This Central American country has everything!
We traveled to San Jose, the capital, on JetBlue from Ft Lauderdale (great airline, by the way).
Spent one night at the Carriari Doubletree, then headed to Guanacaste State on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The drive takes about 4 hours depending on the stops (not much for us, the girls were in a rush to get to the resort for some reason). There are many options for side trips on this trip. I regret now, too late, that we took very little … like a volcano and / or cloud forest.
The road from San Jose to Liberia (the city where we stuck left on the coast and resort) is part of the Pan American Highway. As you can see from the image, it is rapidly expanding into a four-lane highway by the Costa Rican government. Expected completion time is about two years. This improvement will easily reduce driving time between San Jose and Guanacaste by an hour or more. (The existing two roads are in good condition .. It is the traffic that slows you down.)
For the next five days and nights, we relaxed in a duplex duplex bungalow at the all-inclusive Hilton Papagayo resort, on Papagayo Bay.
We shared the other side of our unit with our daughter and our girlfriend. Our hillside location has proven to be perfect for accessing the resort’s “adults only” section – an area consisting of a spa, pool, dining and beach area.
The grounds (and trees) surrounding our bungalow we shared with some very large and friendly iguanas and howling monkeys. A quick note on monkeys: while she’s shy, she’s also very curious. We have been warned not to leave anything unattended that might be of use to them – whether on the front porch or on the beach. Young demons seem to have the habit of taking things – like towels, cameras, clothes, etc. – back into the trees with them. Then, once their curiosity is satisfied, they leave things there. Therefore, unless you want to find your property in the tree tops when you return, it is best to leave them indoors or guard.
All non-motorized water sports are included on the Hilton Papagayo. Jet skis and deep sea fishing are additional, but affordable. The newly occupied Joni & Cameron caught six grouper during a morning picnic, all cleaned, cooked and served for lunch by the resort chef within an hour of landing. Talk about new!
Minivans – in fact doping golf carts – constantly roam the resort paths, offering guests tours between the huts and the various attractions of the property. We found it best to walk a distance as a way to exercise some great food! As you can see from my shadow on this road to the dining area, I became taller and thinner.
We encountered some unshy howl monkeys at the zoo located at the base of the zip line facility. One looked exactly at home on Savey’s shoulders.
One afternoon, the spa staff hosted a beachside scrub for couples … it was a mixture of honey, ground coffee powder and some kind of moisturizer. The lagoon and I pulled out of this small event.
Did you mention the food? Fabulous! Lots of fresh seafood and many alternative restaurants to choose from .. at no extra cost.
The postal line was completely different from what we expected. Instead of one trip to Earth from a tower or cliff, we experienced a series of eleven trips through tree tops in the woods. Once it was raised to a higher level of the tree, I had the pleasure of traveling from one station to another without returning to the ground again .. until we reached the last compressed line to “terra firma” after about an hour.
We enjoyed an audience of different creatures while invading their high field.
Quick monkeys! One of our party approached a little when taking a photo. In the Al-Ain block, a small carriage grabbed its sunglasses. The coach had to take it back.
Costa Rica is truly a paradise for nature lovers. The Papagayo Hilton is a particularly attractive, comprehensive and affordable hotel. To view prices on this property, go here.