Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas: Where Turtles and Tranquility Meet

Enchanting world of Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas—a coastal haven where pristine beaches, ancient reptiles, and Costa Rica’s rich wildlife converge. As the sun kisses the waves along the Tamarindo beach, families find solace in the rhythm of nature. Join us on this journey to discover the secrets of this protected marine park, where sea turtles nest, and adventure awaits.

 Turtle Nesting: A Natural Marvel

Costa Rica’s coastline is a sanctuary for sea turtles, and Las Baulas takes center stage. Here, the endangered leatherback turtles return year after year to lay their eggs. Witness the magic of nesting season as these majestic creatures emerge from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to dig their sandy nests. It’s a spectacle that leaves both young and old in awe.

From October to March, many of leatherback, olive ridley, and green sea turtles return to this National Park to lay their eggs, creating a mesmerizing display of nature’s wonders. Join a guided turtle nesting tour to witness this extraordinary event up close and learn more about the conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.

 Costa Rica Wildlife Extravaganza

Beyond the turtles, Las Baulas teems with life. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins, colorful birds, and elusive iguanas. The mangrove forests harbor secrets, and the estuaries—like the Estero de Tamarindo—beckon you to explore. Guided tours offer glimpses into this delicate ecosystem, where every leaf rustle and bird call tells a story.


 Six Must-Do Activities in Las Baulas

  1. Turtle Night Tours: Embark on a moonlit adventure to witness leatherback and olive ridley turtles nesting. Your guide will lead you to the nesting sites, ensuring minimal disturbance to these ancient mariners.
  2. Kayaking in the Estuaries: Glide through the winding waterways of Tamarindo’s estuaries. Spot crocodiles, herons, and maybe even a sleepy sloth hanging from the branches.
  3. Surfing at Playa Grande: Catch a wave at Playa Grande, where the surf is as inviting as the sun. Beginners and seasoned surfers alike will find their rhythm.
  4. Sunset Beach Picnics: Pack a basket and head to the beach. As the sun dips below the horizon, savor a family picnic with sand between your toes.
  5. Hiking in the Dry Forest: Explore the terrestrial side of Las Baulas. Hike the trails that wind through the dry forest, where howler monkeys serenade you from the treetops.
  6. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Tamarindo Beach and discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine life. Snorkeling and scuba diving excursions offer a unique opportunity to explore the park’s marine ecosystems and encounter fascinating sea creatures up close.


Capitán Suizo Beachfront Boutique Hotel: Your Surf Hotel Oasis

When it’s time to rest, retreat to the Capitán Suizo Beachfront Boutique Hotel. This charming surf hotel sits just steps from Playa Tamarindo. Imagine waking up to the sound of crashing waves, the scent of salt in the air, and the promise of adventure. Capitan Suizo offers cozy rooms, lush gardens, and a pool where kids can splash while parents unwind. Plus, it’s a stone’s throw from the turtle nesting sites!

As the stars twinkle above Las Baulas, you’ll realize that this coastal paradise is more than a destination—it’s an invitation to connect with nature and each other. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your binoculars, and let the magic of Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas weave its spell on your family. Pura Vida awaits!

A Family Adventure in Paradise: Exploring Rincon de la Vieja National Park

Nestled in the northwestern corner of Costa Rica, Rincon de la Vieja National Park stands as a testament to the country’s natural beauty and biodiversity. This captivating destination offers an array of activities for families seeking an adventurous escape amidst the wonders of nature. Join us as we explore the delights of Rincon de la Vieja, uncovering five exciting things to do in this tropical paradise that will create lasting memories for your family.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park: A Natural Playground for Families
Rincon de la Vieja National Park, named after the active Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, is a captivating haven for families seeking a harmonious blend of adventure and relaxation. As you step into this natural playground, the air is filled with the melody of tropical birds, and the scent of exotic flora envelops you in a sensory embrace.

Things to Do in Rincon de la Vieja: A Family-Friendly Adventure
1. Hiking Trails for All Ages: One of the most enchanting features of Rincon de la Vieja National Park is its network of hiking trails suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re embarking on the easy Las Pailas trail or opting for a more challenging ascent to the volcano’s summit, each trail offers a unique perspective of the park’s diverse landscapes. Encourage your family to explore the lush rainforests, discover hidden waterfalls, and witness the geothermal wonders that make this national park a true gem.

