Archive for the ‘National Parks’ Category

Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast a Top Destination, Says Lonely Planet

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Lonely Planet—the world’s biggest and most successful travel guide series—ranks Costa Rica’s lush Caribbean coast as one of 2016’s best vacation destinations. The respected publication claims the region offers unbeatable value, and a taste of everything that makes Costa Rica one of the greatest places for a family vacation or romantic escape.

Caribbean coast garners praise from Lonely Planet

playa-cocles-costa-ricaLonely Planet writer Tom Hall is a veteran globetrotter and knows the inherent benefits of getting off the tourist trail for a more authentic travel experience. In places like Cahuita and Manzanillo, he claims you’ll discover “a still-evolving destination that’s likely to become a big noise over the next few years.” In sum: the entire coastal region, both north and south of Limon, boasts all of the natural beauty of Costa Rica but without the heavy crowds.  Hall’s other destinations that made the cut for best value included Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Estonia, Galicia in Spain, East Africa, Quebec City, and Western Australia.

Ideal for surfing, snorkeling and beach lovers

While the Caribbean draws its share of visitors each year, most are independent travelers, birdwatchers or die-hard surfers who come to test their mettle on the pounding waves churning off the coast of Puerto Viejo and Playa Cocles. Beyond wild surf, the coast is dappled with gorgeous black and white sand beaches. For extraordinary underwater explorations, head to Manzanillo and book a snorkeling tour of the coral reefs. Or, swing by Cahuita National Park where tour guides offer a combo trip that includes a short hike along sandy trails followed by a glass-bottom-boat tour.

?????????Sea turtles of Tortuguero

If the reggae beats of Puerto Viejo and neighboring beaches isn’t quite your scene, set your sights northward to the river town of Tortuguero, where black-water canals and rugged beaches host incredible biodiversity. In all, five species of endangered sea turtles nest on Tortuguero’s beaches, with most of the action happening between July and October. When you’re not watching 350-pound reptiles lay eggs by moonlight, you can relax and enjoy the copious wildlife that inhabits the protected wetlands, including spider and howler monkeys, basilisk lizards, sloths, herons, toucans and spectacled caimans.

Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

Lonely Planet pays special tribute to one notable tourist attraction—Limon’s Sloth Sanctuary near Cahuita. Admission fees go toward the veterinary care and feeding of injured and orphaned sloths. Tours feature a guided canoe ride through the sanctuary’s tropical lowland rainforest and visits with resident two and three-toed sloths, including the beloved mascot named Buttercup. Their coveted behind-the-scenes tour even includes a trip to the Slothpital clinic, and a chance to see adorable babies in the on-site nursery.

Costa Rica at a Glance – Interesting Stats & Facts

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

In the context of memorable vacations,costa-rica-map Costa Rica evokes images of palm-fringed beaches, sultry rainforests brimming with wildlife, and the delighted yips of zip-line adventurers as they hurl their bodies from one platform to the next. But did you know that Costa Rica is also a model of environmental stewardship and boasts a long history of pacifist policies? Read on for interesting tidbits about Costa Rica’s people, history, and culture.

The people of Costa Rica

As of 2016, the population of Costa Rica hovers just under 5 million, with the majority of residents centralized in the San Jose metro area and Central Valley. More than 95 percent of “Ticos” are of European descent, and less than 2 percent of Costa Rican residents are of indigenous ancestry, many of whom live in the country’s remote mountain regions. More than a century ago, legislators declared that education was to be mandatory and free for all citizens, accounting for today’s high literacy rate of 97 percent.

No longer a cash crop nation

Formerly a cash crop nation reliant on coffee, sugar, and bananas, Costa Rica is now a major exporter of software technology and medical instruments. The country’s growing economy is driven by tourism, electronic exports, and some agriculture, and it enjoys robust foreign investment, thanks to highly incentivized free-trade zones. Compared to its Central American neighbors, Costa Rica has a large middle class, largely comprised of working class, highly-educated professionals.

