If you've already stayed with us at Lands in Love Resort Hotel, or are contemplating visiting Costa Rica for the first time, we hope that you find this country information helpful.
When travelers makes the decision to visit Costa Rica, they first should determine which of seven Provinces they want to travel in and often that is determined by the airport where they will land.
There are two international airports available, at this time. One in the Province of Alajuela, which is considered the central province and is north of the capital, San Jose. The airport is the most traveled and is called Sanjuanamaria. For a great value in a hotel / bed and breakfast accommodation, you might want to try the Adventure Inn, which offers free shuttle service pick up and drop off. Close by, also, is Sixt Car Rental Agency, if you wish to rent a car, as most people prefer to use a 4 wheel drive SUV to get around the country. Another car rental agency in the area is Service Car Rental. For a more upscale accommodation in the San Jose area, try the Casa El Dorado Boutique Hotel in Escazu. Also, in Escazu, you'll find the Costagenics Medical Spa Center which specializes in hormone replacement therapy, for those interested in a "medical vacation", including plastic surgery and cosmetic dentistry.
The other international airport is in the Province of Guanacaste, in the northwestern section of Costa Rica, it is called Daniel Ober and is near Liberia. Most travelers chose that destination when they are most interested in visiting the beach areas of Guanacaste or the north western tourist attractions, like Volcan Arenal. Because of the many volcanoes in that region, there are many hot springs spa hotels and resorts in that area, where the water is heated by the hot, volcanic, underground magma.
Because Costa Rica has such diversity of climates and eco-systems, the choice of vacation destinations can sometimes be very difficult. Most people who visit, usually have some idea in mind and it is generally based around the beach destinations, both the Pacific beaches and the Caribbean. The Province of Limon is the the province that has the Caribbean beaches and many of the most beautiful national parks. Corcovado is one of the largest national parks and is also one of the major travel destinations in the country.
The last four provinces that we have still to mention are the Province of Cartago, which has one of the most stately churches in Central America. It is a highly celebrated catholic church called the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Cartago is located 15 miles east of San Jose. It is approximately 5000 feet above sea level and has some of the coolest weather to be found in the country.
The next province is the Province of Heredia. It is the home of one of the largest universities in Costa Rica, the National University of Costa Rica and has many international students residing in this province.
Puntarenas Province is next and has some of the most interesting and well traveled beaches in the country. One of the most sought after destinations is the beach and national part of Manuel Antonio. There can be no doubt in any travelers mind, that the park and views surrounding Manuel Antonio are extraordinary vistas, never to be forgotten by anyone who visits the beach or sees the sunset. There are many upscale vacation rentals in Manuel Antonio that overlook the blue Pacific and Manuel Antonio National Park, that are preferred by visitors, instead of hotels.
Last, but certainly not least is San Jose Province - The country capital and home to most of the 4 million inhabitants of Costa Rica. San Jose is the bustling capital city and is certainly the place most visitors find themselves for a day or for the rest of their lives. The city and the province are diverse and welcome all who come to see where the people who call themselves “ticos” call home. San Jose offers those who arrive there an amazing array of cultural diversity in restaurants, hotels, parks, street adventures, many more opportunities to experience Latin American hospitality than one would ever imagine. About an hour away, near the town of Puriscal, is a yoga and wellness center retreat, Amatierra, where you can take yoga lessons and have therapeutic spa and herbal treatments. While vacationing in Costa Rica, many people like to tie their visit to a "medical vacation" and have dental work done, such as dental implants at about half the cost for the same professional work done elsewhere.
Once you make your decision as to where you want to travel, then book your flight into the most convenient airport, and you next need to create an itinerary for your trip. The best way to do that is to decide what type of vacation you are looking for. Should it be packed with adrenalin rushing tour packages or do you want to just relax, lay by the pool or on the beach and just read a book. There are so many things to do that can range from the exciting, to the tranquil. There are canopy tours, river rafting, canyoning, deep sea fishing, horseback-riding, hiking, etc.
Or you can pick a beach or all-inclusive hotel to just kick-back and relax. The beaches in the Guanacaste region are much more developed, and offer many, very good restaurants, lots of luxury resorts and hotels, ranging from small B&B’s to large, luxurious, all-inclusive resorts. Many visitors buy real estate in this area, to live, retire, or just to invest. This is comfortable to do, as there are many condo projects in the area that offer maintenance and protection to your property while you are away. To see more information on moving, living and retiring in Costa, look at this relocation and retirement video. While visiting the areas and looking at real estate, you might want to stay in some of the luxury beach rentals like Casa Oceano offered at the Tango Mar Beach Hotel & Golf Resort / Executive Convention Center in the Tambor area. Close by, you can take Spanish language courses at the Horizontes Montezuma Hotel / Bed and Breakfast in Montezuma. Also, nearby are the beaches of Mal Pais / Santa Teresa. Go here for the best costa rica vacation rentals in that beach area.
The Caribbean side of the country, on the other hand, definitely has its colorful charm and distinctive cuisine, but still boasts only very small, colorful cabina-type accommodations, although some quite luxurious bungalow type hotels near the beach are available. Also available are longer term vacation rentals in the Puerto Viejo area - a famous surfing spot. That quaint village does have some of the finest restaurants in the country, you will fall in love with Caribbean cooking, although they are more rustic in their ambiance, than you will find on the Pacific side.
And, if you're a student, there are educational, study abroad tours whereby you can earn university credit when visiting our beautiful country! Go here for Costa Rica Art Tours by Jan Yatsko.
Just about everything is up for grabs, once you make the decision to visit this small, but excitement packed, tropical paradise of a country. Pura Vida!
Other sources of travel information and help:
Costa Rica Hotel, Travel Info and Vacation Packages
Cuba Travel - Vacation Rentals, Tours, Transportation & Tourism Information