Archive for Costa Rica Travel

Why Costa Rica is a top 25 Destination to Visit in 2016

arenal-volcano-costa-rica

arenal-volcano-costa-rica

Why is Costa Rica one of the top 25 destinations to visit in 2016.  It is an extraordinary country in Central America that lies majestically between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with incredibly landscape, towering volcanoes, beautiful beaches, remote jungle forests and peninsulas that make it unique to the other Central American Countries to see and experience.

Nicaragua-Jan-2008 012

The ecosystems within Costa Rica can be attributed to its location between two continents, as well as it numerous micro climates, which vary by elevation among the countries mountainous and volcanic landscapes.  The Continental Divide runs through the country’s interior and weather patterns from both the Pacific and Caribbean sweep across the divide’s.   The northern regions of the country tend to be arid and have dry tropical forest.  In the South, lush tropical jungles are created from high precipitation levels.  The green season starts in May – December and the dry season starts in December – Aprils.  Weather along the Pacific coast tends to follow these patterns, however the Caribbean can receive rain through the year.

Belize_Yellow_Oriole

Costa Rica is more than a vacation destination; it is a soft adventure experience within the landscape, the people, the culture and the multiple species of animals, birds, insects and aquatic wildlife. The country is blessed with a vast array of biodiversity and environmental attractions – majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys and hundreds of beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.  Costa Rica carries a fascinating ecological story, woven into the history of a peaceful and family-oriented culture.

howler-moneky-CR

howler-moneky-CR

Costa Rica remains one the safest country in Central America and there are few travel requirements to enter the country.   There are hundreds of activities to see and do from day excursions into the rainforests, volcanoes, rivers and waterfalls to surfing, swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing off the coastal waters of the Pacific or Caribbean.  Here you can observe the countries natural resources,  all protected by a consolidated National System of Protected Areas, including biological reserves, national parks, forest reserves, and wildlife refuges.

Travelers planning a vacation to Costa Rica should be aware of a few import tips to help you prepare for a great vacation.

  • It rains year round in Costa Rica, and visitors should be sure to bring a light rain jacket or poncho.
  • Costa Rica busy season – Christmas and New Years, as well as the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
  • Clean tap water can generally be found throughout the country and in most tourist destinations. Additionally, most visitors find that they are free to enjoy the local food without serious repercussions on their stomachs.
  • Costa Rica’s currency is the colon.  U.S. dollars are widely accepted, provided the bill is not too large ($50 and $100 bills are rarely accepted) and in good condition. Hotels and tours generally list their prices in dollars.
  • Road conditions throughout the country are unpredictable.  With the tropical climate and mountainous terrain, many roads are difficult to maintain, and many have never been paved.  Relatively short distances can take many hours due to poor road conditions or traffic, and some roads are simply inaccessible during the rainy season when rivers swell. Geography
  • Costa Rica is bordered by both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, with Panama to the south and Nicaragua to the north. The country’s total area is 51,100 sq km (19,730 sq mi), slightly smaller than the U.S. state of West Virginia. Costa Rica’s terrain varies between coastal plains and rugged mountains. Three mountain ranges run through the country and there are over 100 volcanic cones, several of which are major volcanoes. The highest point is Cerro Chirripo, which rises to 3,810 meters (12,500 ft) in the Chirripo National Park.
  • Costa Rican society is rooted in family, education, health. Ticos and Ticas (male and female Costa Ricans, respectively) have a sustained commitment to healthy personal relationships and stewardship of the natural environment. This emphasis on creating symbiotic relationships with the environment and tourism, particularly in the last 40 years has set a profound example, and it has allowed a fascinating model of development to take root.
  • Costa Rica has been a peaceful democracy without a military for more than 60 years. Costa Rica is often referred to as the Switzerland of Central America that offers free education through the 11th grade as well as health care for all citizens. Costa Rica enjoys a high standard of living with the highest regional literacy rate (96%) and an average life expectancy of 78 years. Costa Rica’s long-term vision and investment in the health of its people has also paid off with many foreign businesses drawn to its qualified work force, stability, and proximity to the United States.
  • In addition to generous social policies, Costa Rica has enacted progressive conservation efforts that have drastically reversed the deforestation that ravaged its land for decades. The country’s system of national parks and reserves protects approximately 25% of the country, a percentage that sits among the highest in the world.
  • Living up to environmental virtues and sustainable development remains a constant battle throughout the country, whether due to lucrative contract offers, corrupt politics, or illegal poaching and logging. Nevertheless, Costa Rica has largely resisted opportunities to exploit its vast natural resources for valued commodities, despite having a high density of precious metals in the South Pacific, oil along the Pacific Coast, and rare hardwoods in the rainforest. Instead, Costa Rica has opted for an ethic of sustainable development and a commitment to develop renewable energy. Already, Costa Rica is on track to become the first carbon-neutral country, with 99% of the country’s energy needs meet through a combination of geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind power.
  • Costa Rica is a small country that encompasses just 0.03% of the world’s land mass. With over 500,000 plant and animal species, Costa Rica is one of the planets most biologically dense countries. According to Costa Rica’s National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), the biodiversity in Costa Rica represents close to 4% of the total species on Earth.
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Best Beaches for Families – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Best Beaches for Families – Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