Green policies and environmental focus

In 2012, Costa Rica was rated the planet’s 5th Greenest Country by the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). This tiny nation has demonstrated what many have found inconceivable: achieving nearly 100 percent renewable energy through natural resources. A winding river system and substantial rainfall provide hydroelectric power, which accounts for 80 percent of all energy production. The remaining is made up of geothermal, solar, and biomass power. With renewable-energy targets being met, Costa Rica continues a steady path toward becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2021.

costa-rica-no-armyNo army since 1948

You’ve probably heard (or learned first-hand) that Costa Rica is one of the most biologically diverse nations, housing an astounding variety of flora and fauna. Biologists claim that you’ll find more than 600 species of animal for each 10,000 square miles—compared to 104 in the U.S.! But did you know that Costa Rica abolished its standing army in 1948? This bold feat was ordered by then-President Jose Figueres Ferrer, who announced the country’s military spending would be directed toward education, health care, and environmental protection. Nearly 70 years later, it’s obvious that this bold decision has paid off.

Diving with Sharks at Cocos Island

Friday, September 25th, 2015

cocos-island-hammerhead-sharksSituated 340 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, Cocos Island is one of the world’s greatest spots for scuba diving with sharks. A 34-hour boat ride takes thrill seekers to this lush and secluded island, where scalloped hammerheads and whitetips school in billowing masses amid the nutrient-rich currents. This UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site was declared a national park in 1978, and offers divers unparalleled opportunities to swim with large numbers of marine predators.

Cocos Island fast facts

  • The island is uninhabited

  • Cocos receives approximately 275 inches of annual rainfall

  • Best time to see large numbers of hammerhead sharks is May-November (rainy season)

  • Visitors dive from a custom live-aboard boat for the 10-day trip

  • Accessible via San Jose to Puntarenas, where live-aboard boats depart

  • Named the world’s most beautiful island by Jacques Cousteau

  • Recommended for advanced divers due to strong currents

  • Most of the dive sites are volcanic islets with a max. depth of 130 feet

  • Average water temperature is  72-83 degrees; wetsuits required

Diversity of aquatic life

scuba-diving-cocos-island

Circling masses of hammerhead sharks are the main draw of Cocos Island, but divers can also expect to cross paths with other species including tiger, silky, Galapgos, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks that scour the underwater seamounts for food. Though slightly less common, whale sharks – some reaching over 18-feet in length –also swim through the strong currents surrounding Cocos Island. Divers often glimpse graceful manta rays, marble and eagle rays, as well as green sea turtles, dolphins, parrotfish, moray eels, jacks and snapper.

Popular dive sites

There are nearly 20 dive sites around this volcanic seamount, which is home to some 260 species of fish. Pelagic sea life among the submerged pinnacles is especially abundant between 60 and 90 feet. Bajo Alcyone is the most notable site for massive manta rays and scalloped hammerheads, which can number in the hundreds at this cleaning station. Dirty Rock is another dynamic site known for its pelagic marine life and thriving masses of hammerheads and other apex predators. Night dives at Manuelita promise close encounters with unbelievable numbers of whitetip reef sharks as they hunt their prey.

Dominical Beckons with Wildlife & Adventure

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Dominical’s palm-kissed beaches feel worlds away from civilization. Perched in a hammock overlooking the shore, travelers are lulled by the surging crashes of water against rock and sand. Yet this burgeoning Costa Rica vacation destination is more accessible than ever, thanks to smoothly paved roads and local airlines SANSA and Nature Air. Oft described as a sort of Robinson Crusoe type of town, Dominical lures adventurers, wildlife lovers and surfers who want to hang ten on one of the world’s longest left breaks.

Dominical at a glancehumpback-whale-watching-dominical

Location: Pacific Coast, 29 miles south of Manuel Antonio & Quepos
Major Attractions: Nauyaca Waterfalls, Hacienda Baru Wildlife Refuge and the Osa Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary
Accommodations:  Ocean view and jungle villas, all-inclusive resorts, hotels, and budget hostels
Mostly caters to: Nature lovers; couples; families and nature enthusiasts
Weather:  Dry season months (December- April); Green Season (May-October)
Temperature: Average daily temperatures 77 – 89 degrees F

A secluded beach destination 4 hours from San Jose

Driving to Dominical from the San Jose international airport (SJO) is a snap via the Caldera Highway 27 and Route 34, which meander past dense African Palm fields and the popular beach towns of Jaco and Manuel Antonio. In less than four hours (or just 35 minutes by air!) you have arrived in paradise. Most of the town’s roads are unpaved, a signal that you’re off the tourist trail and in relaxation mode.