2. Mud Pots and Hot Springs: Rincon de la Vieja is renowned for its geothermal activity, and a visit to Las Pailas area provides a captivating encounter with mud pots and hot springs. The bubbling mud pots create a surreal landscape, while the soothing hot springs offer a relaxing respite. The experience is not only entertaining but also educational, allowing your family to witness the Earth’s raw power in action.

3. Canopy Tours and Zip-Lining: For families seeking an adrenaline rush, Rincon de la Vieja offers exhilarating canopy tours and zip-lining adventures (Borinquen Adventure Center). Glide through the treetops, soaring over canyons and rivers, as you witness the breathtaking landscapes from a unique perspective. This activity is a fantastic way to bond with your family while embracing the thrill of adventure in the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest.

4. Horseback Riding to Hidden Waterfalls: Explore the lush surroundings of Rincon de la Vieja on horseback, meandering through the trails that lead to hidden waterfalls. This family-friendly activity allows you to enjoy the scenic beauty at a leisurely pace while your guide shares insights about the local flora and fauna. The reward at the end of the trail is the mesmerizing sight and refreshing spray of a hidden waterfall – a perfect moment to create cherished family memories.

5. Wildlife Watching: Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. The diverse ecosystems support a myriad of species, including howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, sloths, and a plethora of colorful birds. Engage your family in a game of wildlife spotting as you traverse the trails. The excitement of spotting a toucan or a troop of monkeys amidst the treetops adds a touch of wonder to your adventure.

Borinquen Thermal Resort: Your Oasis in Rincon de la Vieja
After a day of exploration, retreat to the comfort of Borinquen Thermal Resort, an oasis nestled on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja. This family-friendly resort offers a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure. The comfortable accommodations provide a serene backdrop, while the resort’s amenities cater to both relaxation and excitement.

As you wrap up your family adventure in Rincon de la Vieja National Park, the memories of hiking through lush trails, soaking in hot springs, and witnessing the wonders of nature will linger in your hearts. Rincon de la Vieja offers a unique blend of family-friendly activities, ensuring that every member of your family, from the youngest to the oldest, can find joy and excitement in this tropical paradise.

To make the most of your family getaway, consider staying at Borinquen Thermal Resort, a member of Small Distinctive hotels of Costa Rica. Its idyllic setting, combined with top-notch amenities, will elevate your experience, providing a comfortable and memorable retreat after each day of exploration. The beauty of Rincon de la Vieja awaits your family – embark on this adventure, create lasting bonds, and immerse yourselves in the natural wonders of Costa Rica.

Unveiling Nature’s Marvel: Turtle Nesting at Ostional Wildlife Reserve

Nature is abundant with wonders, but some phenomena are so spectacular that they transcend imagination. One such event is the turtle nesting spectacle at the Ostional Wildlife Reserve. For families thirsting for both adventure and education, a trip to this reserve in Costa Rica offers a magical blend. Journey with us as we delve into what makes Ostional a cherished destination for travelers and why it should be on every family’s bucket list.

Ostional Wildlife Reserve – Nature’s Grand Theater

Nestled on the Nicoya Peninsula’s shores, the Ostional Wildlife Reserve is a sanctuary spanning over 200 hectares of land and sea. Its fame largely comes from being one of the world’s most important nesting sites for the olive ridley sea turtle. The sheer magnitude of turtle nesting here, particularly during the rainy season, is a sight so surreal that it leaves indelible memories on every visitor’s heart.


5 Memorable Family Activities in and Around Ostional

  1. Witness the Arribada: This is the mass nesting phenomenon where thousands of turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. Witnessing this event is the epitome of the turtle nesting experience at the Ostional Wildlife Reserve. Families can camp out during the night, guided by rangers, to see these ancient mariners in their most vulnerable, yet awe-inspiring moments.
  2. Guided Tours of the Reserve: While turtles are the main draw, the reserve is teeming with other wildlife. Take a guided tour to discover diverse bird species, monkeys, and iguanas. The knowledgeable guides often share fascinating insights, making it both fun and educational for kids.
  3. Surfing at Playa Ostional: Just adjacent to the reserve is Playa Ostional. Given its consistent waves, it’s an excellent spot for both novice and experienced surfers. Families can take group lessons and enjoy riding the waves together.
  4. Hiking the Nearby Trails: The areas surrounding the reserve boast some scenic hiking trails. These trails are moderate in difficulty, making them perfect for family excursions. As you trek, keep an eye out for wildlife, especially the vibrant bird species.
  5. Interactive Workshops: Some local organizations offer workshops on turtle conservation. These are interactive sessions where families can learn about the life cycle of turtles, threats they face, and how conservation efforts, like those at Ostional Wildlife Reserve, are making a difference.


