Your Essential Packing list for Your Trip to Costa Rica

Dreaming of an unforgettable adventure in the Central American paradise known as Costa Rica? This in-depth guide will assist you in packing  precisely what you need for your trip, making sure you are well-prepared for the varied experiences that await you. From the vibrant life of San José, the sprawling capital, to the lush greenery of Arenal Volcano, and the serene sandy expanses of Guanacaste’s beaches, we’re here to help you get ready for a voyage of a lifetime.

Costa Rica, affectionately known as the ‘Switzerland of Central America’, is a marvel of nature with a bounty of diverse landscapes and ecosystems, boasting sun-kissed beaches, dense rainforests, magnificent volcanoes, and an extraordinary array of wildlife. To fully embrace and enjoy your Costa Rican journey, effective planning and thoughtful packing are key. Here’s our comprehensive list of what to pack:

1. Clothing: The Costa Rican climate is typically tropical, characterized by hot days and cooler nights, particularly in higher altitudes. Lightweight, breathable, quick-drying fabrics are ideal for daytime adventures, while a sweater or light jacket will be useful for cooler nights or air-conditioned venues. The rainy season, which spans from May to November, necessitates a waterproof jacket or poncho. When visiting religious or official locations, remember to dress respectfully.

2. Footwear: Dependable footwear is a must for Costa Rica's varied terrain. Waterproof hiking boots are a smart choice for rainforest expeditions and volcano treks, while lightweight, comfortable shoes are perfect for city strolls. A pair of flip-flops or sandals are essential for beachside relaxation and are often the footwear of choice in many casual settings.

3. Sun Protection: Costa Rica’s proximity to the equator means sun protection is non-negotiable. Pack a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protective sunglasses to shield yourself from the intense sunlight.

4. Swimwear: With the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, you’re never too far from a beach in Costa Rica. Swimwear is an absolute necessity for beach visits, hot spring dips, or hotel pool lounging. A lightweight cover-up is also useful for beachside bars or restaurants.

5. Insect Repellent and First-Aid Kit: Costa Rica’s lush habitats are home to numerous insects, including mosquitoes. Insect repellent is crucial to prevent unwanted bites, and a well-stocked first-aid kit – complete with band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and personal medication – is advisable for minor ailments or injuries.

6. Travel Adapters and Chargers: Costa Rica primarily uses Type A and B electrical outlets, so ensure you bring appropriate travel adapters. With plenty of opportunities for photography, navigation, and digital connectivity, packing a portable power bank is a wise choice for on-the-go charging.

7. Reusable Water Bottle and Snack: Staying hydrated is important in Costa. Rica’s tropical climate. Bringing a reusable water bottle is both environmentally friendly and practical. Snacks like energy bars, dried fruits, or nuts can provide a quick energy boost during your explorations.

8. Camera Equipment: Costa Rica is a dream destination for photographers, teeming with unique landscapes, vibrant sunsets, and exotic wildlife. Remember your camera, along with spare batteries and SD cards, to capture unforgettable moments of your journey.

9. Documentation: Always carry your essential documents, such as passport, driver’s license, insurance cards, and emergency contact information. Also, keep digital copies stored securely online for easy access if needed.

10. Daypack: A lightweight, waterproof daypack is incredibly handy for day trips or excursions. It can hold your essentials like water, snacks, camera, and rain jacket, and keep your hands free for hiking or wildlife spotting.

Experience more than just the picturesque landscapes and exotic wildlife. Delve into the Costa Rican culture, engage with its warm-hearted people, and savor the delicious local cuisine. Respect the environment throughout your visit. Costa Rica leads the world in eco-tourism, and your conscious efforts to minimize waste, stay on marked trails, and refrain from disturbing wildlife will contribute to the country’s conservation efforts.

Pack with potential weather changes in mind, as Costa Rica’s climate can be quite variable. Layers are a great way to prepare for fluctuating temperatures, and a lightweight, waterproof jacket can be a lifesaver during unexpected showers.

Be mindful of your health and safety, making sure you have adequate travel insurance and necessary vaccinations before departure. Keep updated on local news and weather forecasts during your stay, and always inform someone of your travel plans, especially when going on remote excursions.

Equipped with this comprehensive guide, you’re now ready to embark on a memorable journey to Costa Rica. From soaking up the sun on pristine beaches to venturing through lush rainforests, every moment spent in this vibrant country is sure to leave you in awe.

As you plan your adventure, remember to check out Small Distinctive Hotels for a selection of charming accommodations offering a unique and authentic Costa Rican experience. These boutique hotels, located in various regions throughout the country, provide a perfect blend of comfort, local charm, and access to stunning landscapes.

Costa Rica, with its welcoming people and "Pura Vida" spirit, awaits you. So, pack your bags, set off on your adventure, and let Costa Rica’s beauty and vibrance fill your travel diary with unforgettable stories. Happy traveling!

Unveiling Romantic Gateways in Costa Rica: Perfect for Honeymoons and Weddings

Embarking on a romantic getaway, honeymoon, or destination wedding in Costa Rica promises to be an extraordinary experience filled with enchantment and lifelong memories. As you plan your romantic escape, there are several essential factors to consider that will help create an idyllic atmosphere. From stunning destinations to luxurious accommodations, let’s delve into the details of what to consider when planning a romantic trip to Costa Rica. We will also explore some exquisite hotels in Tamarindo, Rincón de la Vieja, Arenal Volcano, Esterillos, Jaco, San José, Tambor, and Nosara, ensuring you find the perfect romantic haven.

1. Destination Selection:

Costa Rica offers a diverse range of romantic destinations to suit every couple’s preferences. Whether you dream of pristine beaches, lush rainforests, volcanic landscapes, or vibrant cities, there is a perfect spot for you. Consider the ambiance, activities, and scenery of each destination to align with your vision of a romantic getaway.

2. Hotel Selection:

Choosing the right hotel is paramount to creating an intimate and luxurious experience. The hotels we recommend in Tamarindo, Rincón de la Vieja, Arenal Volcano, Esterillos, Jaco, San José, Tambor, and Nosara have been carefully selected to offer the utmost comfort, privacy, and romance. Let’s explore these exquisite accommodations:


– Tamarindo: Capitán Suizo:

Nestled on the shores of Tamarindo, Capitán Suizo offers an intimate beachfront setting. The hotel features elegant rooms, lush tropical gardens, and breathtaking sunsets. Indulge in candlelit dinners, private beach walks, and soothing couple’s massages.


– Rincón de la Vieja: Borinquen Resort:

Set amidst volcanic landscapes, Borinquen Resort in Rincón de la Vieja offers sophistication of the contemporary and the elegance of the Guanacaste haciendas. Enjoy thermal pools, volcanic mud baths, horseback riding, zip lining and adventurous experiences together. The resort provides a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.


– Arenal Volcano: Arenal Kioro:

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Arenal Volcano from the luxurious Arenal Kioro. This hotel provides suites with private jacuzzi overlooking the volcano, an exclusive hot springs for guests. The romantic ambiance and breathtaking views create an unforgettable escape.


