Costa Rica, Latin America – Bill Beard’s and Villa del Sueno

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Bill Beard’s and Villa del Sueno

Guanacaste, Costa Rica

 

Travel tips to Costa Rica

 

Villa del Sueño sets out to offer a wide range of lodging options in the quest to meet all their guest’s needs. They strive to offer the best, and work as a team to provide excellence in all aspects of services extended to you. They care for the details that make the difference; ambiance, comfort, privacy and the respect of individuality, to create a unique venue where both foreign and national visitors come together to rest, to discover, to share and to enjoy.

Considered a pioneer establishment of Playa Hermosa, Villa del Sueño is first and foremost, the joint endeavor of a group of Canadians who continue to make their dream come true, a place where everyone is welcome, where relationships, music, nature and food are celebrated.

Immaculate gardens surround Spanish inspired buildings and pools that blend into a tropical oasis with a feeling of balance in every corner. Soft music infuses intimate spaces that encourage unwinding, relaxation and pampering. Gastronomic restaurant, real people dedicated to making your stay memorable and a wide variety of inviting accommodations to suit every budget and taste. A few steps from the quiet waters of Playa Hermosa and minutes away from the airport and numerous local attractions.

The Gulf of Papagayo’s warm tranquil waters will surprise you with its quality and variety of dive sites for beginners and more experienced divers alike. Our area is recognized for quality dive shops and memorable diving experiences. Swim the pacific with frog-fish, manta rays, seahorses, harlequin shrimp, angel fish, octopus and several species of moray eels.

The best diving conditions are usually between May and November, when it is common to enjoy 35 ft. to 80 ft./10 m to 30 m visibility. Costa Rica water temperatures are warm year-round with higher temperatures between May-October and lower between December -March. Dive sites range in depth from 40 feet to over 100 feet so there is something for divers of every skill level to enjoy. They offer daily morning trips to the Catalina Islands, and many beautiful nearby sites like “The Wall” and “The Point.” Afternoon boat dives are also suitable for snorkeling, as they visit shallower sites where everyone can enjoy the beauty of the reef.

 

Images and video courtesy of Villa del Sueno and Bill Beards.

 

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Costa Rica Tips

An Introduction to Costa Rica

Although Costa Rica is just 51,1000 square kilometers, this small country is famous and internationally recognized for its great diversity and concentration of natural resources, as well as its inhabitants’ proverbial cordiality: which is what distinguishes it as far as a special attractive destination for foreigners. Adventure: Costa Rica is a land of volcanoes, rain forests, waterfalls, and rivers. Adventure travelers can choose from a variety of activities such as rafting, snorkeling, kayaking, sport fishing, surfing, and lots more. The most challenging activity will be choosing what to do! Beaches Costa Rica occupies a privileged spot in the heart of Central America. While its territory of 19,652 square miles touches both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the country is surprisingly accessible - one can travel from coast to coast in just three hours by car (or 45 minutes by plane). The Caribbean region of Costa Rica stands out for its variety of aquatic ecosystems and its beautiful white and black sand beaches, providing an ideal setting for activities such as sport fishing, snorkeling, and sun bathing. The Pacific coast concentrates big tourist centers and its beaches are very popular for surfing, for example Esterillos, Jaco, Hermosa, Boca Barranca. In the Golfito region, near the Marino Ballena National Park, surfing fans can find the famous "long lefthander wave." Ecotourism: Considered one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, Costa Rica is divided in 20 natural parks, 8 biological reserves, and a series of protected areas that captivate ecotourism lovers. The variety of activities includes horseback riding, hiking mountainous paths in the cloud forests, and guided bird-watching tours. Heritage and Culture: Costa Rican culture is in many ways a reflection of its racial diversity. The predominant influence has long been European, which is reflected in everything from the official language -- Spanish -- to the architecture of the country's churches and other historic buildings. The indigenous influence is less visible, but can be found in everything from the tortillas that make part of a typical Costa Rican meal, to the handmade ceramics sold at roadside stands. An important aspect of Costa Rica's cultural legacy is their love for peace and democracy. The Ticos like to stand out that their nation is the exception in Latin America, where military dictatorships have long dominated politics. They take pride in having more than one hundred years of democratic tradition, and almost half a century without an army. The army was abolished in 1948, and the money the country saves by not expending in military issues is invested in improving the Costa Ricans' standard of living, which has fostered a culture of social peace that makes it such a pleasant place to visit.