Stay at The Gilded Iguana: A Surf Hotel

After days filled with adventure, families need a relaxing haven. The Gilded Iguana, known for its surf-centric approach, is the perfect blend of comfort and Costa Rican charm. Located conveniently near Ostional.

But it’s not just for solo wave riders. With spacious family rooms, a dedicated surf school, and a pool to laze around, it caters to travelers of all ages. Parents can relish the gourmet offerings at the hotel’s restaurant, while kids can enjoy at the play zone. It’s an experience that beautifully marries adventure with relaxation.


Getting to Ostional Wildlife Reserve

To reach the Ostional Wildlife Reserve:

  • By Air: The nearest airport is Nosara Airport. From here, it’s about a 30-minute drive to Ostional. Many hotels, including The Gilded Iguana, offer shuttle services.
  • By Road: If you’re coming from Liberia, take Route 21 to Route 160. The journey is approximately 2.5 hours. Though it’s a scenic drive, during the rainy season, some parts of the road can be challenging. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended.


Nature has a profound way of teaching and mesmerizing us, and the turtle nesting at Ostional Wildlife Reserve stands as a testament to that. This isn’t just a trip; it’s an immersive experience where families bond, not just with each other, but with nature itself.

If you’ve had the privilege of witnessing the arribada or have stories from your stay at The Gilded Iguana, share your memories below. Let’s inspire more families to embark on this unforgettable journey.

Discovering the Magic of Manuel Antonio National Park: A Family Adventure

Manuel Antonio National Park, with its sprawling rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife, stands as a beacon of natural beauty in Costa Rica. For families looking to infuse their travels with adventure and education, this place is nothing short of a paradise. If you’re wondering about things to do in Manuel Antonio that will captivate both kids and adults alike, read on for an experience that promises memories for a lifetime!

Why Manuel Antonio National Park Is a Must-Visit for Families

At the heart of the Pacific Coast, Manuel Antonio National Park stretches over 680 hectares. Though compact in size, it packs a punch with its offerings. From spotting three-toed sloths lazily hanging on trees to witnessing white-faced capuchin monkeys in action, the park teems with wonders that are sure to enthrall kids. And let’s not forget the idyllic beaches where waves playfully crash, inviting everyone for a splash!

Family-Friendly Activities in Manuel Antonio

  1. Guided Nature Walks: One of the best things to do in Manuel Antonio is embarking on a guided nature walk. Knowledgeable guides with keen eyes often point out creatures that you might miss. Listen to fascinating tales about the local flora and fauna, and watch your kids light up with delight as they discover nature’s secrets.
  2. Snorkeling at Manuel Antonio Beach: Dive into the clear waters and introduce your children to the vibrant underwater world. Colorful corals, playful fish, and maybe even a turtle or two await beneath the waves.
  3. Kayaking Mangrove Tours: For families with older children, kayaking through the mangroves is a thrilling adventure. As you paddle through serene waterways, keep an eye out for herons, kingfishers, and maybe even a sneaky crocodile sunbathing on the banks!
  4. Horseback Riding: Suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike, this activity is a great way to bond with nature and family. The routes often pass through lush forests, local villages.

Where to Stay: A Beachfront Haven at Alma del Pacifico

After a day full of adventure, families need a comfortable haven to rest, and there’s no better place than the beachfront hotel – Alma del Pacifico. Located just a short drive away from Manuel Antonio National Park, this hotel perfectly blends luxury and nature.

Wake up to the sound of waves, indulge in gourmet meals infused with local flavors, and watch the sunset paint the horizon in shades of orange and pink. With spacious rooms and amenities catering to families, it’s the perfect base for your Manuel Antonio escapade.

What sets Alma del Pacifico apart, especially for families, is its commitment to ensuring that even the youngest travelers feel at home. From special kids’ menus to child-friendly activities, they’ve thought of it all. Plus, being right on the beach means sandcastles, horseback riding, and endless fun are just a stone’s throw away!

Manuel Antonio National Park isn’t just a travel destination; it’s where stories come to life, where every tree whispers a tale, and every wave sings a lullaby. For families, it promises a blend of adventure, relaxation, and countless moments of wonder.

