By: Karen Ward, Senior Travel Consultant
I love Costa Rica. I have now been there 5 times and I love it more each time I go and see and experience all the beauty Costa Rica has to offer.
This time, I went as a solo traveler with Tauck Earth Journeys. This is my 2nd Tauck tour that I went solo on and had wonderful time on both of them. The group tour experience is great for single travelers.
The tour was called Costa Rica- Pura Vida with Tauck which is the country’s motto and is used the same way as Aloha in Hawaii.
Our 1st stop on our tour was San Jose where we stayed at the beautiful Grano de Oro Hotel. Gorgeous place to stay. Very unique in design, excellent restaurant. The welcome dinner was beyond delicious!
Before departing San Jose we visited the Gold Museum. Our local guide, who traveled with us for entire tour had a local artist there selling some beautiful handmade pieces. I bought some of her pieces and I am glad that I did, because I didn’t see the quality or uniqueness in tourist shops as the trip went on.
On the way to Arenal we stopped at the Toucan Rescue Ranch which was a wonderful experience. They rescue and rehabilitate Costa Rica’s wildlife. We got up close and personal with many sloths and other animals.
We then headed to the fabulous Tabacon Hot Springs Resort where we would spend two nights. The resort is a perfect place for honeymooners.
The next day we enjoyed a float trip on the gentle Penas Blancas River. We saw all kinds of wildlife with the help of our expert guides. We stopped at a local family who has lived on the river for generations. We had some delicious coffee and snacks. Later in the day we had time to enjoy the thermal hot springs at the resort. There is a VIP section of the hot springs where only guest can go. So nice!
Next destination, Monteverde. On the way we stopped for a ride in sky trams and then a thrilling zip line experience. It was awesome! While in Monteverde, we stayed at the rustic-chic Monte Verde Lodge and Gardens for 3 nights.
The 1st day there we did a guided walk through Selvatura Park crossing 13 suspension bridges which gave us a closer look at what it is like in the canopy of the forest.
The next day we visited Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve where we had a guided walk and saw many beautiful flowers, birds, insects. Later in the afternoon we visited a small coffee plantation and learned everything you would want to know about coffee. They had great dark chocolate covered coffee beans. After dinner that night I opted for an optional night hike. It was an enjoyable experience. We saw some sleeping butterflies and a tarantula.
I think that Monteverde is my favorite place in Costa Rica. No humidity! Lot’s of natural beauty everywhere. All of my previous trips to Costa Rica involved one coast or the other.
The following day we headed back to San Jose. We spent the last night at the Intercontinental Costa Rica.
Our farewell dinner was at an artisanal chocolate company. We had a chocolate tasting with wine. We learned all about the history of chocolate. It was interesting and very tasty!
What a wonderful destination Costa Rica is if you are a nature lover as I am. Tauck made it my best trip to Costa Rica yet!
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