Monday, April 11, 2011

costa rica

Spring Break 2011: Looking for plenty of sunshine, relaxation, and a splashof adventure...we headed to Costa Rica. This was a family vacation to remember, with a little something for everyone. I will attempt to include enough info to help those of you headed to this lovely destination while planning your trip. With our spring break at the end of March, it coincided with Costa Rica's Dry Season...95 degree temperatures and a beautiful ocean breeze...we could not have asked for better weather.

We chose to stay at the Flamingo Beach Resort, on Flamingo Beach (the southwest side, in the Guanacaste Region). The location gave us the beach along with easy access to tours and adventures. There are so many regions to choose from...depending on your interests. Next time I would definately work-in the Arenal Volcano. This resort appealed to us, because of it's more intimate size, yet it had all the comforts of a luxurious resort. I arranged transporation through the hotel from the airport (1 hour drive) however, next time we will rent a jeep to give us more flexibity during our stay.

The resort offered breakfast only as well as all-inclusive packages (your wristband indicates your status). Knowing we would be headed out for a number of family adventures throughout the day, we opted for the breakfast only package, which included a very adequate beachfront breakfast every morning.

Just outside the resort gate are a number of wonderful restaurants...Marie's is one of my favorites, with its open-air design. Their Fish Tacos are out of this world.

Beautiful waves...great body surfing with clear water in whichyou can
sometimes see fish swim through the water as the waves crest.

the swim up bar...chocolate monkeys and pina coladas

Flamingo Beach Resort.

Flamingo Beach Resort: Our Family Suite: 3 balconies and 3 Queen size beds.

About a 20 minute walk from the resort, brought us to Playa Potrera, a dark sand beach (this is where we later walked to catch our deep sea fishing excursion and catamaran sunset cruise). We found our first local ocean front restaurant...Plea Mar. Meals of typical Costa Rican and seafood cuisine are served right on the beach under thatched umbrellas. As we drank our Imperial Beers, fantas and cokes...we watched the fresh seafood being delivered.

the guys walking to Plea Mar Restaurant

Trip enjoying his fanta and the owner's parrot at Plea Mar.

ATV to Zipline: We purchased most of our adventures through the resort. Booking ahead of time is not necessary. Our first adventure was a combination of the ATVs and the Zip Line located at theCongo Trail. The ATVs were delivered right to our hotel (we each rode our own, except for Trip, who rode on the back of Bren's). Since we were in the dry season, the river beds were not quite as wet and fun as they would have been otherwise. We had a blast...after heading down a short paved road past Potrero, we went on dirt paths/small roads through villages and remote areas. About 45 minutes of fun riding later...we reached our destination: The Congo Trail zip line.

ATVs delivered to the resort

lots of dirt and dust...

cal taking a break...poor guy had to ride with a cast on for his broken thumb.

family of rough riders

starting out on the atvs....

riding along...

hello cows...