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 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

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. 

The Costa Rican High Season Begins Soon

Start planning your Costa Rica Holiday Vacation Now

It’s probably been a while since you felt confident about international travel. 

Good news! Costa Rica has made it even easier for you to visit, just in time for the high season. Beginning in August of this year, the Costa Rican government has ruled that travel insurance is no longer required for those who have proof of vaccination. 

The holiday season is high season and that means lots of sunshine for the entirety of your visit to Costa Rica. With something for everyone, there is never a dull moment when you’re on vacation in Costa Rica. 

Romance is in abundance for couples visiting Costa Rica together, and the adventure never stops for groups of friends or families with older kids who are out for some thrills. 

For families with young kids, there is plenty of discovery and adventure too.  It’s a great opportunity to learn something new together and have an exciting and fun experience at the same time.

The whole gang – no matter who it’s made up of – is sure to enjoy the many ways to experience Costa Rica.

The boutique hotels of Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica are just that—distinctive. 

With fewer than 60 rooms, each one offers luxurious comfort in a unique style. We’ve listed a few of our favorites for you below.

Hotel Grano de Oro

Hotel Grano de Oro was originally a tropical Victorian home for the Pozuelo family, built at the turn of the 20th century. Each of the 21 rooms at Grano de Oro is distinctive and luxurious. This boutique hotel is the perfect place to get your bearings at the start of your vacation or wrap up your Costa Rican adventure in style if you’re flying in and out of Juan Santamaria International Airport.

Take an early morning walk to La Sabana Park, the largest in San José. The park features a running track, roller skate rink, and basketball courts. It’s just eight blocks from the hotel. 

You can also get your fill of Costa Rican culture at Mercado Central, which is just a 15-minute walk from the hotel. The market, built in 1880, is universally popular with locals and visitors alike. Offerings include hand-crafted gifts and souvenirs, flowers, spices, candles, meat, fish, and produce. The market is a maze of winding passageways with more than a dozen access points, so make a note of where you came in!

In the evenings, there are plenty of dining options (including Grano de Oro’s own 5-Star French Restaurant), el Teatro Nacional, and other entertainment options. 

Alma del Pacifico

Alma del Pacifico is set on Playa Esterillos Este about halfway between Jacó and Manuel Antonio National Park. If you’re looking for a seaside escape on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, this is the place.

The rooms reflect the country’s rich and colorful culture and include private terraces overlooking the Pacific or the tropical gardens. The mosaic-tiled showers open onto a private garden that will make you feel one with nature.

If you enjoy beachcombing, the broad stretch of beach is perfect for a leisurely amble or an invigorating run. Playa Esterillos Este is a popular surfing beach in Costa Rica, so you can hang ten or simply enjoy the waves from the shoreline. Board rental and lessons are available from one of many surf shops in the area. 

If you head down to Playa Hermosa to surf, keep in mind that surfing there can be challenging, so be sure to ask the pros about the best break for your skill level.

Manuel Antonio National Park is a small gem in Costa Rica’s national park system, just down the road from Alma del Pacifico near Quepos. It’s well known for its outstanding beaches and beautiful hiking trails—the main one is paved. Be sure to start with a tour; it’s worth the money for the guide’s expertise in explaining the park’s ecosystem and helping you spot the critters. However, plan for an early start. This popular park has a daily admission cap due to social distancing protocols. Manuel Antonio’s white sand beaches are for you if a day lounging on the beach is on your agenda.

Chiclets canopy tour, with 13 cables, a suspension bridge, and 15 platforms, is a rush for any adventurous visitor. Starting high above Playa Hermosa, at about 2,000 feet above sea level, you’ll fly through the canopy and experience the rainforest at macaw level. Stop for a breather on the platforms, and you get a canopy-level view of the rainforest’s treetop inhabitants—sloths, macaws, and monkeys—while enjoying the lush green surroundings. Certified and experienced bilingual guides help you with the safety equipment and point out the sights along the way. You’ll be a zipline pro in no time at all!

Hotel Capitán Suizo

Hotel Capitán Suizo, on Playa Tamarindo, is a 4-star beachfront hotel. Condé Nast and TripAdvisor have consistently rated this boutique hotel among the top hotels in Central America and the Caribbean. The beach here is perfect for swimming, surfing, or beachcombing. You’ll love the secluded location on the beach, close to town but still set apart at the end of the bay.

The province of Guanacaste is known for its dry tropical forests. This countryside is where you can enjoy horseback riding through the hills, pastures, and along the rivers. The leisurely pace gives you plenty of opportunities for seeing birds, howler monkeys, and exotic plant species. Of course, if you fancy a romantic ride along either Playa Brasilito or Puerto Viejo, you can do that too.