– Esterillos: Alma del Pacifico Hotel:

Escape to the secluded paradise of Esterillos at Alma del Pacifico Hotel. With vibrant and artistic accommodations, this beachfront boutique hotel offers a unique and romantic atmosphere. Enjoy leisurely walks on the beach, exquisite cuisine, and couples’ spa treatments.


– Jaco: Villa Caletas:

Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Villa Caletas in Jaco offers a luxurious and romantic retreat. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the ocean, savor romantic dinners at the cliffside restaurant, and cherish the privacy and opulence of their suites and villas.


– San José: Grano de Oro:

Hotel Grano de Oro Costa Rica
Experience romance in Costa Rica’s capital city at the elegant Grano de Oro. This boutique hotel exudes colonial charm and features a beautiful courtyard garden. Relax with spa treatments, savor gourmet cuisine, and explore the vibrant city together.


– Tambor: Tango Mar:

Find seclusion and serenity at Tango Mar, a beachfront resort in Tambor. This hidden gem offers luxurious accommodations, including Royal Villa (beachfront) with small swimming pool. Indulge in spa treatments, enjoy horseback rides along the shore, and revel in the tranquility of the pristine beach.


– Nosara: Gilded Iguana:

For a bohemian and laid-back atmosphere, Gilded Iguana in Nosara is an excellent choice. This boutique hotel offers stylish rooms and a vibrant surf culture. Enjoy the beach, surf together, and immerse yourselves in the Pura Vida lifestyle.


When planning a romantic trip to Costa Rica, consider the destination’s ambiance, activities, and natural beauty. Selecting the perfect hotel is crucial to creating an intimate and luxurious experience. The hotels in Tamarindo, Rincón de la Vieja, Arenal Volcano, Esterillos, Jaco, San José, Tambor, and Nosara mentioned above offer idyllic settings for romance, ensuring an unforgettable escape for honeymooners or couples celebrating their love. Embrace the magic of Costa Rica and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

Unforgettable Family Summer Escapades in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, a tropical paradise in Central America, is the perfect destination for an unforgettable summer vacation with your family. From the majestic Arenal to the pristine beaches of Tamarindo, Nosara, and Manuel Antonio, this diverse country offers something for everyone. Join me as I share our amazing experiences and recommend must-do activities in each destination.

  1. Arenal:

Our journey began in the breathtaking region of Arenal, known for its iconic volcano and lush rainforests. Here are three must-do activities in Arenal:

a) Explore Arenal Volcano National Park: Take a hike through the verdant trails of Arenal Volcano National Park. Marvel at the stunning flora and fauna, and enjoy panoramic views of the volcano. Don’t forget to visit the observation point for a breathtaking vista.

b) Soak in the Hot Springs: Indulge in relaxation at the Hot Springs. Immerse yourself in the warm, mineral-rich waters surrounded by tropical gardens. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of adventure.

c) Zip-lining through the Rainforest: Experience an adrenaline rush by zip-lining through the lush rainforest canopy. Soar above the treetops and enjoy breathtaking views of Arenal Lake and the volcano. It’s a thrilling activity that offers a unique perspective of the region’s natural beauty.

Recommended Hotel: Arenal Kioro

Stay in the luxurious Arenal Kioro hotel, nestled amidst the rainforest, for an enchanting experience. The hotel offers spacious suites with stunning volcano views, a relaxing spa, and access to natural hot springs, providing the perfect blend of comfort and immersion in nature.

  1. Tamarindo:

Next, we headed to the vibrant coastal town of Tamarindo, famous for its pristine beaches, surf culture, and lively atmosphere. Here are three must-do activities in Tamarindo:

a) Surfing Lessons: Embrace the surf culture of Tamarindo by taking surfing lessons. Ride your first wave or improve your skills with experienced instructors. The beach break in Tamarindo is ideal for beginners, making it a great spot for families to enjoy the thrill of catching waves together.

b) Sunset Catamaran Cruise: Embark on a scenic catamaran cruise along the stunning coast of Tamarindo. Sail through crystal-clear waters, spot dolphins, and snorkel in secluded spots. The highlight of the cruise is witnessing the breathtaking Pacific sunset, painting the sky with vibrant hues.

c) Wildlife Watching at Marino Las Baulas National Park: Take a guided tour to Marino Las Baulas National Park, located near Tamarindo. This protected nesting ground is home to endangered leatherback turtles. During nesting season (October to March), witness these magnificent creatures as they lay their eggs—a truly unforgettable experience.

Recommended Hotel: Capitan Suizo

For a memorable stay in Tamarindo, choose Capitan Suizo, a beachfront boutique hotel nestled amidst lush tropical gardens. With its comfortable accommodations, direct beach access, and eco-friendly practices, Capitan Suizo provides a tranquil and sustainable retreat for the whole family.

  1. Nosara in Guanacaste:

Next, we ventured to Nosara in Guanacaste, a hidden gem known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and yoga retreats. Here are three must-do activities in Nosara:

a) Surf at Playa Guiones: Nosara is renowned for its consistent waves, making it a surfer’s paradise. Grab a board and hit the waves at Playa Guiones. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are waves suitable for all levels.

b) Explore Ostional Wildlife Refuge: Take a guided tour to the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, a protected nesting site for olive ridley sea turtles. Witness the mesmerizing sight of thousands of turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs—a true marvel of nature.

c) Yoga and Wellness Retreat: Embrace the peaceful vibes of Nosara by participating in a yoga culture. Join classes taught by experienced instructors, connect with your inner self, and rejuvenate amidst the serene surroundings.

Recommended Hotel: Gilded Iguana

Experience comfort and tranquility at Gilded Iguana in Nosara. This boutique hotel offers stylish accommodations, a relaxing pool area, and proximity to the stunning beaches. Whether you want to unwind or explore the local surf scene, Gilded Iguana is an excellent choice.

  1. Manuel Antonio

Explore the stunning beauty of Manuel Antonio, where lush rainforests meet pristine beaches. Discover diverse wildlife, hike through the national park, and enjoy thrilling water activities. Here are three must-do activities in Manuel Antonio:

a) Manuel Antonio National Park:

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park, a biodiverse sanctuary brimming with fascinating wildlife. Take a leisurely hike along the park’s trails and keep an eye out for playful monkeys, sloths hanging from tree branches, and colorful toucans. Relax on the pristine beaches within the park, enjoying the sun, sand, and crystal-clear waters.

b) Experience a Mangrove Safari:

Embark on a unique mangrove safari tour along the Damas Estuary, an enchanting ecosystem near Manuel Antonio. Board a boat and navigate through the maze of mangroves, witnessing an abundance of wildlife. Spot curious monkeys leaping from tree to tree, vibrant tropical birds soaring above, and elusive crocodiles lurking beneath the surface. A mangrove safari offers a captivating and educational experience for the entire family.

c) Go on a Rainforest Canopy Tour:

For a thrilling and immersive rainforest adventure, engage in a canopy tour in Manuel Antonio. Soar through the treetops on zip lines and hanging bridges, offering panoramic views of the lush jungle below. Learn about the unique flora and fauna from experienced guides who share their knowledge and passion for Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity. This exhilarating experience will create lasting memories for the whole family.

