I love destination weddings aka a perfect excuse for a vacation especially if the one getting married is family. When my cousin announced that he was getting married in Costa Rica, we excitedly booked our flight and made made plans to share a condo rental with other cousins. I did not know much about Costa Rica except that it was a popular surf and nature destination and I heard that many Americans were buying property and retiring there.
Last May, we flew from San Diego to Liberia and stayed in Tamarindo which is in the Northern Pacific coast in the province of Guanacaste. My cousin booked a 2 bedroom apartment at the Diria condominiums which is across the street from the Tamarindo Diria Beach Resort. On our first night, we met with other wedding guests and walked around town. My first thought was that it reminded me of how San Diego must have been in the 60's and 70's. A laid back, casual, unpretentious family friendly beach town. I was charmed.
We enjoyed our stay at the condos at the Tamarindo Diria which is in the center of town, near numerous restaurants and a few minutes walk to the beach. The gated complex also had a nice pool where we spent many hours to cool down. The condo that we rented was similar to this .
After the wedding, we rented a car and explored beaches near Tamarindo. My favorite is Playa Conchal with the seashell sand and clear warm water. I love that the beaches were not crowded and at times I felt that we were on a private island. I remember a moment when Peter and I were floating in the water in Playa Conchal, suddenly warm rain sprinkled and it felt like we were the only two people on earth. The feeling of worry free peace and freedom was bliss and I felt like we were living la "Pura Vida".
A great article on Costa Rica's Northern Pacific beaches.
Thanks to my cousin Myles, a very active SPG member, we were able to visit the Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal and spend a few hours at the beach and tour the vicinity even though we were not staying at the resort. If heaven were a resort with exotic birds, this is the Garden of Eden.
We also drove to Aranal to visit the Tabacon hot springs. It was raining and by the time we arrived at the resort, there was only an hour left till closing and the day pass was still full price. We were disappointed but Myles noticed people, walking down a path across the street. As it turns out, the public hot river called Rio Chollin is free. Tip...Go here
The trip would not be complete without ziplining and the bride and groom arranged a tour at Hilltop Adventure Park which was excellent because it was near Tamarindo and the staff was friendly and accommodating.