Tuesday, September 29, 2020 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

5 Amazing Costa Rica Honeymoon Destinations

Costa Rica is a magnificent place for your honeymoon. It offers romantic getaways, tropical forests, stunning beaches, modern amenities, beautiful weather, and plenty of activities. Located about 7000 miles north of the Equator, the weather stays warm all year round. With 131 miles of coastline on the Caribbean Sea and 631 miles of coastline on the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica provides the incredible ambiance that most people dream about.

If you are looking for the perfect honeymoon destination, consider these 5 romantic destinations. You’ll have experiences here that will provide you with phenomenal memories for years to come.

1    La Fortuna

La Fortuna is a cozy town northwest of the capital, San Jose. It takes about 3 hours to drive there from San Jose, and it is full of amazing wildlife and natural beauty. It is a popular tourist destination, so there are restaurants and hotels that cater to Americans as well as offering traditional Costa Rican choices. It has a local population of about 15,000 residents, so it’s not crowded, polluted, or congested.

The most prominent feature in this area is the Arenal Volcano. It’s an active volcano which stands over 5300 feet high. Arenal Volcano National Park surrounds the area, and it offers plenty of hiking trails. It provides the perfect background for your honeymoon photos. If you decide to go on a hike here, you might see capuchin monkeys swinging in the trees, iguanas sunning themselves, sloths eating leaves, and various exotic birds flying overhead.

Besides hiking, you and your partner can venture over hanging bridges, go ziplining, have a picnic at Lake Arenal, see the 230-foot La Fortuna Waterfall, take a dip in the hot springs, go rafting, tubing, kayaking or canoeing, go horseback riding, or take a boat tour, to name a few.

Lodging costs vary according to what kind of accommodation you want. You can choose fancy tourist resorts or cozy local hotels. You can spend a little ($40/night) or a lot (> $100/night). The great thing about this area is that, even though it’s a small town, there are so many choices available. The same goes for food.
La Fortuna
2    Dominical, Puntarenas Province

If you prefer a secluded destination surrounded by natural beauty without a lot of tourists, Dominical is a perfect place for you and your love to spend time together. It is located on the coastline of the Pacific Ocean 28 miles south of the fishing town of Quepos. It’s popular with surfers because the area boasts 10-foot waves. You and your beloved can relax on the beach, but the area is not ideal for swimming because of the waves and the strong riptide.

There are not as many choices for food and lodging as there are in bigger towns, but there are still several hotels and resorts in the region. There are high-end options as well as less-expensive local hotels. And of course, there is always AirBnB.

Local restaurants abound, providing traditional Costa Rican food at prices far less than what you’d pay in the states. There are fancy restaurants, as well, that cost a bit more. There is even a Thai restaurant in case you get tired of Costa Rica food.

You and your loved one can hike in the nearby trails and observe exotic animals like sloths and monkeys. You can take surf lessons, rent bikes and show yourself around, go sport fishing, take paddle board lessons, go horseback riding, try ziplining, or go kayaking or whitewater rafting. You can also visit the amazing 200-foot Nauyaca Waterfalls.

Cano Island is a beautiful island off the coast, and you can take a boat trip and spend the day on the island. You can go snorkeling there and see an amazing diversity of sea life. If you rent a car or hire a taxi, you can travel up and down the coast and do even more, as many of the nearby towns offer various tours and activities.
Dominical, Puntarenas Province
3    Osa Peninsula

Osa Peninsula is a spectacular place to spend time with your partner surrounded by incredible beauty and amazing wildlife. At least half of all species of animals that live in Costa Rica can be found here. This peninsula juts into the Pacific Ocean in the southwestern corner of Costa Rica and takes about 6 hours to drive to from San Jose.

This area is remote and not “touristy”, so it provides you and your partner the ideal location to spend time together and share some amazing experiences and scenery. Corcovado National Park takes up about half of the peninsula, and if you choose to go hiking in it, you’ll need to hire a licensed guide from one of the tour companies in the main town of Puerto Jimenez. On your adventure, you might discover anteaters, monkeys, eagles, tapirs, and even jaguars! Seeing the unspoiled rainforest with its amazing wildlife is an experience you’ll never forget.

Puerto Jimenez offers several cozy and budget-friendly hostels and hotels which are perfect if you’re traveling on a budget. If you’d prefer to stay out of the forest, the nearby former goldmining towns of Rancho Quemado and Dos Brazos offer a range of activities. You can watch them make sugar from sugar cane, go horseback riding, and even pan for gold.

A 45-minute boat ride can transport you to the nearby Cano Island. You can snorkel and scuba dive here and see a dizzying array of underwater sea life.
Osa Peninsula
4    Tamarindo

If you prefer a more “Americanized” area to the wild rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, Tamarindo is a great option.
Tamarindo is on the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific coast in northwestern Costa Rica. It’s a small town with just over 6000 residents, but it’s full of charm and things to do. You can drive there in about 4 ½ hours from San Jose, take a bus there, or you can even take a plane and get to this charming town in under an hour.

It has a reputation for being somewhat of a party town, as there are plenty of bars and active nightlife hangouts, but it offers quieter options for couples, too. Relax with your loved one on Tamarindo Beach and watch the spectacular sea turtles. You can also go diving, snorkeling, ziplining, fishing, and horseback riding.

Hotels and resorts in Tamarindo offer comforts like spa services and massages, as well as lessons in tennis, sport fishing, scuba diving, and surfing. You can choose from simple, cozy 4-room hotels to fancy, expansive 300-room hotels. Dining also provides a lot of options to choose from. You can opt for inexpensive local food or more upscale food with an international flair. With 4 supermarkets in town, you can even choose to stay in with your partner and dine on your own creations.
5    Punta Uva

Punta Uva is a small town on the Caribbean coast 5 miles south of the bigger town, Puerto Viejo. It takes approximately 4 ½ hours to drive from San Jose to Punta Uva. Here, you can spend your days relaxing with your loved one on some of the most beautiful (and clean!) beaches in Costa Rica. But there are plenty of unique activities available here, too.

The Gandoca Manzanillo wildlife refuge is nearby, and you can spot sloths, monkeys, caimans, and toucans, as well as an amazing array of gorgeous vegetation. It helps to get a guide who can help you learn about the animals as well as point out the “good” plants from the poisonous ones.

Visit three indigenous tribes and learn about their medicinal plants and see how they make chocolate. You can taste their unique food and see their handmade items.

You can go surfing here, as well as horseback riding. There are boat trips available, or you can make memories as you kayak or snorkel in the pristine water.

There are plenty of options for lodging. You can choose cozy little bungalows or even stay in a treehouse. And if you don’t find something to your liking here, Puerto Viejo has even more options, and it’s just a short jaunt up the road.
Punta Uva

If you honeymoon in Costa Rica, you will have an experience that is simply beyond words. The people are friendly, there are plenty of modern amenities, and the geography provides the perfect ambiance to jump-start your life as a couple. You will leave with fond memories that you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. Give Costa Rica a try!

Michele Swensen is a  mother and a blogger who loves to travel. She has traveled to over 20 countries so far. You can see her latest article at http://www.welovecostarica.com/10-valuable-wedding-photography-tips-need-know/.

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