Secluded Resort in Mountainous Costa Rican Rainforest
Situated at the base of the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, Blue River Resort & Hot Springs lies in a remote region of Costa Rica. Dense jungle and rolling mountains surround the resort on all sides, isolating guests from the country's crowded tourist centers. It's the perfect spot for embarking on any number of eco adventures, from riding horseback along the riverside to rappelling down waterfalls to visiting beaches. TripAdvisor readers included Blue River on a list of the Top 25 Hotels for Families in Central America. It's easy to see why, given the spacious accommodations and the variety of onsite activities.
The resort may have rustic surroundings, but it was designed with an eye toward modernity. Cabanas have hardwood floors and large flat-screen TVs. Each guest room opens onto a private terrace featuring a hammock and a view of the surrounding gardens. Just a short walk away, you'll find natural-spring pools fed with mineral water heated by the volcano. There's also a freshwater pool outfitted with a kid-friendly water slide.
Take a stroll through the botanical gardens to get a sense of Costa Rica's natural wonders. The gardens have more than 800 varieties of plants and trees inhabited by colorful toucans, bats, and iguanas. A butterfly farm houses several species of beautiful lepidoptera in various life stages.
With this getaway, each adult guest chooses two activities that show off the Rincón de la Vieja region. Thrill seekers can take the water-tubing adventure or Blue River zipline tour, which sends participants zooming through the forest canopy before finishing with a Tarzan swing finale. For a more laid-back excursion, the blue volcanic Penjamos river and private waterfalls tour takes you through a private park in the jungle and includes a chance to soak in natural pools.
Guanacaste, Costa Rica: Forested Mountains and Legendary Surfing Beaches
The province of Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica takes its name from the Guanacaste tree, an umbrella-shaped species also known, less picturesquely, as the earpod tree. These trees blanket the slopes of the Guanacaste and Tilaran Mountains, helping to shelter the coastline from rainstorms and keep the beaches warm and dry.
Stick to the shore of bustling Playas del Coco and you'll find plenty of waterfront activities as well as lively nightlife. But it's worth heading farther afield to take in some of the province's national parks. Starting in October, Marino las Baulas National Park serves as a major nesting ground for leatherback turtles. And in the north, Santa Rosa National Park is known for its legendary surf breaks, including one featured in the documentary The Endless Summer II.