Over half the singles’ travel group showed up one day early to explore the culture of San Jose and avoid stressing out about late or cancelled flights. Genuine local food was enjoyed at La Criollita and our local guide Daniel provided a walking tour of Plaza de la Cultura, Museo Nationale and Mercado Central while ensuring we stocked up at MasXMenos (grocery store!). We began our trek through virgin Costa Rica lands at Grecia and the craft city of Sarchi. Lunch and a tour followed at the Espiritu Santo Coffee Plantation.
Situated in the mountains of Naranjo, the STI guests experienced coffee making starting with the seedling stations continuing to Las Casona (early life) and ending with the roasting room, from hand selected sees to sun-roasted bean. Our drive continued to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, passing through Arenal Volcano area and La Fortuna to see iguanas.
Luxury awaited us at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal resort with plush robes and slippers, chic quarters, hot spring fed pools and waterfalls nestled among wild flowers, and a lavish list of spa options for pampering in open air cabanas surrounded by candle lit paths circling the hot springs of El Volcan Arenal.
While some wanted to be pampered, others hungered for some adventure. From the central valley region to the province of Guanacaste, active outdoor endeavors abounded. We hiked our way across hanging bridges, rode a Sky Tram to the highest platform sending us on our way ziplining through seven zip lines along 1.7 miles of cables. We crossed Lake Arenal by boat to Monteverde experiencing the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Nioya.
More adventure awaited us while hiking and canyoneering waterfalls in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. On the way to Tamarindo, we braved the rapids of the Tenorio River in 4-5 person rafts. All the while, crocodiles, howler and white monkeys, iguanas, macaws, sloths and pizotes
Our last stop was the most developed beach on the Nicoya Peninsula and one of Costa Rica’s best known surf spots, Tamarindo. More adventure and pampering awaited us at this bustling beach town with a funky bohemian vibe and local nightlife scenes. We glided through the mangrove forest in the Las Baulus National Estuary, surfed in the Pacific Ocean, hiked the beach and enjoyed an evening happy hour and Fire Show. Before departing from Liberia airport, we closed out our adventure with an open bar/BBQ lunch buffet on a catamaran snorkel and sunset cruise followed by dinner and dancing overlooking the beach and Pacific Ocean.
What a way to end our multi-sport adventure in a peaceful oasis with pure beauty, exotic wildlife and countless options to balance the harmony of pampering and thrills. When all aspects of life are esteemed and celebrated in accord with the natural world, on even the smallest scales, everything is truly pura vida.