Tag: Costa Rica Travel

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Six Cities Ignoring the Groundhog to Enjoy an Early Spring

February 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

We can all agree that this winter just won't relent and, with the decision of this years Groundhog Day in question, we have no indication on when it may end.

If you're tired of hauling out the snowblower and lacing up snow boots, leave it all at home and head to a destination that's already waved good-bye to the adverse weather of winter.

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Where To Go With Your Tax Refund: Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
April 2, 2013 at 1:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is coming, and you're probably excited...but not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Whether you're into eco-travel, surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming/snorkeling/Scuba, hanging out with exotic animals (like the Coati), learning Spanish or just lazing on a sandy beach, Costa Rica can make it happen. Regardless, you're in for sun and warm temperatures.

If you're interested in the Caribbean side with all its eco-tourism or you'd like to scratch a visit to Arenal volcano off your bucket list, fly into San Jose International Airport. For trips to the Pacific side's beaches, surf spots and giant national parks, Liberia International AIrport is the best bet (and it's got a brand-spanking-new terminal).

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The Most Improved Airport of 2012 is...

December 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2012 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready for 2013, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2012 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,—or as we fondly refer to them—The Jauntys.

Ever flown to Liberia, Costa Rica? If no, you should because now they've finally got an airport capable of handling the flood of tourists and international flights heading to this gateway city to the country's spectacular Pacific coast.

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The Adventures of Travel Cat: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

September 5, 2012 at 12:54 PM | by | Comment (1)

Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new feature—Travel Cat—focuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).

Travel Cat spotted in: La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

This week's Travel Cat is from Jaunted twitter friend @megangh, who spotted this proud puss atop a restaurant table. Costa Rica suffered a magnitude-7.6 earthquake earlier today and, though there have been no reports of fatalities, it's still pretty scary.

Megan's story of this cat reflects quieter times:

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Some Reflections on Traveling With or Without Pocketfuls of Foreign Currency

March 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

It's pretty fair to say that the era of the hidden money pouch is over. Sure, there'll always be the grandparents on an 11-night bus tour who faithfully shove the beige pouches down their shirts, and the high schooler on a first trip to Europe whose mom raided the Eagle Creek travel products aisle at Target, but—thank god—traveller's cheques are passť and ATMs are all over the place.

To speak of our own travels, the way we carry foreign cash has dramatically evolved. In the early 2000s, while traveling extensively around Europe, we would exchange our money in the US via snail mail with American Express. All of that would then travel with us over the ocean and, for each different city we visited, we'd remove from a main wallet only as much as we wanted to spend there. Most transactions were done in cash, with a credit card back-up for hotel rooms and big dinners. Only once did we have to visit Western Union for a top-up.

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What Does 'The Lorax' Have to Do with Costa Rica Eco-Travel?

Where: Costa Rica
March 9, 2012 at 5:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Doubletree By Hilton is celebrating the release of Dr. Seuss' The Lorax with a sweepstakes inspired by eco-travel.

In The Lorax, a young boy is searching for the one thing that will win over his dream girl, and along the way he discovers the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

And, just as the Lorax tries to protect his world, the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Costa Rica, which is located in El Roble, Puntarenas, is trying to do something to protect ours.

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The Moneyball of Surfing is in Costa Rica, at Surf Simply

February 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM | by | Comments (0)

Moneyball may have gone home empty handed at the 2012 Oscars, but sabermetrics are alive and well and not just on the baseball field.

Ru Hill is the owner/operator of Surf Simply, a boutique surf coaching resort near Nosara, Costa Rica, and he has been collecting surf data for more than ten years, all the while instructing thousands of surfers in England, France and Indonesia. Since 2007, however, his home base has been just up the dirt road from Playa Guiones in CR.

Every Saturday Ru and his team of ISA-trained surf instructors, chefs, yoga instructors and masseurs welcome a new group of travelers who, while varied in surfing ability from none to plenty, all have a common goal—to become immersed in surf while on vacation. While there are plenty of surf camps, surf instructors, and surf boards in Costa Rica, you would be hard pressed to find one as detailed and systematic as Surf Simply.

While Saturday night starts with a low-key dinner at the basic yet boutique 14-guest surf resort, by Sunday morning 8am, the travelers are ready to get in the water.

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Over the River and Through the Woods, to Costa Rica's Massive Arenal Volcano

Where: Costa Rica
January 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM | by | Comments (2)

You know Kai. Last week he detailed how he made his surfing adventure happen. Today, he drops some intel on the famous Arenal volcano in Costa Rica...

