Last year’s visit to Universal Resort Orlando reminded me just how amazing it is to travel to a different country. If money wasn’t an issue, we would travel so much more than we do, especially to somewhere that’s still hot in the winter like Costa Rica!
I’ve stayed in caravans, hotel rooms, a pod, a lodge, tent and even a lighthouse keepers cottage in my lifetime, but I have never stayed in a Villa and staying in a gorgeous one like one of these Costa Rica beach homes is high on my travel wish list right now. Some of them are literally right on the beach.
For me one of the biggest draws of a villa other than the privacy aspect, is the private swimming pool so many of them have. I love swimming and so do the boys, so the idea of having a pool to ourselves for a couple of weeks just seems perfect to me.
If we did go to Costa Rica though, there would be so much more to do than just swim. I’ve never been there before, but from the photos I have found online I can see just how stunningly beautiful it is. Actual paradise. I’ve been doing some research on Costa Rica recently and I have found the following things to do and reasons to visit;
The National Parks
A quarter of the country is actually protected and Costa Rica has a lot of National Parks and nature reserves. With tropical beaches, volcanoes and rainforests, it has a diverse eco-system and wildlife population. From sloths and howler monkeys to tree frogs and sea turtles, there are so many different creatures to try to spot in their own environment, rather than seeing them in a zoo or similar.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park includes not only a volcano, but also a freshwater lagoon, waterfalls, hot springs, and boiling mud pits. There’s a sulfuric hot spring to soak in and waterfalls and streams for a more refreshing dip or shower. Basically it sounds idyllic and there are so many different types of plants, mammals and more to look out for whilst you hike or maybe enjoy a horse ride.
The Parque Diversiones
The Parque Diversiones is a pretty unique place. It is actually an amusement park with rollercoasters and water rides. What makes it so unique and such a fantastic concept, is that the profits from the park go towards a children’s hospital. How amazing is that?! You can have a fun family day out and at the same time know that you’re doing some good for a charitable worthy cause.
As scary as volcanoes seem in most films involving them, there is something so fascinating about them. Costa Rica actually has five active volcanoes and dozens of inactive ones. One of them Volcan Irazu has a lake inside one of its craters that is supposed to be green and blue, and pretty stunning. I love the sound of that one, but not so much the one with a boiling acid lake!
Lake Arenal lies next to the Arenal Volcano in the Northern Lowlands of Costa Rica and it is a spectacular lake. The surface covers almost 33 square miles! Ridiculously scenic, you can enjoy a whole host of activities there and in the immediate area. Including windsurfing and sail boarding, fishing, kayaking, boat tours, bird watching, horse riding, mountain bike riding and more.
It sounds like a fascinating place, with a hydroelectric dam that produces nearly 12% of Costa Rica’s electric energy. I suspect Si would love the fishing there, which includes fishing for Rainbow Trout who actually have sharp teeth, making the catch a bit more exciting. Plus, I imagine it would be a novelty for him to fish somewhere where it is actually not freezing cold.
Costa Rica actually translates as ‘Rich coast’, which seems pretty accurate to me with miles of beautiful beaches there. One of them in particular at Playa Tamarindo is especially popular with surfers and there are lots of places to rent boards as well, to save you having to trust your own in the hands of the airline you travel there on. The crystal clear water that is also warm all year round is definitely a big draw to everyone, not just the surfers.
All the other activities that you can do in Costa Rica
There is so much to do in Costa Rica, aside from the activities I’ve mentioned already you can also try the following; Aerial Trams, bungee jumping, visit the butterfly Farm (I would LOVE to do this), explore caves, whale watching, Jet Ski, go in a hot air balloon, go sea kayaking, visit La Selva Wildlife Refuge and Zoo, enjoy mountain bike trails, paddle board, rock climb, scuba dive, go on a turtle nesting tour and so much more.
It would take me forever to actually list every single activity that you can do in Costa Rica and pretty much all of it is outside and a wonderful mixture of active and relaxing. You could have a full on day of hiking, investigating volcanoes and spotting exotic creatures and then come back to your villa for a relaxed evening and a wind down in your own personal pool.
Anyone have any get rich quick schemes that I can jump on the bandwagon of? Ha! If not, then I guess I had better get saving for future holidays and glimpses of paradise.