environment costa rica Archives - HRG Costa Rica Vacations


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Something for Everyone in Costa Rica

A vacation in Costa Rica has something for everyone.

Costa Rica is a land of abundance. The small region is known for its wealth of rainforests, tropical climate and wildlife species relative to its size. The variety of natural beauty is echoed by the variety of ways to entertain and amaze its residents and visitors. When you want a one-stop vacation destination for adventure, relaxation and exotic tropical excess, Costa Rica is the place.

HRG Vacations is an all-inclusive vacation planning organization. The staff at HRG can plan your trip from beginning to end. They will pick you up at the airport, transport you to and from Los Sueños Resort & Marina on the Central Pacific coast, and set your reservations for activities and tours. There are many ways to unwind at Los Sueños Resort:

Outdoor adventure tours
There are many thrilling ways to see the jungle and its  treasure trove of wildlife including white water rafting, eco-canopy tours, motorized canopy tours, sky walking tours and zip line tours.
White water rafting is an exciting trip down a rushing river over waterfalls and around large rocks. It takes concentration and strength and gives a great adrenaline rush.
The canopy tours consist of visitors riding in a metal basket high up through the jungle trees, offering views of the birds, monkeys, and other tree-dwellers as well as beautiful panoramas of greenery and rivers running through ravines. The basket safely surrounds you while you enjoy the scenery from up high.
Eco-canopy tours provide the benefits of the motorized tours without harming the environment. You, the visitor are the motor, pulling yourself along the steel cable.
The sky walk gives you an on-high view of the jungle and its inhabitants as well. Instead of riding in a basket, you are walking across a swinging suspension bridge much like the natives used to build from rope.
Zip lining is another adrenaline rush to experience. See the jungle as you get the feeling of flying like a bird. Your tour guides help you zip from tree to tree as you hang from your harness attached to a steel cable. No basket, no walkway, just you, your harness and the open jungle air!
Outdoor relaxation activities
All outdoor activities are not appropriate for all people or all times. If you are looking for a more relaxing way to enjoy the warm Costa Rican sun and green jungle scenery, you will not be disappointed. Many activities are available like golfing, snorkeling, river tubing, horseback riding and coffee tours.
While golfing and snorkeling, you will see unique wildlife. Some examples are monkeys and birds in the jungle beside the golf course and multiple tropical fish, coral, and marine wildlife like sand dollars and starfish while snorkeling.
River tubing is a slow drift down a smoothly flowing river. Horseback riding is an equine jungle trek that leads out to a trot along the beach. Your horse may even like to swim!
The coffee tour is appropriate for any activity level. It is educational and delicious. Try some of the local blends while you are there!
Sport fishing 
Out on the wild blue, you will have to opportunity to catch marlin, grouper, sailfish, swordfish, dorado fish and yellow belly tuna.
Spa days

Spend your day being pampered with tropical herbal scents. Enjoy massages and facials, manicures and pedicures in this gorgeous tropical setting.


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Costa Rica Flora & Fauna

Costa Rica’s Amazing Abundance of Flora and Fauna

While many places around the word offer nature lovers stunning forest, mountain or desert landscapes to explore, few have the vibrance, color and diversity of the tiny country of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica may be small, but it’s one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Sandwiched between North and South America, species from both continents converge in this subtropical space. What’s more, a warm, humid subtropical climate and heavy seasonal rainfall make for rich soil, in which all manner of spectacular and colorful trees, flowers and plants grow.

For the intrepid nature-lover, Costa Rica features 26 protected forests, 20 national parks, 9 forest reserves, 8 wildlife refuges and 7 wildlife sanctuaries, making it perfect for thrilling eco tours. These types of tours are available across the country, and welcome enthusiastic explorers year round.

Some animals to look out for on an eco tour include:


There are 205 species of mammals in Costa Rica, ranging from familiar critters like monkeys, dolphins, raccoons, deer and bats, to exotic and unusual species like the jaguarondi, the peccary, and the smiling, slow-moving sloth.


There are nearly 900 species of birds in Costa Rica, some of which are permanent residents, and some of which are merely passing through on their way south during their migration. From brown robins, to feisty seagulls, to graceful wading birds, there are countless opportunities for bird watching in Costa Rica. If you look closely, you may even catch a glimpse of a charming and colorful quetzal or an iconic toucan or scarlet macaw.

