The Greatest Family Vacation of the World!

Family vacation in Costa Rica

The Greatest Green Family Vacation of the World!

Arenas del Mar and its sister hotels in the Cayuga Collection are inviting you to come down south and help us create the greatest green and sustainable family vacation in the world! You an apply through the Cayuga Collection website to help us with this vision.

Only during a family vacation at Arenas del Mar would you be able to experience the wide eyes of children as they see their first live three toed sloth, or dolphin and then have a relaxing evening with delicious dinner in our restaurant El Mirador.

Arenas del Mar offers so many activities that bored kids will never be an issue, a few things you could do while staying with us are:

  1. Spend a day at the beach playing in the surf with your family.
  2. See wildlife up close at Manuel Antonio with one of our experienced local guides.
  3. Plant a tree in the nearby volunteer rainforest project to celebrate biodiversity and wildlife conservation.
  4. Take a break from the beach with an al-fresco lunch at Playitas Restaurant.
  5. Zoom through the forest on a canopy tour high above the treetops.
  6. Try horseback riding on the beach.

 

Hanging out with a Sloth in Manuel Antonio

Hanging out with a Sloth in Manuel Antonio

Furthermore, we at the Cayuga Collection, have seen first hand how a sustainable family vacation can leave a lasting impact on participants and we want your help to show others how green we can be.

Our participating properties are:
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge on the Osa Peninsula: Literally in the middle of the rainforest, surrounded by nature and wildlife, a true tropical Costa Rican experience.
Harmony Hotel Nosara: Laid back with yoga and spa for mum, amazing beach and surfing for everyone else, and the juice bar and sushi bar are not to be missed!
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Inn: Amazing culinary tours, birding, volcanoes, cloud forests and zip lines close at hand.
Arenas del Mar Resort in Manuel Antonio: The best of both worlds, with rainforests and ocean on either side, full service spa, and outstanding food.
Jicaro Island Ecolodge in Lake Nicaragua: Choose a lake experience, with swimming, kayaking volcano explorations, exploring the streets of nearby Granada and Baseball with the local kids.
Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa: Family Surf Vacation or some horseback riding along the beach. Staying in your own private casita has many perks.
Hotel Grano de Oro in San Jose: Exploring the vibrant capital city of Costa Rica, colonial charm with museums, theater and great restaurants close by.
You can apply here and deadline is May 17th.

 

Merry World Wild Life Day Everyone!!

Costa Rica is renowned internationally for its commitment to its natural parks and protected areas for the conservation and betterment of the native ecosystems and the natural capital. In the pacific region, where Arenas del Mar is located, you can visit a myriad of interesting and beautiful sites and our local guides will help you explore them and also inform you on the best ways and practices to preserve this treasure.

Howler monkey at Manuel Antonio

Howler monkey at Manuel Antonio

As an effort towards preservation around the globe On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day, to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora.

You can find out more of this day at: http://www.wildlifeday.org/

In honor of this special day these are some of our suggestions towards preservation of the Wild Life that surrounds us:

Two White Faced Monkeys relaxing near Arenas Del Mar

Two White Faced Monkeys relaxing near Arenas Del Mar

  • Do not buy products derived from endangered flora or fauna species (i.e. fur, turtle eggs, turtle products, leather, ornamental plants, medicinal plants, etc).
  • Do not extract any products from any forest.
  • Protect nature, and report it to the proper authorities if you notice any illegal poaching (of flora or fauna).
  • Do not buy live flora or fauna that are endangered.

Manuel Antonio | Best Beaches in the World

Manuel Antonio is known for many things. Our pristine park, incredible wildlife viewing, delicious culinary delights, and also one of the 2015 Best Beaches In The World! TripAdvisor.com puts together a yearly roundup of the best beaches across the world and to our delight Manuel Antonio is number 17.

The rich coast view from Arenas Del Mar

The rich coast view from Arenas Del Mar

It should come as no surprise to anybody who has visited the area that our beach at Manuel Antonio is receiving world wide attention. The pristine sand, varied coastline, and warm water makes our beach an ideal spot for vacationing.

Arenas Del Mar is situated right on the beach which gives our guests the unique opportunity to enjoy the “Playita” as well which is a semi-private section of Manuel Antonio that most visitors never get to see due to the tide rising up over the point. Arenas Del Mar is the only hotel with access to the Playita at high tide.

Wading in the warm water of Manuel Antonio

Wading in the warm water of Manuel Antonio

Thanks to TripAdvisor for recognizing Manuel Antonio as one of the world’s greatest beaches!

Eco-Friendly Honey Moon for Valentine’s Day

A couple of our guests getting into the tico spirit.

We love Love at Arenas del Mar and the resort is specially fond of newly-wed couples,  the resort is not only designed with all the amenities for you and your other half to enjoy a relaxing experience after the stressful period of wedding planning, but it is also blessed with the most majestic natural beauty. Together, design and nature create a gorgeous backdrop for a perfect first chapter of your personal love story.

