Our trip to Costa Rica was amazing!!! We had such a great time. I absolutely loved the Royal Corin in La Fortuna. It had boutique-hotel intimacy and was beautiful. The pool area was gorgeous- great view of Arenal Volcano on clear days and lush tropical gardens, waterfalls, pools, and seating areas for lunch. Also, the food was great and the beds were really comfortable! Plus, there weren’t very many people there while we were there so it felt like we had to the place to ourselves! The crowds left the day after we arrived and then showed up as we were leaving…good timing!
We had so much fun on the jungle tours- we only did a few but they were perfect for the kids and the age/fitness range we had. We did the night hike through the forest and the hanging bridge 2 hour day tour. We also hired a cab to take us to the waterfall/hike. It was a little steep for the kids but the guys enjoyed being Sherpas and carrying the kids up as a feat of strength. Also, all of the drivers/tour guides we had were fun, personable, and seemed to really care about the ecology of the area.
The second leg of the trip to the Westin Playa Conchal Resort in Guanacaste was also great. The two separate areas we visited in Costa Rica made it feel like a two week vacation! All inclusive resorts like the Westin felt a little less intimate feeling and draw a little bit different crowd compared to the boutique resort Royal Corin we stayed in La Fortuna…but the Westin was beautiful, as was the beach! The food was pretty good, the rooms were nice and the pool was gorgeous. We saw hump back whales breaching the second day we spent on the beach- it was amazing! Andy and I also went sport fishing and had another hump back whale breach about 50 yards off from our boat! There is a lava rock cove, just down from the Westin, that still has lots of the crushed sea shell sand and was perfect for snorkeling. Other than fishing, we didn’t do any tours on this leg, just laid by the beach and enjoyed the pool and resort- which was a perfect end to the trip. Very relaxing.
One of the best parts of the trip (especially with 9 people) was not having to worry about transportation. I love not having to stress about cabs or trains or buses. Everything was pre=booked and we just had to show up and our shuttle was there. Even when we took a cab to dinner or the waterfall, the hotel always had plenty of 9 person shuttles on hand.
PS. The other thing I didn’t mention (other than the whales) were all the animals and insects we saw. On the night hike especially, but over the course of all the tours and destinations we saw spider monkeys, howler monkeys, a sloth, whales, iguanas, lizards, geckos, 5 different tree frogs, 10 different spiders, snakes (including an eyelash viper- from a distance!), families of kudamundi (Costa Rican raccoon-looking creatures), javelinas, tons of butterflies and moths, and lots of exotic birds like toucans, parrots, flamingos, hummingbirds, and many more. Every animal we hoped to see, we saw!
It was a great trip and we really liked the places we stayed. Thank you so much – we will defiantly be calling you for our next international trip!