Whether it’s your first family trip or one of many, things to do in Manuel Antonio will ensure it’s an unforgettable one. And as the sun sets on your trip, with bags packed but hearts still yearning for more, you’ll know that this isn’t a goodbye. It’s a promise to return to this slice of paradise.

The Magic of the Rainy Season: Discovering Arenal Volcano

When people imagine a tropical getaway, they often picture sun-soaked beaches and crystal-clear skies. But there’s a unique charm that comes with the rainy season, particularly when exploring the lush landscapes around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. As the rain breathes life into the forests, rivers, and hot springs of the region, the environment transforms, revealing a side of nature that’s both vibrant and serene.

Arenal Volcano: Why It’s the Place to Be

Majestically rising from the lush plains of Costa Rica, Arenal Volcano stands as a testament to the raw power and breathtaking beauty of the natural world. It’s an iconic sight, with smoke often billowing from its summit against the backdrop of a gray sky. Yet, during the rainy season, there’s an added layer of mystique. Clouds roll in, wrapping the volcano in an ethereal veil. This creates a dramatic panorama, perfect for photographers seeking that dream shot or travelers looking for a moment of profound connection with nature.

Arenal Kioro: Your Rainy Season Retreat

When you’re not outside marveling at Arenal’s splendor, the perfect place to find refuge from the rain is Arenal Kioro. Nestled amidst 27 acres of rolling greenery, this hotel promises panoramic views of the volcano from every suite. Imagine sipping on a warm beverage, the rhythmic sound of rain against your window, and the volcano’s silhouette just beyond – it’s an experience that words can scarcely describe. With hot springs heated by the geothermal activity of the volcano itself and luxurious amenities to pamper you, Arenal Kioro ensures that your rainy season stay is both rejuvenating and memorable.


Top 5 Activities in the Arenal Volcano Area:

  1. Hot Springs Soak: The region is dotted with natural thermal springs. Luxuriate in these warm waters, especially lovely when there’s a cool drizzle from the skies.
  2. Hiking the Hanging Bridges: Traverse a series of suspension bridges amidst the dense rainforest canopy. With the rain amplifying the greens of the foliage, it’s like walking through a living, breathing emerald.
  3. La Fortuna Waterfall: A short hike leads you to this majestic waterfall. The rainy season sees it at its most powerful, with torrents of water cascading down.
  4. Cave Exploration: Delve into the Venado Caves. Formed over millions of years, these limestone caverns offer an adventurous day out as you navigate through chambers and passageways.
  5. Fishing on Lake Arenal: This expansive lake at the foot of the volcano is rich in fish like the rainbow bass. While many shy away from fishing in the rain, seasoned anglers know that this is often when fish are most active. The gentle patter of raindrops can stimulate feeding behaviors, making it a surprisingly fruitful time for this activity.

Why the Rainy Season?

Beyond the magical atmosphere it creates, the rainy season is a time of renewal. The forests are lusher, the rivers more robust, and the air is fresh with the scent of rain-soaked earth. Wildlife, too, seems to thrive, making it an excellent period for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

The rainy season also offers a more authentic experience. The paths are less trodden, allowing for moments of quiet introspection. Local establishments, like cafes and eateries, exude warmth, both literally and in spirit.

Arenal is a year-round destination, there’s an undeniable charm in visiting during the rainy season. It’s a time when nature showcases its might and tenderness simultaneously. Whether you’re gazing at the mist-shrouded Arenal Volcano, soaking in geothermal springs, or listening to the rhythmic symphony of raindrops at Arenal Kioro, it promises an experience that will linger in your heart long after your journey ends.

Exploring Tortuguero National Park: An Adventure in Costa Rica’s Caribbean Haven

Every year, travelers seek out unique destinations to immerse themselves in nature, find solace in tranquil surroundings, or embark on an adventure. Costa Rica, with its diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity, is often a top choice. One of the nation’s most remarkable gems is Tortuguero National Park, an exquisite mosaic of water channels, dense forests, and beaches that stretch for miles. But what makes this park even more enchanting? It’s one of the world’s premier nesting sites for endangered sea turtles. Here’s why Tortuguero should be on every nature lover’s bucket list.

Why Visit Tortuguero and Witness the Turtle Nesting Phenomenon?

Tortuguero offers an unparalleled experience for those who appreciate the intricacies of nature. Imagine the moon casting a silvery glow on a dark beach while a colossal sea turtle slowly makes her way ashore. She digs a pit, lays her eggs, and then returns to the vast ocean, leaving behind hope for the next generation. Witnessing this ancient ritual, unchanged for thousands of years, connects us with nature in its rawest form. It reminds us of the cyclical nature of life and our duty to protect these magnificent creatures and their habitat.