Las Baulas National Marine Park is just to the north, where, in December and January, you can watch the leatherback sea turtle hatchlings scuttle into the waves.

Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Surrounded on three sides by rainforest, with the calm waters of Golfo Dulce completing the setting, Playa Nicuesa is the ultimate unplugged escape. The trip to the resort is a tour in itself: dramatic coastal mountain views, lush rainforest, and the jade-colored waters of the gulf will restore your soul. Accessible only by boat, the eco-lodge resort is a unique experience you’ll savor.

Set out from the lodge’s back door for a hike through the rainforest wilderness of Piedras Blancas National Park. Piedras Blancas wraps around Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on three sides. Waterfalls and scenic hiking trails allow you to sample the rich biodiversity of the park: scarlet macaws, toucans, wild cats, peccaries, and monkeys.

With Golfo Dulce on the front doorstep, you have a choice of water sports. The resort offers several tours—kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, or whale watching and dolphin spotting. The nutrient-rich waters of the gulf practically guarantee you’ll see whales during calving because humpbacks from the northern hemisphere migrate to the waters around the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce.

COVID-19 Protocols: Things To Know Before Traveling to Costa Rica.

From August 1, 2021, Costa Rica allows fully vaccinated tourists (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, or Johnson & Johnson) to enter the country. The last dose of the vaccine must have been received a minimum of 14 days before arrival. For U.S. travelers, the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination record card is accepted as proof of vaccination.

Unvaccinated tourists, or those who aren’t fully inoculated with an approved vaccine, will need to buy travel insurance that covers the cost of lodging and medical care should they become ill while in the country.

Everyone traveling to Costa Rica must complete a digital Health Pass form within 72 hours of arrival in Costa Rica. Everyone in your group, including minors, must complete the form, which is available at https://salud.go.cr.

Plan now for your holiday getaway. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are happy to answer your questions and help you book your perfect vacation.

 

Why Choose Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica?

These boutique hotels offer you a unique, top-class experience in Costa Rica.

We’ve all been eager to get back to travel and Costa Rica is welcoming visitors with open arms. With dry season just around the corner, now is the time to start planning your Costa Rica vacation. 

But why choose Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica? What makes this group of boutique hotels so special? 

For starters, the members of Costa Rica’s Small Distinctive Hotels are boutique hotels with fewer than 60 rooms. They cater to guests who want unique options in their accommodations, and they are luxury hotels that meet the expectations of their travel-savvy guests.

Eight of the nine hotels have earned TripAdvisor’s 2021 Travelers’ Choice Awards in Costa Rica in the Top 25 Hotels and Best Small Hotels categories. Two have also ranked in the Most Romantic category.

Here are our top recommendations for your next trip to beautiful Costa Rica. 

Hotel Villa Caletas near Jaco Beach, Costa Rica

TripAdvisor has listed Villa Caletas as one of the 25 Top Hotels in Costa Rica. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, it is also ranked in the Top 10 Romantic Hotels category. The tropical colonial style at Hotel Villa Caletas includes Latin American earthenware and European art, oriental rugs, and terracotta masks. Near Jacó Beach, and just an hour’s drive from Juan Santamaria International Airport, the tropical rainforest views complement truly fantastic Pacific sunsets. 

From its hilltop perch, the boutique hotel offers you first-class facilities and service. El Anfiteatro, a Greek-style amphitheater, has spectacular gulf views and serves meals all day on the outdoor terrace. The same backdrop provides the perfect atmosphere for elegant, candlelit dinners at El Mirador Restaurant.

The hotel has 52 rooms and suites that offer a mix of views: tropical gardens, mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Amenities include terraces and private hot tubs. If themed rooms or suites take your fancy, choose from one of seven overlooking the Nicoya Gulf in the hotel’s Zephyr Palace.

The hotel’s private Caletas Beach is an adventure in itself. Four-wheel-drive vehicles take you down the mountainside path to the beach. But for a better chance to spot iguanas, agoutis, macaws, and monkeys, and if you’re up for the hike to the beach, you can take the Friends of the Forest Trail. Once at the private pebbled beach, you can enjoy the romantic seclusion on the beach from wooden, curtained gazebos.

Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa in Arenal, Costa Rica

Arenal Kioro, also among TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice for the 25 Top Hotels in Costa Rica, mixes luxury with its luscious green surroundings, a fabulous setting with views of Arenal Volcano. The hotel is set on 27 acres and bounded by two streams—La Palma and namesake Kioro. The lush gardens include private hot springs for your enjoyment.

