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Where to Vacation When You Already Live in Paradise


Paradise Has Plenty – Expat Mini Getaways within Costa Rica

Many expats live in or near Los Sueños Resort because it’s been their dream to live in the tropical paradise that is Central Pacific Coastal region of Costa Rica. While it’s hard to imagine anywhere better, variety is the spice of life. We have some suggestions to spice up your next local getaway, when you already live in paradise.

In Begaces, just north of Palo Verde National Park, locals are friendly and the countryside idyllic. It’s perfect for side trips to Arenal, Río Celeste or Palo Verde. If you fancy a bit of hiking or cycling, the canyons near the forest trails that are ripe for an afternoon of exploration. You can also tour the canopy via zipline. Swimming and sunbathing afterward at Begaces Waterfall (aka Llanos de Cortés) will refresh you.

Las Hornillas Hot Springs is a 35-minute drive north of Begaces, at the base of the Miravalles Volcano. After hiking the trail—via suspension bridges—up to the waterfalls, rejuvenate with a mud bath spa experience. Later, choose from natural pools of warm, hot or cold water to complete the treatment.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest is one Costa Rica’s outstanding wildlife sanctuaries. On the Continental Divide, it extends down the Caribbean and Pacific slopes. Variable climate and terrain support extremely high biodiverse wildlife populations. Admission to the reserve includes a choice of tours, including one for birdwatchers. If you’re more independent, there are plenty of trails to choose from—difficulty and length vary to suit your abilities. You can also tour the canopy via bridge, tram or zipline for a view of life at the top.

Arenal puts on a spectacular show of fumaroles, flows and pyroclastic emissions. By night, even from a long distance, the fiery red lava flows are clearly visible on the mountainside.Arenal Reserve offers spectacular views of the volcano and Arenal Lake. You can try hiking trails flanked by an abundantly lush landscape filled with exotic animals. Other trails close to the volcano will give you a chance to experience the sights and sounds.

Be sure not to overlook the Caribbean Coast, with its Afro-Creole influences. In September and October, it’s often dry when the rest of Costa Rica isn’t. The food isn’t typical Tico fare: jerk, curried goat or chicken, seafood and spices fill the menus. Its rivers and national parks include stunning scenery and an abundance of wildlife. The beaches and coral reefs shelter an abundance of marine life with excellent surfing, snorkeling and diving. Leatherback, hawksbill and green sea turtles frequently nest on the southern beaches.

Residents and wildlife live side-by-side on the Osa Peninsula, where scarlet macaws and white-faced capuchin monkeys are an everyday sight. Corcovado National Park, home to 2.5% of the planet’s total animal species, encompasses virgin rainforest, deserted beaches, jungle-edged rivers and vast, inaccessible swamps. Many tiny, unnamed beaches and several well-known sandy stretches are ideal for swimming, boogie boarding and body surfing. Whale watching never gets old and Golfo Dulce is a prime spot for it.

While life is good at home on the Pacific coast, it’s fun to get a different perspective on paradise in Costa Rica. Besides, even those of us who already live in paradise need a little vacation once in a while.