Tree climbing and canopy tours in Hacienda Baru

The rugged mountains framing Dominical are filled with primary and secondary rainforest, tumbling waterfalls and brackish rivers that are teeming with flora and fauna of every size and shape. Two-toed sloths, toucans, howler and white-faced monkeys and vibrant poison dart frogs make their home in this biodiverse habitat. Just a mile north of the town, Hacienda Baru Wildlife Refuge offers tree climbing and zip-line tours in its massive protected area.

Family-friendly ride to Nauyaca Waterfalls

nauyaca-waterfalls-dominical-tour

Giddy-up partner, it’s time for a leisurely and scenic horseback ride to some of the area’s most stunning cascades at Nauyaca Waterfalls. Cool, mountain water flows over three tiers in this 130-foot natural wonder. The excursion includes pit stops for wildlife watching and a hearty, tropical breakfast before arriving at the falls where you can swim in the natural pools or climb up for a jump.  The horses are well-trained and suitable for riders of all levels including children as young as five.

Dolphin & whale watching at Marina Ballena National Park

This privileged part of the country enjoys nearly year-round whale watching in nearby Ballena National Marine Park, where humpbacks come to breed and bare their young. Depending on the weather conditions, tours may offer snorkeling in addition to sightseeing.

To enjoy this transcendent setting in the lap of luxury, please contact us about our available Dominical vacation villas – and be sure to ask about low season specials!

Tortuguero — the Ultimate Spot for Viewing Nesting Sea Turtles

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

sea-turtle-nesting-tortuguero A recent feature in Forbes magazine extolls the many charms of Tortuguero, the crown jewel of Costa Rica’s northern Caribbean coast. Author Sherrie Nachman was enamored with the sloths, howler monkeys and toucans of this authentic hamlet, but was truly dazzled by the dozens of nesting sea turtles that return to its shores year after year. In fact, Tortuguero is the Western Hemisphere’s largest nesting site for the green sea turtle, one of several endangered species that frequent this unique area of Costa Rica.

Green sea turtle nesting period

Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are the most common species to nest in Tortuguero, though loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback also frequent its protected beaches. The official nesting season for green sea turtles is July 1st through October 31st, but visitors may witness females lumbering ashore into the early weeks of November. Turtle tours, led by professionally-trained naturalist guides, are only held at night when the bulk of the action is happening.  Turtle sightings are never guaranteed, but if you visit during the nesting season, you’re likely to view anywhere from 2-5 ancient-looking reptiles with the help of eagle-eyed turtle spotters.

Evening turtle tours unveil the miracle of life

tortuguero-canals

Guests are asked to wear dark clothing, leave their flashlights and cell phones at the lodge, and follow the quiet footsteps of their guide as sighting information comes in. Unobtrusive infrared lights are used to watch these magnificent creatures (some weighing more than 400 pounds!) as they use their powerful flippers to dig deep holes in the soft sand. Each female then deposits roughly 100-110 eggs, which will be incubated under the warming rays of the sun. Interestingly, the future sex of the hatchlings will depend on the ambient temperature of the sand that surrounds them. Incubation typically lasts from 50 to 70 days.

Conservation efforts to protect endangered marine turtles

The green sea turtle, like most other marine reptile species is listed as endangered and is therefore protected in Costa Rica and many other countries. The community of Tortuguero has made great efforts to promote turtle conservation over the last 50 years through surveys, tagging, protecting nesting sites, and general data collection. A portion of all turtle tour proceeds goes toward these critical preservation efforts to help maintain sea turtle populations for future generations. At present, the Sea Turtle Conservancy estimates a worldwide population of between 85,000 – 90,000 nesting females.

Costa Rica Vacations – Perfect for Every Traveler

Friday, August 7th, 2015

costa-rica-family-vacation

Whether looking for the perfect family vacation spot, honeymoon destination or your next girls’ getaway, Costa Rica fits the bill and then some! The relaxing, tropical ambiance of Costa Rica sets the perfect backdrop for a romantic anniversary or honeymoon, while national parks and wildlife reserves promise nature lovers of all ages exciting animal encounters. Find out why the land of Pura Vida offers something for everyone!

A safe and stress-free family-friendly vacation

Costa Rica prides itself on its peaceful nature, having abolished its standing army in 1948. It’s one of the safest countries in Latin America for family travel, with modern infrastructure, good roads, first-rate medical care facilities, and a largely bilingual population. Moreover, families can take advantage of Costa Rica vacation rentals that were practically made to accommodate and entertain children. Game rooms, private pools, DVD and entertainment centers and fully-equipped kitchens for meals on the fly are some of the key benefits of renting a villa during your family getaway.