Manuel-Antonio-Beach-Costa Rica

Manuel-Antonio-Beach-Costa Rica

 

Some of the best beaches for families to explore while visiting Costa Rica are located in  Manuel Antonio Costa Rica. This world famous beach area is known for its white sand, peaceful atmosphere and the perfect destination for active travelers and honeymooners seeking a romantic beach experience, the scenery of the National Park and the wonders of the different wildlife species.  At the end of the day relax in one of the wide selection of luxury jungle lodges to moderate local hotels located around Manual Antonio.

The Central Pacific Region is home to Manuel Antonio located on the Pacific side.  San Jose, the Capital of Costa Rica is only a couple of hours drive away and an hour from Liberia.   It is the great beginning or ending point to a Costa Rica adventure trip.  Visitors who plan to spend 8-10 nights exploring Costa Rica may consider 3 – 4 night stay in Manual Antonio before continuing with their journey to other parts of Costa Rica.

Recently Trip Advisor announced the winners of its Travelers Choice awards for the best beaches in the world, Manual Antonio in Costa Rica was selected as one of the “must see” beaches in their results survey.  2,333 reviews were submitted and Manual Antonio was rated # 17, as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The results were based on traveler’s reviews visiting beaches around the world. The good news is, there are other selected beautiful beaches in Costa Rica that are worth a visit.

Costa Rica Travel POINTS TOP 5 Beaches to Visit in Costa Rica

#1 – Manuel Antonio

costarica-manuel_antonio_beaches

Manuel Antonio located in the town of Quepos has easy access into the National Park of Manuel Antonio is one of the smallest parks in the National Parks system in Costa Rica.  The beaches in Manuel Antonio are soft sandy beaches and easy to access.

Beaches to visit in Manuel Antonio

Playa Espadilla: The main public beach in front of Main Street – roughly hour-long hike from Espadilla to the top of Punta Catedral (100 m). Both Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur contain tidal pools and offer the possibility of snorkeling.

Playitas: About a 10 minute walk up the beach (in a northwestern direction back out of town), Playitas is a quieter and less-busy area of the public beach in Manuel Antonio

National Park beach: While it costs tourists around $10 to enter the National Park beach, many consider the beach to be better due to the decreased crowds and nice water/sand.

Nosara

costarica-Playa Guiones_beach

Just North of Manuel Antonio in the Central Pacific Region is one of the most amazing beaches in Costa Rica, located in the Nosara.  Playa Guiones is a beautiful beach that stretches approximately 3 miles across in a half moon shape.   There are gentle waves mixing with long beach breaks, making this beach a great swimming and surfing destination.  To the South, the beach turns into pink sand where tide pools are good for snorkeling.

Tamarindo

nosara-surf-costa-rica

nosara-surf-costa-rica

This area is great for families and active couples who want to enjoy beach front accommodations, beautiful scenery and nice rolling waves to swim in or try their luck surfing. Tamarindo is only 1-2 hour drive from Liberia, a small surfing town with a good selection of accommodation and small local restaurants.   The beach extends to both sides of Tamarindo and it’s a strategic location for exploring Guanacaste’s coastline.  The closest beach in Tamerindo is right in front of the town center: Playa Tamarindo,   a broad sandy beach, perfect for swimming and surfing.  Playa Tamarindo is backed by beach restaurants and lounge bars from where you have front row views to the surf or can watch the sun set behind the fishing boats and the small islet of Isla Capitan.  If you have a car, the more adventurists are Playa Negro, where the surfing is for the advance surfing expert.

 Papayago Area

costarica-Papayago-area-beach

The Papayago area is known for its sandy beaches and deep blue waters of the gulf.  The small peninsula of Papagayo in the northwest Guanacaste region of Costa Rica is surrounded by a volcanic landscape of high cliffs and rocky Pacific Ocean coves. Many of the beaches in the Guanacaste area are a combination of sand and rocky volcano debris, the coastline around the Papagayo is mostly soft sand.  You could easily spend your days swimming in the warm waters of the Gulf of Papagayo.

Golden sand beach on Culebra Bay

The peninsula of the Gulf of Papagayo includes Papagayo Bay and Culebra Bay, and its three main resort towns are Panama Beach, Hermosa Beach and Coco Beach. All three beach areas are renowned for their marine life, attracting snorkelers and scuba divers, as well as sea kayaking and sport fishing excursions. Panama is the most affluent of the three – as well as the only shore with dark gray-brown sand – and includes high-end shopping, restaurants and five-star resorts like the Four Seasons.