Recommended Hotel: Alma del Pacifico

For a tranquil and luxurious stay close to Manuel Antonio, choose Alma del Pacifico. This beachfront boutique hotel offers vibrant and spacious villas, direct access to the beach, and a stunning infinity pool. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pacific Coast while enjoying the comforts of Alma del Pacifico.

  1. Rincon de la Vieja:

Immerse yourself in the volcanic wonders of Rincon de la Vieja. Witness bubbling mud pots, rejuvenate in natural hot springs, and embark on thrilling adventures in this captivating destination.

Located in the heart of Rincon de la Vieja, Borinquen Resort is a haven of relaxation and adventure (Canopy, Horseback Riding to waterfalls and Hiking). Settle into the comfortable accommodations, surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. Enjoy the resort’s thermal pools and indulge in rejuvenating spa treatments, providing a blissful retreat for parents and a fun-filled oasis for children. Make the most of the resort’s offerings, including horseback riding, zip-lining, and guided nature hikes.

A summer vacation in Costa Rica with your family promises unforgettable experiences, from the majestic Arenal to the pristine beaches of Tamarindo, Nosara, Manuel Antonio and Rincon de la Vieja. Engage in thrilling activities, encounter diverse wildlife, and relax in the lap of nature. With the recommended hotels adding comfort and charm to your stay, this tropical paradise is the perfect destination for an incredible family adventure. Don’t forget to start your trip from San Jose, in Grano de Oro hotel, part of Small distinctive hotel luxury collection.

Welcome to Family Travel to Costa Rica! A Fun Destination for all ages!

As the saying goes, “The greatest legacy we can leave for our children is happy memories.” So, choosing a travel destination for families or multi-generational groups can sometimes be challenging. Different interests, capacities, energy levels, and attention spans can mean making unforgettable family travel memories lots of work. Welcome to family travel to Costa Rica! A fun destination for all ages!

Thanks to the diversity of adventures and experiences it has on offer, Costa Rica is a wonderland for adults and children. Who doesn’t like to see a sleepy sloth swim at the beach, peer down into a live volcano or fly through the rainforest canopy on a zipline? All these experiences are part of a Costa Rican family trip, which will be remembered for weeks, months, and even years after you return home.

As a destination, it also has some added benefits that make it an excellent place for family vacations. These may well tip the balance when deciding where to take the family for a well-deserved getaway.

Why Costa Rica for Family Fun?

  • Costa Rica is ideally positioned on the world map, so it isn’t too far away from the major North American hubs with direct flights from many. This means less travel time and less hanging around in airports.
  • Costa Rica is a small country. So, once you are here, most places are just a short car, bus, or plane ride away. But we all know that long periods buckled up and sitting is tiring. However, Costa Rica is small enough for this not to be a problem.
  • For the adventurous at heart, Costa Rica is filled with thrill-filled activities for all ages. Costa Rica has mastered the art of creating adventure-in-nature activities that everyone can enjoy. No one gets left behind here. From ziplining through the rainforest canopy, taking a safari boat ride down a river, or spotting humpback whales, all are adaptable for every age group and dynamics.
  • The Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica are located in the best and most beautiful corners of Costa Rica. These boutique hotels are family-friendly and offer great food, cozy rooms, and fabulous amenities to keep everyone happy and rested. So while the kids enjoy the pool, hot springs, or the room, Mom and Dad can enjoy the Spa treatments for some wellness time!

So now, the question is where to go and stay with the family in Costa Rica!?

Coastal Fun

For beach and sun lovers, Costa Rica is a favorite! With two coasts to choose from and visit, both are perfect for idyllic family time while soaking up the sun, playing in the sand, and swimming in the tropical Pacific and Caribbean waters. Take a surf lesson with the family, take a sunset walk along the beach, hang out at the pool, or explore the local beachside town.  Costa Rican coastal family fun is a trip that none of you will forget easily.

Tamarindo Beach is a favorite beach for surfing and is home to Hotel Capitan Suizo, a beachfront boutique hotel. As well as ocean-front units, and superior rooms, this beautiful hotel also has a 4-bedroom suite for families and groups. Glide between the spacious pool and the beach while enjoying family time under the tropical sun and shady trees that also serve as a sanctuary to monkeys, birds, and other furry friends.

Further down the Nicoya Peninsula and nestled between the coast and the rainforest-laden mountains is the beautiful Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel in the upscale area of Nosara. With great surfing waves, shopping, and restaurants, Gilded Iguana sits in the middle of all the fun. Many suites have multiple bedding for smaller families, and there is a special one for larger families and groups. Take a surf class at the Surf Club for a truly unforgettable family experience.

On the far southern coastal rim of the Nicoya Peninsula, Hotel Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas is located on a private beachfront reserve covered in tropical forests and with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This special place has family vacation written all over it, with a relaxing, safe beach to swim in, adventure sports, and nature-rich tours. This is a vacation destination in itself!

The Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica is just over an hour from the Central Valley and the Juan Santamaria International Airport. It is also where you can find two Small Distinctive Hotels. Villa Caletas sits on a rainforest-covered hilltop overlooking the beautiful ocean and has bird’s eye views of the diversity of wildlife that inhabits its surroundings. So get ready to see squawking Scarlet Macaws, Blue-Jeans Frogs, and dozing sloths while enjoying the infinity pool and secluded beach at the bottom of the hill.

While Hotel Villa Caletas overlooks the coast from above, Hotel Alma del Pacifico Hotel sits right at beach level. This colorful representation of Costa Rica is bright and airy and invites the family to enjoy the endless beach, the soft waves, and the refreshing pool to relax. The large rooms also are perfect for a family offering open spaces for fun and games!

Sitting on a tropical fiord and nestled into the rainforest, Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge combines coastal adventures, close-to-nature activities, and wildlife exploration. Only accessible by boat, part of the fun is getting to this best eco-lodge. From the moment you land at the pier, Nicuesa will entertain you with its treasures, whether you are kayaking, SUP, hiking, or just sitting back and enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. This is about learning and exploring and is unique!

Mountain Magic

Costa Rica has some impressive mountain ranges dotted with volcanoes that are the backdrop to mountain magic and family fun! Whether you are staying at the Hotel Grano de Oro in Costa Rica´s capital city and exploring the Central Valley´s mountains and volcanoes, staying on a volcano slope, or at its base, Costa Rican mountains are filled with family-fun activities.

Hotel Grano de Oro is a city hotel with the convenience of its next-to-perfect location and proximity to the cultural and historical treasures of Costa Rica, one-day tour options to volcanoes, coffee farms, ziplining, and the Juan Santamaria International Airport too!

Snuggled into the northern Guanacaste Volcanic Mountains Range, Borinquen Thermal Resort brings the family volcanic mud baths, thermal springs, vast gardens to enjoy, and fresh mountain air. The mountain resort also has close-to-nature thrills designed for families and adventurers of all ages.  The Borinquen Adventure Expeditions include horseback riding, ziplining, birdwatching and hiking to explore the mountain. After a day of family adventure on the magic mountain, rest peacefully in Borinquen´s free-standing villas with decks for additional space and opportunities.

