The travel advisor I planned our Costa Rica trip listened very carefully to our family's preferences prior to arranging our trip. We told her we liked the outdoors, and wanted to get a wide range of experiences throughout Costa Rica. We regard beaches as another outdoor adventure, rather than a place to hang out all day. She prepared a thorough and complete tour that allowed our family to experience a marvelous coffee plantation in San Jose, learn about plants and wildlife in Monteverde including ziplining, hot springs in the Arenal area, the wonderful national park in Manuel Antonio, and off the beaten path in Osa peninsula. We all had a marvelous time at each site and are convinced that our vacation "mission" was accomplished. The vast majority of the guides and liaisons were prompt and courteous and performed exactly as we would expect. They were extremely polite and considerate in their interactions with us. Each lodging had a different character that will help define our trip in our memories forever.
We virtually loved each part of our trip, because each site allowed us to experience a different flavor of different parts of Costa Rica. I have to admit the Tabacon resort was divine in all aspects: top notch hot spring pools; marvelous food for all meals; gorgeous rooms; top notch service. Very easy to get spoiled there, and it is a hard resort to leave, because then you wonder why the rest of the world isn't like that (for a short time after until you come to your senses). The remoteness and wildness of the Osa Peninsula also appeals to my adventurous side. I came face to face with the fact that as a inhabitant of a greater metropolitan area, I am so far removed from nature that I would be one of the first to die if I was left out in the wild. I will carry that notion with me for the rest of my life, and perhaps that will shape my future decisions on how I live. The Costa Rican people are lovely, down to earth, love the wonderful basics of life, and make me feel that Costa Rica is Central America's answer to Tuscany. Our family were thrilled to see all the wildlife including sloths, poison dart frogs, quetzals, toucans, bats, spiders (cringe), iguanas, etc....we also trekked through elevated walkways....gorgeous beaches....hiking through streams and swimming under waterfalls.....it was endless outdoors joy.
I wouldn't change much. I would have done the Tarzan swing (I chickened out). I would have been a better tipper. I wouldn't have exchanged so many American dollars: they take dollars everywhere and I had to spend many colones at the airport before I left. Maybe I would have spent one more day in Manuel Antonio to relax.
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