The hotel’s 53 suites include two terraces with views of the volcano, hydro-massage facilities, air conditioning, standard amenities, and internet connection at no additional charge. Guests can also enjoy relaxing spa treatments.

The chef’s unique offerings, inspired by international cuisine, are on offer at the hotel’s  Heliconias Restaurant. House specialties include meats and seafood. In addition, Restaurante Orquideas is open for snacks and a themed dinner nightly.

With more than 14 adventure tours, you can hike to a dormant crater, try your hand at rock climbing, or kayak on Lake Arenal for a combination of water sport and birdwatching. Or, you can simply relax at the hot springs. It’s all up to you.

Tango Mar Beachfront Boutique Hotel & Villas

The 43 rooms at Tango Mar sit on a 150-acre exclusive, private beachfront reserve on the Nicoya Peninsula. Among Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice for the 25Top Hotels in 2021, the mix of luxury accommodation, attentive service, and exuberant jungle wildlife makes it the perfect hideaway.

The hotel offers luxury accommodation for groups and individuals, with a mix of offerings: oceanfront rooms primarily for families or groups and tropical suites for couples. The hotel’s Tiki suites and deluxe beachfront rooms meet the exacting requirements of the most discerning guest.

Tango Mar serves international, gourmet cuisine, as well as Costa Rican fare. At The Cristobal Restaurant, overlooking the Pacific, you’ll enjoy breakfast and dinner in a casual and romantic setting. For lunch or light meals, El Pirata serves sandwiches, cocktails, and salads throughout the day.

In addition, the property has a 9-hole golf course, two tennis courts, and four swimming pools. Tango Mar offers tours if you want to explore the protected Nicoya Peninsula.

The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel of Nosara, Costa Rica

According to TripAdvisor, The Gilded Iguana Surf Hotel is among the 25 Best Small Hotels in Costa Rica. It was also named in 2019 (and nominated in 2020 and 2021) as Costa Rica’s leading hotel by World Travel Awards, the travel industry’s premier rating program.

As the hotel’s name suggests, The Gilded Iguana has been Nosara’s premier surfing hotel since 1988. With direct access to Playa Guiones—the area’s best-known beach—surfers come to experience one of the most consistent surf breaks in the world.

The Gilded Iguana goes beyond the basics, including complimentary Wi-Fi, an on-site restaurant, and breakfast daily. The hotel’s amenities are more than a match for the best Costa Rican hotels. Designed for your comfort, the hotel’s rooms include handmade, artisanal décor, custom furniture, and high-end furnishings.

The surf school and club are open to all surfers, regardless of age or experience; it’s set about 200 yards from the beach. The hotel’s instructors, certified by the International Surfing Association, can help you find the proper surf break for your abilities and hone your skills.

You can also take advantage of the hotel’s mountain biking program with bike rentals and weekly rides. The instructors on-site can show you a different beach or jungle experience that you won’t find elsewhere. If yoga, lounging by the pool, or beachcombing is on your schedule, The Gilded Iguana has that too!

Hotel Belmar in Monteverde, Costa Rica

TripAdvisor has named the Hotel Belmar one of the top hotels for romance (12th). It’s also given the hotel its Travelers’ Choice Award for Small Hotels in 2021; Business Insider’s review of eight incredible hotels in Costa Rica includes Hotel Belmar.

This boutique hotel sits in the lush cloud forest of the Monteverde Reserve on nine acres; six of them are untouched forests and home to endangered species. With a focus on eco-tourism, Hotel Belmar supports the local community and works to preserve the environment, giving you an insider look at the “real” Costa Rica.

Hotel Belmar emphasizes your experience with nature, whether it’s through yoga classes or private trails on the property. Tours include visiting a coffee farm or wildlife refuge, horseback riding, and ziplining. The hotel also has immersive programs for farm-to-fork dining and cocktails; you gather the ingredients and learn to make it all yourself.

The Perfect Costa Rica Vacation

Regardless of which hotel you choose, you can be assured of a one-of-a-kind Costa Rica vacation while sitting in the lap of luxury when you book with us. Reach out today and let us help you create your perfect Costa Rica trip.  

Whether it’s a romantic rain-season getaway while the kids are in school or the upcoming holidays, you can’t go wrong with a distinctive property from Small Distinctive Hotels of Costa Rica.

 

School’s Out! Time to Visit Costa Rica.

It’s Summertime! A perfect time for a Costa Rica family vacation. 

Costa Rica is one of the best family vacation spots imaginable for families with small children and teens. 

Full of adventure and discovery, Costa Rica is fun for the entire family with so many spaces and situations that are ideal for family bonding, plenty of opportunities for nature discovery,  and a mountain of teachable moments for school-age kids when it comes to sustainability. 