At Hotel Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa, the volcano experience takes on a whole new meaning. How memorable for children than to wake up to the Arenal Volcano views every morning during your stay? Bathe and relax in the thermal springs, courtesy of the volcano, and pass the day spotting wildlife while dabbling in close-to-nature adventure activities for the entire family.

Costa Rica loves family and has created a destination that embraces vacations where children, teenagers, and adults can have fun as a family. The Small Distinctive Hotel family invites you to Costa Rica to create those unforgettable moments that will be the topic of conversation around the family table for years to come.

Five Best Wellness Destinations in Costa Rica

When we talk about Costa Rica, we are talking about wellness in the holistic sense of the word, mind, body, and soul.   This little country nestled between the Americas offers the perfect setting for a unique vacation that ticks many boxes for an unforgettable getaway. With its beautiful natural scenes and landscapes as a backdrop, it also boasts some fantastic wellness destinations, spas, and signature, organic treatments, the perfect combination for an unforgettable wellness vacation. So which are the five best wellness destinations in Costa Rica? Let’s begin our journey in paradise to wellness!

With the focus on well-being in a natural setting, Costa Rica is where forest bathing and the blue mind unite. The meditative effects of immersing yourself in nature are good for us and our health and are called eco-therapy. Forest bathing is one way of doing this. National Geographic has put Costa Rica on the list of places to try forest bathing, thanks to its forest coverage and incredible biodiversity.

While Forest Bathing is where you take in the sights, sounds, aromas, and textures of the forest atmosphere, the blue mind is the meditative effects of the water.  Have you ever felt that while close to water (sea, lake, river, etc.), your mind and body begin to relax and feel at ease? That is Blue Mind in action. Water makes us happier, healthier, and more connected. Costa Rica is embraced by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and its mountain ranges are where numerous, pristine rivers are born and run through the abundant forests.  The Blue Mind Effect is everywhere in Costa Rica!

After a day of Forest Bathing and Blue Mind, the Distinctive Hotel Collection add further pampering and relaxing possibilities in the form of Spa’s with an array of specialized and signature treatments. So treat yourself to a wellness destination in the true and absolute sense of the word!

1.    Central Pacific Ocean Coastline

Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coastline is relatively small in size. Still, with a diversity of landscapes, forest settings, beautiful beaches, and a stunning coastline dotted with inlets, rocky headlands, mangrove forests, rivers, and estuaries. It is a lovely place to enjoy the wellness effects of forest bathing and blue mindfulness. It is meditational and calming while immersed in the beauty of nature and by the sea.

This rich coast is home to two of Costa Rica´s favorite national parks. Manuel Antonio National Park and Carrara National Park are bird and animal enthusiasts’ must-visit places with their rich biodiversity and easy accessibility. It is also where the famous beach town of Jaco Beach is located, which is vibrant and bustling and is a regular host of surf competitions.

Perched on a Central Pacific Coast headland immersed in rainforest and with uninterrupted views of the stunning ocean sits the stunning Villa Caletas Hotel. This spectacular boutique hotel is not only unique, but it also defines wellness. Step into the Serenity Spa to relax in the spirit of the Costa Rican rainforest. Connect with the body and mind.

2. Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Guanacaste

Sitting on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano in the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain range, this best wellness destination is a mountain paradise.  Imagine the fresh highland air, exuberant forests providing an enduring habitat for an incredible range of endemic flora and fauna, medicinal thermal springs and mud baths gifted by the volcano, and the naturally relaxing ambiance and treatments at the Anahuac Spa.

This magical volcanic mountain is the perfect place to experience nature up close and with varying degrees of excitement, with an array of adventure activities to choose from. Borinquen Thermal Resort blends these adventures with its signature menu of rejuvenation treatments that combine aromatherapy and natural botanicals at its Spa.

Borinquen Thermal Resort is dedicated to inspiring “renewal and joy” through health, wellness, and relaxation, with skilled and professional staff helping to enhance this perfect environment to renew your mind, body, and soul.  Where better to achieve this than in the mountains surrounded by naturally beautiful spaces?

3.   Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna 

Voted as the adventure capital of the world for experiences by Trip Advisor, the Northern Lowlands of Costa Rica are most well-known for the presently “sleepy giant” called Arenal Volcano. It may well be the most iconic landmark of Costa Rica, and this region has lots to offer regarding wellness tourism too.  Complement the relaxing thermal springs that are the perfect end to a day of activities in nature.

These extensive lowlands extend from the far northern stretch of Costa Rica to the Caribbean Sea. For this reason, the warm, humid temperatures are why this region is bursting with rainforests and wetlands.  Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa is immersed in the rainforest not far from the base of the Arenal Volcano and boasts some of the best views of this beautiful natural monument.

Unwind at this mountain hideaway that exhales wellness in every possible way.  The Neidin Spa and its several spa treatments and services complement Arenal´s natural environment. This ensures a dreamy surrender to the rejuvenating and relaxing treatments. Select a therapy that resonates best with your mood!

4. Nosara, Nicoya Peninsula

Let’s set the scene for this laid-back little corner of the world.  Beautiful beaches, great waves, world-class eateries, endless summers, sunsets that take your breath away, fantastic yoga retreats, and boutique hotels like the Gilded Iguana keep Nosara on the world map year after year as a top destination.

Wellness is also about eating well, and Nosara takes dining to a new level. It has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes that cater to even the most serious foodies.   This melting pot of fresh, exotic flavors will make deciding where to go for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-dinner drinks difficult. But come prepared for some inspiring culinary experiences.

The Gilded Iguana Hotel is a wellness sanctuary that blends into the beauty of Nosara. Taking wellness to a new level, Gilded Iguana has a Surf Club and School, an Athletics Center with yoga classes, a restaurant inspired by healthy Mediterranean dishes and fresh seafood, and the Nosara Costa Rica Spa. So after a day on the board under the sun or exploring the mountains on a bike, unwind with an assortment of soothing treatments.

5.    Tamarindo, Guanacaste 

Guanacaste’s Gold Coast stretches along the Nicoya Peninsula coastline, including Tamarindo’s popular beach town.  Located by one of the world’s five Blue Zones, where healthy, balanced living has created a community of centurions, this region spells wellness.

The town’s vibrant center runs along the spectacular white sand beach and is as colorful and dynamic as its international residents and visitors.  Needless to say, bicycles and surfboards are the two primary forms of transport in this world-renowned surfer’s paradise for beginners and wave-riding professionals.

Tamarindo is home to Hotel Capitan Suizo, a beachfront boutique hotel that has integrated nature into every aspect of guests´ stay. Luxurious suites open out to organically maintained tropical gardens.  It is an oasis for birds and wildlife and to unwind after a day on the beach or exploring nature.

A relaxing massage is even better when you are beachside, which is the Aromas del Mar Spa experience.  The sound of the waves is the background to your spa therapy to unwind and take in the moment.  

Wellness destinations in Costa Rica are naturally beautiful. Whether a getaway is in the rainforest, on a volcano, or a tropical beach, wellness is everywhere. When your distinctive hotel offers premium services and memorable stays, they also provide exceptional Spa treatments and beauty services to complement your adventures in nature.  They are in the five best wellness destinations in Costa Rica for the ultimate vacation. 

Distinctive Honeymoons in Costa Rica!

Follow your heart, and it will take you to Costa Rica!