Hermosa has several mid-range hotels and restaurants along its northern end, but is far quieter on its southern end, where horseback riding is a popular pastime. Coco is best known as a laid-back hangout for expats.

 Corcovado National Park

Located in the OSA, Casa Corcovado Lodge provides visitors with the opportunity to snorkel and visit Cano Island just a few miles from the lodge by boat. Most visitors visiting Casa Corcovado spend one of their day excursions visiting Cano Island to experience the snorkeling and fine beach.

Caño Island is a tropical paradise filled with white-sand, palm-lined beaches and impressive coral reefs. The island’s beaches are a great place to relax and swim in the ocean.

costarica-cano_island

With a visibility of 20 ft. or more and a protected inshore reef, the snorkeling here is excellent. Snorkelers have the chance to spot parrotfish, surgeon fish, barber fish, eels, snapper, puffers, barracudas, turtles, and manta rays. Further offshore, humpback whales and bottle-nosed dolphins can occasionally be seen.

When you’re done snorkeling, you’ll head to Violines Island. Upon arrival at the island, your guides will prepare a picnic lunch. The rest of your time here can be spent swimming in the bay or relaxing on the beach. Violines Island is often frequented by birds and has impressive tropical vegetation. During the dry season, you can also snorkel in the reefs that border the island.

Trip Advisor TOP beaches rated by Travelers in the World

1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

2. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Caribbean

3. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

4. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo, Caribbean

5. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

6. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles

7. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

8. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Caribbean

9. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia

10. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece

11. Camp’s Bay Beach, Camps Bay, South Africa

12. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, India

13. Woolacombe Beach, Devon, UK

14. Siesta Key Public Beach, Siesta Key, United States

15. West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras

16. Cayo de Agua, Los Roques National Park, Venezuela

17. Playa Manuel Antonio, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

18. Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Thailand

19. Sharm El Luli, Marsa Alam, Egypt

20. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey

21. Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico

22. Diani Beach, Kenya

23. Palm – Eagle Beach, Aruba, Caribbean

24. Ngapali Beach, Burma/Myanmar

25. Maunganui Beach, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

The TripAdvisor results were determined by the quantity and quality of traveler reviews and ratings gathered by the travel website in the last 12 months.

Meet Our Costa Rica Travel Specialists:

turner_james_arenal_costarica

Turner James brings over 7 years of practical experience working directly with all of our travel suppliers, lodging vendors and travel providers in Central & South America.

Turner has spent his travel career working as a wholesale travel consultant, visiting Costa RicaBelize, Colombia & Peru on a regular basis, negotiating preferred rates with travel suppliers to bring our customers customized tours at fantastic prices and itineraries to Central and South America.

From unique boutique hotel beaches to jungle adventures and trekking in Peru, he seeks to balance luxury and relaxation with the right amount of exploration.  With a passion for travel and dedication to provide excellent service, Turner makes a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central and South America.  Call 1-800-626-3483 FREE

 

 

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Costa Rica – Top 6 Travel Tips for a Safe Vacation

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nosara-surf-costa-rica

Travel tips and information for a safe vacation in Costa RicaCosta Rica located in Central America is a destination that offers more than a lounge chair by the pool or beach and all the food and drinks you can consume in a week.  Many all-inclusive resorts in Mexico’s popular beach destination offer this type of vacation, where the furthest you walk is from your room to the restaurant, then the pool or beach. Most people never stop outside the resort to see what else might be out there.  Here are 6 travel tips for a safe vacation experience in Costa Rica.

So now you have decided you want something a little more excitement during your next vacation, a little more adventure and interactions with the culture and people who live there. You have heard Costa Rica is a destination where you can experience walking through the jungle with a guide searching for wildlife and viewing exotic birds and animals.  Exploring the rain forest and cloud forest while walking atop of the canopy from hanging bridges.  Sitting in thermal pools heated by the volcano or white water rafting down class 3 rapids then relaxing on a beautiful uncrowned beach so soak up beauty of the surrounding. This is a vacation with a mix of soft adventure jungle, wildlife and magnificent beaches are Costa Rica.

When traveling anywhere in the World, there is an element of risks which can be minimized with a little planning and sensible measures.  Costa Rica is not any different from other major tourist destinations, the majority of crimes committed to tourist are scams and petty theft, leaving valuables unattended or agreeing to buy or travel with someone you don’t know is usually the most common risk associated with travelers traveling in Central America.

Tip # 1 Personal Items Missing:

The most common complaint for personal items missing on vacation is theft. Theft can occur anyplace, anytime anywhere will traveling and Costa Rica is no exception for petty theft. Minor theft opportunities present themselves when travelers leave valuables lying around unattended in public areas i.e. beach, public pool areas, restaurants hotel lobbies, airports and even the hotel rooms. Don’t bring unnecessary items that attract attention, i.e. expensive jewelry, watches, handbags, laptops and flashing lots of cash.  Be aware of your surroundings and the people you interact with, at least 50% of thefts are from an acquaintances made on your vacation.

