Costa Rica Adventure

Costa Rican life consists of endless beaches, rainforests, river valleys, and biodiversity all in one place, for the perfect Costa Rica adventure. Many airlines offer non-stop flights, making the trip easier for you.

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Forest Ziplining

Whether it’s through the evergreen Monteverde Forest with the Arenal Volcano’s view or through the vibrant jungle canopy, ziplining is very common and one of the most popular activities in the Costa Rican jungle.

Wildlife

Nearly 25% of the country is preserved for national parks and wildlife. It is home to 27 national parks and takes up five percent of the world’s biodiversity. The Los Quetzales National Park allows birdwatchers to get a full aerial view of the various species of birds. Monkeys call the jungle home; so keep an eye out to see these amazing creatures in their own habitat. The Corcovado National Park is another prominent place to visit for frequent whale-watching and dolphin sightings.

Surfing

Towns such as Samara, Avellanas, and Tamarindo are great places for year-round surfing on these Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The warm water and steady winds combine to make Costa Rica a surfers paradise. Many of the beaches offer boards and lessons for beginners.

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Volcano Hike

The massive Arenal Volcano is one of the most well-known spots in Costa Rica. The surrounding area around the volcano offers kayaking, boating, and paddleboarding. Hot springs and waterfalls are also present, with zip lines and horseback riding available below the volcano summit. Rincon de la Vieja National Park’s centerpiece is another million-year-old volcano that offers views of the Nicoya Peninsula and Lago de Nicaragua.

Waterfall

La Fortuna waterfall by Arenal is an approximated 20-minute hike presenting a massive waterfall with a jungle backdrop. Another favorite is located in Tenorio Volcano National Park in the Northern Plains, offering bright blue waters. Lesser-known waterfalls include Bajos del Tori in the Alajuela province and Catarata del Toro, which plummets into an extinct volcanic crater with aerial views.

Rio Rafting

Named as a Biosphere Reserve, Rio Pacuare offers a white-water Caribbean experience through the safari-like jungle. According to National Geographic, it is one of the top spots for white-water rafting. The highlight of rafting in the Rio Savegre includes sightings of the jaguars, tapirs, and birds that call this biosphere home.

Jungle Drives

A 4×4 is recommended for the best driving experience in Costa Rica. The off-beaten paths offer unique views but require vehicles that can make their own path. Driving on the beach is not permitted. Another way to get explore is via horseback.

Deep Diving

The majority of shore islands on the Pacific coast are the hot spots for scuba and deep diving. Get up close and personal with various species of sharks, dolphins, and much more. A renowned spot for diving is The Gulf of Papagayo in the Guanacaste province.

Yoga Retreats

Aside from the adventurous and bold activities offered in Costa Rica, yoga retreats are available for leisure in the peaceful surrounding. Nosara is a popular spot located in the Nicoya Peninsula, offering a beachfront area for a relaxing yoga session.

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Tips For A Terrific First Trip To Ireland

Have you been to Ireland? Is it on your bucket list? Ireland is one of my favorite places to visit. Having been to Ireland many times, and helping clients experience this magical place, below are some of my expert tips for a terrific first trip to Ireland.

You’ve put off visiting the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, and Blarney Castle long enough. It’s finally time to take that trip to Ireland! I applaud that decision, but before you book that brewery tour or get too excited about visiting Dublin’s Grafton Street, here are a few tips to make for a more enjoyable trip.

Tips for a terrific first trip to Ireland
The perfect country for a road trip

Consider Car Travel

The best sites in the Emerald Isle are seen via public transportation or tour buses, but renting a car is not a bad idea to get to those obscure sites. Be sure the vehicle you rent is a small one, as rural roads in Ireland are narrow. Oh, and the Irish drive on the left side of the road and pass on the right; it takes some getting used to and is not for everyone.

Tax-Free Shopping

All those goodies you’ll find to buy on Grafton Street are tax-free! That’s right, travelers who live outside the European Union can shop tax-free in Ireland. Make sure to apply for a Fexco Horizon Card prior to your trip so you can register and swipe it in affiliated stores in the country and claim sales tax back on your purchases.

Differing Currencies

And while we’re on the topic of shopping, it’s important to note that, as part of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland uses pound sterling rather than the euro.

Dress Appropriately

Irish weather is not extreme, but the country does get a lot of rain, particularly along its west coast. And if you’re traveling to Ireland during winter, know that the season’s days are short. The sun rises at about 8 a.m. and sets at about 4 p.m., which means you have to cram a lot of sightseeing into a few hours. But during summer, the sunsets as late as 10 p.m. Be mindful of these seasonal changes, pack light layers of clothing and a pair of rain boots or waterproof shoes, and you should be just fine.

Public Transportation Pointers

The trains in Ireland carry you in comfort, but they are pricey. So if you intend to travel on one during your trip, make sure to book it in advance to take advantage of online discounts that the Irish Rail offers. If you choose to travel by bus, be aware that you must flag the bus to get it to stop.

Heritage Cards Are Helpful

If you plan to visit the country’s many cultural attractions, picking up a Heritage Card from the Office of Public Works is a great idea. This card entitles you to free admission to all heritage sites managed by the state for an entire year. These sites include castles and national parks.

So now that you have the tips to a successful Ireland trip, be sure to call or email me to help you plan your trip. As an Ireland destination specialist, I will help you plan your custom itinerary, and have more tips and tricks to make your first trip to Ireland one that you will never forget.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

I planned a year ago to visit Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The purpose of my visit was to check out some resorts that I had not seen before. Having returned two days ago, and while travel has changed under the new requirements, it was a wonderful visit. I was able to tour some great resorts that each offer something different.

The first night I stayed at one of my favorite resorts a little further south along the Riviera Maya. The next day I headed to Playa del Carmen for a three night stay at Sandos Caracol. Joining me on this site inspection trip was Shannon, from Riviera Reflections Weddings & Events, based in the Riviera Maya.The purpose of this trip was to scout out some new locations for honeymoons and destination weddings.

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Sandos Caracol is a family friendly, all inclusive resort set along a beautiful beach. There is also an adults only section, with its own beach club area. The staff is wonderful, and the food was good. This resort offers something for everyone, and the natural setting is amazing. Jungle, cenotes, monkeys, waterfalls, and a suspension bridge are just a few of the things waiting for you. The rooms are  comfortable, and a good size for 2 adults or 2 adults and 2 kids. If you are traveling as a family, I recommend the Eco Family Suite which gives you more room, a separate bedroom for the kids, a larger bathroom with 2 showers, and a plunge pool on your balcony.

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Celebrating my birthday during my visit was extra special; the resort went out of their way to show me some ‘birthday love.’ It is special touches like this that will make a special occasion, honeymoon or destination wedding that much more memorable. The cake was delicious by the way!

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Destination Wedding Options

The resort offers several wedding locations. Beach palapa for toes in the sand, but shaded from the hot sun. A rooftop terrace with views for miles. At the edge of a cenote; the possibilities are endless to craft your picture perfect wedding day. The resort offers several wedding packages which can be customized anyway that you like.

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Contact me for more information or to start planning your visit to this amazing resort