Costa Rica Journals

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

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A March 2006 trip to Costa Rica by sirverity

No Sleeping Giant Photo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica More Photos
Quote: A brief tour of nature's amusement park.

Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

No Sleeping Giant Photo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Quote:
If nature opened an amusement park I know exactly where it would be. Just before the North American continent tapers down to the narrow isthmus of Panama, lies the jewel of Central America: Costa Rica. Translated, Pura Vida means: Pure life, which aside from being the national motto, aptly describes the philosophy of this tropical country approximately the size of West Virginia.Arriving just outside the capital of San Jose, it became readily apparent that my theme park analogy wasn’t all that off the mark. On the plane and on line through customs, conversations with my fellow arrivals had them heading off to various corners of the country as if they were different sections of an amusement pa...Read More
Hotel La Pradera Photo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Quote:
When traveling with friends to the Arenal Volcano area we needed a budget-friendly yet not barebones hotel. Hotel La Pradera was reasonably priced at about $60 per night for a double. The rooms were spacious and clean, with tile floors and decent water pressure, which is not always the case in Costa Rica. There was a TV and air conditioner, and while it didn't inspire spending an afternoon lazing about, the room was pleasant enough and a good value. The hotel grounds, while not overly fancy, were full of flowers and reflected the pervasive natural beauty that Costa Rica is known for. A highlight was a wild parrot who laid claim to a patch of trees near the restaurant and was always present f...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 12, 2008

Hotel La Pradera
Arenal Volcano National Park
Costa Rica
(506) 2-479-9597

Canyoning

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Attraction

Waterfalling Photo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Quote:
During my stay in La Fortuna, myself and a friend left our wives behind and set off on a half-day canyoning tour with Pure Trek Adventures. After being picked up at our hotel, we hopped in the open back of a pickup truck and were taken to an open-air hut that served as a staging area for all would-be canyoneers. There we were briefed on the use and function of the provided equipment, and were given a description of what lay ahead. Once the guide's spiel was over, we grabbed our equipment and were led to the first platform on our journey.Canyoning is just a fancy term for making one's way through a canyon. This includes hiking, climbing, and the main attraction for us--rappelling. Standing on...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 22, 2008

Carara National Park

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Attraction

Carara National Park Photo, Costa Rica, Central America
Quote:
Carara National Park is essentially a swath of virgin rain forest hugging the picturesque west coast of Costa Rica. From the capital of San Jose it is more or less a two and a half to three hour ride, first west to Puntarenas then south along the shore. What the park lacks in size is made up for in wildlife and serenity.This region is not overly built up, so there aren't a tremendous number of hotels in the area. I myself stayed at what appeared to be a time-share resort at Punta Leone, which was only accessible via the longest driveway I've ever seen, taking a full eight minutes just to arrive at the hotel. For you skeptics, I have this on video tape just to prove I'm not exaggerating. Not ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2008

Carara National Park
30 miles west of San Jose
Costa Rica

Tabacon Hot Springs

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Story/Tip

Cascades Photo, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Quote:
Nestled against the base of the ever-active Arenal Volcano is Tabacon Hot Springs, a gorgeous collusion between man and nature where relaxation takes on many forms. While there is a luxury hotel just across the street, you don't need to be a guest to enjoy the hot springs. For about $35 you're in for the day, free to wander through the lush grounds and hidden pools.There are adeqaute changing facilities for you to change into your most flattering swimsuit and snag yourself a chaise-lounge around the main waterfalls. Across a charming wooden bridge is the in-house spa, where guests can indulge in pricey treatments that I'm told are worth every penny.Though surrounded by gorgeous pla...Read More