Tip # 2 Swimming in the Ocean:

On vacation and the ocean looks inviting, before jumping in look to see who is in the water and what the water conditions are like. Talk with the local hotel staff about swimming in the ocean before you set out for a good swim.  Currents and rip tides are major causes for trouble when swimming in the ocean.  A rip tide is when two long-shore currents collide, the only place for the water to go is out to sea, causing a current that can be difficult or impossible to swim against.  If caught in this current you will notice you are moving further away from the beach out to sea. Don’t fight it, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, then swim back to shore.  Never swim alone in the ocean when there are no other people present or swimming near by.  Always have a spotter with you on the beach to watch out for you.

Tip # 3 Should I Rent-A-Car In Costa Rica:

Driving anywhere in the world can be one of the most stressful and challenging experiences a traveler can have. Driving allows you the independent freedom to visit and experience new places. Driving is also one of the most dangerous form of transportation—and this is also true in Costa Rica. The signage in Costa Rica is not very good, the roads are not as well maintained as in the U.S. or other countries and during a rain storm (Costa Rica is in a tropical climate and receives around 48 inches per year) the roads can be un-passable or hazardous.  Even with a GPS, driving in Costa Rica can be a challenge and avoid driving at night, if possible, when the lack of reflectors and painted lines in some areas makes it difficult to see the edges of the road. Also—don’t leave your valuables unattended in a parked car; this is one of the most common forms of petty theft in Costa Rica.  If you stop a local restaurant or tourist spot for a quick bit or walk, always watch your car or pay someone to watch your car.

Tip # 4 Friend or Foe at your Hotel or Vacation Rental:

Hotels and vacation rentals are relatively a safe place to meet new friends and acquaintances from other areas of the world.  It’s also a safe haven to keep your valuables that belong in the hotel room safe.   However petty theft does occur and being mindful of your surroundings and common sense can prevent your expensive belongings from disappearing.   Room safes they are there for a reason, use them, and don’t leave your laptop, camera, phone(s), watches, jewelry, wallet, passport lying on the desk in your hotel room unsecured. Do not invite people you have just met on your vacation or trip to your room. It’s always better to meet in a public gather area, restaurant, pool, lobby area.  Do not get in a car with someone you don’t know or someone who has approached you   on the beach or in a restaurant or bar about visiting their hotel, time share, restaurant or taking their day excursion sightseeing adventure.  The only exception is taking a licensed taxi, tour excursion you have arranged for, public transportation etc.  Do not share a taxi with someone you don’t know.   Do not buy day excursions from sales people that have approached you on the beach or in a tourist area. It’s better to inquire with your hotel or vacation rental property about the type of service being offered. Beach sales vendors are hired to walk the beach and popular tourist areas to try and persuade travelers to buy a service or tour that may or may not be legitimate.

Observatory Lodge Patio

Observatory Lodge Patio

Tip # 5 Volcanoes and Earthquakes:

Traveling anywhere in Central America you will encounter volcanoes, some dormant and some still active, but one thing they all have in common are earthquakes.  There are many volcanoes, Mexico, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, these countries are in a highly seismic zone, and there are dozens of small tremors each year. While this may sound alarming, seismologists agree that many, small tremors help to prevent the infrequent, large earthquakes from happening.  Be aware of your escape route in your vacation rental or hotel. If you should feel an earthquake, remain calm and get outside to an open area or follow the take cover or “Triangle of Life”.

There are a couple of theories, “drop, cover and hold on” method widely supported or the “Triangle of Life”, this method is to seek shelter near solid items that will provide a protective space that would prevent injury from a major structural failure.

humming_bird_monteverde_costa_rica

humming_bird_monteverde_costa_rica

Tip # 6 Things that Bite:  Crocodiles, Spiders, Snakes and other Creatures to beware of:

Things that bite like Spiders, Snakes, Sea Life, Insects and Crocodiles are living creatures in their environment.  These creatures have lived in these area for hundred of thousands of years and are adaptive to their environment.  When human creatures enter into their environment, the traveler needs to be aware they are the outsider and be respectful and cautions. Anytime you travel into a Central American country there are going to insects, animals, reptiles and sea life, do not feed the animals, reptiles and sea life, usually bad things happen.  Very few people encounter an incident where the local animals, reptiles or sea life pose a problem or danger. There are plenty of spiders, snakes, scorpions but the incidences of bites are very low.  In the morning always shake your shoes before you put them on, you may avoid a creepy crawlers that might wander into your shoes. Avoid swimming in estuaries and river mouths and you’ll avoid water snakes & crocodiles. Insects and Mosquitoes tend to come out at dusk or walking through a rain forest.  Always apply insect repellant, close your doors during the day and night and watch where you walk at night, a flash light or head lamp helps.

Meet our Costa Rica Travel Specialists:

turner_james_arenal_costaricaTurner James brings over 7 years of practical experience working directly with all of our travel suppliers, lodging vendors and travel providers in Central & South America.

