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Living Pura Vida: 3 Hot Spots to Visit

Although many people use the saying ‘pura vida’, until you’ve been to Costa Rica, you will not truly know what pura vida feels like. It’s an emotion, it’s an attitude, and it’s a way of life.

Here are three swoon-worthy destinations to check off your Costa Rica bucket list.

Arenas Del Mar in Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is a National Park located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It’s one of the top National Parks in the world due to its robust nature and wildlife.

Upon arrival at Arenas Del Mar, the only luxury resort in Manuel Antonio directly on the beach, we realized we were embarking on an experience you only dream of… and now that we’re home, one I can only revisit in my dreams.

The Cayuga Collection property is rich in rainforest with a backdrop of secluded beaches. There are 37 stunning rooms and suites, many with balconies overlooking the trees, sand, and sea, along with an outdoor tub.

Arenas Del Mar is paradise. There are two pools, restaurants, and endless areas of rest, relaxation, and exploration. Our first of many monkey encounters was in the open-aired lobby. Greeted with fresh coconut water, we immediately felt far away- both physically and emotionally. We woke to blue skies and often indulged in an afternoon rain dance. Our kids ran wild and free building forts from sticks on the beach. We spotted sloths and iguanas and hundreds of hermit crabs. And we swung in the property’s signature circular beach swing wanting time to stop. Plus, the staff was superb. Besides indulging in on-property R&R, explore Manuel Antonio via a private yacht courtesy of Catch & Relax. Departing the nearby Quepos marina, you’ll get a unique perspective of Costa Rica’s infinite beauties. Tours are fully personalized and perfect for families. Endless drinks and a freshly cooked lunch are included, as well as cruising the Pacific and docking at a bay where the water becomes your playground. Paddle boards, floaties, snorkel gear and more are provided.

Costa Rica is also known for thrill-rides through the rainforest, and El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tours will give you the ultimate rush. Fit for fearless families ages 4+, you’ll ride high through the jungle, ziplining on an array of courses- one being the longest zip-line in Costa Rica. Led by enthusiastic guides, this safe and exciting endeavor will leave you breathless.

The Westin Reserva Conchal, Playa Conchal

Located in the province of Guanacoste, Playa Conchal flaunts a pristine coastline known for crushed shells that grace the shores accompanied by clear, turquoise water. It’s arguably the best swimming beach in the region. Sitting directly on the stunning stretch of beach is the ultimate family destination: The Westin Reserva Conchal, an all-inclusive Golf Resort & Spa.

The Westin Reserva Conchal is set between exotic forests and unspoiled beaches. At 2,400 acres, the all-inclusive resort has all you need to thrive: spacious family suites, a large lagoon-style pool (with swim-up bar), tennis courts, championship golf, and more. Also included is the Westin® Kids Club overseen by a fantastic staff. The kid-infused center offers awesome activities gifting you an adult-only worry-free break from the kiddos. Plus, there’s an abundance of on-site activities including poolside games, daytime DJs, and nighttime karaoke.

Delight your palate with a wealth of culinary choices- the breakfast buffet is delicious and infused with fresh, healthy juices. Lunch is all about ceviche- the chef even taught us how to make a batch! An array of restaurants offer dinner; we loved Spirula, the Italian eatery with tableside entertainment (a magician!).

In the mornings, we did family yoga on the beach and ended our days swimming at sunset. And if you’re craving sight-seeing, book a private tour via Swiss Travel to Buena Vista Del Rincon, an eco-adventure park. There, you’ll zip-line; venture on hanging bridges; fulfill a need for speed via a waterslide; and indulge at a hot springs spa located in the heart of the rainforest.

Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

The exclusive Papagayo Peninsula is among the most luxurious areas of Costa Rica and the Four Seasons admittedly has the best location imaginably possible.

Nothing short of spectacular, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica is a world-famous oasis with sweeping coastal views. Set amidst a monkey-filled tropical rainforest, the five-star property exceeds all expectations.

The resort features two beaches, three infinity edge pools, a fitness center, impeccable dining options, an above-and-beyond Kid’s Club, and free water activities including paddle boards and kayaks.

Sure, the Four Seasons boasts celebrity-worthy suites and villas with private plunge pools, but the Guest Rooms are quite impressive. Each room seamlessly blends indoor comfort with an outdoor living area graced with mesmerizing views.

Make sure to partake in property activities (like the rum and chocolate tasting). Oh, and if you really want to indulge, opt for the Volcanic Purification Ritual at the spa; the 2+ hour treatment will leave your body revitalized and skin glowing.


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