Nici Rediscovered Costa Rica

This year, to coincide with the introduction of BA’s new direct flight to San Jose, I was lucky enough to visit Costa Rica with a group of agents courtesy of Distinctive America. It had been 15 years since my last visit to this beautiful Central American country and I was intrigued to see whether the increase in tourism had spoiled the country or improved the road system. I’m pleased to report that the answers are no and yes (slightly).

After a smooth flight and a shortish transfer we arrived in the capital, San Jose. It’s not the prettiest of Central or Southern American cities but it makes an easy stop for the first night, an alternative might be to stay North of the city in one of the many hotels close to the coffee plantations.

The next morning it was an early start via a breakfast stop to Tortuguero National Park. The journey takes you through Braulio Carillo National Park, along a road where tarmac is a distant dream and culminates in arriving at your lodge by boat – as there are no roads in the National ParTortuguero transferk. We stayed at the Evergreen Lodge, where all food and many activities were included and our alarm clock was the Howler monkeys in the trees above our chalets.

Activities here include zip wiring, turtle watching, hiking trails, kayaking and exploring the National Park by boat.


All too soon it was time to leave and board a light aircraft back to San Jose (The pilot checked us in on the tarmac with a clipboard!).

From San Jose we took a road transfer to the Relais & Chateau El Silenci

El Silencio waterfall 6Lodge where we spent a wonderful day exploring the cloud forest and hiking to a waterfall .





Sadly after just 1 night it was time to leave, a two hour road journey took us from the misty cloud forest to the volcanic heartland of Costa Rica. Arenal is probably the most “touristy” resort in Costa Rica – however, don’t let that put you off it just means that there are a lot of fun things to do.

Our time was limited so we did not get to indulge in all the activities available in the area. These include – bathing in the hot springs, hiking the lava fields, walking the hanging bridges, zip-wiring, activities on Lake Arenal or white water rafting on the Rio Balsa.

Our final stop on the itinerary was Manuel Antonio National Park – about as close to nature as you can get. There are also beautiful beaches where you can relax & enjoy the warm Pacific waters. We stayed at the Parador – a Spanish influenced hotel owned by a Belgian…… Only in Costa Rica!!!!

Arenas del Mar view

However, there are many other magnificent beach resorts on the Pacific coast where you can end your Costa Rican Odyssey. Surfers may want to head to Nosara or Santa Teresa, Snorkellers may want to head to Golfo Dulce or the Osa Peninsula, whilst those that appreciate the finer things in life may want to head to the Four Seasons Papagayo.



Basically, Costa Rica has something to offer for everyone – it really is a holiday like no other.

Call me on 020 8444 4444 or email  me

to discuss your very own Costa Rican adventure