For most newlyweds, the honeymoon is a trip of a lifetime for many milestone reasons. Firstly, it allows you time to enjoy each other after all the planning and anxiety of the wedding is behind you.  It is symbolic of the first vacation you will have together as a wedded couple, and lastly, it provides memories that will last a lifetime. The destination has to be as equally significant, and this is where Costa Rica comes into the conversation. Distinctive Honeymoons in Costa Rica! Let´s see where to spend that trip of a lifetime!

As a destination, Costa Rica brings several checks to the honeymoon boxes. Whether you’re lie-on-a-beach-with-a-coconut people, fly-through the rainforest canopy thrill-seekers, forest and thermal-springs bathers, or city folk, there are extraordinary places near and far to indulge your distinctive idea of romance.  Costa Rica has them all, and you can decide how you want to spend your sunny days.

Costa Rica has everything for nature and adventure enthusiasts. Laid-back beach towns with plenty of surfing to calm the vibe along the Pacific and the Caribbean coasts are a favorite honeymoon destination for many a lovebird. There’s wildlife everywhere, so exploring the rainforests and mountaintops offers abundant opportunities to get into the wild and connect with each other and nature.  Small Distinctive Hotels has intimate, immersive boutique hotels along the Pacific Ocean coastline, on and next to volcanoes, and nestled into the vibrant rainforest.

Honeymoons in the Rainforest

Costa Rica boasts nearly 5% of the world´s biodiversity, much of which inhabits the lush rainforests that cover much of this beautiful corner of the world. This vibrant forest is home to monkeys, sloths, toucans, scarlet macaws, jaguars, frogs, snakes, tapirs, hundreds of species of birds, and lots of interesting insects, among others creating song and curiosity.

The Costa Rican rainforest is also home to distinctive hotels that offer unique experiences in the rainforest to create unforgettable memories, and that is what a honeymoon should be. Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is just that and a perfect, jungle-chic honeymoon destination for nature lovers.  Nicuesa also has the Golfo Dulce as its front garden so sway between the nature trails and the gulf on a kayak or a SUP during your dreamy, lazy days hidden away in this secluded haven.

Rainforest honeymoon experiences in Costa Rica also come in the form of a distinctive hotel with the Arenal Volcano as its neighbor! Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa. Wake up to spectacular, uninterrupted views of the volcano from the privacy of your spacious suite before relaxing in the on-site hot springs or gearing up for some signature Arenal adventure.

Honeymoons on the Beach

In Costa Rica, the ocean is warm, the waves are perfect, and the two of you can relax under a swaying palm tree with a tropical drink. This is a destination of stunning beaches to choose from where you can spend your days relaxing on hammocks on the beach, go sailing, swimming, or snorkeling and then enjoy the flavors of the creative kitchens at the Distinctive Hotels, each one with its signature dishes and romantic dining experiences.

In the trendy beach town of Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula, the distinctive honeymoon Hotel Capitan Suizo is just steps from the white sand and inviting ocean. Beachfront suites, open-air wellness treatments, and organic seasonal dining experiences create the perfect backdrop for a honeymoon getaway.

Further down the Guanacaste coast, The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel sits in the trendy, upscale beachside haven of Nosara – Guiones. This small town is both an off-the-beaten-track destination and a global retreat for the lovers of Costa Rica´s “Pura Vida” with style. The Gilded Iguana embodies this outlook on life, creating the perfect, laid-back honeymoon getaway where relaxation and lazy days companion honeymooners as they refresh and revive after the wedding rush.

Sitting on the far edge of the Nicoya Peninsula overlooking the gulf islands and beyond, welcome to the Tango Mar Beach Resort. Time takes on a new meaning at Tango Mar., slowing down to a tropical pace and inviting honeymooners for a leisurely walk along the palm-tree-lined beach, lay back side by side by the resort pool, and lift your glasses for the life to come. No need to plan your days here, as spontaneity brings new experiences.

Villa Caletas Hotel spells a romantic getaway from the moment you turn into the driveway. You know you are arriving at a special place. Sitting on the top of the world overlooking the ebbs and flows of the Pacific Ocean, Villa Caletas is where luxury and intimacy are weaved into the citrus-orange sunsets, French-inspired dining experience, and the lush rainforest that surrounds this uniquely designed boutique getaway. Weddings and honeymoons are standout features of Villa Caleta´s event calendar.

Alma del Pacifico Hotel and Spa translates to Soul of the Pacific, a name well-deserved for this beachside getaway between Jaco and Manuel Antonio. Located on Esterrillos Beach, this imaginative hideaway invites its guests to lay back and relax. The vibrant colors of the hotel contrast with the tropical gardens and the blues of the sky and the ocean. This is a honeymoon destination where the mind, body, and soul are at rest and dreams are created.

Honeymoons in the Heights

The symbolic backbone of Costa Rica comes in the form of several majestic volcanic mountain ranges that run down its center and are filled with adventure, serenity, and nature. Their volcanoes gift visitors with thermal springs and mud baths, heated from deep below their slopes and wellness treatments take on new meaning.

Borinquen Thermal Resort is a honeymoon destination in the heights of the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range. Sitting on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Borinquen takes mountain getaways to new levels. Sit back and relax on your bungalow´s private terrace nestled into tropical gardens and lush forest and wander down to the hot springs and mud baths where the post-wedding stress slips away.

This distinctive honeymoon destination also has a wonderful Spa and Costa Rican-inspired dining experience immersed in the natural beauty of this mountain escape.

Honeymoons of the City Folk

While Costa Rica is best known for its rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches overshadowing the cities, its capital, San Jose, is beginning to shine with its historical, cultural, and dining experiences that the city slickers enjoy. Museums, art galleries, cafés, bars, and creative kitchens are attracting more and more visitors to San Jose, and Hotel Grano de Oro is the distinctive place to stay for the city folk.

Not far from the historical center of the city, you can walk easily between the principal attractions, including the iconic National Theater and Gold Museum, and have a delicious Costa Rican coffee while exploring the city´s secrets. Dining is a must at the hotel´s restaurant with its French Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. A day tour to the nearby Poas Volcano, a coffee plantation, or Tortuga Island will also give you a glimpse of Costa Rica´s natural beauty!

Whether you are a rainforest, mountaintop, beach, or city lover, the Small Distinctive Hotel collection has a honeymoon destination that will create the perfect backdrop for your special milestone and new beginnings.  Which is your distinctive honeymoon destination favorite

School’s Out – Family Vacation Activities In Costa Rica


The unique biodiversity and geography of Costa Rica make it an ideal playground for the entire family. In fact, it’s challenging to narrow down the choices for the best activities for a family vacation in Costa Rica because there are so many incredible and awe-inspiring options. Now that school is out for summer, the time has never been better for planning a vacation, and Costa Rica makes an outstanding destination. Keep reading to learn about the most popular Costa Rican activities for the entire family to enjoy. 

Lounge, Swim, and Surf at Extensive Beaches

One of the most attractive features of Costa Rica is its vast collection of stunning beaches on both the Caribbean and the Pacific oceans. The beach is an idyllic spot for members of your family to enjoy various activities. 

