Monday, July 13, 2009

Costa Rica

We returned from Costa Rica! It was so much fun and we highly recommend it as a vacation destination. It is a 4 hour plane ride from Atlanta to Liberia and then we only had a 45 minute drive to our hotel. It was nice to not spend our whole day traveling and we got there with plenty of time to tour the hotel and grounds before it got dark. There was so much to do in Costa Rica, we could have easily stayed there a few more days. We stayed at the Paradisus Playa Conchal, which is an all-inclusive resort right on the beach on the Pacific side of the country.

The resort was beautiful, had great food, and lots of things to do. All the rooms were suites situated in small villas. We had a sitting area, minibar, bathroom, and our "bedroom" that was up two stairs in our suite. The room was very quaint and romantic.

The resort was spread out and required alot of walking. We didn't mind at all because it was so pretty and we were able to see many "critters" during our walks. We saw iguanas, something that looked like a cross between a raccoon and an anteater, squirrels that looked different than the ones we have here, and a variety of birds.

There was 24 hour room service and many restaurants open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried all of the restaurants at least once and we were very impressed. For dinner, there was a buffet open each night, or there were 3 specialty restaurants that required reservations. There was an Italian, Mexican, and Asian Restaurant and all of them were wonderful. We liked the Italian restaurant so much that we went twice. Each restuarant was very "up-scale" and offered many appetizers, entrees, and of course dessert. Since it was all-inclusive, we just couldn't help ourselves! We went a litle overboard a few times, but it was worth it!

The resort also had free activities such as: bike tours, kayak tours, sunset boat cruise, bike rentals, kayak rentals, canopy, exercise classes, dance classes, etc. Even though we wanted to do a few of these activities, we just ran out of time. We did go on the sunset boat cruise though and it was awesome! We also participated in water aerobics class 2 different days while we were at the pool.

We went on two excursions away from the hotel. The first one was an ATV/Canopy Tour. First, we rode our ATV's to the canopy. It was a good introduction canopy tour and nice because we were alone with our tour guides. Then, we rode the ATV's for 2 more hours on dirt roads. It was neat to see the daily lives of the people that live there. We saw some school children walking and riding their bikes to school and 2 boys raced Chad on their bikes. We rode by the beach for a while and got to stop and take pictures. We also saw howler monkeys during that time. There were a ton of them together in several trees and some had babies on their backs. Our second excursion was our favorite day of the entire trip. It was called "Adrenaline Adventure Combo" and boy was it a combo! We were gone from 6:30am -6:00pm that day. First, we drove about 2 1/2 hours to a canopy tour. It took an hour and a half to complete the canopy tour. It was built around a canyon and we went back and forth over the canyon on the zipline. At one point we were lowered down 25 meters into the canyon, did a "Tarzan" swing back over the canyon, and the rock climbed back up the canyon. Also, there was a section where we had to rock climb horizontally to the next line. It was so much fun! I was glad when it was over though because my nerves were pretty much shot! For those that know me, it was very scary for me, but I did it all. Chad was loving every minute of it, he is such a dare devil. Next, we went on an hour horseback ride to a waterfall, where we got to jump off a rock into the waterfall. Then, we had lunch, and we to a "Costa Rican" spa for the rest of the day. At the "spa" we went in a sauna for 10 minutes, took a mud bath, let it dry, and rinsed off in a freezing cold shower. It was supposed to be good for our skin, but I'm not sure about that. Then, we went to a hot springs, where the water is naturally heated from the lava in a nearby volcano. The whole day we had a tour guide that taught us alot about the Costa Rican culture.

While we were there I treated myself to the spa and Chad played golf on the course at our hotel.

Even though we went during the rainy season, the weather was not too bad. When we first arrived, it was very hot and humid and I was worried that the whole week would be like that. Luckily, that was the worst day! It was very warm during the day, but we got at least a short rain shower each afternoon. Two afternoons we got thunderstorms. The resort provided us with an umbrella in our room, which was convenient.

We had a great time! It is so nice to escape the stresses of daily life and refocus, relax, and rest. We hope you enjoy the pictures!


Jan said...

what a great summary! you should post it on! i wish you had pictures of the water aerobics.

Dana and Chris Sheheane said...

oh wow!!! i just saw almost every picture i think!!! and it sounds amazing!!! chris and i are in (in about five years or so!). so keep all the info for us in the future!! Love ya and hope to hang out this week! love, dana