COSTA RICA: BLISSFUL | SERENE | 100% PURA VIDA

STAY: NAYARA SPRINGS

STAY: NAYARA SPRINGS

Relax in a tranquil villa, bathe in one of the private rain showers or unwind in the plunge pool fed by natural mineral hot springs. This secluded hotel, located in the Arenal Volcano National Park, gives you the authenticity of a real rainforest without sacrificing luxury.

STAY: THE SPRINGS RESORT & SPA

STAY: THE SPRINGS RESORT & SPA

A deluxe luxury resort featuring 28 mineral laden hot springs, spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano from every guest room, and several esteemed restaurants. Photo By: Salina Canizales

EAT: PARK CAFE

EAT: PARK CAFE

Housed comfortably in a beautiful antiques shop, this small establishment enchants guests with a carefully selected menu, brimming with creativity. This tapas-style restaurant is open only for dinner. Photo By: Salina Canizales

STAY: FOUR SEASONS

STAY: FOUR SEASONS

Overlooking the golden sand beaches in the Peninsula Papagayo, this luxurious resort is the essence of an unspoiled tropical getaway. Whether you are seeking a rejuvenating experience or an exhilarating zip-line adventure over the jungle canopy, this oasis delivers. Photo By: Klein, Dana | Four Seasons

STAY: TABACON

STAY: TABACON

The energy of the Arenal Volcano blends with the flowing waters of the Tabacon Hot Springs to create an unforgettable escape in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest. Enjoy the lavish accommodations as you prepare for your private dinner in the middle of the beautiful rainforest.

STAY: HOTEL GRANO DE ORO

STAY: HOTEL GRANO DE ORO

Located in the bustling center of San José, this hotel is on a quiet street near numerous restaurants, theaters and shops. Converted from a tropical Victorian mansion, it maintains the warmth and comfort of a private home with all the amenities of a fine hotel.

SPA: CASA SPA AT PUNTA ISLITA

SPA: CASA SPA AT PUNTA ISLITA

Costa Rican traditional healing arts, beauty rituals, and local herbalist wisdom are artfully combined to gently relieve modern stress. Indulge in signature treatments such as the Avocado Deep Hydration therapy, the Sweet Oranges Delight and Mariola’s Honey Secret massage.

EAT: PRODUCT C

EAT: PRODUCT C

The best restaurants serve their fish directly from that morning’s catch. Whether it be mouthwatering red snapper, delicious mahi mahi, or a seared rare tuna steak, you’ll be addicted from the first bite.

EAT: GRANO DE ORO

EAT: GRANO DE ORO

Start the day right with a tasty dish of gallo pinto. This popular breakfast is made up of rice mixed with black beans, served with a spoonful of sour cream, fresh scrambled eggs and satisfying sweet plantains. Guaranteed to awaken you and your taste buds.

EAT: RESTAURANT LA TERRASSE

EAT: RESTAURANT LA TERRASSE

Enjoy an intimate evening of fine French cuisine at this highly exclusive restaurant, with seating for only 10 guests.

EAT: KALÚ

EAT: KALÚ

Kalú's menu incorporates Costa Rican, Thai, and American elements. Pull up a seat and absorb the beautiful city view.

SPA: NAYARA

SPA: NAYARA

Private open-air pavilions with hot tubs and outdoor showers, overlook the rainforest. In addition to classic massages and facials, treatments include scrubs and wraps with organic coffee, volcanic mud, and chocolate clay.

SPA: KUÖ

SPA: KUÖ

Journey through the Costa Rican landscape at Kuö Spa. Thermal mineral water, mud, algae, herbal extracts and essential oils are used in the luxurious facial, body and bath treatments. Using these natural resources, you’ll find your outer beauty and inner health restored and balanced.

SPA: FOUR SEASONS

SPA: FOUR SEASONS

In this world-class destination, indulge in holistic experiences inspired by ancient traditions of purifying the body. For a uniquely soothing experience, try the Natural Healing Bamboo massage to relieve the muscle tension and naturally heal the body and mind.

SEE & DO: MONTEVERDE

SEE & DO: MONTEVERDE

This is where clouds are born. They are not only beautiful to look at, they also help support a complex ecosystem of mammals, birds, insect species, and plants. Explore this surreal environment from hiking trails, tram, canopy, or zipline tours.

SEE: ARENAL VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

SEE: ARENAL VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

This is the premier adventure destination in Costa Rica with soaring canopies, hanging bridges, cascading waterfalls, caves to explore, zip lines, safaris, and endless other activities. Residing within this national park is the Arenal Volcano which is one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica and in the world.

SEE & DO: CAHUITA CORAL REEFS

SEE & DO: CAHUITA CORAL REEFS

One of only two reefs in Costa Rica and home to more than 35 different species of reef, this natural habitat accommodates 125 species of fish like tropical parrot, trigger, butterfly, angel and lion fish. Encounter harmless nurse sharks, sting rays and lobsters as you glide through the warm waters.

SEE & DO: COCOS ISLAND

SEE & DO: COCOS ISLAND

A 36-hour boat ride off the coast of Costa Rica, will reward you with sightings of whale sharks, white-tip sharks, tuna fish, parrotfish, corals, mollusks and hammerheaded sharks. Photo By: Barry Peters | Flickr

SEE & DO: LA FORTUNA WATERFALL

SEE & DO: LA FORTUNA WATERFALL

This waterfall is located just 3 miles outside the town of La Fortuna, at the base of the dormant Chato volcano, amidst a thriving rain forest. An ideal day trip for swimming and relaxing.

SEE: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

SEE: MANUEL ANTONIO NATIONAL PARK

Located on the Pacific coast, Manuel Antonio National Park is internationally recognized as being one of the most biodiverse parks on the planet. Dense with lush tropical trees, lagoons, and mangroves, it is also host to four pristine white sandy beaches.