Of course, swimming and relaxation are some of the main draws for beach lovers. You and your family can spend hours or even days admiring the beautiful water and collection of multi-colored sand beaches in Costa Rica, ranging from pink to black and beige.  

Costa Rica is also known for its world-class surfing and paddleboarding conditions. Rent paddleboards and explore calm waters. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, surf lessons are available for all ages and skill levels. 

Finding special accommodations near a beautiful beach in Costa Rica is easily accomplished, especially with help from Small Distinctive Hotels.

Explore a National Park 

Costa Rica is home to 27 National Parks. Hiking through a National Park is an excellent way to get an up-close look at the country’s unique flora, fauna, and native wildlife. A guide can help you explore and direct you to the best places for spotting animals like monkeys, iguanas, bats, sloths, and more. Many of Costa Rica’s National Parks also contain beaches allowing you to combine several activities into one. Just make sure to bring bug spray, sunscreen, and your swimsuits. 

Manuel Antonio, located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, is the most popular National Park for tourists. It is conveniently located near the beach, is an excellent spot for viewing some of Costa Rica’s unique biodiversity, and gives you access to other fun activities suitable for the entire family. 

Marino Ballena National Park is another tourist favorite on the West Coast. It is inside the Osa Conservation Area, which creates a safe area for the migration of humpback whales. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to spot one. 

Learn About Local Animal Species at a Wildlife Sanctuary

If you and your family love unique wildlife, Costa Rica is also home to many nature preserves. Visiting a wildlife sanctuary will teach your family about unique species and their preservation while providing you with an up-close look at animals that would otherwise be inaccessible. 

Sloth and sea turtle sanctuaries are some of the most popular options. Sloths are beloved animals by people of all ages, and Costa Rica is the perfect place to learn about them. Your family may also enjoy a hike to a sea turtle preservation area. You can watch sea turtles nesting or hatching depending on the time of year. 

Admire Breathtaking Waterfalls

Due to the geographical diversity of Costa Rica, it is also a fantastic location for viewing breathtaking waterfalls. Many are also safe for swimming. The La Fortuna waterfall is a local and tourist favorite. It has a 250-foot drop that can be viewed from multiple levels. After descending hundreds of steps, your family can enjoy time swimming in the pool at the base. Just remember, you will have to hike back up when you are done. 

Visit an Active Volcano

Costa Rica is home to six active volcanoes and many more dormant volcanoes. The impressiveness of an active volcano is sure to inspire awe in each member of your family. 

While Poas Volcano is the most active, Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna is the most popular tourist destination. You can schedule educational guided tours during the day or night, but we recommend the latter. 

Visiting Arenal and La Fortuna also gives you access to other activities like horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining, rafting, multiple hot springs, and more. Hot springs are a nearby must-see attraction thanks to the thermal activity caused by the volcano. Your family can go for a couple of hours or the whole day. What’s not to love with family-friendly activities like varying temperature pools, water slides, food, and drinks? 

Zoom Through the Jungle On a Zip Line Tour

Zip-lining is another excellent activity for the whole family. Regardless of where you stay n Costa Rica, the chances are high that you will have access to a zip-lining tour. While zip-lining is for the more adventurous, it is a fun, fast-paced way to zoom through the jungle and rainforest on full and half-day tours. Many zip line excursions provide you with lunch and allow you to view remote waterfalls that would otherwise be inaccessible.

White Water Rafting

Some of the best conditions for white water rafting in the world exist in Costa Rica. It is home to large beautiful rivers, and white water rafting is another action-packed way to explore the jungles and view waterfalls. Rafting guides are well-equipped to navigate your family safely down the country’s rivers. Again you can plan full or half-day tours, and many include snacks or a light meal somewhere along the way. 

Get a View From Above On a Canopy Tour 

Another remarkable way to view the rainforests and lush jungles of Costa Rica is with a walk through the canopy. If the weather is in your favor, you may even be able to walk above the clouds. Hanging bridges give you a unique perspective for admiring exotic plants, flowers, trees, and a view from above. The Cloud Forest in Monteverde makes a fabulous day trip for the family.  

Which Activities Will Your Family Enjoy the Most?

As you can see, there is no shortage of unique and exotic activities for families in Costa Rica. Now, the hard part is determining which activities you and your family will enjoy the most. All things considered, it may be easiest to narrow down your choices based on what region of the country you will be visiting. Even so, with all of the many options, you may be unable to do them all. That’s ok, though; you can always go back! 

Please explore our site for more information on family vacations, and start booking your trip to Costa Rica today. 

What Could be Better Than a Destination Wedding in Costa Rica?


Congratulations, you’re getting married in Costa Rica! 

The exciting part begins now: planning your destination wedding in Costa Rica.

Keep reading if you’ve chosen Costa Rica as your wedding destination— We’ll give you all of the information you need so you can start planning your big day along with a week or two in paradise to celebrate your nuptials.

Costa Rica Is Great for Weddings and Honeymoons

Getting married in Costa Rica is ideal for a few reasons. 

First and foremost, the service is bound to be outstanding no matter where you get married. Costa Rican staff members tend to be friendly, attentive, helpful, and professional. They go out of their way to ensure you have a good time. 

Second, exploring the country and seeing some of its natural wonders is exciting.  

Finally, staying in one of our distinctive properties on one of the beaches is ideal for couples who want something really special. The sunsets are spectacular and the lush rainforest is as beautiful as it is romantic. 

???? Pro tip! Ask the team at Small Distinctive Hotels for the name of a great wedding planner. Your wedding planner can find a great Costa Rica wedding DJ, help you book your venue (if it’s not at your distinctive hotel), connect you with a good florist, help you find a great wedding photographer or videographer, and more. In fact, they can handle it all, from A to Z so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the festivities.

Walk Down the Aisle to a Tropical Paradise Costa Rica Honeymoon

One of the biggest advantages to getting married in Costa Rica is that you’ll already be in your honeymoon destination. 

Costa Rica is often considered the perfect honeymoon destination and deserves that reputation. You’ll start your newlywed life off with adventure, romance and discovery as you zip-line through the jungle or relax on the beach near the lush, tropical rainforest bursting with flora and fauna.

Combining your wedding and honeymoon in one trip to Costa Rica gives you a memorable destination wedding and a lavish, adventure-filled post-nuptial vacation. 

In Costa Rica, it’s possible to say “I do” in various settings, from beaches to volcanoes to jungles. You’ll want to consider that each has a distinct personality when planning your big day.

What Paperwork Do We Need to Get Married in Costa Rica? 

Getting married in Costa Rica is easy, although you may want to brush up on some wedding legalities before your big day. First, you’ll need to register your intent to marry at the Civil Registry, located in the main courthouse in San Jose. You and your intended must both be 18 and single. No blood tests or waiting periods are required. 

You’ll need to bring a few things along and be prepared to answer some questions: 

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate 
  • Your parent’s names
  • Your address
  • Your job (not where you work, but what you do)
  • Divorce papers or death certificate of a deceased spouse if you were previously married

How Long Does It Take to Get Married in Costa Rica?

It’s possible to go through the entire process in one day, or you can wait for up to a month once you’ve completed your marriage application— this process is similar to applying for a marriage license in the States.  