Flights are easy to this exotic destination

Why spend 8 hours on a plane to Europe, when exotic landscapes are practically in your own backyard? Many people don’t realize how accessible a Costa Rica honeymoon or vacation can be – we’re less than 3 hours from Miami!  Delta, United, Frontier, JetBlue and other carriers are offering increasing numbers of non-stop flights to the Liberia and San Jose airports, at fantastic rates.

Adventures galore for the thrill-seeker

Stand-up paddle surfing, canopy zip-lines, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and waterfall rappelling are just a few of the standard adventure tours on offer. From Tamarindo beach to Puerto Viejo and everywhere in between, travelers will find outdoor activities and adventures that suit their interest and level.

Costa Rica honeymoon – ideal for rest & relaxation

costa-rica-beach-vacation

Couples have countless opportunities to revel in the romantic backdrops of Costa Rica, from bubbling volcanoes to white-sand beaches. And there’s no better place to sequester yourselves than a luxurious ocean view villa. Indulge in a private hot stone massage for couples; long walks along a palm-fringed shore; a dreamy sunset cruise with champagne toast, and gourmet meals prepared by highly talented international chefs.

Facebook Teaser:  With its balmy weather and gorgeous white-sand beaches, Costa Rica invites you to get lost in this natural paradise. Costa Rica offers something for travelers of all walks – whether you’re planning a girls-only escape, family vacation or romantic honeymoon.

7 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica in the Green Season

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Want to immerse yourself in ecotourism at its finest?  Costa Rica offers unmatched opportunities to explore the wild wonders of its tropical jungles, lowland estuaries and biodiverse cloud forests, largely in part to its extensive national park system. With May already here, the tourist ‘high season’ is winding down, and afternoon showers are popping up every few days. Locals already know that Costa Rica is at its most beautiful during this period – and here are 7 reasons why this is the best time to visit!

Bright and sunny Pavones one of many Costa Rica beaches

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Mornings are sunny for outdoor activities

The green season is named for the luxuriant foliage that is spurred by the rains. But don’t be put off by a little H20 — mornings are still clear and warm, with plenty of time for a surf lesson, a canopy tour or some R&R by the pool. Even better, the clouds often dissipate in time for spectacular sunsets. (more…)

Snorkeling Cano Island

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Second only to Costa Rica’s Cocos Island, Cano Island (Isla del Cano) is widely considered one of the country’s top diving and snorkeling destinations. Its unspoiled beaches, rainforest spilling down to the shoreline, and lack of infrastructure remind you of a long lost paradise… one that is surprisingly accessible to travelers eager to explore its underwater mysteries.

Cano Island Costa Rica national park

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Cano Island quick facts

  • Location: 10 miles offshore from Drake Bay; 7 miles from Corcovado National Park
  • Area: 6,669 maritime acres and 496 land acres
  • Height: 123 meters above sea level
  • Protected status: Biological Reserve
  • Tourist facilities: none other than a basic ranger station; no restaurant or restrooms
  • What to bring: hat, plenty of high SPF sunscreen, T-shirt, towel, dry change of clothes, and camera. Remember to re-apply sunscreen even on overcast days. (more…)

5 Classic Arenal Adventures

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

The adventure town of Arenal aims to please with no shortage of opportunities to get your heart racing. When you’re not rocketing above the treetops or plunging into the depths of a 5 million year-old cavern, you can bask under the grandeur of its near-perfect volcano, which occasionally comes to life with deep rumbles and spurts.  Arenal has been a bit sleepy for the past five years, but was once one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Tourism in the region hasn’t been diminished by this recent slumber, as travelers continue to enjoy a host of unique outdoor adventures. Be sure to give these a try during your next Costa Rica vacation!

Arenal Volcano adventure activities including Canyoning

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Canyoneering

Also known as canyoning or rainforest rappelling, this sport is somewhat unique to Arenal. Ready yourself for the journey of a lifetime as you rappel down 200-foot waterfalls with the aid of skilled guides. Ideal for adventurous travelers ages 6 and up, this tour takes you to remote rainforest canyons tucked away in the outskirts of Arenal. (more…)

Day Tripping to Cano Island

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Part archeological site, part diving and snorkeling paradise – the 740 acre Cano Island is worth a visit during your Costa Rica travels. Conveniently accessed from the central or southern Pacific, Cano Island is situated roughly 12 miles from Drake Bay, and is renowned for its amazing marine life and high visibility – averaging around 40-50 feet. Swirling schools of jacks, colorful reef fish, white tip sharks and moray eel sightings are not uncommon in this biological reserve.

