Photo Bytes: Bonita Costa Rica

A moment in time
A moment in time

Kyle and I have always dreamed of spending Christmas at the beach, and this year we finally made it happen.

Playa Tamarindo is such a beautiful strip of sand and sea just about a 10-minute walk from the Beach Bungalows where we stayed. There’s plenty to do on the beach from going horseback riding to taking a surfing lesson. All of the sailing and scuba trips leave from the beach, so there’s always a lot of activity. Each time we set out for the beach, we headed directly for Langosta Beach Club where we could have a drink at the bar and store our bags. Lunch there is excellent, and we were lucky enough one day to watch a family of monkeys playing in trees above us. Unfortunately we didn’t have our camera with us!

We took a day trip to Arenal one day, despite the fact that it was a four-hour trek in one direction. Lake Arenal is beautiful and divides two regions of Costa Rica: Guanacaste where we stayed and the Northern Lowlands. We took a hike through El Silencio Mirador and Trails at the base of Arenal Volcano. It was so strange to be in this cooler wet climate after spending a week in Tamarindo, where it’s always 90 and sunny—at least for the next six months of year. But here, it rains 11 months a year, and is nearly 20 degrees cooler. We watched birds and leaf cutter ants on our hike. We were amazed to see downed trees without any rings in the center. Since the weather conditions are so similar here all year—lots of rain and no change of seasons—there’s never extreme differences to cause the trees to form a ring in their bark.

We finally saw a Howler Monkey—the creatures that acted as alarm clocks every morning at the Bungalows. This guy was in a tree near Lake Arenal, but his furry friends were back in Tamarindo greeting the morning with their unearthly grunts and howls. Seriously, imagine someone is being strangled, and that’s the sound of a howler monkey. It was an interesting way to wake up every morning!

The whole reason I wanted to go to Arenal was to see the beautiful hot springs! I had thought long and hard about staying at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort since it’s so unbelievably beautiful, but in the end, decided to spend the entire time in Tamarindo. But the day trip to Tabacon was perfect, and we enjoyed several lovely hours swimming in the delicious volcanic water. Tabacon has quite the system of hot springs, linked by beautiful pathways. The farther up you trek, the warmer the pools become.

Back at Playa Tamarindo, things get fun in the evening. As you walk the beach, you can see the finished sand art that lots of locals have worked hard building all day. Then you can go to any given restaurant and enjoy the traveling fire show that somehow seems to appear at each eatery at some point during the course of your meal. And the Tamarindo sunsets are absolutely to die for!

Places

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Nuevo Arenal, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Nuevo Arenal, Alajuela, Costa Rica

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