Turner has spent his travel career working as a wholesale travel consultant, visiting Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia & Peru on a regular basis, negotiating preferred rates with travel suppliers to bring our customers customized tours at fantastic prices and itineraries to Central and South America.

From unique boutique hotel beaches to jungle adventures and trekking in Peru, he seeks to balance luxury and relaxation with the right amount of exploration.  With a passion for travel and dedication to provide excellent service, Turner makes a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central and South America.  Call 1-800-626-3483

 

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COSTA RICA ECO TOUR

volcano-arenal-costa rica

 

COSTA RICA ECO TOUR PACKAGE
9-DAY / 8-NIGHT

This package is great for the families, couples and honeymooners who want a little adventure, see a variety of wildlife and experience luxuriant vegetation, jungle lodges and beautiful beaches.  This tour package is customized to individuals for a private journey experience and starts out with 2-nights in Torguguero a remote area in the Northeastern Caribbean side of Costa Rica near the Nicaragua boarder.  Then 2-nights in the Central Northern region of Costa Rica, Arenal home to the iconic Volcano, abundant wildlife, coffee plantations and spectacular views. The remaining 3-nights are spend relaxing on the beaches of the Guanacaste coastline, relaxing and enjoying the warm sun, ocean and tropical paradise of Costa Rica. Hotels can be subsituted from moderate to luxury accommodations depending on your choice.

This 9-Day / 8-night Package includes:
•  1 night in San Jose
•  Airport to hotel transfer in San Jose to your hotel
•  Transfers, sightseeing from San Jose to Tortuguero by shuttle and boat.
•  2 nights in Tortuguero with Full board and guided tours
•  Transfer by Air from Tortuguero to San Jose, Then shuttle to Arenal
•  2 nights in Arenal at your hotel
•  Transfers from Arenal to Guanacaste Beach to your hotel
•  3 nights in Guanacaste
•  Hotel to airport transfer in Guanacaste
•  Daily breakfast (most hotels)
•  Hotel Taxes
•  English speaking guides for all day excursions and transfers

Day to Day Itinerary:

Day 1 USA to San Jose
Meet & Greet in San Jose transfer to Hotel.
Overnight:  El Presidente

Day 2 San Jose / Tortuguero
Morning pick up and transfer Shuttle to boat. Boat to Tortuguero.
Overnight at Mawamba Lodge.

Tortuguero National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in Costa Rica and hosts many species of reptiles/amphibians, birds and mammals along with thousands of different trees and plants. Tortuguero is a remote area in the North Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, there are no roads to get there, and access is available only by boat (or plane). During your stay always lodging, meals and daily guided tours are included that will take you to discover this amazing waterways, lakes and canals around Tortuguero. Tortuguero’s shoreline is also one of the world’s most important nesting sanctuaries for Sea Turtles. Lodging is at a moderate level but very comfortable. Jungle lodges are designed to enhance the natural environment.

Day 3 Tortuguero
Early morning boat tour of canals.  Mid-morning naturalist guide will take on a visit to the “Mawamba Park”includes the butterfly farms, frog farm and garden, bio-digester and gardens. This visit is combined with a walk in the trails at the Lodge. Afternoon canal tour to a different canal than the one visited in the morning boat tour. Dinner at the pool restaurant. Optional tour. (Night walk on private trail)
Overnight:  Mowamba Lodge

Day 03: Tortuguero / San Jose / Arenal
Morning flight from Tortuguero to San Jose.  Meet & Greet and transfer to Arenal. Overnight: Arneal Springs

Arenal Volcano at 5,437 feet..  Daily fiery eruptions occur with lava flows that can be seen on a clear night.. Arenal proivdes a wide variety of outdoor activities.  Enjoy hiking, canopy tours, horseback riding, or a refreshing swim in the Hot Springs.

Day 04:  Arenal
Today there are many things to do, its your choice or you can just relax.
- Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour – Full Day
- Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano Tour
- Rio Toro Rafting – Full Day
- Arenal Sky Tram and Sky Trek Tour – Half Day
- Arenal Volcano Hike Tour – Half Day
- Safari Float at Penas Blancas River – Half Day
- Arenal Tour: Hanging Bridges
- Arenal Hanging Bridges – Half Dayes, La Fortuna Waterfall & Arenal conservation – Full Day
- Arenal Tour Safari Full Day
- Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall -Half Day
Overnight:  Arenal Springs

Day 5 Arenal
Today there are many things to do, its your choice or you can just relax.
- Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge Boat Tour – Full Day
- Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano Tour
- Rio Toro Rafting – Full Day
- Arenal Sky Tram and Sky Trek Tour – Half Day
- Arenal Volcano Hike Tour – Half Day
- Safari Float at Penas Blancas River – Half Day
- Arenal Tour: Hanging Bridges
- Arenal Hanging Bridges – Half Dayes, La Fortuna Waterfall & Arenal conservation – Full Day
- Arenal Tour Safari Full Day
- Horseback Riding to La Fortuna Waterfall -Half Day
Overnight:  Arenal Springs

