started; the locals might even mistake you for a Tico/Tica.

Más rápido, maeFaster, dude; may be useful with your whitewater rafting guide if you want to pick it up a notch (loco = crazy, by the way).

¡Pero tengo miedo!But I’m scared! This phrase is often followed by delighted screaming and laughing; say this right before you zip-line across a canopy.

¡Otra vez!Again! You loved that flight through the trees, didn’t you?

Te amoI love you. Surprise your new husband or wife with this phrase on your honeymoon as you gaze off into the Caribbean horizon.

¿Cuánto cuesta?How much does it cost? This will be useful in between adventures if you choose to snatch up a Costa Rican souvenir or two, like a bag of local coffee or artisan pottery.

¡Qué ola tan grande!What a big wave! While surfing, this may mean you either rush out to sea or rush back to shore, depending on your skill level. Or maybe you’re on the beach and want to warn your friends to pick up their towels.

¿Cómo se llama (pointing at something)? – What is that called? When you spot unknown exotic wildlife while snorkeling or hiking, use this phrase to learn their names, or ask about that volcano up ahead or the bright blue butterfly that landed on your bike.

Me duelen las piernasMy legs hurt. Speaking of bikes, your quads or hamstrings might burn a bit from that mountain biking portion of the trip; use this excuse to take a breather and a snap a few pics of the scenery.

¡Qué lindo/bonito!How beautiful! Use while pointing to that view, that flower, that sunset, that bird, etc. You’ll probably be using this one at least every five minutes if you’re not busy catching your breath or laughing.

¡Qué rico! How delicious! Compliment your chef or server, or just rave to your trip companions about the fresh fish on your plate or the fruit smoothie you’re slurping down.

¡Pura vida! – this ubiquitous Costa Rican phrase has a dozen meanings, which makes it applicable in most situations. Literally, it means “pure life” and often refers to the relaxed attitudes of Ticos (Costa Ricans). But it also can be a greeting, an exclamation of approval, a descriptor of how you’re feeling, a synonym for excellent, or just something you scream as you kayak down a rushing river.

For all your other language needs, our staff and guides have got you covered. Find the trip that’s right for you and contact us for more information. ¡Pura vida!


Plan Your Own Costa Rica Adventure

What would your perfect vacation be? Do you think about riding around on a hot, sweaty tour bus? Or wandering around in a large group of people listening to a tour guide describe a long history of some building? Or are you looking for a wild ride down some whitewater rapids? How about a bike tour of a volcano? A zipline ride across rainforest treetops? What about all of them? Creating your own Costa Rica adventure means that you don’t have to choose just one. You can plan all the excitement you want into one big adventure.

Costa Rica offers all the adventure your family or group can handle. With a tropical climate and a variety of terrain, you can pick from the many activities that appeal to your outdoor spirit. Instead of being stuck in a pre-planned selection of a package deal, you can decide how short or long you want to go for, and what activities you do, creating your own vacation package.

If water is what you are dreaming of, you can choose to kayak, raft, or canoe on the Pacuare River where you can experience the beauty of the surrounding rainforest, with many chances to stop and swim, rest, and take in the views. Rather swim than paddle? You can take advantage of scuba diving or snorkeling in the waters off the Manuel Antonio National Park. If surfing is your thing, try catching a wave in Puerto Viejo. Or include a day to relax at one of the stunning beaches the country has to offer.

Waves and water not your thing? Try taking on mountain biking. You can choose to bike through the cloud forest as you journey to the shoulder of the Turrialba Volcano, with small villages along the way. Or choose to bike through the Orosi Valley. Pedaling too tiring? Try a saddle instead with horseback riding. You can mount up and travel up to the La Fortuna Waterfall or ride to the observatory of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Looking for a ride of a different kind? Zip line rides will have you flying above the jungle. Rise above the treetops to experience the adventure of a lifetime. Experience the rainforest like never before with a canopy tour that takes you across suspension bridges, rappelling down trees and even offers adrenaline pumping zip line rides over the trees.

