For my first trip to Central America, I debated long and hard to choose between Panama and Costa Rica. After weeks of research, I settled on Costa Rica because it would stretch the limits of what I would normally experience while travelling.
Costa Rica is a relatively small Central American country that offers a plethora of natural diversity in its national parks, wildlife refuges and biliogical reserves.
The Springs Resort & Spa
9 Km Oeste y km 4 Norte del centro de la Fortuna, La Fortuna, 21007, Costa Rica
I booked my stay on Hotwire.com to take advantage of their specially negotiated Hot Rate deals. I’ve been using Hotwire for quite sometime to book accommodations and have been able to save on great deals. When booking, you need to specify the dates of travel, hotel rating, hotel amenities and approximate location of the hotel (in my case it was La Fortuna). Then the name of your hotel is revealed after you book. It’s important to note that if you prefer to know the name of the hotel before paying, they have the regular booking option available as well.
La Fortuna is a town located about three hours drive from San Jose. Its proximity to the Arenal Volcano (Costa Rica’s most active volcano) and its great diversity of activities make the town one of the most frequented destinations by tourists and locals alike.
My trip got off to a rough start because one of my worst fears of traveling occurred. My bag was no where to be found ☹ Instead of sightseeing , I spent the majority of the first day shopping. The hardest part was finding makeup for my skin-tone. You would think as an experienced traveler, I would know better than packing ALL my makeup and toiletries in my checked bag but I didn’t, so I learned my lesson the hard way! Thankfully the malls in San Jose had a great selection of local and international stores.
Despite the initial difficulties, I had an incredible time in Costa Rica. I spent much needed time restoring and revitalizing my mind, body and soul. The spectacular rain forests, the majestic backdrop of the Arenal Volcano, and the lush national parks are enough to make anyone fall in love with the country.
When to go: The best and most popular time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April. Rooms and tours fill up quickly during peek season, so be sure to book months in advance. I planned my visit in May to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the low prices.
Where to stay: Since La Fortuna is a major tourist center, the options for accommodations are endless. Depending on what you are most interested in doing, you can stay in more remote hotels for the best views of the Arenal Volcano or hotels in town so you can get around easily. I wanted to have a close view of the volcano from the hotel, so I stayed at The Spring Resort and Spa.
What to do : Hot springs, La Fortuna Waterfall, White water rafting, Zip-lining, Horseback Riding, National Park Hike, Hanging Bridges