Of course, visiting a Latin American country like Costa Rica means experiencing a new culture and perhaps even learning a bit of Spanish. Traveling is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the subtleties of culture, about patience and expectation, and about the fact that there is so much more to the world than the one they live in back home. 

While in Costa Rica, you and the family can learn about preserving and respecting nature, about leaving no trace, and taking no souvenirs other than memories and photos (and even then, with strict attention to non-disturbance). It’s an opportunity to give back by cleaning up trash on the beach and to open a discussion about sustainability and preservation, two qualities that, as a country, Costa Rica prides itself on.

With Memorial Day just around the corner, Summer vacation is about to begin. Why not take the kiddos on a great vacation to Costa Rica?

Here are five family-fun activities for your summer vacation with the kids in Costa Rica.

Horseback riding in Costa Rica – a leisurely way to see the countryside.

One of the most exciting and adventurous ways to explore Costa Rica is via horseback. This peaceful, natural mode of transportation provides an authentic and personal experience with nature’s diverse surroundings. While there are countless tours available all over the country, a few stand out above others for their uniqueness or reputation in this field.

Reach out to your concierge to learn which is the best Costa Rica horseback riding tour for you. 

Costa Rica river rafting – an exciting adventure for the whole family.

At the beginning of May, Costa Rica’s rivers rise and make it an ideal time for aquatic adventurers to take on whitewater.

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for thrill-seekers looking to find new ways to explore our world’s waterways. Boasting one of the most diverse collections of rivers in all Latin America, Costa Rican whitewater rafting and kayaking enthusiasts are treated to a whole range of different levels from light rapids over long distances (perfect for beginners) through to class IV+ V waves with drops up 40 feet!

Costa Rica has some 14 major river systems originating within its mountains. All but two flow into either the Pacific or Caribbean coastlines; this provides many beautiful opportunities for those who love adventure sports like white water rafting and kayaking– making it among top destinations worldwide when looking at these types of outdoor activities!

Costa Rica rainforest canopy tours for the entire family.

There are dozens of zipline canopy tours, tranopy tours, and rainforest canopy bridges to choose from in Costa Rica. 

That means that there is something for everyone when it comes to getting up into tree-tops and close to nature. 

Your heart will be beating fast as you fly through the jungle, suspended by a zip line. Ziplining is an adventure of a lifetime and is safe for all ages! The canopy tour traverses across forests atop cables and platforms so that participants may enjoy the view from up high before experiencing exhilarating speeds down below.

With very safe equipment being used in hands of experienced guides, every participant has access to trekking at heights unreachable without this course – making it uniquely thrilling while still remaining completely stable.

Let your adrenaline flow while you traverse tropical jungles on a system of cables and platforms with nothing but safety gear between yourself and nature’s wild beauty above ground or far beneath what lies within these depths; use caution though because some

Butterfly gardens, cacao farms, and coffee plantations – Costa Rica’s jewels.

The entire gang can learn about butterflies and their lifecycle by visiting a butterfly farm, or discover the taste of the cacao bean before it becomes chocolate, and even participate in making chocolate delicacies yourselves! 

So much for families with younger kids, this is not only a great time but also a wonderful learning experience.

Hiking and nature in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica’s vast biodiversity provides the perfect opportunity for families to catch sight of animals, birds, reptiles, and flora in abundance; you and the gang will see things up close and personal that you might only ever see on television or in a zoo back home. A sloth hanging out in a tree on the beach, or an ant-eater gathering up his morning meal; white-faced capuchin monkeys who are likely to steal your backpack, looking for food, or that toucan you’ve only ever seen in its cartoon form on the back of a cereal box.

Hiking through the forest to swim at the bottom of a majestic waterfall

Costa Rica offers some of the best surfing and stand-up paddle in the world.

Costa Rica boasts more than 800 miles of coastline and over 300 beaches, divided between its Pacific and Caribbean sides. That means there are plenty of places to surf, learn to surf or enjoy stand-up paddleboarding. 

For families with kids, it’s a great opportunity to learn something new and have an exciting adventure while they’re at it. 

There’s never a dull moment on your summer family vacation in Costa Rica.

There is so much fun to be had and so many things to see and to learn about in Costa Rica, you’ll never once hear the complaint, “I’m bored!”

Where you have small children or teenagers, there is something to keep the entire family entertained and engaged when you take your family vacation in Costa Rica. 

School is out now. Time to start thinking about taking the family on vacation to Costa Rica.

Reach out today and start planning your summer Costa Rica trip. This will be the best family getaway you ever had!  

