An all-inclusive holiday, to Costa Rica, with my family, was spent relaxing by the pool and on the beautiful volcanic beach of the Riu hotel in Guanacaste. However, we also went on amazing excursions to parts of the country that can’t be missed! Helping us visit the best parts of Costa Rica, was a tour operator called ‘Alex on the Beach’, who had brilliant tour guides and great deals, covering all the things we wanted to see and do! Here goes the Costa Rican Bucket list (in no particular order):
‘LLANOS DEL CORTEZ’ WATERFALL
You can sit back in awe of the view, while enjoying the local music or you can take a swim in the fresh water while feeling the soft sprays of paradise touch your face. The best time to visit this incredible waterfall is early morning, that way you can have it all to yourself and avoid the masses of tourists.
ZIPLINE GUAYABAL – MIARAVALLES VOLCANO
Costa Rica is home to zip-lining through rainforests! There’s hundreds to choose from, but we chose to zip line with the view of Miaravalles volcano in front of us. At first, we were very nervous because the centre wasn’t very built-up and it didn’t look as touristy as the other places we’d seen. However, we trekked up the rainforest and returned back to ground after doing seven zip lines, which all got faster and higher every time! We even saw monkeys in the trees as we flew passed! It was an adrenaline powered experience and one that I would strongly recommend.
This seemed quite a small rainforest, however there’s lots to see inside! From frogs, lizards and plants to Costa Rican’s pride and joy – sloths! This place was great for seeing nature in its natural way, however due to this, you have to be patient and try to find the animals (with the help of your knowledgeable guide), because they’re, obviously, not in-caged! My favourite part of this trip was holding a red-eyed tree frog, spotting a toucan, watching a sloth wake up and seeing a maraca plant.
HELICONIA CLOUD FOREST SUSPENSION BRIDGES
Costa Rica is famous for its hanging bridges and now, I can see why! Walking along a swaying bridge across the misty clouds and above the tree’s canopies was insane. Here, is where I truly felt the jungle experience. We crossed around five hanging bridges and we were the only ones there, which made the time feel even more authentic. This is a must-do.
A surfer’s heaven; waves went from small to humongous, meaning that this beach is great for beginners or professionals. My family and I had a lesson with a great instructor from ‘Sol Naciente’. We spent two to three hours in the sea having fun and surfing the waves and then we left the surf town of Tamarindo and visited ‘Brasilita’ beach- a beautiful secluded coastline, with great snorkelling spots.
CATAMARAN SUNSET CRUISE – IKARO
After becoming friends with two other families staying in our hotel we decided to all go on a sunset cruise together. Starting at mid-day we sailed to ‘Ikaro’ beach, passing the gorilla faced rock and one of Michael Jordan’s homes. We also saw dolphins on the way, popping up just under the netting of our boat! Arriving at Ikaro beach, it felt like a dream. A huge monkey ran across the white-sand shore, while we were mesmerised by the incredible island in front of us.
We all jumped off the catamaran and swam to the beach, on the way seeing puffer fish, sea-urchins, eels and the best part- turtles! We had a brilliant guide who taught us all about Costa Rican’s sea life and on returning back to the boat, he prepared us a delicious lunch. My favourite part of all was that the Catamaran’s driver allowed me to steer the boat all the way back to land. I enjoyed watching my family and friends singing and dancing at the front of the boat, as the sky turned orange and the sun began to sleep.