Amphibians and Reptiles

There are about 150 amphibian species and 200 reptile species in Costa Rica. Favorites of wildlife watchers include brightly colored poison dart frogs; charming marine turtles, which nest on local shores and can be seen laying eggs almost year round; and fearsome crocodiles, which if you’re brave enough — can be seen up close on Costa Rica’s crocodile tours.

Costa Rica has the highest diversity of plants in the world. Some must-sees include:


There are around 1900 species of trees in Costa Rica. The iconic coconut palms that stud the beaches are certainly graceful, but the real gems are the many hundreds of trees that make up the rainforest canopy. Especially worth seeing are the 200-foot tall ceiba trees, and the milk trees, which have brilliant reddish-orange roots.


Costa Rica features a vast array of flowering plants, ferns, and mosses. Some of the most beautiful and exotic include orchids, bromeliads, air plants, and – perhaps most captivating of all – brightly colored heliconia.


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Costa Rica Adventure Tours

How to Make the Most out of Your Costa Rica Adventure Tour

Canopy TourThere are hundreds of exciting things to do in Costa Rica, and adventure tours are one of the best ways to experience this vibrant country. From crocodile watching, to ziplining through the jungle canopy, to white water rafting, there are tours offering the perfect activity for everyone. That said, the choices can be overwhelming, and the tours can be rugged. We’ve come up with some ways to make sure you get the most out of your tours while you’re here.

Make a Plan

Long before your feet ever touch Costa Rican soil, you should have a well thought-out adventure plan in place. First, research the types of tours available. Next, prioritize the types of tours you would most like to take. Create a loose schedule, with your highest preferences planned earliest on in your vacation, and a working budget, with the idea that you’ll spend most on the highest priority activities. This way, if time or money run out, you’ll have done what you most wanted to do. Have a plan B ready for inclement weather, or anything else that might come up.

Do Your Homework

Once you’ve sketched out a plan and decided what tours you’d like to take, it’s time to research the finer points of your choices, and fine-tune your schedule and budget accordingly. Google the different companies offering your preferred tours. Read reviews of other travelers to find out if the tour is what you envision. To avoid unpleasant surprises, find out what days and times tours operate and exactly what they cost, and research any and all refund policies, required deposits, and guest restrictions. Then, finalize your plan according to your research.

Don’t Overdo It

Costa Rican adventure tours are exhilarating, thrilling, and some of the most fun you’ll ever have. But all the excitement can be a little exhausting. Make sure to plan some downtime, whether it’s walking on the beach, relaxing at a swim-up bar, or visiting a first-class spa.

Be Prepared

The last thing you need is to show up for your adventure tour with the wrong shoes, or to get a world-class sunburn because you didn’t pack the right amount of sunscreen. Do a thorough packing job, taking care to prepare for bad weather, bugs, and sun and heat exposure. Find out what your tours encompass in terms of type of terrain to determine what footwear would be best. Costa Rica has a range of different climates depending on elevation and location, so don’t assume that shorts and a T-short will work for any adventure; light layers are always best. Also, find out what each tour will provide in terms of food and hydration, and plan accordingly.

Relax and Enjoy

With a solid plan in place and all your bases covered, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy. And, if something doesn’t go according to plan, remember to roll with the punches. You’re out for an adventure, anyways, and in Costa Rica, another great one is waiting right around the corner.

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Exotic Birds of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a Bird Watcher’s Dream

Depositphotos_10389453_sCosta Rican wildlife is famed the world over for its colorful, diverse and unique species. Some of the most beautiful and easiest animals to spot in this natural wonderland are birds. From brightly-colored and noisy parrots to unassuming brown robins, there are hundreds of species of birds to be found in Costa Rica – a number of which can be seen on the most casual of excursions.

Because of its central location, Costa Rica is home to birds indigenous to both North America and South America, and serves a stop along the migration route of many species.