SEE & DO: TORTUGUERO

SEE & DO: TORTUGUERO

This national park is the most important nesting site of the green sea turtle on Costa Rica's Atlantic side. Travel by boat through the park and discover the network of canals, lagoons and dense rainforests.

SEE & DO : FINCA ROSA BLANCA

SEE & DO : FINCA ROSA BLANCA

Start your day with Costa Rican coffee and a tour of Finca Rosa Blanca's plantation. Situated a mere 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of San Jose, this tour leaves you wide awake as you are guided through the organic coffee farm, the processing plant and the roasting house.

SEE & DO: HOT SPRINGS

SEE & DO: HOT SPRINGS

Costa Rica is dotted with volcano-fed hot springs known for their restorative properties. Many hotels have private hot springs located on their grounds, especially in the Arenal Volcano area, where you can revitalize your skin with the natural minerals in the water.

DRINKS: 9 DEGREES

DRINKS: 9 DEGREES

A top-of-the-line cigar bar featuring an exclusive selection of premium liquors, champagnes, and hookahs from around the world, in an elegantly styled lounge.

DRINKS: FLOR DE CAÑA RUM

DRINKS: FLOR DE CAÑA RUM

Costa Ricans like their rum. Many prefer a superior rum such as Nicaraguan Flor de Caña.

DRINKS: GUARO SOUR

DRINKS: GUARO SOUR

The Guaro Sour is considered to be the national drink of Costa Rica and features a product of sugarcane - Guaro. Try this refreshing drink garnished with a stick of sugarcane and a wedge of lime. Make sure to stick to the Cacique brand.

SHOP: OXCART CERAMICS

SHOP: OXCART CERAMICS

Historically, the oxcart was used to transport grains and coffee from the central valley to the coast.The largest and oldest oxcart factory is found in the artisan town of Sarchi. Vibrant and pretty, these make for beautiful souvenirs.

SHOP: COFFEE

SHOP: COFFEE

Café Britt is the big name in Costa Rican coffee and is very dependable. For a more immersive experience, take the tour at Doka Estate.

The Central American country of Costa Rica is a paradise of tropical rain forests, dense cloud forests, and active volcanoes. Touching both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica has nearly 300 different beaches, each unique and beautiful. Home to 5 active volcanoes, natural volcanic hot springs exist throughout the country. It’s no surprise with a country this beautiful that Costa Ricans take every opportunity to enjoy life and to experience 100% pura vida – 100% pure life. 

Links take you directly to the establishment's site.  For point-to-point directions, check out our custom Google Map

BEFORE YOU GO

Passports

Visas

Weather

Currency

Time Zone

Google Map

 

 

GETTING AROUND

Taxis are good for airport transfers as well as local travel. Flag down a taxi on the street, catch one at an official taxi stand, or call one for pickup at your location. Taxis are red and have a yellow triangle painted on the doors. Private drivers, shared shuttles and public buses are better for all other travel. While some tourists do rent cars, poor road conditions can become a barrier for safe travel. 

 

 

STAY

High-end hotels in Costa Rica range anywhere from tropical boutique to eco-luxury. Whether you’re looking to soak in the healing hot springs or zipline over tree canopies through the rainforest, you will find a hotel eager to cater to your needs.

 

Peninsula Papagayo

Hotel Grano de Oro

Nayara Springs

Tabacon Grand Spa

The Springs Resort & Spa

 

 

EAT 

Costa Rican cuisine is not known for being especially memorable but it is healthy. You’ll find most meals accompanied by the traditional rice and black beans, complemented by an abundance of exotic fruits and vegetables. Expect a mix of chic city restaurants, local roadside sodas (Costa Rica's equivalent of diners), and seafood eateries. 

 

Ginger

Grano de Oro

Kalú

La Terrasse

Park Cafe

Product C

 

DRINKS

Nightlife in Costa Rica is mostly contained in the San Jose area. From small gatherings at the local karaoke bar to heart-pumping discos with dancers and DJs, you’ll have your choice on where to begin and end your night.

 

9 Degrees North

Centenario Rum

Club Rouge

Flor de Caña Rum 

Guaro Sour

Lava Lounge

 

 

SEE & DO

Considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, there are 20 natural parks, 8 biological reserves, and a series of protected areas that captivate ecotourism lovers. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll find volcanoes, beaches, mineral springs and thermal waters just about everywhere you go. With these natural features, Costa Rica is one of the most visited destinations in Central America.

 

Arenal Volcano National Park

Cahuita National Park Coral Reefs

Coco's Island - UNESCO

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation

Hot Springs

La Fortuna Waterfall

Manuel Antonio National Park

Monteverde

Peñas Blancas Whitewater Rafting

Tortugeuro National Park

 

 

SPA

Nature is the inspiration for the spas in Costa Rica. You’ll find many treatments use volcanic mud, coffee beans, and thermal waters. More remote spas will even offer services outdoors in the exotic rainforest. It can’t really get more natural than that.

 

Spa at Four Seasons 

Grand Spa, Tabacon Grand Spa

Casa Spa

Spa at Nayara 

Kuö Spa 

 

 

SHOP

There aren't many handicrafts that are common to Costa Rica, but you can find authentic souvenirs outside of San José in the smaller markets and provincial shops. Colorful hand-painted ceramic oxcarts as well as bowls or trays hand-hewn from wood make for unique souvenirs.

 

Costa Rican coffee is a deal and also makes for a great gift. Café Britt is the big name in Costa Rican coffee and is very dependable. For a more interesting experience, take the tour at Doka Estate

 

San José does have shopping areas like Mercado Central and Avenida Central, so focus your energy there instead of the many shopping malls.