Sunny Costa Rica: The Treat of a Lifetime

There is no doubt about it. If you want to retreat to a tropical paradise where you can sunbathe and relax the stress away on white sandy beaches while sipping away on cool, refreshing exotic fruit juices or experience the thrills of snorkeling, rafting and lots more, then Costa Rica is the travel destination for you. Costa Rica can be enjoyed by travelers of all ages.

Costa Rica is considered one of the most visited tourist spots, and I now can see why. Because it doesn’t experience the cold winter season, tourists can enjoy warmth all year round with at least 12 hours of sunlight and temperatures ranging between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

There’s a wide range of activities, from shopping, sunbathing, surfing, snorkeling, water rafting, hiking, horseback riding and bird watching just to name a few. And the food is to die for. Even their simplest dish, black beans and rice, is something to be savored. But oh, don’t stop there. From steak to Mexican to seafood, there is something to quench any man’s hunger. You just won’t be able to get enough of that fine Costa Rican cuisine.

Costa Rica prides itself on being environmental friendly, and its government and citizens work hard to preserve its natural beauty and resources. Along with miles of white and black sandy beaches for all you nature lovers out there, Costa Rica is host to jungle territories, volcanoes, rainforests, protected forests and parks all that are homes to more than 500,000 plant and animal species. There is something for you to see and admire at every turn.

With packages to fit almost any vacationer’s budget, there is no reason not to hop on a plane or cruise line and grab a piece of Costa Rican sunshine.

Vacationing in the Caribbean Consider Belize, Central America for Your Next Trip

Belize City airport is serviced by a few carriers including Continental, American, Delta, and Taca Airlines. Many airlines have daily flights arriving from key hubs such as Dallas, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta.

Activities on Mainland Belize

Once you arrive in Belize City, the possibilities are endless. Local carriers, such as Maya and Tropic Air, offer numerous flights to Ambergris Caye and other popular destinations within the country. Destinations like Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and San Ignacio are some of the more popular spots to stay.

On the mainland, cave tubing, zip lining, and the Belize Zoo are popular activities, while Mayan ruins such as Xunantunich, Altun Ha, and Lamanai are not to be missed. The south of the country is noted for areas such as Dangriga, with its beautiful waterfalls, and Placencia, known for great fishing and local seafood.

Ambergris Caye

If you head for the islands, Ambergris Caye has great beaches, a relaxed atmosphere, and incredible snorkeling and scuba diving off the Belize Barrier Reef System. Belize’s reef system is an endangered UNESCO World Heritage Site and second largest reef in the world. Popular snorkel trips include Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, while the famed Blue Hole is one of the most popular dive trips, requiring divers to depart around 6am for the 4+ hour boat ride out.

Flights to the Caye are as plentiful as taxis, departing hourly. Hotels on the island can range from the downright cheap to more luxurious. The hostel, Pedro’s Inn, is popular with the backpackers and can be as cheap as $10 a night. Waterfront hotels can range from $70 to $300 or more a night.

Those looking for the best of both worlds with beautiful beaches and lots of activities will not be disappointed in Ambergris Caye. Ambergris is a 45 minute boat ride back to the mainland and any of the day trips are available from the Caye. Tour companies have regular tours arranged through the hotels and will pick you up right on your own hotel dock! How’s that for service? The ride over is a great way to experience the islands and enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters.

Dining in Belize

Food in Belize can be cheap and delicious. An excellent seafood meal on the Caye can run about $10-$15 USD pp, or a little more if you go to a restaurant at one of the fancier hotels. Many hotels include a continental breakfast and most all-day tours include lunch as well. Do not look for recognizable chains on the Caye as you will only find “mom and pop” type places. The island is filled with numerous types of cuisine, including Mexican, Caribbean and other regional ethnic dishes, American, and even Chinese.

For those looking for an upscale dining experience, be sure to check out Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn down on the peninsula in Placencia. This open air restaurant is popular with honeymooners and others looking to experience a romantic waterfront dinner. The Turtle Inn features an extensive wine list and many local fresh seafood entrees.

Belize pretty much offers something for everyone. You can fill your days with excursions, or just lounge on the beach, and still have an amazing time. I love coming back to the Caye and seeing the same people who have become friends throughout the years. Although the secret is slowly getting out and tourism continues to increase, I hope Belize will always retain the same charm and excellent value that brings many of us back year after year.