Getting to Tortuguero:
The adventure begins even before you reach the park. Tortuguero is remote and isn’t accessible by road in its entirety. Your journey will likely start from San José, Costa Rica’s bustling capital.

First Stop: Hotel Grano de Oro, San José
Before heading to Tortuguero, treat yourself to a night of luxury and comfort in San José’s Hotel Grano de Oro. This boutique hotel seamlessly combines Costa Rican Victorian architecture with modern comforts. Its central location makes it ideal for exploring the city, while its exquisite restaurant offers some of the best fusion cuisines in the country.

The next day, you can take a domestic flight from San José to Tortuguero. Alternatively, you can drive to the nearby town and then hop on a boat for the final leg. The boat journey, often through narrow channels surrounded by towering rainforest, is an experience unto itself.

Top 5 Things to Do in Tortuguero:

1. Turtle Watching: Depending on the season, you can observe various species, including green, leatherback, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles. Ensure you’re accompanied by a local guide who can offer insights while ensuring the turtles aren’t disturbed.

2. Canal Tours: Navigate the myriad of freshwater channels in a canoe or a motorboat. It’s a unique opportunity to spot diverse wildlife like caimans, manatees, and countless bird species.

3. Hiking: Various trails crisscross the park, suitable for both beginners and seasoned hikers. Walking amidst the lush greenery, you might spot sloths, monkeys, and rare birds.

4. Visit Tortuguero Village: Learn about the local way of life, visit the Sea Turtle Conservancy, and perhaps even enjoy a local meal.

5. Bird Watching: With over 300 bird species, including toucans, herons, and kingfishers, Tortuguero is a birder’s paradise.

In conclusion, Tortuguero National Park is not just a destination but an experience. It offers an intimate glimpse into the rhythms of nature, be it the epic journey of sea turtles or the daily life of the rainforest’s inhabitants. So pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this Caribbean jewel of Costa Rica.

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.

Best San Jose, Costa Rica Day Trips

Hotel Grano de Oro Costa Rica

Costa Rica´s Central Valley is best known for the bustling city landscapes that cover the valley floor and their gradual expansion up its green walls. Home to Costa Rica´s four largest cities, the Central Valley is definitely the epicenter of cultural, history, government, corporate, commercial, and gastronomical activities creating a world of opportunities. What may receive less attention or recognition is the variety of fun and interesting close-to-nature activities unique to this other beautiful part of Costa Rica. They are also close by, but which are the best San Jose, Costa Rica Day trips? Get ready for some adventure and spectacular one-day escapes!

The Central Valley is also home to the Small Distinctive Hotel, Hotel Grano de Oro which is  one of the best luxury hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica. This beautiful boutique hotel is located in the heart of the city, offering a unique experience for those who are looking to explore Costa Rica´s Central Valley. For discerning guests who enjoy nature, adventure, and culture, the hotel offers a range of one-day tours that showcase the region’s natural beauty and cultural richness. It also has a beautiful dining experience that is a perfect way to begin or end your day of adventure in the Central Valley.

Let´s explore the best San Jose, Costa Rica One-Day Tours! Ready?

1. San Jose City Tour


Teatro Nacional Costa Rica


For those interested in cultural experiences, the San Jose City Tour and National Theater visit is a great choice. This tour takes guests to some of San Jose’s most iconic landmarks, including the National Theater, which is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture.

Guests can learn about the city’s history and culture from an expert guide and take in the vibrant street scenes and cultural attractions along the way.

Hotel Grano de Oro offers guided tours and self-guided San Jose tours for its guests. Some of the notable attractions to visit include:

  • Art Museum and La Sabana Park
  • Central Market
  • National Theater
  • Pre-Colombian Gold Museum
  • National Museum
  • Jade Museum

A San Jose City Tour should also include parks and the Morazan and National Parks are worth a stroll through. The inner-city, historical suburbs of Amon, Otoya, Aranjuez, and Escalante are also visit-worthy. They are also where you can enjoy some great food.

2. White Water Rafting


Rafting hotel Costa Rica


From the streets of San Jose to the Central Valley´s pristine and very exciting rivers. Why not test your adventurous spirit and teamwork skills while rafting down a river filled with white water? This is a truly fun day where not only will you have to work hard to conquer the white waters, but there is also plenty of time to contemplate the absolute beauty of the river, their rainforest-laden banks, the variety of wildlife spotting opportunities, and the joy of the ride!