What to Expect in Costa Rica

BANKS: Banks hours depending on whether they are public or private. Generally, hours are Monday – Friday from 9am – 3pm. Credit cards and U.S. Dollars are widely accepted. ATM’s are available in most towns, but can be difficult to locate. CURRENCY: The Costa Rican currency is called Colon. US dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are available but can be difficult to locate. CLIMATE: The climate in Costa Rica varies depending upon elevation and location. The coastal plains are warm and tropical. Mountainous regions are much cooler and the Central Plateau has a spring-like climate year-round, with little variation in temperature from month to month (the average daily temperature is 75 F or 25 C). DEPARTURE TAX: Departure tax is $29 U.S. Dollars, payable only at the airport when you check in for your flight home. Acceptable forms of payment include cash (Colones or U.S. Dollars), Visa, American Express and MasterCard. DRINKING WATER: The water is potable in most areas; however, it is highly recommended that visitors drink bottled water during their stay. DRIVERS LICENSE: A U.S. Driver’s License is acceptable for up to three months. ELECTRICITY: Outlets are 110-V, with standard US two prong plugs. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport and a round trip ticket are mandatory to enter Costa Rica. Depending on your country of origin, you may enter Costa Rica without a visa. USA, Canada and most European countries have this privilege. TOURISM SEASON: December through April is the dry season, when rain is quite uncommon. May through November is considered the rainy, or "green", season, although mornings are usually quite sunny, with most of the rain falling in afternoon showers. VACCINATIONS: No vaccinations or preventative medications are recommended for travel to Costa Rica. However, we always suggest that you speak to your family physician for a personal recommendation. WATER TEMPERATURES AND WETSUITS: Water temperatures generally range between 75 – 80°F. Most people find wearing a 3mm – 5mm wetsuit keeps them comfortable.

Costa Rica - "Top Side" Activities and Adventures

Below are just some of the activities and attractions that await you in Costa Rica. We will be happy to arrange any of these and more to complete your customized itinerary. Please contact us for more information.

ARENAL VOLCANO AND TABACON HOT SPRINGS:

Arenal Volcano is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the world today, and is an absolute must see. While here, glide above the trees on a canopy tour, or traverse across the hanging bridges, either will provide you with an impressive view of Arenal. Nature reserves, cavern rappelling and windsurfing on Lake Arenal are just a few of the activities available while visiting this area.

Nothing compares though to soaking in the nearby Hot Springs at the base of the constantly erupting volcano while watching lava flowing down. The warmth of the flowing thermal mineral rivers and the surrounding tropical rain forest will makes this a unique experience!!! Make sure your trip includes at least one evening, as the volcano's magical night show is not to be missed.

CANYON ADVENTURE:

If you want to try something different, this is the trip you are looking for! All that you need is a heart for adventure and we will provide the rest.

The Canyon Adventure will start with a canopy ride in the tropical rain forest. From here you will start descending and enjoying the ride of your life: rappelling wall climbing, crossing bridges, Tarzan swing and via Ferrate. To complete your experience, consider a guided horse back ride to a secluded and crystal clear waterfall where you will have time to swim and explore the surrounding beauty of this natural paradise.

MIRAVALLES VOLCANO AND HOT SPRINGS ADVENTURE:

The Miravalles Volcano will provide the most incredible sights of the Tropical Rain Forest. At the beginning of this hike you will cross a suspension bridge and experience two beautiful waterfalls, while searching for animals and trees with epiphytes, flowers, ferns. Your adventure will continue with a walk inside the crater of this active volcano where you can see the steamy sulfur water ponds, bubbling mud, fumaroles and try the therapeutic properties of the mud and natural hot springs.

MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST:

This world famous reserve will provide beautiful scenery for a great hike through the wonders of the cloud forest. Your guide will search for the most incredible birds and you can admire the prehistoric ferns and the trees full of epiphytes and moss. The treetop walkways are approximately 3 km and cross the cloud forest on 8 different suspension bridges. In addition you will explore a community that gathers more than 20 species of tropical butterflies, a beautiful garden with more than 14 species of hummingbirds and the third largest private insect collection of the world.

PALO VERDE NATIONAL PARK:

Palo Verde National Park is a wildlife sanctuary. Scientists from all over the world come to study this rich ecosystem that combines rivers, marshland, mangroves and dry forest. Take a river cruise on the Tempiski River, the most important in Guanacaste where you can admire the natural beauty of this park while looking for crocodiles, monkeys, iguanas and thousands of birds that migrate to Palo Verde.

TREETOP CANOPY TOURS:

Ever fantasized traveling through the treetops in the jungle, like Tarzan and Jane? Well dream no longer!!!! Safely harnessed, you will soar through the air from one treetop platform to another, free as the wind.... Adrenaline rushing through your body.... Exhilaration like no other as you fly like a bird!!!! You get a new perspective on the world as you see it from the top of ancient trees. From this advantageous position, you’ll enter the habitat of numerous species and you might even find Cheetah swinging from a vine next to you!!! If you only experience one tour in Costa Rica – it has to be this!

WHITE WATER RAFTING:

Costa Rica’s white water rafting will test your courage and challenge your skills. Your journey will typically start where the dry and rain forest blend their beauties creating a magic place surrounded by lust vegetation, home of an enormous variety of animals including migratory birds, butterfly, monkeys and reptiles. With option available from Class I through to Class IV rapids, for anyone interested in rafting, this experience is not to be missed.


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