Costa Rica is the land of waterfalls, volcanoes, abundant wildlife and beautiful landscapes, making it the perfect place to immerse your kids in nature and outdoor fun.
Here are 8 fun ways to enjoy Costa Rica with kids.
Check out La Paz Waterfall Gardens
The La Paz Waterfall Gardens are a fantastic way to see Costa Rica’s wildlife and lush rainforest up close. There are over ten animal exhibits, where you can see monkeys, snakes, frogs, birds of every color and size imaginable and jungle cats. Don’t miss the …
Continue reading 8 Fun Things To Do With Kids In Costa Rica
Of all the places on the southern tip of the Nicoyan Peninsula, we had heard the most about Montezuma. Of all the people we had talked to, there was never a negative word said about it. We really hadn’t done a lot of homework on the place but we knew it had a few hotels and restaurants and had pre-decided that if we spent the night, it would probably be in Montezuma. Neither one of us knew what to expect as we drove down the steep road leading into town and to be honest, we still have mixed feelings about the place. It is at once greater and lesser than we expected.
It is greater in that it is quite a cute little offbeat town tucked on the sides of a mountain with gorgeous beaches running along both sides of it. There are a dozen little restaurants and shops hidden along its curving streets and lanes. There is a nice park and play center right smack in the middle of it all. The people in town seem friendly enough and the prices, though not amazing, seem on par for that area of the world. There is a definite “earthy” feel to the town with yoga classes, all natural foods and organic fare available at a bunch of places. We even had decent healthy food at The Bakery Cafe while watching a pair of monkeys descend from the treetops to entertain us while we ate a late lunch.
That all being said, there seems to be an hidden undercurrent to the town. Both ends of the beach have…
Continue reading Montezuma – Artisan Paradise or Failed Hippie Rejuvenation Project?
In my last post about our travels in Costa Rica we were bouncing our way South down the Nicoya Peninsula. I say bouncing simply because the only road from Naranjo to Paquera is about as rough a road as you’ll ever drive. After such a tough stretch driving down, we were greatly relieved to finally make it to our planned destination.
We were hopeful that Santa Lucia, Tambor and Montezuma would ease our frazzled nerves and give credence to their well deserved reviews. Well, that isn’t totally true. After that rough road we were anxious to just sit back and rest. We weren’t sure Santa Lucia and Tambor would offer much respite, but we looked forward to seeing them regardless.
We had met another couple that had stayed in Santa Lucia while we were day tripping out of San Jose a few weeks before. Long story short, they loved the area, but said there really wasn’t a whole lot to do in Santa Lucia proper. Oh sure, they went ziplining, did a little snorkeling, walked the beaches and went kayaking but there wasn’t a lot to do in the town itself. Following their advice, we simply cruised through town and did a quick stop at the local beach to check out the views. After a bit of walking around, we jumped back into the jeep and headed to Tambor.
The area around Santa Lucia was gorgeous (as expected) however they were right on the money in terms of things to do. If you’re hoping for a string of restaurants and a wild nightlife just keep on trucking. Santa Lucia is perfect for…
Continue reading The Quiet Life in Playa Tambor and Santa Lucia
Tamarindo’s expensive, and the grocery stores are no exception. Once we got used to the sticker shock after coming from San Jose, we managed to find almost everything we needed at the local Tamarindo supermarkets.
Super 2001 – Our condo was about half a block away, so this was our default place to stock up on groceries. This is a very small supermarket (only about five isles, so about the size of a convenience store in Canada or the US).
The good. Considering the store is so small, they have a respectable selection of North American staples. There are some decent bakery items (including pizza) in the cases next to the cashiers. The wine selection was good.
The bad. Not cheap, but nothing is in Tamarindo. This is the smallest of the three main grocery stores in Tamarindo…
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Costa Rica will always have a special place in our hearts. Some of our experiences were both transformative and surreal, like watching an endangered leatherback turtle lay her eggs on a moonlit beach at Playa Grande. Some of our times there were more carefree, like the amazing afternoons spent lounging by the pool and boogie boarding at the Langosta Beach Club. Some were simply exhilarating, like gliding down a zipline head first as your feet just barely clear the treetops. Some were also ominously relaxing, like swimming in a natural hot pool on the slopes of a still active volcano.
