Imagine yourself on the most stunning beach in Costa Rica.
You look out over a gorgeous bay dotted with tropical islands and feel the warmth of the sun kiss your skin. You take a stroll along the shore and smell enticing aromas from restaurants you pass along the way. But they can wait for later. Manuel Antonio National Park is just minutes away and you’re looking forward to a day filled with waterfalls, nature walks and wildlife watching.
Back at your beachfront vacation rental home an award-winning staff greets you with waves and smiles. Each day they make you feel pampered in unique and personalized ways that make you feel like family, like you belong, like home. You smile and wonder, “How will I ever describe this to my friends and family without making them insanely jealous?”
Heidi & Shane, Colby & Chase and (Shane’s sister) Jodi DeBoer Trip Advisor Review December 9, 2013 for a stay in December 2013
This house is so clearly loved not only by the owners and the staff that cares for it, but by the wildlife that loves spending time there as well. The house is amazing, located right on the best beach with a very large pool we found ourselves drawn to after every outing. It is located near many amazing restaurants that have some great views – yet also delivers for those nights we just wanted to enjoy our time in the house itself. We saw two kinds of monkeys, iguanas of all sizes, an adorable sloth that hung out all week and many many birds. The landscaping is so lush and beautiful and the staff dares not let a leaf fall out of place.
Speaking of the staff, they were all so warm and friendly and helped us spot animals in the trees and were available to help with any questions we had. Read more
Jared, Nikki, Maddy, Karen & Keith, Don, Melissa and Rosie, New York TripAdvisor Review: October 8, 2013 for a stay in September 2013
Dear Discovery Beach House, where to start? We had such an awesome time! It’s rare that in a week we have made many friends here in Costa Rica. Everyone has been so hospitable that we feel like we’re all friends and family and not Guests and Employees.
This is definitely our #1 vacation so far. We didn’t want to leave and we’ll be back for sure.
Evelyn and David – we’re so blessed to have had the opportunity to stay in your beautiful home. Your home is a very special place. It was great to have you both over for the 1st of many vacations here. I’m thinking we can’t wait to see you again. You both have created a place to make many memories. Read more
You have an amazing house. We celebrated our wedding in your house and it was the most beautiful day in our lives. The scenery could not be more beautiful or spectacular! Thanks so much for letting us celebrate it in this paradise of a house.
What to say about the Staff? They are all really good and nice and made our stay very comfortable. Especially Sabrina who has helped us with so many small details and was assuring that everything went well for us and our guests. I loved that Manuela, the housekeeper surprised us everyday with different towel decorations on our beds. The wedding cake made from towels was amazing – so sweet of her to do that. Everyone at the Discovery Beach House made us feel very much at home.
We were surprised at how much less expensive it was to get married in Costa Rica than in Italy and we loved the added bonus of getting a tropical vacation. Read more
Thank you to our guest blogger, Hal Amen. This blog originally posted on Matador Network.
HOW MANY OF YOUR VACATION DAYS did you use in the last year? If you live in the United States, chances are the answer to that question is somewhere around half of them. Which means you could be taking paid time off to hang out in Costa Rica right now.
And Costa Rica is a pretty sweet place to be, whether you go for its unrivaled ecotourism opportunities, from watching sea turtles nest to ziplining through the rain forest; its 1,000 miles of coastline on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, and the spectacular beaches and surf that go along with it; or its 50 national parks, representing the nation’s unprecedented commitment to preservation and protecting a full 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
Not that anyone really needs convincing, but here are 30 images of Costa Rica that will inspire you to take your vacation time and put it to better use in the months to come. Here’s to restoring our work-life balance, one epic trip at a time.
RED-EYED TREE FROG Costa Rica is small, just under 20,000 square miles—about the size of two Vermonts. And yet, this country that accounts for just .1% of Earth’s land area harbors 5% of its biodiversity. Costa Rica’s tropical mountain chains, rain forests, and various islands are home to species both highly endangered and more common, such as the red-eyed tree frog seen above. Photo: Steve Corey
It was June 1976 and my husband David and I had spent 6 months trekking through South America. We were longhaired, backpacking, bell-bottom wearing hippies back then.
We were in Goiania, Brazil staying with friends we’d made along the way when we found ourselves deeply regretting we’d skipped seeing the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. We were on a tight budget and our hosts advised us that heading up the Amazon River was the least expensive way to get there and so it became our logical choice.
My daughter Dawn had joined us a month earlier after spending just enough time with her grandparents in Los Angeles to enroll in kindergarten and not be left behind a grade in school. I didn’t subscribe to people’s warnings that you couldn’t travel with kids. It was a state of mind. Dawn turned out to be a great little traveler.
“It gives me hope to come to places like this,” Dr. Jane Goodall said to the standing room only crowd at the recent grand opening of the Osa Field Institute. OFI is a field school where students, faculty, tourists and life long learners can team up to experience Costa Rica and conduct research together in the heart of a primary rain forest.