With these and many more activities to choose from, you can find the perfectly balanced adventure. Take the worry and stress out of planning with all meals, lodging, entrance fees and permits taken care of. No need to have your own equipment or search for guides.  We can take care of everything.  Contact us and start planning your perfect Costa Rica adventure today.


Top 5 Reasons to Vacation with Costa Rica Rios

1. Adventure

Conquer the Costa Rican rapids while whitewater rafting, paddle through twists and turns in a kayak, take a surf ride on a Caribbean wave. Bike down a volcano, zipline through trees, snorkel along tropical reefs. That enough adventure for you? Then you’re made for our high-adrenaline multi-sport adventure vacation package. Or, if one sport is plenty for you, try a week of canoeing or kayaking through Costa Rica’s pristine whitewater rivers.

2. Romance and Relaxation

Honeymooners rave about our tours, which, in addition to the aforementioned adventure activities, can be paired with plenty of quieter newlywed moments. Stay in a deluxe eco-lodge, enjoy a more low-key tour like the Rain Forest Ridge Walk. Go horseback riding near the Savegre River. Search for exotic critters in Manuel Antonio’s National Park. Simply relax on the beach or soak in hot springs with your amor.

3. Wildlife

Hear that hooting and hollering? That’s a howler monkey in the distance. What about the chirping that greets you in the morning? Could be a White Collared Manakin. Don’t miss the sloths; these funny-looking cuties can be seen at the sloth sanctuary or, if you’re lucky, in the trees during one of your other adventures. While canyoning in the rainforest, you may glimpse the transparent Costa Rican Glass Frog (are those its internal organs!?). Of course you’ll find fascinating fish on your snorkel dive, and you might catch sight of Green Sea, Giant Leatherback or Hawksbill turtles nesting at a marine national park.

4. Food

Pineapples, bananas, mangos, guanabanas. Fresh fish and meat paired with slow-cooked black beans and rice. You won’t go hungry in Costa Rica. Our personal chef prepares your meals daily with locally grown goods. Soon you’ll know the beauty of gallo pinto, frescos naturales, and sweet platano maduro.

5. Culture

From tour guides, to lodging staff, to vendors, and passersby, you’ll meet lots of friendly Ticos (Costa Ricans) willing to share their stories and culture with you. Of course our guides will be especially well-versed in the many facets of Costa Rican life and will be eager to share their knowledge of the country.

Browse the rest of our website, contact us with your questions, then tell your boss you’re going to need some time off.


Supporting the Environment with our Costa Rica Guided Tours

As you can tell from what we do, the environment is an integral part of the success of Costa Rica Rios. Without our magnificent local rivers, mountains, beaches and forest canopies, we could not offer our spectacular Costa Rica guided tours. Because of this, we have made a commitment to supporting the environment, including the unique and breathtaking natural scenery of our many adventures.

We practice what we call Sustainable Tourism in a variety of ways. Much of what we do involves education. For our employees, there is always ongoing learning about how we can best support and preserve this delicate and fascinating natural environment in which we live and work.  As a company, we seek to work in harmony with other local businesses, such as when we donate all organic waste to an organic cocoa bean farm.

For our guests, the education can work both ways. We know our environment, and we teach our tour participants about how best to preserve the breathtaking natural resource that we share with them. We also welcome guest suggestions about how to improve our sustainability practices and procedures, because we know that we all have much to learn about the latest and greatest efforts to support the environment.

We have also woven some commitments to sustainable tourism into the fabric of our company’s business processes. We are member participants in 1% for the Planet, a world-wide network of over one thousand businesses that commit to donate 1% of their sales to environmental nonprofit organizations. We are seeking certification from a handful of sustainable tourism associations, so stay tuned for further news on this as our applications to these associations are completed and reviewed.

Finally, and fundamentally, we recognize that each of us as individuals has a role to play in preserving our environment for the enjoyment of future generations. What we model and teach to our guests, we hope you will take home with you, along with your pictures and memories, and apply in the special environments that you find in and near your own home towns. To learn more, contact us or check out our Sustainable Tourism webpage.