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Costa Rica is a very popular touristic destination within the Americas and the world. During the past few years it has been gaining important spots in different markets, thanks to all the richness and beauty offered by the country.

This popularity has increased in specific markets, for example, the weddings and honeymoon tourism, which is focused mainly on beach destinations and complementary services for this type of visitors, even though, other kind of destinations such as mountains and volcanoes are also chosen to hold these ceremonies.

Weddings have been always a very important event, they are usually held in big salons with hundreds of guests and fancy clothes, with lots of decoration and many hours of planning.  However, things have changed and the new trends have come with destination weddings, creating a complete different atmosphere from the traditional ceremonies.

This trend has become popular with the years and Costa Rica has been the choice for many of those couples that wanted to innovate and make their wedding day a unique and unforgettable experience.

The country brings natural beauty, with rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls, stunning beaches and an endless number of attractions. It also offers a big range of options in accommodation and venue areas, where you can find almost anything, from rustic cozy cabins to luxury 5-stars resorts, to fit all preferences.  All these reasons have helped visitors to plan intimate weddings in beautiful locations, starting to enjoy their honeymoon as soon as they land in the country.

Being an increasingly popular place for destination weddings, Costa Rica can definitely have a good option for anyone. The development of wedding market is making easier the planning of the events in the country. The number of resorts and hotels offering wedding services and packages is getting bigger every day, giving special attention to these customers and trying to exceed their expectations. On this same page, is important to highlight that most weddings take place in coasts, especially in Pacific Coast, thanks to the increasing of tourism activities and infrastructure.

The beautiful beaches in the Pacific give a good range of options to hold a dream wedding, for example, in Mal País/Santa Teresa area some hotels are already specializing in these services, giving an added value to the wedding, a secluded, tropical paradise off the beaten track. The beach in this area has been called one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, and the big development of tourism has not yet come, so the privacy and charm of the tropical forest, the warm ocean breezes, crashing waves and the unique sunsets can be enjoy by couples and its friends, immersing everyone in an memorable experience.

Tropico Latino is a beach front resort located in this area, which features ¨All Inclusive Weddings¨, giving a unique essence with its lush tropical gardens, colorful butterflies, birds and monkeys. The hotel offers a complete and first class service, collaborating with the life time experience that every bride and groom is looking for.
Costa Rica is definitely a special place to have your wedding, and you will probably find the planning much less stressful than you might have expected. Enjoy, relax and explore what Costa Rica, gives you!!

By Maricel - Taken from Enchanting Costa Rica

 

On June, I took an amazing trip to Santa Teresa beach. It started on a Thursday morning. My coworker and I decided to use public transportation to the area, since we have an explorer spirit and want to experience the journey. Fortunately, it ended up being pretty good. 

We took the first bus to Santa Teresa in ¨La Coca Cola¨ station located in San Jose, the bus was leaving at 6 am, and actually it did leave exactly at time. Our trip started taking the General Cañas highway, the one in direction to the International Airport in San Jose, which to clarify it is actually geographically located in the town of Alajuela.

The bus took this route since they are not yet allowed to transit on the Route 27, which is shorter and faster, it can take you to Puntarenas in 45 minutes to one hour without traffic. Anyway, our bus took the old way and head Puntarenas in two hours, which is a good time, so by 8:10 am we were at the ferry station; however the ferry to Paquera goes out every two hours, so the next was leaving at 9 am.

The bus company buys the ferry tickets for you; they include it in the total fare, so we just got out the bus, take our ticket and wait in the line for the ferry to start boarding the passengers. By the way, we gave our luggage to the bus driver in San Jose and they gave us a ticket to pick it up at the end of the trip, so you won´t have to be carrying anything other than your purse or small backpack.

The ferry left around 9:15 am, there was a bunch of people around, however plenty of room was available for us to sit and relax during the one hour trip to Paquera; the weather was nice, very sunny but a little hot, nothing extreme. During the ferry you will be able to buy some stuff like coffee, sodas or even beers and some snacks, in our case we decided to just relax and wait until our next stop, Paquera.

After an hour or so, we arrived in Paquera, we left the ferry and wait for our bus, which was also transferred in the ferry, the same applies for cars. We took our bus again and head to the next towns, around one hour and 30 more minutes were left at the time.

We first pass by Tambor, and the bus started to make stops, then we headed Cobano which is one of the main towns in the area, some people left there. Then the driver asked if someone was going to Montezuma, apparently no one was, so we went directly to Santa Teresa.