Costa Rica Travel During COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions about visiting Costa Rica during COVID-19 in 2021

While travel to many countries has been restricted during the last year, Costa Rica opened its borders to all visitors in late 2020.

The land borders reopened to arriving tourists on April 5, 2021.

We think Costa Rica has done a wonderful job of educating the public about COVID-19 safety measures, and while there are some restrictions in place to keep you safe, there is still plenty to do and see in this beautiful country.

We are happy to hear our travel clients asking about Costa Rica travel amidst the pandemic and, specifically, about what the rules are for public safety and touring the country in 2021. 

We put together a list of frequently asked questions so that you can be prepared for your trip to Costa Rica. 

Q. Are there travel restrictions regarding specific countries – or can anyone come to Costa Rica?

A. No. There are no travel restrictions for Costa Rica at this time. If you’ve got a passport and travel visa, you are welcome to visit!

Q. Will I need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country?

A. No. Costa Rica does not require a negative COVID test to enter the country. 

Q. Are there any special requirements for coming to Costa Rica during the pandemic? 

A. Yes. There are a few things you need to have in place:

  • You’ll need to show proof of intent to leave the country within 90 days. To do that, you can show your return ticket or a ticket to another destination outside the country. 
  • You’ll need to show proof of medical insurance that will cover any COVID-19 medical attention you may need, as well as quarantine lodging, while you remain in the country.  Your insurance policy will need to reflect coverage for the time you intend to remain in Costa Rica for your visit. For example, if your trip is for two weeks, you’ll need 14-days worth of coverage. You can obtain this special medical insurance coverage either through the National Insurance Institute (INS) or through Sagicor of Costa Rica. The cost of your coverage will be about $12 – $23 per day, depending on your age. Seniors over 70 will pay a higher premium.
  • Costa Rica also requires that each member of your party fill out a health pass. This can be found here. This is an electronic form that can be quickly and easily filled out online before your arrival. You’ll be able to get a QR code to display at the airport authorities when you land.

Q. Will my group and I be required to self-quarantine for any length of time when we arrive in Costa Rica? 

A. No. Visitors to Costa Rica are not required to quarantine- you are welcome to enjoy the country at your leisure during your vacation here. 

Q. Does Costa Rica have safety measures in place? Are there any restrictions we should be aware of? 

A. Yes. Costa Rica does have safety measures in place to help protect you and everyone from the COVID-19 virus. 

  • Face coverings are mandatory in all indoor settings except when eating, while alone, or in a private home.  
  • All commercial workers who interact with the public are required to wear face coverings as well.  
  • Face shields can be worn, but only if a face covering is worn underneath.  
  • Face coverings are also required at bus stops and aboard all forms of public transportation including Ubers and taxis.  
  • Face coverings can be either surgical or homemade, as long as they cover the nose and mouth.  
  • The Ministry of Health has stated facial coverings should not include venting devices in order to provide maximum protection against COVID-19.
  • Though there is a daily nationwide nighttime vehicle restriction from 11:00 pm until 5:00 am, Taxis, Ubers, tourists with proof of hotel and flight reservations driving rental cars, and emergency vehicles are allowed to circulate at all times.
  • The majority of commercial businesses can remain open 7 days a week from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm.
  • National Parks may operate at 100% capacity
  • Bars and casinos can operate at 50% capacity
  • Beaches will be open from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm

Q. is there anything important we need to know about returning home from Costa Rica?

A. Yes! Many countries – including the United States and Canada –  require you to present proof of a negative COVID test if you are flying into or transiting through their nation.

More than 100 private labs across Costa Rica offer PCR and/or antigen coronavirus tests.  Here is a list of places you can get tested before leaving Costa Rica. Keep in mind that antigen tests are accepted by the U.S. but are not valid for entry to many countries, including Canada. It is recommended that you get the PCR test. Both tests are obtained through nasal swabs. The antigen test results typically come back faster than the PCR test, which can take about 48 hours.  

We advise that you schedule your test for your testing three days prior to departure from Costa Rica, as it can take up to 48 hours to get your test results back. The test results will be emailed to you and you can present the electronic results at the airport to your airline attendant. 

Keep in mind that if you do test positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health will issue a 10-14 day quarantine order. 

Costa Rica- a great option for reigniting your travel plans.

As more and more people get vaccinated around the world, and in Costa Rica, travel is starting to inch back into everyone’s plans. We’re pleased that Costa Rica continues to keep its borders open and welcome visitors like you.

Reach out today to book your perfect Costa Rica vacation.  We’re standing by to help you plan your escape. Let’s face it- a great vacation is long overdue! What could be better than the adventure, discovery, and lush tropical delights of Costa Rica?