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Have you ever dreamed of immersing yourself in the lush rainforests and vibrant culture of Costa Rica? Exodus Travel Specialist Bee Almariego recently lived this dream on the Rainforest & Restful Retreats in Costa Rica tour and we had the chance to catch up with her about her unforgettable adventure. Join us as we dive into her experience and discover the highlights, hidden gems, and unique moments that make Costa Rica an exceptional travel destination.

Bee’s Rainforest Adventure and Restful Retreat in Costa Rica

Bee’s journey began in the vibrant capital city of San José a day before the official start of the tour, where she was surprised to meet up with some of her fellow group members and Armando, her tour leader. Armando went above and beyond by meeting each of the five travelers on the small-group trip at the airport for their transfers, even those arriving a day early. “He made sure everyone was comfortable and safe, and even offered to meet us at breakfast on day one, before the intended group briefing that evening,” said Bee. “He even gathered the four of us who had a pre-night stay for an impromptu tour. He showed us the best places to visit, including the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, the National Theatre, and more.”

On the first official day of the tour, Bee and her fellow travelers were eager to see sloths in the wild. “It was top priority,” and Armando made sure to deliver an unexpected encounter for them.  “Armando knew of a park on the way to our second destination on our first day, and he took us on a wildlife walk in search of them. We lost count of how many we saw – even though they were challenging to spot!” A plant, wildlife, and birding expert himself, Armando was passionate about sharing the local fauna and flora with his tour group and sharing his extensive knowledge. “He had the best equipment for viewing them from a distance, so we always got the best views.”

Bee’s Rainforest Adventure and Restful Retreat in Costa Rica

The other highlight of day one? River tubing in the Rio Celeste! “It was such a rush! This was top of my favorite activities,” said Bee. Hurtling downstream through Grade I and II rapids, flanked on each side by tropical rainforest, with a soundtrack of monkey calls and birdsong, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that she and her fellow travelers will never forget. “We were the only ones there the entire time. It felt really special having this experience all to ourselves while being surrounded by nature. The water was cool and reflected this turquoise color, even after a bit of a rainy day. It was magical!”

Day two brought the group further into the forest on a four-hour hike in Tenorio Volcano National Park, where they explored the magnificent Rio Celeste waterfall before heading back for some rest and relaxation at their resort hideaway. After the sun went down, they followed a torchlit trail through the forest in search of nocturnal wildlife.

After an action-packed start to the tour, day three was all about relaxation, volcano style. Visiting Rincon de la Vieja, home to two volcanoes and 32 rivers, Bee and her tour mates explored the fumaroles, warm springs, and mud pot before soaking in their hotel’s mineral-rich natural pools and applying genuine volcano mud masks, jumping into the crystal stream whenever they needed to cool off and reset. Refreshed, they entered their fourth day with gusto, swinging from the treetops on zip lines, rappelling, and crossing hanging bridges over narrow river canyons before hiking the Cauldrons.

Bee’s Rainforest Adventure and Restful Retreat in Costa Rica

Day five included one of the most unexpected experiences of the week: an afternoon sail in Tamarindo on the Nicoya Peninsula. This shared vessel excursion, complete with an open bar, led to a captivating sight: Brown Footed Boobies diving into the ocean, a view that left everyone in awe.

On their last full day, the travelers tried their hand at surfing and other watersports in Tamarindo, Costa Rica’s renowned surf spot, enjoying the beachfront utopia before gathering to enjoy one final sunset together.

Although each day was a whirlwind of activities, ranging from the unforgettable wildlife encounters and volcano mud masks to the thrilling excursions like river tubing, ziplining, hiking, canyoning, and surfing, Bee mentioned feeling thoroughly pampered throughout the trip. Each day was bookended with a stay in luxurious accommodations, many of which featured pools where travelers could unwind and soak up the sun as they reminisced about the day’s adventures.

Bee’s Rainforest Adventure and Restful Retreat in Costa Rica

The stunning Rio Celeste Hideaway, a small eco-friendly resort on the slopes of Tenorio Volcano, was a notable favorite, “Walking to your room felt like walking through a green wonderland,” said Bee. “You can stand on your balcony in the morning, listen to the birds and the rain, and watch wildlife between the trees.” And the cherry on top? A refreshing welcome drink awaited at nearly every hotel, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

That Costa Rican hospitality was also on display in the trip’s dining experiences. “The group requested that we only go to locally owned restaurants with authentic food and Armando delivered,” remarked Bee. “One of my most memorable meals was having lunch just outside of Tenorio Volcano National Park. The weather was damp after our walk to Rio Celeste, but it was one of our most memorable ones of the week. The group each had a different version of the Casado Tipico, which was a combination of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, and meat chicken, beef, pork, fish, and so on. It felt like a reflection of Costa Rica – vibrant, earthy with lots of colors.”

This well-rounded tour really had something for everyone, striking the perfect balance between thrilling and relaxing. “We had so many adventure highlights, including some great bonding moments with the group as we laughed with our leader and driver,” Bee said. “We also learned so much about the culture, people, wildlife, and biodiverse ecosystems, and had some free time to enjoy the pools, get a massage, and relax on the beach to top it all off.” If you’re seeking an extraordinary travel experience, where adventure and tranquility intertwine seamlessly, consider exploring the rainforests and retreats of Costa Rica. With unforgettable moments, guided expertise, and a deep dive into the country’s culture and nature, this journey promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Ready for your own Costa Rica getaway? Learn more about this trip here.