We had our reservation in Tropico Latino hotel, so we asked the driver to leave us there, picked up our luggage and entered the hotel which was just across the street.

From the moment we entered, we felt in a tropical paradise, a group of congos were in the middle of the top trees doing some curious noises, we went thru a nice trail decorated with small white rocks and surrounded by tropical gardens, the trail is around 100 meters long, we find the signs showing arrows to the restaurant, reception and pool. We headed the reception and were very well welcomed by the receptionist. Our room was not ready at the time but very kindly the manager invited us to have lunch, it was passed 12, we had our lunch in the beach front Mediterranean restaurant, and the first impression was really high, we both had the fish of the day Tilapia and it was delicious, I also enjoyed a fruit smoothie, it is important to highlight the food is very light and healthy. 

After we settled in our garden view bungalow, which give credit to its name, since we were surrounding by the tropical gardens with the sounds of animals and a private porch to enjoy, relax and feel the sound of nature. The room was cozy and rustic, very comfortable, the bathroom was nicely decorated and it was big enough.

We took a bath and relax for a while, and then we stayed at our room navigating on the internet, there is Wifi connection in all rooms. By dinner we went again to the restaurant, this time the food was even more delicious, I enjoyed one more time a fruit smoothie, which was amazing and had chicken in curry sauce with ginger, no words to describe it, delicious, my friend had corvine and she really enjoyed it. By the time, we have planned to visit the town and look some places around, but we lost time talking and laughing, the restaurant is a good place to hang out, there were some other guests having some drinks and the waiters were very nice. We lost count of time and the rain arrived around 10 pm, so we have to run to our room, so we didn´t get wet. We were tired, so we went to sleep and enjoy the night.

Friday morning was a little cloudy, but we had a big day ahead of us, so we woke up, take the bath and went to have breakfast, one more time, delicious, as I said before the food is light and healthy, I had an omelet with toasts, the toasts were amazing, I totally love them!!!

After our delicious and light breakfast we went to our yoga class. The hotel has a deck in front of the beach, so you get to hear the sound of the waves and watch the beautiful beach. We relaxed and enjoyed every minute of our yoga class, the instructor was very professional and patient with us, since we were first timers. The class took around one hour and 20 minutes, and then we had booked some treatments at the spa.

We chilled out for a while in our room´s porch, and by 11 am, we went to the spa and the staff gave us a briefing about the services and their philosophy. They focus their work on keeping balance between mind and body, so they complement yoga, spa services and healthy food in one, to give their customers a real body-mind balance experience.

So after the whole explanation, we started the treatments with an exfoliation and then the wrap with tropical papaya, honey and carrot to revive your skin, they wrapped your whole body and then cover you up with some sheets and plastic, so you get warmed and the ingredients can work on your skin, the whole process could take around 50 minutes. While we were waiting for the wrap to finish, we also had a facial specially made for our skin type, it was very nice. After the wrap worked and our facial was done, we were sent to take a shower in the middle of the tropical forest to clean all the rests of the wrap. And last but not least, we had an amazing full body massage that took me to heaven; the massage was in both face and body.

After we finished our treatments at the spa, we felt in the air, then we had our light lunch again and were completely relax, it was an amazing combo to mix the yoga, spa and healthy food.

During our afternoon we relax at our room and the front porch and then took a tour with the manager thru the entire hotel, we get to know all the rooms’ types and the newly coming beach front suite. The hotel is getting bigger and improved, trying to maximize their resources and give better options for their customers.

We finally enjoy a beautiful sunset in Santa Teresa beach, the views are amazing and the sunset was just stunning. We spent some time there and truly enjoy this beach.

By dinner we went one more time to the Mediterranean restaurant and this time tried something new, I chose the tuna and my friend the chicken that I had last night. We tried one more time to get to the town but unfortunately it was raining again.

Next morning we went to have the amazing breakfast; I had the same and still love it. We chilled out at our porch and then went walking to the town of Santa Teresa and then go back to the hotel by the beach enjoying the views and the warm water, by this you get to see the surf vibe, very particular of the area.

After our short walk thru the beach, we need to get ready, since unfortunately we had to leave in the 2 pm bus back to San Jose. We spent some time in the room, took the bath and got all the stuff ready and we had our last lunch in the delicious restaurant, this time rice with chicken.