Dr. Goodall was greeted with a standing ovation. She stood on a step stool throughout her talk explaining that she wanted to see each of the 200 attendees.
In this video Vacation Home Rental Expert, Evelyn Gallardo, compares Costa Rica and Hawaii as vacation destinations. One example being that Costa Rica has four species of monkeys – three of which are regular visitors to the Discovery Beach House!
Originally published at mentalfloss.com/article/60631/16-things-you-might-not-know-about-costa-rica
Costa Rica is as well known for its beautiful natural landscape and bustling biodiversity as it is for its wonderful, happy residents. Here are 16 interesting facts about Costa Rica that help make the country a truly singular place.
1. Over a quarter of the land is dedicated to conservation.
Tourists and locals alike are drawn to Costa Rica’s natural beauty—and are committed to preserving it. With 20 national parks, 8 biological reserves, animal refuges, and protected areas, 26 percent of Costa Rica’s land is protected.
2. Tourism is the country’s leading foreign exchange earner.
All that natural beauty and the diverse landscape with two oceans and access to countless adventure activities have made Costa Rica a great vacation destination. In 1995, tourism overtook bananas to become Costa Rica’s leading foreign exchange earner. Tourism reached an all-time high for Costa Rica in 2013 with 2.4 million visitors.
My daughter Dawn and I made the challenging climb to the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, Tiger’s Nest. This short video shows our ascent. We weren’t allowed to take in cameras or telephones, so stay tuned for Part 2 to read about what we saw and did inside. I highly recommend visiting this monastery built on a sheer cliff – it was an amazing experience!
One of my favorite places to visit in Costa Rica is Manuel Antonio. This is the perfect base from which to explore the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Go white-water rafting, enjoy a mangrove kayak or boat tour, hike with a park guide through the rainforest, go horseback riding or explore the canopy of the rainforest on a zipline.
While Manuel Antonio is known for adventure vacations, it also provides extreme luxury. There are fantastic vacations rentals for accommodating the full range of vacationer. The honeymoon couple, the large family and business executives arranging a retreat will find a place here. There are excellentrestaurants to delight the foodies.
Here is my list of ten of the best places to stay when in Manuel Antonio.
Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Nov. 3-9, 2014
On our second night working as volunteers at ENP we attended a Thai Culture and Language class to help us assimilate into our unfamiliar surroundings. We learned basic Thai phrases and that Thais are uncomfortable with public displays of affection.
For fun we also learned the Banana Song, which was highly appropriate after having spent the day unloading, washing, peeling, mashing and squishing bananas mixed with grains into elephant balls. Some elephants at ENP are old and have trouble chewing their food.
After we got the Banana Song down, our coordinator “Bang” asked for a volunteer to do a dance interpretation.
Dawn takes one for the team and volunteers. I shot this video at ENP in Chiang Mai. It makes me laugh every time I see it.
…a massage with Nang at Numngeru Thai Massage in Khao Suk. I walk in at noon expecting to make an appointment for later but Nang, the massage therapist, insists on doing it now. I’m not a fan of deep tissue massages because frankly, they frikkin’ hurt! I decide to surrender because everything hurts after 23 1/2 hours in the air.
After 90 minutes of it-hurts-so-good pain (and a brief nap!) I ask her to do a reflexology massage. Embarrassingly, I didn’t make time to learn a little Thai, so I have to resort to hand gestures. Continue reading “Heaven is…” »
Today was an amazing day beginning with unloading two tons of watermelons from one of the many produce trucks that come in every day. Each watermelon needs to be washed by hand. We also mashed bananas, cornmeal and other grains into elephant balls for the older elephants who can’t chew fresh fruit. Each elephant needs about 100 kilos per day. Their are 40 elephants here – that’s 4000 kilos of food prepped everyday!
Our guest blogger, Randy Gritz from Celebrations Costa Rica blogs about a new destination wedding trend. When Whitney & Daniel Pace got married at the Discovery Beach House they asked their guests to bring donations for Kids Saving the Rainforest.
I’m often asked about what should we give our guests as a favor to remember our wedding. I have a list that usually includes things like Costa Rican coffee, personalized mugs with a tropical animal as the handle and sarongs for the beach. These are great gifts but I want to focus on another trend by donating something meaningful to the community. A card is left at each guest’s place setting letting them know that in lieu of favors a donation to the community has been made.
When my phone rang the last thing I expected to hear was, “I’m bringing my wife Krista to Costa Rica on vacation. We’ve been married over 10 years and I’m going to surprise her by renewing our vows”
It’s not often a groom contacts me about a vow renewal. They were staying at the Discovery Beach House in Manuel Antonio on gorgeous Espadilla Beach with one of the prettiest tropical rain forests in all of Costa Rica as a backdrop. The setting was amazingly romantic.
To double their pleasure Guy’s friend Bill had decided to renew his vows with his wife Dawn as well. Both husbands managed to keep the secret until a day or so before the ceremony, just in case their wives wanted to shop or get their hair done. Smart grooms. Lucky brides.