Explore Travel Planners just got back from Costa Rica! We had an amazing adventure and I am excited to share our experiences with you. In this blog, I will share details and photos from our trip as well as tricks and tips for your next getaway!
ABOUT COSTA RICA:
Costa Rica, located in Central America, is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. This Spanish speaking country is mountainous and rugged with tons to offer the outdoors-adventure traveler. Spread out all over this vast country are volcanoes, waterfalls, rain forest and wildlife. Since it’s impossible to tour the whole country in one trip, we focused on the Guanacaste region, which is where you will find most all-inclusive and luxury resorts. Of course, if you are looking for a more rugged experience, there are plenty of hotels available for that kind of experience as well. In addition, there are some great backpack tour options available that will allow you to see more of the country in a short amount of time. Contact me at email@example.com for more information.
Costa Rica is a tropical destination, known for its lush forests and vegetation. The Guanacaste region specifically is known for its beaches (all beaches in Costa Rica are public, even the beach area in front of a resort property), surfing, sports fishing and beautiful plains that mirror savannas in Africa. This region truly has something for everyone.
Costa Rica is accessible by two main airports, Liberia (Daniel Oduber, LIR) and San José (Juan Santamaría, SJO). During our visit, we spent our time in Guanacaste, which is located on the Pacific Ocean in the northwestern part of the country. Therefore, we flew into Libera and rented a car. Due to the topography of this region, renting a car is a great way to get around, especially if you prefer not traveling with large tour groups.
TIP: Before renting a car in a foreign country, contact your car insurance carrier to see if you have coverage in your destination. If you have coverage, you will need to provide the proper documentation at pick-up, or you will be required to purchase insurance through the car rental company. If you do not have coverage, be prepared for a hefty bill. Our initial rental was $125 for 8 days but since we aren’t covered in Costa Rica the car rental with insurance cost a whopping $880 for 8 days!!!
WHERE TO STAY:
As previously mentioned, there are various options for lodging. If you are looking for a rugged, adventurous experience, there are lots of places located close to the volcanoes. If you are looking for a luxury, all-inclusive resort, you will find them dotted along the western coast of the country. For the first week, we stayed at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, a family friendly, all-inclusive resort located in the Guanacaste region on the northwestern coast of Costa Rica; approximately 1.5 hours from Liberia international Airport. This resort is beautiful! It’s a tropical oasis with pools that seem to never end and a sunset most people only dream about seeing. The feel of this resort is secluded and remote in relation to the volcanoes and the outdoor adventure most seek when traveling to this destination. Click here to see photos from our stay at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica.
TIP: In my opinion, Preferred Club level rooms are the way to go at this property. They offer upgraded amenities in the room as well as on the balcony/patio. Standard rooms offer garden tubs on the balcony with 2 chairs and a table, while club rooms offer a jetted tub and a cushion sectional couch with a coffee table. Club level rooms give you access to the Preferred Club lounge, a separate area on the beach with its own bar and suites located in preferred locations, just to name a few.
After our stay at Dreams, we stayed a few nights at Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica. This adult only, all-inclusive resort is tucked away in the mountains of the Papagayo Peninsula, approximately 20 minutes from Liberia Airport. Here you will find a peaceful village made-up of mostly bungalows dotted throughout the property. Secrets Papagayo is very spread-out and therefore they offer 24-hour transportation to help you navigate the property. Once again, Preferred Club rooms are a must at this property. In addition to upgraded room amenities like a Nespresso machine versus a standard coffee maker, you have exclusive dining access for breakfast and lunch at Aqua Seaside Grill, a Preferred Club lounge and suites are in premium locations. Click here to view photos from our stay.
Also while in Costa Rica, we visited three additional resorts: The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal, Planet Hollywood Costa Rica & Riu Palace Costa Rica. Click on the hotel names for more information on these properties and to view photos from our site inspections.
TIP: Take a flashlight so you can spot the nighttime wildlife around your resort. You will most likely see coatis, raccoons, and skunks, to name a few. Note, we saw monkeys, coatis and iguanas during the day as well.
THINGS TO DO:
Below are a few notables I want to share with you for your next trip outside of the country:
As you can see, Costa Rica is an extremely diverse and adventurous destination with a variety of activities for the whole family. I hope this destination spotlight of Costa Rica has inspired you to want to explore this amazing country.
For more information, contact Angie Hinds with Explore Travel Planners at (864) 688-9886. Stay tuned for more travel tips and tricks with Explore Travel Planners!
Las Vegas, the city of lights and entertainment, is a very diverse destination. Not only are there tons of things to do in Las Vegas, but there are also many great day and over-night trips outside of the city. The purpose of this blog is to share family-friendly activities that can be found in and around Las Vegas.