There are certain times when things move more slowly than usual — such as during holidays like Christmas and the New Year or Semana Santa (Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday) — so keep that in mind when planning your trip.

Once you are married, your officiant will handle the filing of needed documents to obtain your marriage certificate.

Who Can Perform Our Costa Rica Wedding Ceremony— and Who Should be Present?

Anyone with permission from the Costa Rican government can perform a wedding ceremony. This includes Costa Rican government-licensed judges, religious ministers, and lawyers. 

In Costa Rica, you must have two witnesses present, who aren’t relatives. If you plan to get married in a private ceremony with just the two of you, you’ll need to enlist the attendance of a couple of locals— perhaps a staff member at the hotel where you’re staying or you can ask your officiant to help provide witnesses. Of course, if your destination wedding includes friends and family, you’ll fulfill this requirement- just make sure they have their passports on hand when they sign as witnesses to your marriage. Likewise, locals will need an ID. 

Can I Take My Spouse’s Name When We Get Married in Costa Rica? 

Sure you can! But, in Costa Rica, it is not typical for women to change their last name when they marry. Your names will be placed on your marriage certificate as they appear on your passports. If you want to take your partner’s name, you’ll need to handle that when you return to the States or Canada.  

If you plan to stay in Costa Rica (many visitors fall in love with the country and migrate here!) the most you’ll be able to do regarding your last name change is add it to your ID when you obtain your permanent residency (also known as).

Where Should We Stay With our Costa Rica Wedding Party?

Suppose you’re looking for a Costa Rica hotel to host your wedding party, keep in mind that there are many different types of Costa Rican hotels to choose from. 

Boutique hotels (our specialty!) offer a more intimate and cozy feel, which can be very helpful if you’d like to do things like have a rehearsal dinner, host a spa day leading up to the big day, or even book the entire hotel so you can have it to yourself and your guests! 

Costa Rica Destination Weddings Make It Easier to Combine Your Honeymoon With Your Wedding

Many couples choose to have their wedding and honeymoon simultaneously by choosing a destination wedding in Costa Rica. 

The following are a few tips for creating the wedding and honeymoon of your dreams.

  • Ask our team to recommend a good, local wedding planner; they’ll be happy to help you out. 
  • Your vacation planner at Distinctive Hotels can help you decide on the best boutique hotel for the wedding you want. Whether you’re dreaming of exchanging vows at sunset on the beach, at the base of a volcano with steamy hot springs nearby, or in a cloud forest surrounded by the song of nature, we’ve got you covered.
  • If hiking and river rafting are what you two are into, be sure to let us know that adventure is what will make your honeymoon shine 
  • Is exquisite cuisine your thing? A few of our distinctive hotels have expemplary restaurants. 

Getting Married in Costa Rica— A Destination Dream Wedding Come True

We recommend getting married in Costa Rica if you’re looking for an eco-friendly experience that combines sand, sea, sun, and lush, tropical rainforest. 

When it comes to the perfect destination wedding, you can’t beat Costa Rica. With adventure, discovery, romance, and beautiful scenery, what more can you ask for? 

Ready to start planning your destination wedding today? Reach out now- we’re ready to help you make your dream wedding come to life. 



Hotel or Airbnb: Which is Better for My Trip to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica Hotel

Costa Rica attracts many tourists because the natural beauty and exotic locales are hard to find elsewhere. It is a small country, but there is no shortage of great places to stay when it comes to great hotels. 

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental in Costa Rica, you have probably considered using Airbnb, but these days it’s not so easy to find a good one. Since the start of the pandemic, companies in Costa Rica – along with those around the world – have gone remote, allowing their employees to work from anywhere. That has led to a deficit in beach rentals in Costa Rica, as workers have fled the city for the peaceful surroundings of the jungles and beaches.

So if you’re going on vacation to Costa Rica, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Difference Between Hotels and Airbnb in Costa Rica

When deciding between booking a hotel and booking an Airbnb in Costa Rica, there are many factors to consider. Naturally, travelers tend to think about the attraction of hotel accommodation, such as the beachfront villas and bungalows of Alma Del Pacific Hotel, as well as the convenience for travelers who do not want to worry about transportation or getting lost. 

Likewise, there are those who want to take advantage of hotel amenities like free wifi and a fully-stocked kitchen. 

While AirBnBs do allow guests to immerse themselves in the local culture by staying with a local or in a regular house or condo in the area, they rarely offer the conveniences of hotel amenities. 

Many travelers find them unsuitable. For example, if you need a lot of space or have mobility issues, you might struggle with Airbnbs because they tend to be smaller than hotels and aren’t always fitted to accommodate those in need.

Some locations can also have unreliable wifi or unfriendly hosts. Additionally, while some people may view Airbnb vacation rentals as an affordable alternative to hotels, others may see them as an equal, if not a more expensive option that doesn’t offer certain benefits like free wifi or daily housekeeping.

When deciding between a hotel and an Airbnb in Costa Rica, consider the following factors:

Costa Rica Hotel Amenities Can’t be Beat

Costa Rica is a popular vacation destination, which is reflected in the quality of accommodation you can expect to find in this beautiful country. No matter where you stay, you’re sure to find a hotel with more amenities than you could imagine. For example, if you are looking for a place with a fully-equipped spa center to refresh your body and mind, you can enjoy these services from hotels such as Hotel Arenal Kioro, Hotel Tango Mar, and Hotel Capitan Suizo. In addition, the spa-like resorts offer guests an experience that includes all-inclusive meals, wellness and beauty treatments, yoga classes, and more.

Recreational activities and classes are other amenities that a hotel can provide that an Airbnb cannot. For example, The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel has a surf school and club with the only Surfing Association-certified instructors in the area. They also provide surfboards, wetsuits, and other equipment for their guests. 

Costa Rica Hotels are Great for Groups Too

If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, the Zephyr Palace, from the Hotel Villa Caletas, is ideal for large families and groups in Costa Rica. The hotel provides guests with various amenities, including reserving the whole hotel for your exclusive use. It is a 5-star resort that offers guests a chef, who can prepare meals special to your tastes and preferences, and who can also cater weddings or other important events for up to 100 guests, and an all-inclusive plan that includes not just meals and drinks, but also all activities at the resort and transportation between it and Liberia International Airport.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge is another option for larger groups, as it is possible to book the entire lodge and is an excellent location for an eco-retreat. The lodge offers 16 guest rooms housed in individual casitas built by local craftsmen and is fully screened for maximum comfort and to allow for the full enjoyment of the surrounding rainforest and sea breezes. The unique location of Playa Nicuesa allows visitors to experience various activities. Visitors can explore the rainforest on hiking trails, swim in freshwater pools and clear rivers, or relax on white-sand beaches lined with palm trees.

You Always Know What You’re Getting With a Small Distinctive Hotel in Costa Rica

Booking an Airbnb in Costa Rica may be more complicated than you might expect. The uncomfortable thing about booking an Airbnb is never knowing what kind of accommodations you’ll get until you walk through the door. While some hosts provide detailed descriptions and photos so that you know exactly what you’re paying for, others quietly leave out important details like the type or number of beds or how much space is available until you arrive. Also, some hosts fail to update their listings when something changes.