Cano Island a beautiful reserve to take a day trip to

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Cano Island: location and fast facts

  • Location: Osa Peninsula, 12 nautical miles by boat from Drake Bay
  • Reserve admission fee: $10.00 (included in package tours)
  • Total area: 6,669 maritime acres, 740 land acres
  • Overnight stays and camping are not permitted (more…)

Scarlet Macaws of Costa Rica

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Scarlet macaws, known as lapas in Costa Rica, are among the world’s largest and most colorful Neotropical parrots. Noted for its brilliant plumage and ear-piercing call, the scarlet macaw ranges from southern Mexico through Brazil and prefers humid, lowland rainforests such as those found in Corcovado National Park and sections of Carara National Park, on the outskirts of Jaco. Their presence hardly goes unnoticed, given their raucous screams and aerial acrobatics, which are a delight to behold on any Costa Rican vacation.

Scarlet Macaws of Costa Rica can be found all over and in National Parks

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Scarlet macaw sightings in Costa Rica

For avian enthusiasts, Carara and Corcovado National Parks are two prime spots for observing wild scarlet macaws in all their glory, though flocks are sometimes spotted up and down the Central Pacific coast. As their name implies, plumage is predominantly red, with accents of blue and bright gold on their flight and tail feathers. This species can measure up to 32 inches long and weigh just over two pounds. Unfortunately, the pet trade and habitat destruction in Costa Rica have reduced their range considerably over the past 100 years. They once inhabited rainforests all over the country, including the Caribbean slope, but are now contained in select pockets of jungle. (more…)

Day Trip to La Fortuna’s Cerro Chato

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Up for a challenging but very rewarding hike that offers stunning views and private swimming in a volcanic lagoon? Chato Volcano (Cerro Chato) is one of La Fortuna’s best kept secrets for intrepid travelers who want to explore Arenal’s less famous cousin. Dormant for thousands of years, Cerro Chato makes for a memorable day trip and is ideal for those who want to escape the usual tourist crowds.

Fast facts about Cerro Chato

Cero Chato Hiking Trail in La Fortuna

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Entrance cost: $10 per person
Open: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
Elevation: 3,609 feet above sea level
Location: La Fortuna, within the boundaries of Arenal Volcano National Park
Best time to visit: year-round, though hikers should embark in the early morning
Round-trip hike duration: From 3 to 5 hours, including time spent at crater lagoon
Best suited for: Intermediate level hikers in good physical condition (more…)

Arenal Volcano National Park Ranked Among the 35 Best on Earth

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

What’s the best way to experience our planet’s amazing and curious natural wonders? Huff Post Travel suggests that one look no further than our national parks – those rambling tracts of wilderness (both well-traveled and off the tourist map) that have been protected for future generations to enjoy.  Visitors to Costa Rica will be delighted to know that Arenal Volcano National Park topped their list of the “35 Most Amazing National Parks on Earth,” and with good reason!

Arenal Volcano one of Costa Rica's most visited destinations

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Lush rainforest, hot springs & a rumbling volcano

Aptly described as a paradise, Arenal Volcano National Park is situated in the fertile Northern region, amidst lush Costa Rican rainforest. “There’s a rumbling active volcano (yes, you can actually see the lava pouring down the sides), surrounded by hot springs, fauna-filled forests, and plenty of hidden waterfalls,” says Huff Post in their recent online post. Brazil’s Iguazu National Park made #2 on the list, followed by California’s scenic Yosemite and Namibia’s safari-ready Etosha National Park. (more…)

10 Awesome Reasons to Visit Costa Rica

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Why should you treat your family or loved ones to a vacation in paradise? Known throughout the Americas for its world-class beaches, nature tours and spectacular scenery, Costa Rica attracts millions of tourists each year, and continues to grow in popularity among vacationers seeking the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Here are ten good reasons why Costa Rica should be on your bucket list!

