Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful country in Central America that is seasonably warm throughout the year.  It is those temperatures along with the white sandy beaches and tropical rainforests that drew me there recently.  I have been to numerous places around the world, but I knew that my trip to Costa Rica would be one that would surpass all the rest. 

When I arrived in Costa Rica, I checked into the Casa Chameleon Hotel.  This luxurious hotel is known by people all over the world for its amazing customer service, so I was not surprised at all when I was greeted by name upon my arrival and had all my needs met throughout my entire stay. 

I was instantly whisked to my room, so that I could relax after my long plane ride and readjust to my new time zone.  I quickly sat down on the deck outside my room and gazed out at the water for what seemed like hours.  I would have liked to have taken a nap, but to be honest, the sights were so mesmerizing, I was afraid that they would disappear if I closed my eyes.  Therefore, I simply sat there and soaked in the beauty of it all, as well as the sunshine, until I chose to get something to eat at the restaurant. 

At Sentido Norte, I ate fresh seafood that was caught that day and prepared by the amazing chefs.  This restaurant sits on a cliff and is open on all sides, so there is not one bad place to sit. I was fortunate to find a table that overlooked the shoreline, where I could see some of the nearby islands as the sun was setting over the horizon.  Before I headed back to my room, I ventured over to one of the infinity pools for a little swim and decided that it would be the perfect place to watch the sun rise in the morning. 

While there was plenty for me to do at the Casa Chameleon Hotel, I also wanted to explore the country.  One of the best things that I did was a private boat tour.  There are so many of these to choose from, and I did have a difficult time deciding which one I wanted to go on.  I ended up deciding to go to Tortuga Island, which has numerous villages as well as untouched beaches and gorgeous wildlife reserves.  I loved walking around the island while listening to basically nothing, as the entire area is so tranquil and serene. 

After a little time exploring the land of the island, I chose to explore the water itself by snorkeling.  The marine life in this area is magnificent and I was able to see some beautiful sting rays, angel fish, octopus, and even dolphins.  I would have loved to try scuba diving, but I didn’t have time to learn everything that I would have needed to in order to go down to see the three sunken boats in the area.  Plus, there are sharks down around those boats.

After a little time exploring the land of the island, I chose to explore the water itself by snorkeling.  The marine life in this area is magnificent and I was able to see some beautiful sting rays, angel fish, octopus, and even dolphins.  I would have loved to try scuba diving, but I didn’t have time to learn everything that I would have needed to in order to go down to see the three sunken boats in the area.  Plus, there are sharks down around those boats. 

On another day, I went and explored the beautiful tropical paradise of Manuel Antonio National Park.  This national park may be one of the smallest parks in the country, but I quickly learned that it had a plethora of different animals and birds.  I lost count of how many different species of animals I saw when I was there, but I know that I spotted a Central American squirrel monkey, multiple iguanas, toucans, parakeets, woodpeckers, and hawks. 

 

 

  

 

My favorite spots within the Manuel Antonio National Park were the lookouts and the waterfalls.  The Sendero La Catarata Trail is a fairly short trail that I was able to complete in no time at all, and it led to a small waterfall that was beautiful.  The Sendero Playa Gemelas Trail leads to a beach and many of the other trails within the park, but it also leads to a lookout where I was able to see Playa Puerto Escondido.  I will never get tired of seeing the rainforest meet the ocean! 

After strolling through the rainforests, I chose to sit on the white sandy beach and watched as the dolphins swam by.  I was hoping that I would see a whale or two, but there were none to be seen for miles.  I ended up venturing from one beach to another while inside this park as each one was more beautiful than the last. 

Spotting animals in Costa Rica can be really difficult, so the next time I am there, I am planning on going on a guided nature walk.  I believe that this will ensure that I will see more of the animals that I missed this time around in the wild.  After all, the wild regions of the rainforest are nothing like a zoo, and these animals blend into their natural habitats much easier, making them harder to spot.  The locals are more adept at spotting these creatures, since they have been walking through these areas for their entire lives. 

I did manage to hang out with the locals when I was in the city of San Jose, as I wandered around seeing historical landmarks and experiencing the real culture and traditions of the locals.  There are numerous restaurants that serve traditional foods, however, I seemed to stick with either seafood or pasta while I was there. 

At night, the atmosphere in the city changes dramatically, and that is when the party really begins.  I was usually back at my hotel by then, but I have heard that the streets fill up with people dancing and having fun until the wee hours of the morning. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Costa Rica and I cannot wait until I can return for some more time in the sun.  I plan on spending time exploring the sights I was unable to see this time around, but there is one thing that will be the same as this trip to Costa Rica.  I will choose to stay at the Casa Chameleon Hotel for my next trip to Costa Rica, and not just for their excellent customer service.  I also happen to enjoy their breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape as well as their luxurious rooms that leave me relaxed and feeling right at home. 

 


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