Even more profound and memorable, however, is that Costa Rica was the place where we first discovered Trits…
Continue reading Trits, or Why I Will Always Love Costa Rica
Once we rented our car in Tamarindo, we knew it was only a matter of time before we headed out on a longer road trip. We had already enjoyed the nearby beaches and were looking for something a little different. We still had the condo for another week and a half at that point. For the amount we paid for the place we didn’t mind taking off for a few days and staying in a hotel to break things up.
The choice was either south down the Nicoya Peninsula or east to Lake Arenal and the volcano. At the last second we chose south and let me say it was a wild few days…
Continue reading A Rough Road that Shakes, Rattles and Rolls
With a need to see what Tamarindo and the Province of Guanacaste had to offer, we rented a 4×4 for a few days this week. One of the first places we checked out was the neighbouring beach, Playa Grande.
Knowing that it was one of the primary nesting grounds of the endangered Pacific leatherback sea turtle and the fact that we were right in the middle of nesting season we decided we needed to check it out. It was quite the adventure and seeing a Pacifice leatherback sea turtle on the beach in person left a lasting impression. We headed out to the Las Baulos National Park with the hopes of…
Continue reading The Endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle
One thing that we’ve discovered since getting into Tamarindo is that wildlife can sometimes surround you without actually having to search for it. We’ve also found that some monkeys can be a little intimidating. I’m not talking about their body size (though some of those male dangly bits look downright painful to have while hanging onto a 30 foot branch) but rather their sound.
The male howler monkey is known for two things out here. One is those afore mentioned dangly bits and the other is for the loud howling it does. It’s a bit of a unique sound and the closest I can approximate would be a cross between a Tarzan howl and a loud, deep guttural growl. They say that the howlers cry can reach almost 5 km’s and is one of the loudest land animals. After hearing it firsthand, I can believe it.
Now imagine this scenario. It’s five am the second morning after getting into Tamarindo. You’re feeling quite comfortable and secure in your 3rd story condo knowing that thieves or any “bad” people would need to jump the 10 foot high razor blade covered outer wall then perform a spiderman feat of climbing nearly 30 vertical feet to get to your balcony. Now imagine being woken up with superhuman loud guttural screams only feet from where you’re sleeping…
Continue reading Howler Monkeys or What The Hell Was That?
Because of the heat in this area, we’ve made it a point to stay out of the sun from 12 to 2 each day. Tamarindo is crazy hot and walking out of an air conditioned place into the afternoon sun is like walking into an oven. If you’re out and about at an earlier time and stay outdoors (preferably in the shade unless you like to punish yourself) it’s not so bad. Just like the boiled frog parable, if you slowly roast yourself you won’t realize how hot it is as the day wears on but if you jump into a boiling pot (or the rolling heat in this case) you’ll quickly realize how much folly it is.
That being said, the few times we have braved the elements at a neighboring beach club called the Langosta Beach Club and it’s about 2 blocks from our condo. It’s owned by a French company and everyone there seems to speak French, English and Spanish. They have a nice little pool, beach loungers, a few hammocks and one of the nicest stretches of beach (at least in my mind) right in front of the place. They also have a little bar and restaurant in the pool area and serve great food at somewhat reasonable (at least for this area) prices. Their bacon and avocado sandwich is quite delicious. Smoothies aren’t the cheapest we’ve seen but their strawberry one is heavenly on a warm day.
Continue reading Boogie Boarding Mishaps, Langosta Beach Club and Sweet Waves
Over the course of the past few weeks we’ve had the opportunity to really explore the Guanacaste Province. After leaving San Jose we jumped on a shuttle bus to Tamarindo where we were staying for the month. The 6+ hour bus trip was quite the experience. We didn’t realize how hot and dry Tamarindo could get but after being here for a while we’ve learnt a few tricks.
In my previous post I talked about ziplining being popular in Costa Rica. That’s probably a bit of an understatement considering there are literally dozens of places to do it all over the country. We were really hoping to be able to go before we got to Costa Rica but realized that it would be near impossible with Jordan along. That was until we got into a long chat with one of the tour operators out here. It seems that kids can indeed go ziplining. The only caveat is that they need to either go with a guide or a willing parent. In our case, it was both. We were picked up at…
Continue reading Ziplining in the Guanacaste Province