Volcanoes are cool—giant mountain things with a hole that goes to the bottom of the earth, full of boiling hot lava and belching smoke and soot into the air. There's something very prehistoric and intimidating about them. Oh, and every now and then they explode and turn lethal. Both cool and a bit scary then.

My typical vacations are usually by the water (not many volcanos there) or at ski hills (likewise), so I'd never had the opportunity to see a volcano up close and personal. Then, on my recent surf trip to Costa Rica, I decided to take a couple of days away from the water and go check out the volcano Arenal, one of the ten most active in the world. It last erupted as recently as 1968, when it destroyed three small villages, killing 87 people in the process. Arenal is the real deal; it's most definitely not a Disney volcano.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Budgets, Boards and Pura Vida

Where: Costa Rica
January 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Becoming a (surf) bum in Mal Pais

As you've probably guessed, Costa Rica is one of the most surf-friendly destinations on the planet. Surfers are welcomed here with open arms, and locals will go above and beyond to help you out. It is perfectly normal to see a massive board bag strapped to the roof of a taxi, to store your boards in your hotel room, and to set up a makeshift clothes line outside your door.

And just as friendly as it is, it's also easy. US Dollars are accepted just about everywhere and most people speak at least a little English, though no matter how bad your Spanish, an attempt to speak it will always go down well. ATMs are fairly easy to find, and most will have English as an option. The bigger bank ATMs even dispense dollars as well as the local currency, Colones, and any of the main hotels or stores will take credit cards.

Nonetheless, be careful of the foreign transaction fee charges that your US bank will tack on; look into a foreign transaction-free credit card if you travel abroad often. For myself, I tried to pay for most things in cash, only using plastic for purchases of $100 and up.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Making It to Mal Pais

Where: Costa Rica
January 12, 2012 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Playa Negra and the rush of hitting the waves.

Mal Pais is a sleepy little surf down at the bottom of the Nicoya Peninsula. Itís about five hours' drive from Tamarindo (taking the sensible road), or many more hours drive than that taking the silly, but very picturesque coastal road. I say silly because the above is what sometimes passes for a road in Costa Rica.

Note that the photo was taken during the dry season. In wet season (May to November), or any time itís been raining, roads like this become impassable to all but the sturdiest SUVs. You'll find that towns in Costa Rica usually have an old man who magically knows the conditions of every river within 20 miles of his location, but as I was not in possession of one of these wrinkly oracles in my passenger seat and didnít feel like getting my SUV stuck in a river, I elected to take the boring, safer route.

Once I arrived in Mal Pais, the first thing I noticed was, well, not a whole lot really. Not much happens here, and thatís exactly whatís so great about the place. There are a couple of bars (thatís a couple more than when I was first there ten years ago), plus other mild activities like yoga, zip-line tours and so on, but the truth is you come to Mal Pais for one reason: to surf.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: Playa Negra and the Rush of a Single Wave

January 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Hitting the road to Tamarindo.

Standing on beautiful Tamarindo beach, with my board under my arm and looking out to sea, it occurred to me in a moment of mild panic that I was very out of practice. Was I making a terrible mistake? The ocean, for all its infinite beauty, is still a scary, powerful and potentially lethal thing.

You see, you can generally tell how good a surfer somebody is by watching them as they enter the water. Folks who know what they're doing look like they own it; they glide out on their boards and effortlessly get themselves beyond the break (to the calmer part of the water where you see surfers congregate). Surfers who maybe aren't so great will walk their boards out until the water comes up to their chests, then flail around every time a wave comes in, and they generally project an aura of terror.

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Kai Surfs Costa Rica: The Road to Tamarindo

January 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kai MacMahon had lost himself to the urban life in NYC, taking up running but putting down the surfboard. That is, until recently when he bit the bullet and flew himself to Costa Rica to drive, sleep and surf wherever he damn well pleased. All this week, Kai will share his experiences on the beaches and the breaks, and how he made it happen.

Yesterday: Making the decision to drop everything and go.

Touching down at Liberia Airport in northern Costa Rica was somewhat of an adventure in itself. The terminal itself is modest (OK, itís a shack), and although thereís a shiny new terminal built and waiting to open, when I arrived they were still waiting for the paperwork to be complete [Ed note: the new terminal finally opens this Thursday!].

Within 30 minutes or so Iíd gone through immigration (and some sort of weird security check where they scanned my bags as they came in to the countryÖwhy would they do that?), and was on the way to pick up my rental car. A word on this: driving in Costa Rica is not for the faint of heart. Itís not that drivers here are bad; certainly theyíre no worse than you find in New York City. Itís just that the roads are—how to put it—somewhat unpredictable. You have to assume that thereís a horse in the road around every corner, because in many cases, there is in fact a horse in the road just around the corner.

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