Also, if you have not tied the knot yet but are in the process of planning your big day Arenas del Mar can host your eco-friendly wedding. Weddings, as you may know,  have a big ecological footprint and if you are one that cares about our planet and its future you can live the organization of your ceremony and party to us.

We make sure that through our sustainable practices you have a wedding to remember with the less ecological impact possible. The facilities at Arenas Del Mar are best for small weddings of up to 25 guests, but we are happy to hold a very private ceremony just for you and your partner.

Furthermore, your honeymoon starts here, right after the ceremony, no need to move anymore, the fun begins as soon as you say I do.

The list of romantic activities you can have while at Arenas del Mar is a long one but here are a few examples:

 

  • Have lunch at Playitas Beach while enjoying the sound of the waves and the sea breezes.
  • Walk hand-in-hand along Espadilla Beach as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Unwind in your suite’s Jacuzzi while looking out into the rainforest and enjoying spectacular Pacific sunsets.
  • Enjoy one of our famous Tico Sours at the Mirador Bar.
  • Be lulled by the sounds of the sea with a massage on the beach

    The beautiful beach of Manuel Antonio

    The beautiful beach of Manuel Antonio

 

 

 

Wildlife in Manuel Antonio, a guide by Arenas del Mar

Collage of tit monkey in the wild

The Manuel Antonio Region in Costa Rica hosts one of the most famous national parks in the Nation. The biodiversity in our own backyard is overwhelming and we have been featuring a few of our friendly neighbors over the last few months on this blog.

When you visit Arenas del Mar you can expect to be surrounded by birds, monkey, sloths, reptiles, all very friendly and interesting. We love our neighbors and coexist with them in the most respectful manner. Over the years we have been putting a guide of most of the plants and animals you can find in the region for you to enjoy and look at while you are at the resort, but you can also look at it before coming to see what you can expect from Manuel Antonio in terms of flora and fauna.

A bananaquit on top of a plant

So, take a look at the guide and familiarize yourself with our friends and neighbors, they enjoy having you here and every morning their chatter will be the signal that it is time to start a new day full of adventure at Arenas del Mar.

Here is the link to our very complete guide of plants and Animals:

http://www.arenasdelmar.com/docs/ADM_Animal_&_Plant_Guide.pdf

Wild Life Series- Toucans

The largest toucan in Costa Rica, the black mandible toucan.

We haven’t forgotten about our wild friends that live in and around Arenas del Mar in the Manuel Antonio region of Costa Rica and today is the turn of a very famous type of bird thanks to certain fruity cereal, the Toucan.

Everyone knows that Costa Rica’s biodiversity is one of the greatest in the world and a prime destination for bird watcher, one of the incredible birds you can spot here is the Toucan.

Toucans are  brightly marked and have large, often colorful bills The family includes five genera and about forty different species.The name of this bird group is derived from the Tupi word tukana, via Portuguese.

Toucans make their nests in tree hollows and holes excavated by other animals such as woodpeckers—the toucan bill has very limited use as an excavation tool. They are mainly fruit eating, but are opportunistically omnivorous and will take prey such as insects and small lizards.

Toucans are a constant sight at Arenas del Mar and it’s very probable you will get to see one on your very first day in the resort. Toucans are an endangered species due to deforestation but we at Arenas Del Mar and Costa Rica in general are working really hard to help this beautiful bird species thrive again.

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High Season Holidays in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica’s high season for tourism runs from late November to late April, which coincides almost perfectly with the chill of winter in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and includes Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, and spring break The high tourism season is also the dry weather season for Costa Rica. This two factors mean that if you travel to Costa Rica during this months you will find more people sharing the great outdoors with you. However, this is no reason to worry, the dry season is perfect for surfing and trekking and some animals that are seldom seen during the green season ( wet months of the year, May to November)  can be spotted when the sun comes out.

Depending on your choice of activities and your budget it might be better for you to chose a vacation during the dry season, make sure however that you do it in advance as people from all over the world come to Costa Rica during our dry months to escape the chill from back home.

So if you are in the process of booking your Costa Rican Vacation the following breakdown might help you to choose the best time for your holiday.

January: the first true dry month of the Costa Rican dry season.  The second half of January is one of the best times for a Costa Rica vacation as crowds are not to big and the weather is fantastic.

February: February is the heart of the dry season for Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches & Central Valley, there is almost no rain in the western and central regions of Costa Rica.  Here visitors will experience sunny & hot weather – perfect for your mid-winter Costa Rica Escape to Manuel Antonio and Arenas del Mar.  When the rain comes, it typically showers in the afternoon, evening or overnight.

March: At the middle of the Costa Rican dry season March is also the month for Spring Break in the United States which means lots of family vacations & student group trips through Costa Rica including Manuel Antonio.

