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COSTA RICA

Monday, August 9th, 2010 | BLOG, Costa Rica | 1 Comment

 

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The ingredients are all natural, making Costa Rica a leader in sustainable green tourism. Located on the isthmus of Central America it is bordered on the north by Nicaragua and the south by Panama. It has an east coast on the Caribbean and west coast on the Pacific with an ideal climate year round.Diverse sightseeing will take you to the exuberant nature of the cloud forests and fiery volcanoes, to the tropical dry plains which encompass a magical combination of mystical scenery surrounded by a large variety of flora and fauna, or hot beaches, some blanketed with white sands and others with black sand covered by crystalline waters where you will be able to appreciate the wealth of nature. This combination makes Costa Rica the perfect place to enjoy a most pleasant vacation.The largest International Airport is located in San Jose and a second International Airport is located in Liberia in the northern area of the Province of Guanacaste. San Jose is located in the Central Valley surrounded by majestic volcanoes and green hills. Here you will find the Mayan Gold museum and the beautiful Opera House and Theatre. Both well worth a visit. In the surrounding hillside villages you can visit coffee plantations and actually see how coffee is grown, harvested, roasted and made into one of the world’s most popular drinks.To the north of San Jose you will find fascinating live fiery volcanoes set in verdant rainforest. La Fortuna and the Arenal volcano offers a variety of accommodations and more activities than you can do in a week’s stay. My personal favorite is a day at Tabacon Hot Springs where you can relax in a series of hot pools fed from water heated by Arenal volcano all set in a lush tropical rainforest carved out of a tangle of jungle and sometimes accompanied by the Arenal’s thunderous rumblings. There are also cool pools where you can enjoy a swim, a wonderful spa with a complete menu of services and a restaurant serving both international cuisine and local favorites. You can take a horseback ride or hike on trails up the volcano where you visit waterfalls and see fabulous flora and fauna. A canopy tour is a must and can be done in an arial tram or zipline. ziplineFor the more adventurous you can rappel a waterfall or go whitewater rafting on several rivers in the area. For those interested in bird watching there is an endless number of species to be found here, including the elusive Toucan. And if you’re lucky, you will be rewarded in the evening with a spectacular fiery show of spewing lava from the top of Arenal Volcano. There is also the wonderful cloud forest of Monteverde not far away where you can see truly exotic botanicals and an abundance of birds, butterflies, reptiles and animals such as monkeys, the 3-toed sloth, poisonous tropical frogs, iguanas and much more. In both these area you will find small resorts, cabins as well as rustic lodging. There are several beautiful resorts perfect for honeymoons including the Tabacon Resort and Hot Springs, Arenal Nayara, The Springs Resort and Spa, Arenal Paraiso and many more.For the beach and ocean lovers there is nothing better than the Guanacaste province know for its impressive white sand and black sand beaches and blue waters of the Pacific. The most popular water sports are surfing and fabulous deep sea fishing. Some of the best beach hotels in the world are found on the beaches of Guanacaste, like the Four Season Papagoya, Grand Occidental Papagoya, Hilton at Hermosa and soon the Ritz Carlton. There are also many small boutique hotels. Here you will also find the Tenorio, Orosi, Miravalles, and Rincón de La Vieja volcanoes, the latter surrounded by the national park of the same name.Manuel Antonio National Park is another destination of the province of Puntarenas. With and hundreds of hectares of rainforest, this park is one of the smallest in Costa Rica, but at the same time, one of the most highly visited. Manuel Antonio is one of the few places in Costa Rica where the spider monkey (tití) still lives. Within the park you may also find over 100 species of mammals and an equal number of bird types. There are an abundance of small romantic hotels in Manuel Antonio and the small fishing village of Quepos. This is an ideal place to a destination wedding or honeymoon. You will find the LaMariposa Hotel here which is listed in “1000 Places to See Before You Die”, however; this should apply to the whole area. There are many other equally beautiful hotels and resort here, such as the Parador, The Mansions, Arenas del Mar and Gaia. All offer views that are totally breath taking and in addition to offer immaculate service and accommodations, they are all very eco-friendly “green” properties. You will find the same type activities available here as in Arenal, but without a volcano and river rafting.Another wonderful beach area is just north of Quepos in Jaco Beach where you will find the fabulous Los Suenos Resort by Marriott. Nearby is the Tarcoles River, inhabited by the American Crocodile. Many measure as up to 16 feet. The Tarcoles River flows through Carara Parkwhere more than 150 scarlet macaws nest and feed.Across the Gulf of Nicoya at the southern end of the Nicoya Tango MarPeninsula you will find several remote small boutique resorts where you can experience a truly romantic isolated honeymoon with out all the glitz of the mega resorts and lots of people, but with impeccable service and hospitality. I personally recommend Tango Mar in Tambor set in a verdant tropical forest and directly on a beautiful bay with no other resorts in sight. Costa Rica has it all, culture, eco-tourism, soft and hard adventure, gorgeous beaches, rainforests, volcanoes, and some of the most diverse flora and fauna to be found in one small geographical area anywhere. Even though the language is Spanish, don’t worry, there are plenty of people who speak English and the local people, “Ticos,” are the friendliest most hospitable people you will meet. They are extremely proud of what their country has to offer and rightly so because Costa Rica has it all “naturally”.

PURA VIDA!

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