Earlier this week, I returned from my first trip to Costa Rica! The main purpose of the trip was to attend a destination wedding but since we were there for a full week it was also a nice vacation getaway. We went as a group of ~20-25, and the trip was pre-planned by the bride, groom and their wedding planner. The first half of the trip was at a resort on the Pacific coastline, the Westin Playa Conchal. The second half of the trip was in the rainforest at the Springs Resort & Spa.
Part 1 of the Trip – Beachside
Staying on the beachside was nice, but unfortunately the beaches are not like in the Caribbean – especially not like in the Exumas! However, we took a surfing lesson which was awesome (definitely want to do that again) in Tamarindo, which is a world famous surf town that hosts surfing world championships. It was super hot there everyday (35 celcius+), didn’t rain at all, but luckily the pools were perfect temperature! The Westin was nice, and for an all-inclusive the food was really good. The service was as good as it can get for an all inclusive (normally I don’t like all inclusives). We also went on a snorkelling/scuba diving trip, and the snorkelling was OK and the scuba we were told was pretty good since there is a lot of life in the Pacific waters. We heard there is also a Four Seasons on the coast too, maybe that would be nice to look into staying there if you are planning a trip that includes going to the beachside of Costa Rica.
Part 2 of the Trip – Into the Rainforest at the Springs Resort
The second half of the trip was at the Springs Resort which was very nice. It is a boutique hotel with only 48 rooms, and over 15 hot spring pools. So you feel like you have the hotel and pools to yourself! Also, each room has a view of the Arenal volcano! The food was delicious as well. The temperatures were cooler (probably around 28 celcius) than the beachside which was great, and it rained a bit but not much. The weather was perfect for the wedding, and the bride and groom organized fireworks held over the hotel, and fire performers which were outstanding. In terms of activities, we went to La Fortuna waterfall which was stunning and a definite must-do! We also went to see the animals at the reserve on the property (not much interaction, so I would have to say it was just OK), tubing in the white water river (good), and ziplining away from the hotel at the world’s longest zip line, which was really fun!
Overall, I think the trip was great and we had a really good group which made it even better. If I were to return I would probably stay only in the rainforest and also go see the Peace Lodge hotel (the sister hotel of Springs Resort), Monteverde, more waterfalls, and other exploring and adventure activities. Seeing the lush green forests, the volcano, and the waterfalls, I have to say it is a pretty amazing place. I would like to come back eventually in the future!