Personally, I have been to Las Vegas over a dozen times, with and without my kids. Every time I visit, I find new and exciting things to do with the kids in and around Vegas. Here is a list of some of the cool things to do with kids in Vegas along with a compilation of photos. Note, I recommend you check age, height and weight restrictions and limitations as many of these activities will not be an option for all kids.
When we visit the Las Vegas area we always plan a few days to do things in the city, and then we plan a few days outside of the city. My family really enjoys hiking and outdoor activities, and the southwest USA is an outdoor wonderland. Our most recent visit was in December 2018. My family spent 10 days in and around Vegas, including a jaunt to California. Below is a list of places we have visited outside of Vegas, along with photos from our visits and how far you will travel from the Vegas Strip (each way).
Excursions from Las Vegas:
I hope you have enjoyed learning all about my travels out west. If you have questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am excited to help you plan your next adventure!
Stay tuned for more travel tips and tricks with Explore Travel Planners.
Explore Travel Planners is always looking for new and exciting destinations to visit so that we can share our knowledge and experiences with our clients. I just recently got back from a trip to Turks and Caicos and stayed at an amazing property called Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. In this blog, I will share photos and tricks and tips for your next adventure!
I just got back from another amazing vacation and I am excited to tell you all about my experiences cruising the Western Caribbean on Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess. Continue reading for more about my adventures as well as tips and tricks for your next cruise.
Growing up, my family traveled and explored, a lot! Experiencing so many places at an early age further fueled my passion for traveling. By high school, I knew that I wanted to be an integral part of the travel industry. At 18, I went to travel school and began working at a travel agency. Through the years, I have worked in various aspects of travel, from leisure and corporate travel to planning meetings and conference events for 1,000-person groups. I have worked hard over the past 26 years at building my expertise in the travel industry through training, research, education and personal travel experiences. The purpose of this blog is to share with you why I am an expert in all things travel and why you should trust Explore Travel Planners with your next travel adventure!
I started working in the travel industry in 1993 (yes, I am getting old, but that not’s the point of this blog!). Over the years, I have seen and been a part of the transformation within the travel industry. “Back in the day”, travel planners were a vital asset to the travel industry and bridged the gap between travelers, suppliers and destinations. Well, guess what? …today, this is still true! The purpose of this blog is to explain why you should use a travel planner, what a travel planner can do for you, how to work with a travel planner and how a travel planner can save you valuable time and money.
I just got back from my first trip to Asia! I get a lot of travel requests for Asia and I felt it was important to explore it myself, so I can better guide clients in their travels. Not to mention, I have always dreamed of going to Thailand!
My original plan was to go to only Thailand but since it’s a long trip, I wanted to make the most of it and see more than one country. So, I decided to add Hong Kong to the itinerary because most of the flights connect through either Hong Kong, Singapore or Tokyo. Therefore, it was easy to incorporate it in the itinerary.
Hong Kong, once under British rule, is now part of China. Hong Kong consists of three main territories and 260 territorial islands. Hong Kong International (HKG) is located on Lantau Island but the primary areas with hotels are on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula.
I just got back from a trip to Cancun and had a blast! We stayed in Playa Mujeres at Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort for the first part of the trip and for the second half, we stayed in Riviera Maya at Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya. We also spent the day on the island of Isla Mujeres, went scuba diving in Cancun, had a blast riding ATVs and ziplining in Riviera Maya and got to see a Cirque du Soleil show called Joya! In this blog, I will identify the destinations within this region and uncover a plethora of activities that make Cancun a great vacation spot for singles, couples and families.
I just got back from Jamaica, a few weeks ago, and want to share this gorgeous destination with you in my last destination spotlight of this series.
Jamaica is a very large Island in the Caribbean with rich culture and heritage. From the moment you arrive in Montego Bay, you will begin to experience the friendliness and laid back nature of the locals. You will hear "No problem, mon" and "No worries, mon" throughout your stay and will learn to leave the stress at home and enjoy the moment, as you are in paradise. While in Jamaica, be sure to sample their famous Jamaican Rum, Blue Mountain Coffee and Jerk Chicken. In this blog I will touch on the 3 main tourist areas known as Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril.
I just got back from three weeks of vacation in the Florida Keys and we had an awesome time! I decided to spotlight this destination because I have many clients who are not interested in traveling outside the U.S. If you are looking for a unique, tropical destination within the U.S. with lots of history, shopping and water activities, then you should consider the Florida Keys for your next getaway.
Angie Conger Hinds
I have a true passion for travel and I want to share my travel knowledge with you. I hope this blog gives you inspiration to EXPLORE the world!
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