Polly Nightingale
We’re excited about Costa Rica! This is our newest destination and we think it’s a real winner! Both Guy and Paul visited at the end of last year and both have subsequently waxed lyrical over the scenery, activities, wildlife and accommodation. Here are some initial impressions:


Costa Rica is GREEN – not just the lush rainforest vegetation, but the mindset of the people and polices of the forward-looking government, committed to being the world’s first carbon neutral country by 2021. That’s impressive.

Costa Rica is SMALL – about a fifth of the size of the UK and just 8 hours from coast to coast, the roads are pretty good, so it’s easy to get around – we’d even recommend self-drive, though we can arrange a local driver for you, too. Where roads don’t reach, there are planes and boats.


Costa Rica is an adventure PLAYGROUND – throw off your inhibitions and surrender to your inner child! Plunge along a half-mile zip line, cross an aerial walkway high above the forest floor, delight in the thrills (and not too many spills) of white water rafting, tubing, word-class surfing, cycling, hiking and walking, kayaking, horse riding, swimming beneath waterfalls, wallowing in hot springs – take your pick!


Costa Rica is FROGS – green ones, red ones, bug-eyed ones, ones as tiny as your finger nail – they’re all here and are utterly beguiling. And there’s more – monkeys, sloths, turtles, dolphins, iguanas and birds, too. And who wouldn’t want to see a Jesus Christ lizard!


Costa Rica is COAST – well, the name’s a giveaway there, but with two long coastlines there’s no shortage of beaches for chilling when you’re adventured-out. The long stretches of sand of the Papagayo Gulf are justifiably famous, though there are some equally enchanting, less-known coastal gems.


Costa Rica is COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE – you can take a tour of a coffee plantation, watch the roasting and grinding of the beans, savour the rich aromas and finish off with a tasting. Chocoholics will love making chocolate, right from the plant to the drink and the bars. Yum!

We’ve already got some favourite hotels, too. In the capital you can dine in the oh-so elegant courtyard of the belle epoque Hotel Grano de Oro with its fountain and stained-glass windows, before heading to Hotel Arenal Nayara with its spacious rooms and grand balconies within sight of Costa Rica’s most famous volcano. And for sheer indulgence you’ll find the ocean-front location and world-class facilities of Playa Cativo hard to beat, or, as Guy says, ‘a little piece of paradise’. Indeed, that phrase would just as aptly describe the whole country: so, let me introduce ‘Costa Rica – a little piece of Paradise’!