In spite of its small size, there are roughly 890 documented species of birds in Costa Rica – more than can be found in the U.S. and Canada put together.Bird watchers will certainly enjoy seeing some of the country’s more exotic species, including:


Sixteen of the world’s 330 parrot species call Costa Rica home. Most of the country’s parrot population is made up of smaller-sized green birds and parakeets. However, South America’s most iconic bird, the gloriously rainbow-colored scarlet macaw, can still be seen from time to time in the country’s softwood trees.


There are 42 species of Toucan in Latin America and six of them are found in Costa Rica. Big and graceful, these colorful birds can be seen in the jungles near the coast; a bird lovers dream, it is fascinating to see their near motionless flight, a seemingly impossible feat given the length of their giant bills, which are surprisingly light despite their size.


Many visitors to Costa Rica hope to catch a peek at these small, colorful birds. With their round bodies, scarlet bellies, fringed headdresses and striking plumage, they’re the darlings of the Costa Rican bird population.


These large, graceful birds soar motionless above Costa Rica’s coast, searching for mates or gulls from which to poach their next meal. Their large, sculpted figures are definitely a sight worth seeing.

Wading Birds

About 25 long-necked wading birds inhabit Costa Rica. From the graceful great egret, to the stout, short-necked gray boat-billed heron, to the massive jabiru, these long-legged water-lovers can be seen wading through the shallows of coast lines and wetlands across the country.


There are 50 species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica. Colorful species like the Buffon’s plummeteer, the green-crowned brilliant, the purple-throated mountaingem, and the stunning fiery-throated hummingbird – native only to the Costa Rican mountains and western Panama – shine like jewels as they hover in the subtropical air.

Mot Mots

Perhaps some of Costa Rica’s most curious and captivating of birds, the small, brightly colored mot mot doesn’t call the jungle canopy home. Instead, it lives in burrows underground, where it feeds on insects, lizards, and even poison dart frogs. Six out of nine total mot mot species inhabit Costa Rica. Visitors are most likely to see the fabulously colored blue-crowned motmot and the turquoise-bowed motmot. Birdwatchers can identify mot mots by their tails, which are missing feathers in the middle, giving them a “racquet” appearance.

There is no shortage of opportunities to see exotic species in Costa Rica. Beyond visiting wildlife refuges and national parks, bird lovers can book one of the many birdwatching tours offered by private companies.

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Sport Fishing Season at Los Sueños

Exciting things are happening at Los Sueños!

The holiday season is upon the resort once again. For many visitors, this means festivities, parades, shopping, and holiday-themed dining and night life. For those who love sport fishing, it means the beginning of the much-anticipated tournament season.

Costa Rica is one of the world’s best places for sport fishing. Its waters are a big game fisherman’s dream – calm, easily accessed, and filled with yellow fin tuna, wahoo, Pacific blue marlin, Pacific sailfish, and roosterfish. The game fish here average 40 pounds, and 20-fish days happen regularly. It’s no wonder that dedicated anglers from the world over visit the country to fish its waters, and that the best of the best square off each year during tournament season.

The season begins with the start of the WBS Bill fishing World Championship, where anglers from around the world will showcase their skills, their determination, and their love for sport fishing in the hopes of winning cash prizes and one of the ultimate bill fishing titles. Los Sueños Resort and Marina will host the two-part tournament, which features an angler championship set to run from December 4th through December 7th, and a team championship, which will run from March 26th through March 29th.

2014 may just be Costa Rica’s best sport fishing year to date, as the country will be hosting the first-ever annual Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown. The three-leg event kicks off in January, and is a compilation of two highly successful and popular competitions: the Signature Billfish Series and the Marlin Invitational.

Leg 1 of Los Sueños Signature Triple Crown runs from January 22nd through January 25th. Leg 2 runs from February 26th through March 1st, and leg 3 runs from March 12th through 15th. The Signature Triple Crown Winner has a chance to win far more than eternal bragging rights. He or she is guaranteed a cash prize of $100,000 – making this competition all the more exciting. 

Costa Rica’s sport fishing tournaments are a thrill for the hundreds visitors who flock to see them – especially those staying at Los Sueños. Beyond enjoying a front row seat to the action, those staying at the resort have ample opportunity to try their own hand at sport fishing. The Los Sueños Marina features an impressive charter fleet, which is ready and willing to take intrepid adventurers on exciting and unforgettable big came hunting expeditions.


