Rainforest Recreation at 4-Star Luxury Retreat Five Minutes from the Beach
Both the Pacific Ocean and the rainforest surround
Parador Resort & Spa, and the 4-star resort aims to integrate itself among these tropical surroundings as seamlessly as possible. From the hotel’s lofty balconies, you can see people hiking nature trails toward seaside cliffs or snorkeling in shallow coves. Guests can also take in the ocean from four onsite restaurants. Parador goes a step further to make sure these buildings reduce their environmental impact on this area, too. Parador has won multiple World Travel Awards from 2004 to 2012, based on its commitment to sustainable practices.
After dining on Mediterranean cuisine with entrees such as tuscan steak ($25) and black-ink pasta with jumbo shrimp and grilled squid ($27) at La Galeria, all food leftovers are composted and later used to enrich the soil in an onsite garden. That in turn helps enrich the ecosystem, which you can see up close during adventure tours such as kayaking through Damas Island's mangrove estuaries, horseback riding through the countryside, or canopy ziplining above the rainforest.
In the hotel's Tropical rooms, sliding glass doors open onto private terraces overlooking the colorful gardens. Vista suites offer a little more room from their location in the resort’s newest complex, which features an adults-only jacuzzi. The rooms are comfy places to return to after you spend a day splashing under a waterfall in the infinity pool, taking in reflexology treatments at the spa, or skipping boulders along the coast.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica: Eco-Friendly Outdoor Adventures
Manuel Antonio lies on Costa Rica's west coast, framed by white-sand beaches and the biologically diverse ecosystem that flourishes within Manuel Antonio National Park. Wildlife and verdant rainforest line the countryside here. It's a popular place to explore the park’s natural habitats or go beachcombing. You can also take guided and independent tours through the rainforest foliage on an ATV, zipline, or caffeinated two-toed sloth.