osta Rica is a beautiful destination with so much offer. We have had 3 team members travel to Costa Rica this month and are so excited to share their experiences! In this blog, our team members Ashley, Katie, and Kristen are coming in hot with all the information you need to know about this amazing country. If you weren’t planning to travel to Costa Rica, then strap on your zip-lining equipment because you may want to now! From adventure to simplicity, below is the information we collected from our teammates.

Dreams Las Mareas

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Riu Palace Costa Rica

What was your favorite part about Costa Rica?

Ashley: The culture! Pura Vida is REAL! It’s a happy-go-lucky phrase that is used to explain how you feel, or even to wish someone a great day or to say cheers! Costa Rica is safe, happy, friendly, adventurous, and beautiful. The people and culture of Costa Rica is as gorgeous and enjoyable as the scenery.

Katie: The diversity of terrain! I loved that you could be looking at a gorgeous beach, while also gazing at mountains/volcanoes! Plus their sunsets are to die for!

Kristen: The culture and the land! Everyone in Costa Rica is so nice and has such a laid back attitude. Not to mention, they are all very welcoming! It is a beautiful country with lush greenery, mountains, volcanos, and unique wildlife!

Plant Hollywood Costa Rica

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Dreams Las Mareas

Which resorts did you visit?

All: Riu Guanacaste, Riu Palace Costa Rica, Dreams Las Mareas, Secrets Papagayo & Planet Hollywood Beach Resort

Secrets Papagayo

Riu Guanacaste

Dreams Las Mareas

Can you describe the beaches?

Ashley: The beaches of Costa Rica are diverse. All of the beaches are beautiful. Some have black volcanic sand that almost looks like soil or dirt, but it is actually sand and the softest sand I have ever felt! Other beaches have lighter, more white sand. The tides of the beaches change vastly and make for great sunset walks! It is really awesome to see how the tide changes and shifts the shape of the beach. Even when you walk into the ocean, the sand is soft and clean, you are able to walk quite a ways out and not have seaweed or rocks.

Katie: The unique thing about Costa Rica is all their beaches are different! The beach totally depends on which part of the country you are in. Some beaches have light colored sand and turquoise waters (Dreams Las Mareas) while others have beautiful black, glittery (literally SPARKLING!) sand and darker blue water (Planet Hollywood). Riu Guanacaste/Palace Costa Rica had medium colored brown sand and blue water—like what you could expect out of any US state on the West coast.

Kristen: The beaches in Costa Rica are beautiful in a really unique way! Most of the beaches are black due to the volcanoes, but the black sand is extremely soft and beautiful! The water is clear, but due to the black sand it can make the water look foggier than it is. The beach at Dreams had whiter sand though, and the water was very blue there! The beaches are not that rough in Costa Rica, so they are definitely swimable.

Dreams Las Mareas

Planet Hollywood Cost Rica

Can you tell us about the culture in Costa Rica?

Ashley: Absolutely unique and amazing. The culture is kind, fun, embracing, and enjoyable. The food of Costa Rica is wonderful, it is known for its exports of Coffee, Sugar Cane, Pineapple, Bananas, and Watermelon! While tourism is the primary source of employment, there are many other industries that Costa Ricans take pride in such as engineering, infrastructure, transportation, farming, and many more. What I loved most about the culture of Costa Rica, is that I felt safe at all times. This was something that Costa Ricans take so much pride in!

Katie: Pura Vida! The people love their land and their visitors. Anyone we ran into had a positive attitude and kind spirit. The natives are all about family, and many don’t move far away from home. Farming is a huge industry in Costa Rica (rice, cocoa, coffee beans, sugar, fruits), in addition to tourism of course. People are very active in Costa Rica, with so many things to do (surfing, zip lining, hiking, swimming…etc.)

Kristen: The culture in Costa Rica is very laid back and carefree. Everyone we met was so happy and so welcoming. There are a lot of things to do outdoors in Costa Rica, so most people there are pretty active!

Riu Palace Costa Rica

Secrets Papagayo

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Can you name some of your favorite ceremony locations?

Ashley:

  • Secrets Papagayo’s Beach Terrace for Receptions
  • RIU Palace Costa Rica/RIU Guanacaste has a beautiful garden for large receptions, it is located near their beach so it makes for an easy transition from ceremony to cocktail and reception, plus it can host very large groups! RIU Palace also has a wonderful Steakhouse restaurant with ocean views that works great for a semi-private dinner.
  • Dreams Las Mareas has so many venues it is hard to pick. This hotel has it all. The Seaside Grill Terrace is located above the restaurant and offers maximum privary and ocean views. The best part is that this venue gives a ‘sky deck’ feel but with no extra fee!
  • Planet Hollywood has a beautiful sky deck that has views of the ocean, mountain and marina! This space has room for ceremony, cocktail AND reception. Plus, the patio furniture that is normally placed there can be used at the cocktailing area and is just too cute!

