Costa Rica Highlights, The Exquisite Arenas del Mar

I’m just back from over two weeks in Costa Rica with the family. Even though the summer is the wet season in Costa Rica, the weather was perfect, usually raining at night to enhance our sleep. And the country is incredibly lush this time of year. This week, I want to discuss the highlights of the trip so you can put it on your checklist when planning your own jaunt.

First up is a property just outside the rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenas del Mar. Built into the cliffs overlooking the Pacific, five minutes from the entrance to the national park, this boutique resort has everything you dream about in a Costa Rica vacation. It’s where the verdant foliage of the rainforest meets the beach. The spacious suites, all with balconies overlooking the expanse of ocean, are socked into the forest. So you wake up looking at white-faced monkeys and those slow-moving sloths climbing the vines and trees. Golf carts drive you up the hillside to have breakfast of fresh papaya, mango, and pineapple, with baked goods, high overlooking the neighboring islands. Then the carts bring you back to your rooms, where you can walk down to the private beach or swim in the pool. With so much rain, the high tides were incredibly dramatic when we were there. The pounding surf slammed against the rocky outcroppings, with foam spewing into the air. Add guided hikes into Manuel Antonio with the hotel’s knowledgeable naturalist, Ercel, and nearby ziplining in the mountainside with the professional staff at MidWorld and you understand why this was my family’s favorite of six stops on the trip.