Day 6 Arenal / Guanacaste Beaches
Morning transfer from Arenal to Guanacste beaches for 3-nights.
The beaches located along the Guanacaste region are some of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica.  There are a wide variety of accommodations and boutique hotels along this 100 mile coast. The weather is usually dry and hot with occasional showers.
Overnight: Hilton Papagayo Resort

Day 7 Guanacaste Beaches 
Free Day. There are many OPTIONAL activities available:
-  Canopy Tour Mega Combo -Full Day
Rincon de la Vieja National Park – Full Day
-  Hanging Bridges in the Rainforest – Full Day
-  Zipeline Tour – Half Day
-  Palo Verde National Park – Full Day
-  Authentic Horseback Riding – Full day
Overnight: Hilton Papagayo Resort

Day 8  Guanacaste Beaches
Free Day. There are many OPTIONAL activities available:
-  Canopy Tour Mega Combo -Full Day
Rincon de la Vieja National Park – Full Day
-  Hanging Bridges in the Rainforest – Full Day
-  Zipeline Tour – Half Day
-  Palo Verde National Park – Full Day
-  Authentic Horseback Riding – Full day
Overnight: Hilton Papagayo Resort

Day 9 Guanacaste Beaches / Liberia
Transfer from the Guanacaste Beaches to Liberia Airport for your flight back to USA

Land Package Price:   Call for a quote 1-800-626-3483

turner-peru-amazon

turner-peru-amazon

Meet our Costa Rica Travel Specialists

Turner James brings over 7 years of practical experience working directly with all of our travel suppliers, lodging vendors and travel providers in Central & South America.

Turner has spent his travel career working as a wholesale travel consultant, visiting Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia & Peru on a regular basis, negotiating preferred rates with travel suppliers to bring our customers customized tours at fantastic prices and itineraries to Central and South America.
From unique boutique hotel beaches to jungle adventures and trekking in Peru, he seeks to balance luxury and relaxation with the right amount of exploration.  With a passion for travel and dedication to provide excellent service, Turner makes a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central and South America.  Call 1-800-626-3483

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Costa Rica Worth the Visit

Costa Rica Worth the Visit

arenal-volcano-costa-rica

Over the past 5-years I’ve been into Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia, Peru and Mexico meeting with the different suppliers we work with and reacquainting myself new destinations that our clients have express interest in visiting.  I usually re-visit previous destinations on a yearly basis like Costa Rica and Belize for the familiarly and often new perspective of an area I thought I knew.  When visiting these destinations I like to get a variety of experiences so I can come away with a better understanding of how these destination stack up against each other and which attributes makes these areas unique and great for the traveler.

costa-rica-beach

costa-rica-beach

If you have not been to Costa Rica yet its an extraordinary country in Central American with a variety of wildlife species between the continental masses of North and South America. There are very few places on earth that have a s much diversity as Costa Rica, especially for the size of the country.

Here is why Costa Rica is so special:
Osa Peninsula: Corcovado National Park is one of the rugged and remote rainforest in the entire country, offering the greates diversity of plant and animal life.  I have been in the Cocovado National Park with our guide we observed one morning anteaters, macaws, a family of coati, a family of peccaries, a sloth, three species of monkeys, lots of tropical birds, bugs & insects, butterflies and a viper snake.

Yellow-lored Parrot-costa rica

Yellow-lored Parrot-costa rica

Costa Rica has over 1,000 species of butterflies, 1,200 varieties of orchids , 850 species of birds, 130 species of freshwater fish, 4,000 species of insects, 160 species of amphibians, 220 species of reptiles, 1,600 species of fresh and salt water fish, 208 species of mammals, 9,000 species of plants and a Cloud forests, Rain Forests, Volcanoes (some still active), mangrove wetlands, one of the top 10 rivers for rafting in the world, some of the best surfing beaches, swamps and more!

If you like fresh food, fish, vegetables and fruits there are hundreds of exotic fruits, vegetables, spices, world class quality coffee, great food from typical casado to ceviches, gourmet and fusion cuisine and it’s affordable.

Costa Rica is an Eco-Friendly destination and is committed to Eco-tourism and doing things right.  With over 20 National Parks, 8 biological reserves and a series of protected areas that captivate ecotourism lovers.

The Weather in Costa Rica has 2 seasons, dry and rainy.   The weather all year round is changing event, The rainy/green season also offers a lot of sunshine, but for those not used to rain you might enjoy the dry season. Those who enjoy the rain will love watching a downpour in the jungle, it is quite amazing.

The country is a natural playground with dozens of adventure activities from zip lining, canyoneering, river rafting, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, surfing, paragliding and many more.

