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 luxury hotel near the San Jose International Airport, The Alta Hotel & La Luz Restaurant is the upscale place to stay in Escazu. For a car rental agency in the area, try Service Car Rental. For more exclusive and luxury hotels all around Costa Rica – go to www.thesignature-collection.com.
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 homes for rent in Manuel Antonio that overlook the blue Pacific and Manuel Antonio National Park, that are preferred by visitors, instead of hotels. Also, Manuel Antonio has become a very popular wedding destination in Costa Rica, offering luxury villas that can accommodate up to 100 guests. For a long time established wedding planning service, seewww.costaricaweddingcelebrations.com for wedding planning by Randy Gritz. For a rental home on the beach of Manuel Antonio, a favorite place to get married, The Discovery Beach House and wedding destination would be a great choice. Also, Tamarindo is a well known location for wedding venues, being right on the beach, and with an assortment or hotels and vacation rentals in which to have a ceremony and reception.
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.
Medical and Dental Tourism in Costa Rica
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. Another large, but personal dental facility specializing in dental implants and full mouth restoration can be found at www.dentalinstitutecr.com – a Costa Rica Dental Team office consisting of many doctors qualified in everything from oral surgery to specialized cosmetic dentistry. Find at http://costaricadentalguide.com the best dentists and dental implant specialists in Costa Rica. Since the work in Costa Rica is as superior as elsewhere, but the price is about half, many dentists in the United States use foreign labs, especially in nearby Costa Rica, to do their precise lab work at half the price. For those looking for an objective opinion of dental services, www.costaricadentalguide.com gives reviews of dentists in Costa Rica so that you can feel more comfortable in selecting the right one. If you’re looking for doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, http://costaricamedicalguide.com is the website to visit. And, if you are a medical or dental professional, and are looking for a local company to market your services, www.medicaltourismmarketing.com is the best place to receive an overall marketing package. Costa Rica also has a new stem cell transplant center for treating all manners of degenerative diseases – see http://stemcellstransplantinstitute.com for more information. Costa Rica also has become a center for a more controversial treatment for drug addiction – a naturally occurring plant derivative called ibogaine which can stop the craving for drugs and alcohol. Envision recovery is one such center – http://envisionrecovery.com For those of you who may not want to return to Costa Rica for dental work, as it is far away from the US, then you might want to visit a Mexican border town of Los Algodones for dental work, especially if your treatment involves returning again and again to a foreign dentist. Another option for dental work is this Guatemala Dental Guide for dentists closer than Costa Rica.
Yoga, Surfing, and Ecological Tourism in Costa Rica
Sustainable tourism is very popular in Costa Rica, and has become its brand in many ways, promoted by the government in its ad campaigns in other countries. Eco villages and organic farms, such as the Rancho Delicioso Costa Rica volunteer opportunity, which is in Montezuma on the Pacific side of the country, are being built in many areas. Local produce, farm-to-table dinners, and farm tours have become important to many travelers. Yoga retreats, such as Anamaya Resortsometimes have their own organic farms to serve their restaurants with the freshest and healthiest possible ingredients.
Ecotourism is a growing worldwide, with Costa Rica leading the way. Websites such asCostaricaecolodges.net showcase several dozens options for eco-lodges around the country, as well as information about sustainable tourism in general, and places for yoga and surfing too. Speaking of surfing, it’s one of the most common reasons people visit here. Many of the top tourist spots are beachfront towns, and there are surf camps everywhere. For a great article listings the best surf camps in Costa Rica, click here: best surf camps.
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 arecanopy 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. 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 Centerin the Tambor area. Also, nearby are the beaches of Mal Pais / Santa Teresa.
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. 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. If you want more information about buying any type of property in Costa Rica, Christopher Howard’s book about real estate in Costa Rica is the most complete guide out there with over 600 pages of content.
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 by www.costaricantrails.com, an ICT approved inbound travel agency with five leaves rating for sustainable tourism.
Cuba Travel – Vacation Rentals, Tours, Transportation & Tourism Information It’s easy to visit Cuba from Costa Rica and many expats decide to do so as there is no passport stamp made of your travel there.
And, for those US citizens who might not want to travel the distance to Costa Rica for medical and dental services, the Bahamas is a short hop from the eastern seaboard, andwww.bahamasmedicalguide.com can used to find reviews on doctors and dentists.
En Español para Dentistas – http://guiadentalcostarica.com