Every summer, my husband and I take a summer trip. Our wedding anniversary also falls in the summer so it’s a great way to celebrate both our anniversary as well as make a vacation out of it. In previous years, we have gone to Disney World, Destin Florida, Saint Lucia, etc. When we were looking up locations to visit for this summer, we were initially thinking of South America. I’ve always wanted to go to Brazil and Argentina – and still plan to visit those countries one day.
As I was planning our summer trip, one of our close family friends told us that she wanted to do a celebration trip with the family. The celebratory birthday trip fell around the same time that we usually do our anniversary/summer trip, so we thought- why not do this trip as our summer vacation trip?
The location for this celebratory trip was Costa Rica, and we were beyond excited! I’ve never been to Latin/Central America before. So, I was excited about this summer trip since I got to explore a different part of the world. However, since this was a big family trip, our activities were catered to our family. Nonetheless, we had an amazing time exploring the lush rainforests of Costa Rica! Anyway, check out my Costa Rica travel diary below.
Costa Rica is one of the many beautiful countries located in Latin/Central America. The country is known for its lush rainforests, hanging bridges, and beautiful waterfalls. If you’re an outdoorsy person, then Costa Rica is the perfect vacation for you. However, most people don’t know that Costa Rica doesn’t only have its beautiful rainforest but also mountains, beaches, and volcanoes (as mentioned in my St. Lucia Travel Diary).
Due to parts of the countries being closer to volcanoes, the beaches near those volcanic regions are black sand beaches – caused by the charcoal from the volcanoes. While the beaches may not be anything like the Caribbean beaches, they are like Hawaiian beaches due to similar kinds of nature. However, due to the different types of nature options, you can have either a more active or relaxing vacation!
One thing to note is that during the summertime, Costa Rica has the same time as the United States Mountain Time Zone. During the winter, Costa Rica has the same time as the United States Central Time Zone. Since Costa Rica does not observe Daylight Savings Time, this is just something to keep in mind. Also, when you Google the time zone for Costa Rica, it will say “Central Standard Time” but that is not true year-round.
The flight to Costa Rica was an easy journey. I live in Memphis, TN so I must connect airports whenever I travel internationally (or sometimes even domestically). On the way to Costa Rica, we connected through Miami, and on the way back, we connected through Dallas. Between both connections and customs, the overall flight time was generally the same.
The flight from the connection airports was about 3-4 hours long so we were in planes that had the TV’s on the back. However, the TV didn’t work on the flight to Costa Rica. Lucky for me, I had a book and some movies downloaded on my iPad which kept me busy during the flight.
There are many resorts and hotels to stay at in Costa Rica- depending on the type of vacation that you want. Costa Rica is one of those countries where you find a hotel or Airbnb, rent a car, and explore different parts of the country. Since this was a big family trip, coordinating traveling to multiple different hotels and parts of the country was going to be too hard. Thus, staying at an All-Inclusive resort was the best way to go. There are only a couple of All-Inclusive resorts in Costa Rica. After some thorough research by one of our family members, we were going to stay at Planet Hollywood Costa Rica in the Guanacaste Region. We had a great time at the resort!
The resort is beautiful, and it is in the Papagayo Gulf in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The Papagayo Gulf is known for its black sand beaches (similar to some beaches in Hawaii). I loved that the resort was located on a beach as I usually look to hang around the beach when I’m on vacation. Every morning, I would spend time at that beautiful black sand beach.
Costa Rica is known for its lush rainforests. Most people hike the gorgeous rainforest region and explore the different animals there. Similar to the Amazonian rainforests, however, Costa Rica has some different animals and species in their beautiful rainforests.
In addition, our resort did offer a lot of activities such as spa treatments, kayaking, etc. Since I’m more of an explorer, who likes to adventure out to the visited country, I opt for more local experiences. However, since this was a big family trip, our activities were catered according. During one of the days, we went off-site to go zip-lining which was so much fun! Costa Rica is also known for its zip-lining- especially the Superman Zip-line! I’ve never done such a zip-line so was excited (and nervous) to try it out. You also got to zip-line through the Costa Rican rainforests, so it was an amazingly unique experience.
Another one of the days, we did a boat ride that led us to go snorkeling or we could explore the salt caves. I love going on a boat during these kinds of trips so was on board for this activity! The boat ride ended as a sunset cruise, so we got to view the beautiful sunset on our way back to the resort. You also got to snorkel with different kinds of fish and that was quite an experience as well.
I’ve never had Costa Rican food before, but I have had different types of Latin and South American cuisine. So, I knew that the food would be good. It’s hard to mess up tacos if you know what I mean. Anytime I go visit a new country, I look up the most popular foods so that I can experience the country as a local.
The most famous food in Costa Rica is Gallo Pinto which is essentially rice and beans with tons of spices. The dish is not spicy, but it has tons of flavor. There are also tacos, plantains, and lentil soup – made with their local spices.
The resort had many restaurants with different types of cuisines; however, they had a buffet that offered local Costa Rican food. Every day for lunch, we would head to the buffet and try a new local Costa Rican item. I would say, despite being on an all-inclusive resort, the food was amazing- both the restaurants and the buffet.
And that’s a wrap to my Travel Diary for Costa Rica! I hope you all enjoyed my run down. Are you traveling to a part of the world that you haven’t been to yet? Let me know in the comments below!