You’ll have to come and experience it for yourself, to truly get why Costa Rica is one of the most diverse and unique places on the planet. But the best way to experience Costa Rica is allowing our company to help you with an individual tour customized itinerary designed with your interests.  Traveling with our trusted suppliers and vendors in Costa Rica not only assures you that you will witness first-hand the efforts to conserve Costa Rica’s natural resources, but also you will be giving meaningful support to the communities and people that pride themselves in the countries heritage.

Turner James with Belize, Costa Rica & Peru TravelPOINTS has been specializing in travel arrangements into Central & South America for the past 6-years.

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Costa Rica Tourism on the Rise

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Recently I received an email from Costa Rica Division of Tourism.  The newsletter talked about tourists from around the world and Costa Rica is becoming a popular destination to visit in 2012. Over the past years, Costa Rica has recongized the importance of making improvements to its tourism infrastructure and the investments are starting to pay off.

According to the Division of Tourism “Costa Rica tourism levels are projected to rise between 11 and 14 % over the course of 2012. This investment plus the country’s uniqueness as a vacation destination is the source of this increasing popularity. Costa Rica is a fascinating country and home to many natural species of plants, animals, birds, aquatic and unique species insects. The breathtaking beauty of the country and it’s beaches combined with the incredible mico climates lure travelers to experience the wonders of Costa Rica. It’s also a holiday destination where adventure and fun can be combined with a relaxing beach vacation experience.  Costa Rica has invested heavily in its tourist infrastructure in recent years, bringing its amenities in line with popular Mediterranean holiday spots and increasing its appeal with even the most timid holiday traveler who has never ventured into Central America”.

Over the years as more inexpensive vacation deals have become available to adventurous travelers, however Costa Rica tourism levels have grown steadily. According to figures posted by the World Tourism Organization, Costa Rica reportedly saw an increase in tourism levels in 2011 and visitor numbers this year expected to be even higher.

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Costa Rica Top Things to Do

Pura Vida is Costa RicaCosta Rica is a country that opens her arms to tourists.  The  country is  very clean, the populace educated, the food farm and sea fresh,  the animals abundant, the birds prolific, the adventure abounds, and why wait to visit?

Ann Griffith a 30 year plus travel agent veteran recently traveled to Costa Rica with a group of 25, “our plan was to see the Top Things to Do in Costa Rica“.  Our group wanted to visit some of the top sights to see in Costa Rica, so we planned our itinerary to incorporate   Arenal,  MontverdeManuel Antonio and San Jose.     Please enjoying the  highlights over her eight days that she recently spent “ full of life” in Costa Rica.

Frontier Airlines has a  non stop flight from Denver to San Jose, Costa Rica.  The flight takes about 5 hours, and the best part,  you don’t have to change your watch.  You literally travel south, and Costa Rica is on the same time zone as Colorado . We spent the first day driving from San Jose to Arenal.  Mount Arenal is the 5437 foot  volcanco that last  erupted in 1998, after being quiet for 400 years.  Arenal is a symmetrical volcano, and provides a steady puff of steam from its top crater.   There are many adventures to choose from in the Arenal area.  We chose a hike in the rain forest on hanging bridges.   The rain forest is a very different experience for this High Plans Colorado native.   The primary rain forest has over 200 species of birds, frogs, snakes and other exotic animals.  The hike we took was approximately a 3 mile loop.   Our guide gave us a walking narration of the flora , fauna , birds and animals  of the rain forest.  Our hike took us over many hanging bridges that seemed to float on the tree canopy.  I have a new meaning of a symbiotic relationship after seeing how the trees, vines, flowers, animals and insects live, survive and depend on one another.  The most memorable part of our hike was the sighting of the most venomous snake, the eyelash viper.  This little snake was all snuggled up on a tree branch, waiting for his next meal, a hummingbird.  The  telescope sighting of this lemon yellow colored snake was viewed by everyone in our group.

Our next  stop was Manuel AntonioManuel Antonio has the ocean, dry forest and national park.  Many surfers gather in Jaco Beach and Quepos, for the thrill of riding the waves.  Deep sea fishing is another activity.   While in Manuel Antonio  we took a hike in the National Park, and were delighted with the new variety of animals that greeted us.  The monkeys are plentiful, playful, and full of mischief.  We took a quick swim on our hike and were advised  to watch our back packs, as the curious monkeys have been caught  snatching treasures.

 

The elusive three toed sloth with perfect camoflauge was spotted in the tree tops.  We even got a photo of a baby sloth peeking at us from under his Mom’s belly.  The varieties of hikes, surfing, bird watching, animal viewing, horseback riding and ocean fun  makes the Manuel Antonio are a “must see”. The glue that binds any trip is your traveling companions, and guides.   This trip was spent with the most wonderful group of 26 kind, considerate,  cooperative, adventure, seeking souls. Our guide Alex, was with  us for the entire trip, as well as our bus driver, both of whom were true professionals,.   We all fell in Love with Costa Rica. We all  hope to keep some of the Pura Vita magic in our pockets, to pull out and flash us back to a country of pure living.