Costa Rica´s Central Valley is close to some of the best rafting rivers in the country, including the Pacuare, Sarapiqui, and Reventazon rivers. Rafting tours typically range from beginner to advanced levels and offer stunning views of the surrounding natural landscapes. White Water Rafting is a very popular San Jose Day Tour and while exhilarating and wild at times, you will more than likely, want to go again!

3. Irazú Volcano


Volcan Irazu tour Costa Rica


Another popular destination in the Central Valley is the Irazu Volcano, which is one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The volcano is located within the Irazu Volcano National Park, which is a protected area that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors can explore the summit of the volcano, which offers a panoramic view of the surrounding moon-like landscape and crater lake.

Part of the beauty of this San Jose One Day Tour is the journey to get there! You will pass through the city of Cartago and its treasures including the Our Lady of the Angels Basilica, Costa Rica´s most important religious sanctuary. It is an important symbol of Costa Rica´s religious and social history and from an architectural  perspective, it is a unique mixture of colonial and Byzantine styles.

A great add-on to your Irazu Volcano One-Day Tour is the Orosi Valley.

A visit to the Orosi Valley is also a must-see attraction in the Central Valley. The valley is home to a number of picturesque towns and villages that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich history and culture. Visitors can explore the colonial-era church in Orosi, which is one of the oldest churches in Costa Rica.

4. Visit a Coffee Farm


Coffee tour Costa Rica


Coffee or as it is fondly called, the Golden Bean became the foundation of colonial Costa Rican history. Thanks to the rich, volcanic soil, cool to warm tropical climate, ample sunshine, plenty of water, and impressive altitude, Costa Rica´s Central Valley checks all the best conditions for coffee-growing boxes. To this day, Costa Rica continues to produce delicious coffee and you can enjoy an uplifting cup (or two!) in many cafes, restaurants, and coffee plantations!

A signature San Jose Day Tour is a visit to a coffee plantation on the slopes of the Central Valley. This coffee producing region is one of Costa Rica´s best and during your guided visit to the plantation learning about the coffee-making process from start to finish means that coffee will take on a whole new meaning. The tour includes a visit to the coffee fields, where visitors can see the coffee plants up close and learn about the different varieties of coffee grown on the farm from picking the bright red bean off the plant to it being roasted.

A great add-on to your Coffee Plantation One-Day Tour is a visit to the quaint town of Sarchi.

Sarchi is a small town located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica that is not only is pretty but it is also known for its beautiful handicrafts, traditional oxcarts, and stunning natural beauty. One of the main attractions in Sarchi is the colorful oxcarts, which have become a symbol of Costa Rican culture. The carts are hand-painted with intricate designs and patterns and are used to transport coffee beans and other goods. Visitors can see the oxcarts up close at the Eloy Alfaro Oxcart Factory, which has been in operation since 1923.

5. Peace Waterfall Gardens Nature Park


Catarata de La Paz tour Costa Rica


At Peace Waterfall Gardens, you can stroll through lush gardens filled with exotic plants and flowers, as well as visit a variety of wildlife exhibits in the animal sanctuary where you can see monkeys, jaguars, toucans, and other animals up close including the hummingbird exhibit where you can see dozens of these beautiful birds in action, darting and hovering around feeders filled with sweet nectar. You may even have a chance to feed them by hand!

One of the highlights of a visit to Peace Waterfall Gardens is seeing its 5 waterfalls! This walk is not for the faint-hearted but is well worth it. The walk along paved trails and steps borders the steep canyon, offering spectacular opportunities to view the waterfalls, their pools, and the surrounding rainforest.

A great add-on to your Peace Waterfall Gardens One-Day Tour is a visit to the majestic Poas Volcano!

A visit to Poas Volcano in Costa Rica is an adventure like no other. This stunning natural wonder is located in the Central Valley and not far from Peace Waterfall Gardens. It offers visitors a chance to experience the power and beauty of one of the most active volcanoes in the country.

So, which is your favorite One-Day Tour? Include the Central Valley in your Costa Rica itinerary and experience the excitement and beauty of this vibrant space for yourself.

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, food, or just a great adventure, San Jose and the Central Valley have something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey. Hotel Grano de Oro can assist you with your best San Jose, Costa Rica one-day tours so see you soon!