  1. Bird Watching while on your National Park Tour

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    Savor the Pura Vida lifestyle – Taking it slow and appreciating life for its smaller pleasures has helped Costa Rica become one of the happiest countries on earth – for several years in a row! Don’t you deserve a week or two of the pure life? (more…)

Leatherbacks of Las Baulas National Marine Park

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Often described as one of Guanacaste’s best-kept secrets, Las Baulas National Marine Park harbors the main nesting site of Pacific leatherback sea turtles (known as baulas in Spanish). Situated just north of Tamarindo, the park encompasses more than 1,100 marine and land acres of Playa Grande – one of the region’s most coveted surfing beaches. By day, this beautiful shoreline is occupied by die-hard surfers, but at night the beach belongs to the turtles.

Leatherback turtles in Las Bualas MArine NAtional Park

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Leatherback turtle nesting season

The planet’s largest marine turtle, leatherbacks can grow to be more than seven feet long and weigh nearly 2,000 pounds. After mating at sea, females return to their natal beach where they carve out nests with their flippers before depositing the next generation of turtles into its sandy depths. On Playa Grande, this remarkable event happens from October through March every year. While the leatherback numbers are declining worldwide and they remain highly endangered, it is estimated that between 600 and 800 females come to the shores of Playa Grande annually. (more…)

TripAdvisor Rates Manuel Antonio among World’s Top 25 Beaches

Friday, May 30th, 2014

TripAdvisor’s eagerly awaited 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards are out, and Costa Rica has once again received accolades for its spectacular beaches.  Trusted for their honest reviews posted by travelers for travelers, the website published its ranking of the World’s Top 25 Beaches, and Manuel Antonio made the cut! Often described by visitors as a “tropical paradise,” it isn’t hard to see why this central Pacific gem is one of the most popular beach vacation destinations among Costa Rica’s varied choices.

Manuel Antonio rated amongst top 25 beaches on TripAdvisor

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Manuel Antonio ranks among top 25 beaches in the world

According to traveler reviews at TripAdvisor, Brazil’s Baia de Soncho Beach is the planet’s top beach, followed by Playa Flamenco in Puerto Rico and Sicily’s secluded Rabbit Beach. Other contenders for the top 25 spots included Lanikai Beach on Hawaii’s Kailua, Spain’s Cathedral Beach and Cala Mariolu in Italy. Our very own Playa Manuel Antonio made the list at number 23, and was praised for its aquamarine waters, abundant wildlife and family-friendly national park, where visitors can swim in warm Pacific (more…)

Meet the Curious Coatimundi

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Most Costa Rica vacations promise spectacular wildlife encounters – perhaps none more exciting than the nation’s highly acrobatic primate species. When not marveling over the throaty roars of howler monkeys or amusing antics of capuchins, you may find yourself entranced with the wonderfully curious coatimundi (or coati for short). Locally, they’re known as pizotes – a raccoon-like creature with a long snout, pointy tail and endearing personality. The white-nosed coati is one of the country’s most prolific mammals, and is often seen in tourist hotspots like Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo and Dominical.

White nosed Coati or Pizote as known in Costa Rica

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Pizotes at a glance

A large male coati can tip the scales at nearly 18 pounds, and with his dark, brownish-red fur and nocturnal preferences, it is often mistaken for a large feline. Make no mistake, these resourceful creatures belong to the same family as raccoons, and are known for their ability to adapt to just about any habitat or terrain. They will feast on crocodile and bird eggs, crabs, shellfish, fruits, leaves, nuts, lizards, invertebrates, birds, and carrion as well. Often seen in bands of 20 members, coatis are skilled climbers and, with the aid of their agile prehensile tails, can amble up the tallest of trees in search of food or safety. (more…)

Carara National Park Highlights

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Want to get off the beaten track while communing with nature? Look no further than Carara National Park – a lightly tread reserve that boasts just as much wildlife as neighboring Manuel Antonio, but with fewer tourist crowds. Located on the outskirts of Jaco, this gem is one of two spots in the entire nation to host breeding scarlet macaws. The park’s northern border is framed by the serpentine Tarcoles River, a crucial haven for more than 2,000 American crocodiles.  If planning a trip to the central Pacific coast, don’t miss an opportunity to visit this unique protected zone.

Carara National Park great tour for family of all ages

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Fast facts about Carara National Park

Admission fee: $10 for adults, $1 kids
Hours: Daily from 7 AM to 4 PM
Location: 9.3 miles north of Jaco
Weather: Low 80’s to mid 90’s year-round
Facilities: Visitor’s center with restrooms, picnic tables and maps
Nearby Destinations: Jaco central, Playa Hermosa & Playa Esterillos
Guided Nature Tours: Available daily, from $20 – $35 (more…)





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