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Travel Costa Rica

Getting Around Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s rugged natural landscape, abundance of rural roads, and seasonal torrential downpours can make traveling around a whole new kind of fun. However, with some determination and some know how, you can get from place to place fairly easily.

By Car

Traveling by car can be a challenge in a country where less-than stellar roads, rural areas and changeable weather are abundant. However, it is one of the best ways to see the country on your own terms and your own timetable, and any challenges can be chalked up to part of the adventure.

In Costa Rica, out-of-country driver’s licenses and International Driving Permits will be accepted for up to 90 days, after which time you’ll need to get a Costa Rican license. While pricey, renting a car is one of the most common and convenient ways to travel by car. Keep in mind that most rental cars are manual transmission, and that 4-wheel drive options are highly recommended, even if you don’t plan to go far.

To rent a car, you’ll need to be at least 21, and you’ll need to present a valid driver’s license, a major credit card and a passport. While rentals from major, well-known companies are available in Costa Rica, renting from a local agency is typically cheaper.

Taxis are also available, and are a good option in more rural areas that lack a comprehensive public transport system. In general, shorter trips are metered, whereas a pre-negotiated flat fee is common for longer trips. Fares in bad weather and across poor road conditions can be higher than usual.

By Bus

Local buses run frequently, they can be found almost anywhere, and they’re an inexpensive way to travel. They’re also a common method of transportation for Costa Ricans, so you’ll have the chance to meet lots of locals and learn a little about their culture. You won’t get around quickly by bus in Costa Rica, but the slow pace does allow for some leisurely sightseeing.

Buses stop on rural and city roads, at marked and unmarked stops. Drivers almost never say no to a potential passenger, so buses are typically pretty packed, but they’ll always find a way to fit one more in. Costa Rica has two types of bus service: the directo, which makes fewer stops but costs more, and the colectivo, which goes more slowly and stops more often, but costs less.

By Plane

Traveling Costa Rica by air allows you to see more of the country and get the most out of your trip. The country has two domestic airlines: NatureAir, which operates out of Tobias Bolanos Airport in Pavas and Sansa, which operates out of Juan Santamaria Airport in San Jose.  Both traverse the country, and both utilize small passenger planes.

The size of the planes is significant when it comes to your travel plans. Baggage weight is limited to 12 kg (or 26 pounds) per passenger, and on full flights your larger items may cost you extra, or in some cases not be allowed on at all. Small planes and bad weather are not a good mix, so delays and flight schedule changes are common. For this reason, it’s important to book domestic flights into the airport well in advance of any connecting international flight.

Charter flights are another option; they’re relatively affordable, and they can take you anywhere you want to go. Know that baggage and passenger capacity on charter flights is very limited.

However you choose to fly, make all reservations in advance, include a time buffer, and have a backup plan in case of delays.

When staying with HRG vacations at Los Sunos Resort and Marina, the accommodating staff at HRG can easily arrange all your transportation needs.



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Costa Rica Coffee

No Other Coffee Can Compare to the Liquid Gold That Comes From Costa Rican Coffee Beans


whole-beanCosta Rica produces the best coffee beans, hands down. I am an official Java Aficionado.  That’s what I like to call myself anyway. I own my own coffee house, coincidentally called Java Aficionado, and I am always looking for coffee beans that can surpass my quality standards for taste, freshness, and continuity of flavor.

I went to Costa Rica on a vacation and ended up writing it off as a business trip when I discovered the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation. I had come to my usual vacation spot, the Los Sueños Resort on the western border of Costa Rica, and during a conversation with an HRG staff member, he suggested that we go on the Doka Estate Costa Rica Coffee Tour.

The friendly HRG staff is one of the reasons I love visiting the Los Sueños Resort. No matter what it is you need, they will always do their best to help you out with it. They don’t bug you, but if you are up for conversation about yourself or the local area, or anything really, you can count of an HRG staff member to talk to. They are very helpful.

