Costa Rica Ecotourism Family Vacations
Last week my parents returned from a 5 week holiday to Costa Rica. A place known for beauty, culture and dedication to preserving the natural environment of endangered species. Up until hearing about their plans to travel to Costa Rica I had not considered the possibility, after-all it’s a bit of a jaunt from the prairies of Canada. After seeing these beautiful photos, Costa Rica had to be added to my must-visit list for ecotourism family vacations.
As far back as I remember whenever my family has vacationed, seeking out a beautiful beach to spend time at was a priority. My parents had rented a home in Nuevo Colon, Costa Rica from VRBO, a gated community with a clubhouse available for community members to utilize. They went during the dry season and would recommend between December and January if you are looking for more lush greenery in the area. The beaches along the Playa Del Cocoa area were darker sand so my parents worked their way down the coast in search of a preferred beach.
From Playa Flamingo to Playa Conchal Beach the sand is white and covered in shells; they found their dream beach at Playa Conchal and spent many days there enjoying the beauty. The water was aqua blue with an excellent rock area for snorkelling and swimming.
During the weeks in Costa Rica, tours were experienced. For those true ecotourists, the Selvatura National Park boasts 1,200 acres of protected virgin Monteverde Cloud Forest. Most of the area is off limits to the public in order to protect endangered species but the available tours are a playground for nature enthusiasts within the rainforest where flora and fauna can be experienced through guided tours full of bird watching, waterfalls, forest enveloped around you, suspended bridges through the cloud forest, hummingbird or butterfly gardens, and for those adventure seekers, zip line tours through the rainforest.
If you’re lucky, one of these beautiful hummingbirds will land on your finger for a photo.
Another adventurous day came where boating with the crocodiles seemed like a grand idea. The Tempisque and Palo Verde River Wildlife Boat Tour allows you to boat among the crocodiles and possibly catch sight of a few of the over 800 species of birds in Costa Rica, Iguanas and be able to venture close to White Faced Capuchin and Howling Monkey’s of the region. It’s definitely an up close and personal experience to remember.
Adventure aside, along the travels locals can be spotted in stands for various good along the roadside. This pottery stand was one of many to be found where you could sit and watch the beautiful work play out before you and purchase a handmade piece with intricate detail for a souvenir.
Although Nicaragua may not seem as wealthy or maintained as the neighbouring Costa Rica, a one day bus tour may be of interest. The tour picked up my parents from their rental house in Neuvo Colon and transported them to Liberia where they were provided a breakfast before the main tour bus was on the move for the tour.
The tour brought them through Granada, rich in culture, where many of beautifully coloured buildings could be seen and onto Masaya National Park they went, home of the impressive Masaya Volcano where you can drive right up to the rim of the volcano. The volcano is still active and because of all the sulphur gases it gives off, you can only stay for about 20 minutes so grab as many breath-taking pictures as possible.
The tour continues onto the last stop of the tour, Lake Nicaragua where a boat tour is taken where you can view small islands, one of which is a Spider Monkey rescue. The tour guide gets close enough, offering bananas, for you to grab some close up pictures. After that, the tour provided a lunch before making it’s way back to Liberia where the tour ended and a ride back to the rental house was provided. Overall the day was long at 15 hours round trip, including travel and tour time, but well worth the time invested to experience the culture and beauty of Nicaragua.
At days end, my parents enjoyed the serenity of the infinity pool atop the clubhouse at their rental house where they could take a breath-taking view of their Costa Rican surroundings.
This blog feature only touches on a few areas of all that Costa Rica has to offer. For more information about other ecotourism family vacations, couples or singles included, head over to Visit Costa Rica‘s website and follow them on Twitter.