Currently, one of the most popular travel destinations in the world is Costa Rica. With its eco-friendly tourism, dense tropical jungles, nightlife, surfing, museums, shopping and fine dining, Costa Rica has just about everything to offer the discerning traveler. And what also attracts many to Costa Rica is much of this can be done luxuriously. So, with luxury in mind, we had the opportunity to travel to this unique, exotic destination and spent a week exploring all that Costa Rica has to offer.
Our first destination was Los Suenos, which is located a quick, one hour drive from San Jose, the country's capital. We drove through lush, dense tropical forest as we made our way to Los Suenos. We passed tourist favorite, Jaco Beach, which is known for its party-like atmosphere, nightclubs and friendly locals. And we travelled over "Crocodile Bridge" which is a tourist favorite as several large crocodiles loom underneath and call this bridge home.
Within an hour we were in gorgeous Los Suenos and we were greeted by lovely gift baskets that contained fresh, local fruit, dark chocolate and rich coffee!
Visitors come from all over the world to sky dive, zip line over the cloud forest, explore the jungles, snorkel and dive, horseback ride, go on a sunset cruise, golf, bike, rappel, paddle board, experience white water rafting, go to a futbol game, whale watching and so much more!
With so much at our fingertips, we decided to rest and then head to the local harbor for dinner. Our first meal consisted of traditional Costa Rican cuisine that included
black beans, rice and succulent plantain bananas. We also marveled at the array of fresh fruits that were always available to us. Fresh papaya, mango, watermelon, grapes, strawberries, coconut and cantaloupe were delivered to us each morning!
Back at our residence, we enjoyed the colorful macaws that flew by in pairs and iguanas that calmly sunned themselves in the grass.
The next morning, we went on a short drive to Manuel Antonio that is located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio is best known for the Manuel Antonio National Park where tourists come each year by the thousands to see howler monkeys, coatimundi, agouti, sloths, parrots and other jungle creatures that live in this dense, tropical paradise.
We were staying at Hotel Shana that is one of the premiere hotels in this area. This exclusive lifestyle boutique hotel embraces Costa Rican culture and showcases the local beauty in a natural environment. With 27 rooms that all have garden and ocean views, you are guaranteed both a unique and exclusive travel experience. And less
than a mile from the National Park, it is also close to restaurants, shops and local artisans that display their wares in town. If you like home made jewelry such as necklaces, bracelets and earrings, the charming town of Manuel Antonio is for you. Also, painters and wood carvers display their works of art for purchase. These are wonderful, one-of-a-kind tokens to remind you of your trip to paradise.
That evening, we went to a charming restaurant and had local fare that included home made mashed potatoes, freshly caught seafood and creamy flan! It poured rain while we watched from under the canopy. With no walls in this restaurant, it was a sight to both see and hear and we loved truly experiencing a Costa Rican tropical thunderstorm.
Our trip to Costa Rica was over entirely too soon. We were reminded of the local saying, "Pura Vida!" that means Pure Life! It is a pure life indeed, deep within the jungles of Costa Rica!