My Costa Rica trip began with a flight into San José, through an airline that services the south of the country. After landing, I hopped onto a small airplane for a quick 25-minute flight to the Nicoya Península. Separated from the mainland of Costa Rica by the Gulf of Nicoya and the Tempisque estuary, tourism and expat living flourish along this coast.
At the heart of the Nicoya Península is Santa Teresa, where I stayed at Nantipa. Nantipa is a luxury, boutique beach resort. The Costa Rican cuisine was a clear highlight of this trip. The food was fantastic, with the freshest ceviche I’ve ever had! The property of Nantipa was very modern and set amongst a beautiful, lush landscape.
The experiences of Nantipa were many, including a mixology class on the property. Surfing was another option for an activity, which is about a 5-minute walk down the beach. Another highlight was horseback riding which is located about 35 minutes from the resort at Hacienda Arío along the stunning coast. Hacienda Arío is a working, family-owned ranch that encompasses almost 5000 acres on the Pacific coast in the heart of the Nicoya Península.
If you’re looking for a non-touristy, remote area to vacation, Nantipa is the perfect place that’s hard to find elsewhere in the U.S. and Caribbean!
My next stop was San José where I stayed at El Presidente. An iconic landmark in this city, El Presidente has a contemporary feel and vibrant ambiance in the heart of downtown San José. The main areas of the hotel were very well-designed. The suites at El Presidente were recently renovated. These suites are the perfect choice in San José!
Then I headed north to Chayote Lodge. This is a little property with unbelievable views. Chayote Lodge lies along the outskirts of the mountainous central valley and is about 1500 meters above sea level, located in a forested area. Coffee is grown in this area! From this property, clients could go on coffee tours or even experience a cooking class with a local resident in their kitchen!
Traveling north again, I headed to the Arenal Volcano, hot springs, and rainforest. I stayed at the Tabacon hotel and spa, which is the only all natural hot springs resort in the area. From here, you can have an activity-filled adventurous day, or spend it relaxing in the thermal spas. Some of my activities included canyoning, visiting the hot springs and planting a tree to help draw the colorful macaws back to the area. There is so much to do up here – this area should be a definite visit on anyone’s list coming to Costa Rica!
My travels north eventually came to an end, and I took a 3.5-hour ride back to the Pacific coast where we stayed at El Mangroove, part of the autograph collection. Here we enjoyed their beautiful pools and had a wonderful day trip via boat from the beach right in front of the hotel to cap off the trip. From El Mangroove, I took a short 25-minute drive to the Liberia airport where I took my international flight back to the states.
The national motto of Costa Rica is Pura Vida, meaning pure life. The purities of life are surely admired and celebrated here. A beautiful country and the adventure of a lifetime!