Ann Griffith is a 30-year travel professional who was a previous travel agency owner of Aggie Travel is currently working for FROSCH Travel in Ft. Collins Colorado.  She has traveled extensively visiting many destinations from Central America, Mexico, Europe, Asia, Africa plus many trips within the United States and Canada.  She and her husband Mike specialize in taking small groups of 25 – 30 people on trips to destinations through out the world.    She specializes in small group travel and has recently taken groups to Europe on AMA Waterways up the Rhine River during “Grape Harvest” season, Explored the Russian River water canals from Moscow to St. Petersburg, cruised the Chinese Rivers in China, Sailed the Caribbean with Princess & Celebrity Cruise lines, photographed the animals in South Africa and toured Egypt &  Jordon.  She has future group tours planned, if you would like to contact her upcoming trip she can be reached at 970-482-1235.

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Costa Rica Sightseeing

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Costa Rica Hotels

Costa Rica Hotels

A vacation in Costa Rica is an extraordinary trip, but the small Central American country has so much to offer that it may be difficult to choose what to do and where to stay. Costa Rica is the number one eco-tourist destination spot in the world. It boasts beautiful beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, diverse wildlife, fishing, white water rafting, and coffee plantations. Be warned though, trying to do everything in a single trip is not possible. The country is broken down into distinct regions or areas. Each of these region offers vacationers a unique slice of the Costa Rican experience. 

San Jose is both the capital and the largest city in Costa Rica. One of the most popular tourist hotels in the city is the Hotel Grano de Oro. Popular hotels in the Central Valley include Peace Lodge and the Xandari Resort.

The Arenal area surrounds the Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica’s most famous volcano. Be sure to reserve a room with a view of the volcano. Among the more famous hotels in the Arenal area are the Springs Resort and Spa and the Royal Corin Resort and Spa.

Monteverde is the destination spot for tourists who want to vacation in the rainforest. Hotels in the Monteverde region include Fonda Vela and the Trapp Family Lodge.

Rincon de la Vieja is near a volcano, numerous parks and beaches. It’s the closest rainforest park to the Guanacaste beaches. Hotels include the Buena Vista Lodge and the Hotel Borinquen Mountain Resort and Spa.

Tamarindo is best known for having the most developed beach town in Guanacaste and boasts the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. Hotels in the area include Paradisus Playa Conchal and the Reserva Conchal.

The Nicoya Peninsula on the west coast includes Costa Rica’s most popular beach towns. Hotels include Tango Mar, Harmony Hotel, and the Harbor Reef Resort.

Jaco is one of the most developed beach towns and is extremely popular with surfers and fishermen. It is also one of the closest beaches to San Jose. Hotels include Xandari by the Pacific and the Club Del Mar.

Manuel Antonio is the place to go for exotic wildlife and beautiful ocean views. Hotels include the Gaia Hotel and Reserve, Makanda by the Sea, and La Mariposa Hotel.

Osa/Corcovado is touted as “the most biologically intense place on Earth.” Hotels in this bio-rich region include La Paloma, Luna Lodge, and the Pirate Cove Hotel.

Tortuguero is the place for a taste of the Caribben and lush jungles and canals. Hotels include the Manatus Hotel and the Mawamba Lodge. A very popular Caribbean hotel is the Almonds and Corals Hotel.

This is only a small sampling of amazing and diverse hotels in Costa Rica. Choosing a region and planning vacation activities first will help narrow down the right hotel for a memorable and exciting Costa Rican vacation.  Contact us at Costa Rica TravelPOINTS at 1-800-626-3483 or visit our web site at:  www.costaricatravelpoints.com

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Costa Rica Adventure Travel Packages

Traveling To Costa Rica
Whenever you are traveling to Costa Rica you will find that there are a lot of great Costa Rica adventure travel packages that are available for you to choose from. These include such things as trips into the rainforest and going scuba diving or even snorkeling. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, you really should look into one of these Costa Rica adventure travel packages. You will find that it will not only make your vacation easier since everything will be planned out for you but it will also save you a great deal of money and time too.

Affordable Costa Rica adventure travel packages
There are many Costa Rica vacation packages available for you to choose from today. You will most definitely be able to find something that will fit neatly into your budget, regardless of how big or how small that budget may be. These vacation packages are actually quite numerous and each includes a different type of activity. So, there is definitely something available that will not only fit into everyone’s budget but also be of interest to everyone as well. This is why the next time you are planning a vacation, you should look into taking a trip to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica adventure travel packages
If you enjoy traveling abroad for vacation, then there are a lot of different places available for you to choose from. However, if you would like to go to an exotic location that has a lot of sites available for you to enjoy, then you really should consider taking a trip to Costa Rica. You will actually find numerous Costa Rica travel packages available for you to choose from so as to make planning your vacation a lot easier and more time efficient. There really is something available for everyone so you should definitely check them out for yourself today.

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