It was the most amazing experience to go to Costa Rica this holiday season. It has been on my bucket list for awhile to spend New Years Eve in another country and this was my first year to do it!! Even though it has gotten crossed off my bucket list, now I need to do it in another country lol! The travel bug never goes away !
For my second visit to Costa Rica, I went with my lovely boyfriend for a 9 day excursion all over the country with the help of an AMAZING tour operator Caravan Tours! They were so amazing and made everything super easy!
When we arrived to San Jose, Costa Rica, we met the rest of our group and tour guide Juan Jose and our driver Franklin. Alot of people asked me where I went in Costa Rica and I basically told them “Everywhere” Check out the map and our route! Literally all over!! lol
This tour I would say was nature based. We saw a ton of plants, trees and fruits that I had never seen before and a few I was familiar with. I am not a huge plant person…but the animals…OMG the animals were so beautiful! The wildlife in Costa Rica was right there at our fingertips. From animals stealing some of the people on our trip’s suitcases to being awoken by Howler Monkeys in the middle of the night, wildlife was all over. We saw some of the most beautiful birds in the world, sloths, monkeys, and crocodiles! We went on 2 river tours and 2 tram tours in the rainforest where we saw most of them.
The birds though…the Scarlett Macaws and toucans! I have only seen them on movies and Discovery but never in person. Seeing these beautiful, colorful birds in person was by far one of the most amazing experiences.
In addition to seeing super dope animals, we went to two volcanoes, a butterfly farm, some cool beaches, and so much more. I literally can’t even remember everything because it was so much exciting experiences going on.
The hotels were amazing! We stayed in 5 hotels during our time which ranged from beach resorts to cool villas at the bottom of a volcano. The Intercontinental in San Jose was a very nice business hotel connected to one of the largest malls in Central America. Next we stayed at Lomas del Volcan in Fortuna which is at the base of the Arenal Volcano. Wildlife was all around here! lol We also went to visit natural hot springs at a nearby hotel. The third stop was the J.W. Marriott in Guanacaste. This was a beautiful resort on the beach. This is where we spent New Years Eve. They had great fireworks after midnight that left us all in awe. Next up , we headed to Manuel Antonio and stayed at the San Bada Hotel. This was at the opening of Manuel Antonio Park. They had amazing sunsets from their rooftop bars. Lastly, we headed back to San Jose and stayed at the Quality Real hotel which was a great way to end the trip.
The beaches- the ones that weren’t rough (perfect for surfers) were great for just floating on your back and peering in the water looking at fish. We went to two different beaches!
We even spent a couple of minutes in Nicaragua lol .
Overall, our trip with Caravan was amazing! We had great accommodations, great food everywhere with fresh fruit juice, an AMAZING tour guide and an AMAZING driver. OMG, the roads are super scary with no side railing and huge drop offs in the mountains. You absolutely need a great driver. The great thing about Caravan is the trip is all inclusive (besides your flight). Even though I personally didn’t pay for this trip, it is a great value. For example, its about 900 for the 9 nights per person. The JW Marriott where we stayed in Guanacaste during New Years Eve was about $400 a night… So if we went on our own, we would’ve spent $800 just on those 2 nights there! Not including food. Everywhere we ate was amazing and we had traditional Costa Rican meals which of course included alot of fresh fish, chicken, beef and rice & beans /Gallo Pinto.
The group that we had were great! Each and every person was a blast to be around and it ranged from 8 to probably about 80. We had a great time and met some wonderful people. It was a very well diverse group with people from Thailand, Trinidad, India and all over the United States.
Our last night was bittersweet! We had an amazing time learning so much about the culture and history of New Orleans and met some great people from all over.
Thanks Caravan Tours, Juan Jose, Franklin, & our tour partners!!