Hotel Tropico Latino was gorgeous, very tropical and relaxing, perfect for families, group of friends, and couples. The whole concept of the hotel gives you the sense of quietness and relaxation in the middle of one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Not much more to ask for, the perfect place, my weekend was amazing!!!

 

By Maricel

Costa Rica's tropical paradise gives a large range of options to enjoy and get immersed in an unforgettable experience, staying out of the typical tourist traps. Trying to find off the beaten track beach destinations, Santa Teresa beach came to my mind.

Unlike most other beach towns in the country, this town has the charm and unique characteristics to make it a very special place: the jungle beauty, beautiful uncrowded beaches, stunning sunsets, secret waterfalls, warm water and excellent surf spots.

This area has been increasing its popularity during the past years, started as a remote fishing village, with some cattle ranching and logging, and it wasn´t until the 90´s that was discovered as a touristic place, and started growing from there. It is located 150 kilometers west of San Jose, and the easiest way to get there is heading Puntarenas, taking the ferry to Paquera and then drive to Mal País.

Santa Teresa is a bio diverse beach, the area is surrounded by many species of flora and fauna, lots of birds and monkeys can be seem around along with a large number of flowers and trees.
Many of the surfers and tourists that once came to visit fall in love with the town and settled down here. That is why the cultural mix is wide; in the area you can find Europeans, Americans, Canadians and South Americans, along with the ¨ticos¨, giving a nice vibe and adding its flair to the town.

This settlement has increase the opening of a variety of hotels and restaurants. Good restaurants offering incredible fusion cuisine prepared by quality chefs coming from different countries. In terms of lodging, the beachfront hotels are the most popular, for example Tropico Latino, which offers bungalows along with spa services, yoga and surf classes. However, any type of accommodation with different price ranges can be found in the place.

The area also offers surf schools, Spanish schools, yoga retreats, spa services, some nightlife and different recreational activities during the weekends, for example the arts and crafts market as well as the organic market. Small shops, internet cafes and art galleries, are some of the complementary features on this town. Tour and activities near the area are very easy to find, the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, fishing tours, canopy in Montezuma or the Tortuga Island tour, to name a few examples.

Santa Teresa has become an interesting and different destination, mixing the good surfing; gold-grey beaches and relaxing atmosphere. This may be the reason why Forbes Magazine voted it as one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, being also awarded in the list of the 2011 Tripadvisor Travelers Choice.

Lately has been positioned as honeymoon/wedding destination, gaining a good image from the potential visitors, which usually find all they want in one place, a secluded, romantic, non-crowded, amazing beach place to enjoy during their trip. The unique sunsets and warm weather of this town are waiting for its guests…

By Maricel / Taken from Enchanting Costa Rica

 

During the past few years Costa Rica has become one of the world´s top surf destinations, is has been called ¨The Hawaii of Latin American surfing¨. This position has been gained for many reasons, like warm water, consistent year round surf, affordable prices, easy access to breaks, over 700 miles of coastline, both Pacific and Caribbean oceans, friendly people, great surf camps and international surfing tournaments.

If we take all these reasons and mix it, with the variety of options offer by this country in terms of nature, culture and fun, the combination results in a wonderful experience.

Costa Rica has many places to practice surfing, some of them are more popular than others, however the main essence of surfing will be always found anywhere in the country. Some of the best spots to practice surfing are: Dominical, Pavones, Jaco, Hermosa, Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Puerto Viejo and Santa Teresa.

This last one, has many characteristics that make it unique. Santa Teresa is located in a great place to catch swell, and is one of the last really uncrowded surfing areas in Costa Rica. There are several surf spots around like El Carmen, Playa Hermosa, Playa de Los Suecos and Punta Barrigona.

Combining the good surf features in the area, plus the beautiful beach and natural surroundings make of Santa Teresa beach an excellent place to visit while you explore Costa Rica. If you are a surfing lover, enjoy beach and warm weather, and love the contact with nature, this is for you.

As a surfing paradise, the area offers many options in terms of accommodation, food and services in general. An excellent place to stay while you are in Santa Teresa, is Tropico Latino Hotel, located just across the beach, offering unique accommodations (bungalows), spa, yoga and of course surfing classes in one of the best spots in the area, along with the fact that its owner is a surfer, he will be there to give you advice.

By Maricel / Taken from Enchanting Costa Rica

 

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