In this case, the staff member I talked to gave me a great business tip without even knowing it! He was just mentioning how much he liked the coffee from Doka Estate in a morning interaction. I’d just come from my HRG vacation condo renal, and he asked me if I would like some coffee on the house. I replied, with a “no thanks”, and explained that I bring my own coffee on vacation from my coffee shop at home. He told me that I wouldn’t regret giving this Costa Rica coffee a try, so I took him up on it. I was really surprised at how great it was!

I asked him where it had come from, and he explained that a local plantation grows, roasts, and packages it, and sells it locally and internationally. He told me that HRG regularly sets up tours at the plantation. I was so taken with the freshness and quality of the brew he’d given me that I decided to put a little business into my vacation. “Who knows?” I thought.  “I may end up writing this whole trip off as a business trip!”

The day of our coffee tour arrived bright and sunny, like most days in Costa Rica, the sun’s golden rays peeking up on the horizon over the blue ocean and behind the bay island greenery. We boarded the HRG tour van and headed off towards the Doka Estate Plantation. All the way to the plantation I talked with the driver about my coffee business. He told me that he knew the owner of Doka, and would see if he could arrange a special tasting for me when we arrived at the tasting center.

Our first stop at the plantation was out to the fields of growing coffee plants. The natural beauty of the coffee plant’s white flowers and red berries was so beautiful against the green of the leaves and the black hearty soil. I was excited to see the roasting processes of the different flavors and to taste them. When we entered the tasting room, I saw that my HRG driver had stayed true to his word. There was a table laid out with steaming cups of coffee, each labeled with the different roast and bean flavors. There was Breakfast Blend, House Blend, Espresso Italiano, Decaffeinated, French Roast, Peaberry AA, and finally, Chocolate Bean coffee. I tasted them and put in an order. This coffee was so good that I knew it just had to be a staple at Java Aficionado. A big Thank You to my two new friends from HRG!

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Eco Tourism in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, the Environment, and My Eye Opening Experience at Los Sueños

Guest Post by Mark C.

red-eyed-tree-frog-costa-ricaEco-Tourism is the latest trend among travelers who consider the environment one of our top priorities and Costa Rica is a number one destination. People are realizing that the over-consumption of natural resources and the practices used to provide for it, are harming our world and the other species that live on it. I hadn’t really given much thought to the rainforest or exotic species of animals before my trip to Costa Rica. Everyone has heard of endangered species, but when you live in a city, everything is concrete, and the only animals you experience are locked in cages in a zoo, you don’t feel all that connected to the world’s quickly diminishing, ecology rich places. They truly feel like they are extinct already. Or they did for me until I took the trip that permanently changed my views on our resources.

Costa Rica is well known for its still pristine beauty and incomparable biodiversity. Although it has attracted tourists because of this, responsible ecotourism companies are offering eco-travel that reduces tourist’s impact in order to keep it safe and to allow people like myself to experience the richness of how the world used to be and could be again if we, as beings who consume more than we need, would change our practices.

Costa Rica’s name belies its beauty. Costa Rica means Rich Coast. This rich mountainous country is home to almost five percent of the world’s flora and fauna species. This is staggering when you realize that it only makes up 0.25 percent of the world’s land mass.

Costa Rica’s large system of national parks serves to protect the abundance of rich wildlife and flora, while allowing visitors to tread lightly and still experience the beauty. Many of the tourist activities offered in Costa Rica are in harmony with the wildlife. You get the opportunity to bird watch at natural parks, hike through rainforests under 100 foot tall canopy trees draped in hanging vines, even take a boat ride to observe the river life up close. Those crocodiles can be  pretty impressive up-close!

I wish I could describe the wonders that I never knew existed. That trip made an indelible mark on my soul and caused me to begin fund raising in my own local community as soon as I returned. You might think that eco-travel requires staying in a place with no running water and an outside toilet. I am happy to say I found this not to be the case. During the times we were not up close and personal with nature we were indulging ourselves at our home base for the trip the luxurious Los Sueños Resort. It was located on the beach and we got to cook our own food in one the most well-equipped kitchens I have ever had while on vacation. The pristine clean and comfort we experienced at Los Sueños was thoroughly enjoyed by my whole family. I want to take my grandkids someday. Taking a trip to Costa Rica combines education, relaxation and a renewing of your passion for life’s amazing natural beauty.