Because hotels are more regulated, they must provide exact specifications for their services. 

Hotel Belmar, for example, describes its Peninsula room as having two queen beds, a terrace, and a hammock. Meanwhile, the Peninsula superior rooms feature king-sized beds, balconies, views of the Nicoya Peninsula, and an open bathroom concept.

The main lodge at Hotel Belmar is home to a fine dining restaurant, bar and lounge, coffee shop, gift shop, library, spa and wellness center, conference facilities, and meeting rooms. So, upon arriving at the hotel, you can expect the accommodations to be exactly what you booked. 

Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica are Always a Great Option

Costa Rica hotels offer amenities and social areas that Airbnb vacation rentals often can’t provide. As a result, you don’t have to worry about coordinating with other guests or making sure you have access to all of the services you need, such as having access to the best French restaurant in the county like Hotel Grano de Oro Restaurante at Hotel Grano de Oro

If you’re ready to book a great hotel in Costa Rica, get in touch today. We can help you plan your perfect Costa Rica vacation


Travel Costa Rica 2022

Costa Rica Sloth Travel 2022

As the pandemic stretches on and on, you may be wondering if it’s safe to travel Costa Rica in 2022 – or if it’s even possible. After all, some countries still have their borders closed to everyone or just those not vaccinated. 

Costa Rica has no such restrictions. You are more than welcome to visit Costa Rica in 2022, and it is perfectly safe to do so- as long as you follow the usual precautions you’d take when going anywhere in the world. 

All international visitors are welcome and permitted to enter Costa Rica by air, land, or sea.

Of course, every Costa Rica tourist must meet the typical visa requirements, when applicable, and the requirements established within the pandemic.

The Government of Costa Rica does not require tourists to present a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine upon arrival. You will, however, be required to fill out a health pass – at least until the rule changes on April 1, 2022 (see information below).  You must complete the Health Pass within 72 hours before arrival in the country. 

Visitors traveling in Costa Rica in 2022 are asked to follow and abide by the sanitary protocols that have been established by the health administration of Costa Rica when participating in tourist activities throughout the country.

Meanwhile, as of January 21, 2022 through March 07, 2022: Commercial establishments and large venues that hold events such as concerts or national football games can voluntarily choose to request the COVID-19 vaccination QR code or vaccination card from their customers 12-years old and older to expand their capacity. You can download a pdf from the ICT (Costa Rican Travel Institute) for more in-depth information about this policy

So what does that mean exactly?? Not every venue will choose to request a vaccination QR code. You can ask your hotel concierge which venues might be applying this rule – in our experience, most are not. 

Here’s a little more information about traveling in Costa Rica that you may find helpful:

  • From December 17, 2021- April 1, 2022: those vaccinated outside the country who do not have a QR code will be able to verify their vaccination status using the physical card provided when they were vaccinated. This will allow these individuals to enter commercial establishments that require vaccination proof.
  • You will be required to wear a mask when inside or at most public places in Costa Rica, including public transportation. The exception is when you sit at a table and eat in a restaurant.
  • There is a daily nationwide nighttime vehicle restriction from 11:00 pm until 5:00 am (including Saturday and Sunday).
    • Note:As of March 7, 2022:

      Vehicle restrictions are eliminated as well as the health pass for nationals arriving in Costa Rica. Random checks will be done for visitors.

  • Taxis, tourists with proof of hotel and flight reservations, and emergency vehicles are still allowed to circulate at all times.
  • Most businesses can remain open seven days a week from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm.
  • National Parks may operate at 100% capacity.
  • Bars and casinos can operate at 50% capacity.

Important Update: As of April 1, 2022:

Tourists coming to Costa Rica, regardless of vaccination status,  will no longer be required to fill out the health pass or obtain the insurance requirement and all activities and events will be able to operate at 100% capacity without requiring the use of a QR Code.

Businesses and Activities for the month of March, 2022:

The voluntary use of the QR Code continues for stores, restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters and social events are maintained.

For sports, cultural, academic and business activities, as well as discotheques, dance halls and nightclubs, the capacity can now be 100% when requesting the QR Code and to 50% without the use of the QR Code.

Beyond COVID – What’s There to do in Costa Rica 2022?

Now that you know the rules around Costa Rica travel safety in the time of COVID, you’ll probably want to know what there is to do while traveling Costa Rica in 2022. 

Well, we are happy to report that our beautiful country is as full of fun things to do as it ever was. 

With the green season starting just around the corner in April, here are a few ideas for your Costa Rica vacation:

Costa Rica River Rafting 

We love river rafting in Costa Rica – especially when the green season gets off to a start. Fast-flowing rapids and lush green forests are your hosts as you ride the thrill of the river waves throughout the countryside of Costa Rica. Costa Rica has 14 river systems that start in the volcanic mountain ranges and flow out towards the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the San Juan River, or Lake Nicaragua — with plenty of waterfalls along the way. These rivers produce world-famous white-water rapids and beautiful scenery along the banks.

Arenal Volcano National Park Costa Rica

One of the most loved attractions in the country, Arenal Volcano National Park is a top contender for the best things to do in Costa Rica. Hot springs, a live volcano, the massive and beautiful Lake Arenal, restaurants, bars, and more, the area of La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano National Park has a lot to offer. There is plenty to keep the entire gang entertained in the area, from hiking to horseback riding, ATV tours, and various hot springs, including those at our own distinctive Hotel Arenal Kioro and Titokú hot springs. 

Surfing the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica 2022

Those who are just learning and experienced surfers alike will love surfing Costa Rica, famous for its excellent surf breaks all along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. 

From Tamarindo to Nosara, Tango Mar, Jaco Beach, Playa Hermosa, and Esterillos, hundreds of beaches along the Pacific Coast are perfect for surfing on every level. In addition, we have half a dozen beautiful, distinctive hotels to choose from – why not reach out today to talk to one of our experts about your perfect surf vacation package?

Don’t want to lug your board down to Costa Rica? No problem! Surf shops and board rentals abound in every surf town you’ll come upon. Not a surfer yet? Surf lessons are easy to come by as well. Just ask- there are private surf lessons and surf camps aplenty to choose from. 

Hiking, Birdwatching, and Nature Adventure- Costa Rica Calling 

The lush green rainforests and cloud forests of Costa Rica are abundant with wildlife and adventure for those who love the great outdoors. From the beautiful rainforest meets ocean jungles near Nicuesa Lodge in the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica to the gorgeously fresh cloud forest reserves of Monteverde, Costa Rica is a hiker’s paradise with plenty to discover.  

Travel Costa Rica in 2022? You Bet! There’s No Reason Not To!

Whether it’s a family vacation to Costa Rica for Spring Break 2022 or you’re getting an early jump on your summer escape, a romantic getaway, or maybe a work vacation for one, Costa Rica 2022 is the place for you this year. 

Sit back and relax, enjoy the surrounding nature, or get out and gather up some discovery and adventure; Costa Rica has something to appeal to every kind of traveler. We’re waiting to welcome you now. 

Reach out today to learn more about our small distinctive hotels in Costa Rica and to get some assistance with planning your Costa Rica travel in 2022.