Katie:

  • Anything at Dreams Las Mareas hahah but really… the La Arboleda Beach and the Wedding Gazebo there were my favorites.
  • Riu Palace Beach, they do the ceremony between these two trees and it creates a perfectly framed, picture-perfect ceremony!

Kristen:

  • The Sky Terrace at Planet Hollywood was beautiful! It had a great panoramic view of the ocean and the mountains. The space was very large so you can accommodate a lot of guests.
  • The beach location at Riu was gorgeous! There are 2 trees that are perfectly set up for an arch and the mountains behind the trees are perfectly aligned!
  • The pool location at Dreams Las Mareas. Dreams can put a dance floor over the pool so the bride and groom can dance the night away with their guests’ right on top of the pool!

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Riu Palace Costa Rica

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Dreams Las Mareas

Which excursions would you recommend/ love to try?

Ashley: Next time I go to Costa Rica, I would love to dedicate at least 2 days to excursions. Some of the excursions that are unique to Costa Rica that I would love to try include: a day trip to Nicaragua, Arenal Volcano, hiking the rainforest, and visiting hot springs.

Katie: For adrenaline junkies, definitely zip lining! Otherwise definitely check out the volcanoes, rain-forests and adventure parks. I would want to try: “RIO PERDIDO ADVENTURE” through Amstar. Combine thrills with relaxation at this eco lodge that features adrenaline-pumping zip lines, a Tarzan swing and a crazy bridge over a river canyon out in the mountains. Follow this up with total zen on a thermal river and mineral pools flowing with hot spring water. River tubing is available only during dryer seasons.

Kristen: I would love to try the Sensoria Land of Senses. You hike around the volcanic forest, take a dip in the hot spring pool, and eat lunch with views of the forest!

Dreams Las Mareas

Secrets Papagayo

What is the Liberia, Costa Rica airport like?

Ashley: It is great! Upon arrival, our process through immigration and customs was a breeze. It was clean, organized, and efficient. It was easy to navigate the airport because it is so small. Finding your transfer upon arrival was no problem. For our departure, we loved what we experienced! LIR only has 7 gates total, so it is never really too busy. Security was easy and quick but also still detailed. While we waited for our plane, we had plenty of shops and dining options to enjoy!

Katie: Super small and easy to navigate. There are currently only 7 gates! Customs was a breeze. They have several gift shops and a few restaurants.

Kristen: The airport is really small which makes it super easy to get through! Upon arrival, customs was a breeze and it was super easy to find our transfer. Departures are very easy as well, and it was quick getting through security! However, since it is so small, it is very crowded at the gates when all the flights are about to leave. I recommend getting to the airport early if you want time to shop for souvenirs!

What should people considering traveling to Costa Rica keep in mind?

Ashley: Be ready to be active! Try new things and be kind. Come prepared with a variety of outfits for different weather and activities. Costa Rica is a true gem, take advantage of it and enjoy!

Katie: It is a super safe country! Their crime is extremely low, therefore you won’t often see police presence.

  • Their infrastructure isn’t the most efficient or well thought out, so it can take quite a while to get around. For example it took us almost 2 hours to travel 33 miles. There are many speed bumps and potholes, so those who get motion sickness should definitely prepare if they plan on doing excursions far from their resort.
  • Their dry season is from [the end of] December through April, so it is not as green and lush as the other part of the year. Waterfalls may be dried up during this time.

Kristen: That it is a destination for adventure seekers! If you are looking to relax by the beach all day with crystal clear blue waters and white sand, this is probably not the destination for you. It is also good to know that most places in Costa Rica take time to get to. The roads leading up to the resorts/excursion areas are not well developed, and they are very bumpy. If you are one to get car sick, make sure you prepare beforehand!

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Secrets Papagayo

Dreams Las Mareas

Would you go back to Costa Rica again?

Ashley: Absolutely! I can envision myself visiting Costa Rica with my partner, friends, family, or one day with children. I cannot wait to go back!

Katie: In a heartbeat!

Kristen: Without a doubt!

Riu Guanacaste

Planet Hollywood Costa Rica

Dreams Las Mareas

Cover Photo: Riu Palace Costa Rica

This post was written by Skyler Rentz

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