Enjoying the dry season

Enjoying the dry season

Feliz Navidad

 

T’is the season to be jolly and Costa Rica is a great place to spend this time of the year with your loved ones. The country has its special way of celebrating this time of the year  for example during Christmas people like to set up a a model of the nativity scence called the  Portal, or nacimiento with a little baby Jesus at  the center of the display. Varying from home to home the “Portal” is decorated with flowers, fruit or candy. The whole family is involved in creating the nativity scene and as well as traditional Christian figures people add different sorts of animals and miniature people.

Costa Ricans also love to creat Christmas Wreaths and decorate their houses with them. Most government and public buildings are also decorated with Christmas lights.

In Costa Rica gift giving is also a tradition and the bringer  is often ‘Niño dios’ (Child God, meaning Jesus) or ‘Colacho’ (another name for Santa Claus).

On Christmas Eve, everyone puts on their best clothes and goes to Midnight Mass. In Costa Rica it’s called the ‘Misa de Gallo (Mass of the Rooster); a tradition in most countries where the Catholic religion is professed.

After Midnight Mass, Christmas dinner is served. It normally includes chicken and pork tamales that have been wrapped  in plantain leaves.

tama

After Christmas, and into January, there are lots of fiestas, parades, rodeos, street parties, bull runs and choral and dance festivals to celebrate the season, you can experience these activities while you are in Manuel Antonio.costa-rica-carnaval

What’s Costa Rica like?

One of the first things that people type into Google when looking for vacation spots is: “What’s Costa Rica like?”. While this can be a tough one to answer as our country is so diverse we can try and give it a shot.

Pura Vida

The simple answer is “Pura Vida”, a term that any Tico or traveller to Costa Rica is very familiar with. Literally translated it means “Pure Life” and can be used in many different cases. People will often ask how someone is doing with a response of “Pura vida”. The pure life is probably one reason that Costa Rica consistently ranks as one of the happiest places in the world.

Staff members at Arenas Del Mar showing their Costa Rica pride.

Staff members at Arenas Del Mar showing their Costa Rica pride.

The Rich Coast

Another answer could be found in our name “Costa Rica” or the “Rich Coast”. Originally the rich coast is how our country was described when explorers found huge amounts of gold here in the 1500s. However gold is only one thing that we’re rich in. Our rainforests are abundant, our parks are ever expanding, our oceans are full of life, our people have deep and interesting culture, and our food is delicious! When you ask what’s Costa Rica like, you could just say… it’s rich!

The rich coast

The rich coast

Costa Rican Weather

One of the first things that travellers will notice is the weather, it’s perfect. We have two seasons, the green season with a short stretch of rain everyday and the dry season where it can go months without rain. They are both beautiful times of year for different reasons.

 

In the green season the vegetation springs to life and the entire country is covered in a deep green shade. You really notice this from the air as you’re flying into the country.

Enjoying the dry season

Enjoying the dry season

The dry season is nice because it’s so consistent. You know exactly what the weather will be like everyday and planning what to pack for your trip is a breeze!

The Food

Our little country is blessed with fantastic farming land and the perfect weather to grow food. The abundance of local fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats ensures that your meals will be fresh and flavourful. Our restaurant at Arenas Del Mar is actually the top rated restaurant in all of Manuel Antonio! We also boast a large gluten free menu for guests will gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

The ingredients to Gallo Pinto in small individual bowls

Fresh ingredients for making a traditional gallo pinto

So…. what’s it like in Costa Rica? It’s amazing!

Family Adventures in Arenas del Mar

Getting painted up for the game!

Getting painted up for the game!

It is the season to be jolly and many families across North America get together over the Holidays and plan the next escape from the snow, rain and chilly winds of winter.

The beauty about family holidays is you get to experience the destination through your eyes and through the eyes of your children and elder relatives and Arenas del Mar is the perfect place for a family get away.

Only in a family vacation at Arenas del Mar would you be able to experience the wide eyes of children as they see their first live three toed sloth, monkey or dolphin and also relax in the afternoon with you significant other by having a delicious dinner in our restaurant El Mirador.

Arenas del Mar offers so many activities that bored kids will never be an issue, a few things you could do while staying with us are:

  1. Spend a day at the beach playing in the surf with your family.
  2. See wildlife up close at Manuel Antonio with one of our experienced local guides.
  3. Plant a tree in the nearby volunteer rainforest project to celebrate biodiversity and wildlife conservation.
  4. Take a break from the beach with an al-fresco lunch at Playitas Restaurant.
  5. Zoom through the forest on a canopy tour high above the treetops.
  1. Try horseback riding on the beach.
  2. Go whitewater rafting along the Savegre River.
  3. Learn to make tortillas with a local senora for breakfast.
  4. Make a wish, as the sun sets on a family sailing trip in the nearby Pacific Ocean.
  5. Take our rainforest night hike and watch the rainforest come alive in the evening.

Ps. A family holiday is always better when there is sharing and interaction between all members, this is what we believe at Arenas del Mar, and our cellphone and internet policy helps everyone stay engaged.

Nature viewing with the whole family in Costa Rica

Some of the experts are young