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!
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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