Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Whale Watching


May is an interesting month for the tourism industry in Costa Rica. Is the first month of what we call the green season so tour companies like ours have more time to do stuff, like marketing strategies, sites inspections, and having the chance not to worry about our VIP clients every day. But is also the month of Emilio´s birthday. So normally we as a family take a one week work and travel trip with the kids to a new destination every year. We chose Bahia Ballena because is an emerging destination, and the variety of hotel options has increased considerably in the past 2 years. From cozy eco-lodges to fancy boutique hotels. The idea is to
visit as much properties as possible but making sure kids are still having a fun time and rich experience.

 Bahia Ballena is the area that surrounds the Marino Ballena National Park. But for a practical (Waze and Google Maps) understanding, is everything located between the towns of Dominical and Ojochal, including Dominicalito, Ventanas and Uvita. The area has lots to offer its visitors, including surfing lessons, nature hikes, visit to waterfalls, horseback riding, but the two most representative activities are the visit to the Tail of the Whale at Marino Ballena and the boat tour for Whales and Dolphins observation during season which is from June to November.
Another very important theme is the holistic, organic, healthy vibe you can sense. There are a good number of yoga retreats and surf camps that combine all those elements.

But for our work and travel purposes, we have decided to stay at Villas Tekoa. This a community located at a hill right in front of Playa Dominicalito. Simply the best views of the ocean, surrounded by nature and with top of the line amenities. There are homes starting at 2 bedrooms and all the way until 10 bedrooms. Host is very informative and willing to help when necessary.

I could extend my article talking about the great family time we had at Villas Tekoa, but I am sure you will find more interesting and useful our final report of the area. So here it goes.
Bahia Ballena is great for adults, specially if you like to do Surf and Yoga. There is great nightlife in Dominical. And very active tours that involves a decent physical condition. For example Savegre River rafting and the hike to Nauyaca Waterfall. But it can be very family friendly too. Specially if they are teenagers and young adults. There are many activities they could do including, boat tours for whale watching, surfing lessons, zip lining, horseback riding, sea kayaking and snorkeling. If you travel with little kids like we do (under 8) options are a little limited. But you can still do stuff. And they will still have a good time doing things like a mild walk at Hacienda Baru for wildlife observation, build sand castles at any of the beaches of the area, and spend some time at the swimming pool of your hotel or vacation rental.
 
And accommodations are great too.
Here is what we have seen and recommend: Hotel Cristal Ballena, Kura Design, Villas Tekoa, Cuna del Angel, Villas Rio Mar.
If you are planning to include Bahia Ballena in your future travel plans try to combine it with the Manuel Antonio area first and Osa Peninsula afterwards. This combination will give you an interesting perspective of the different elements Costa Rica has to offer to all visitors looking for the perfect Beach and Nature Experience.

By the way, the best local tour operator is called Bahia Aventuras.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Mistico Hanging Bridges and Park

https://misticopark.com/
Arenal Volcano is located 3.5hrs from San Jose International Airport and 2.5hrs from Liberia International Airport.
The National Park consists of Tropical Rainforest with great trails to do walks. The Peninsula area of the national park has an accessible trail which is perfect for families with children or seniors.
What differentiates this national park is the perfect cone of the volcano which is magnificent, also the old volcanic eruptions and the arenal lake which is a man made lake to produce electricity.

Costa Rica produces 99% of its energy with renewable resources!!!!
 
In this area there are amazing Family activities apart from the national park.

We recently visited Mistico Hanging Bridges. This park is perfect for all ages. It offers an Universal trail with hanging bridges perfect for seniors, children and wheelchair. 
And outstanding adventures for families with teens like horseback riding and the spider monkey canyon.
http://www.montanatourscr.com/arenal-eco-park.html

No matter if you are planning a multi-gen trip nor the ages or conditions of the family members there is always something amazing to do in Costa Rica.

Explore our unique sample itineraries and learn to travel around Costa Rica with a family purpose.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Accessible Travel





Costa Rica is an amazing Accessible destination. This video shows the amazing experience Mr Patrice had with our company.



We are a local expert that crafts every itinerary based on the guests needs. And you know what? That  is the secret of a successful story of accessibility in Costa Rica.










Saturday, March 3, 2018

Maleku Tribe a great family experience in Arenal

 Legend Maleku says that "Tocú laca" was one of the places where his god lived. Each time the majestic volcano emanated fumaroles, Tocu was showing his dominion and power through the magma fire. In their surroundings the Maleku settled to live near the house of Tocu, the land of sacred fire and keep their fury off.The tribe met at the foot of the colossus to beg for protection, strength and wisdom, with cacao offerings they worshiped the sovereign to avoid their wrath. Not everyone could climb their skirts, only those who had the mantle could access the sacred place. He who was willing to reach the bowels, would have to cover his body with volcanic mud and oil, to dye his skin and obtain the strength of Tocu. He had to request the permission of the elders, but, not of anyone, he should be the one who maintained total devotion to Tocu and his wisdom intact. He alone would decide if that person could approach the deepest and most dense forest of the sacred earth.The elders interpreted the messages that Tocu sent with each rumble of the Arenal volcano and transmitted them to the town. The lava flows brought messages that warned of an event that would happen, or remembered something that was happening and the village could not perceive. The great creator demanded respect and devotion to the sacred ground, in exchange for his protection at all times and in all places.

One day, strangers arrived in their lands, invading and bringing with them the destruction of the forest and the curse for the people. The Malekus fled to save their lives to high and distant lands. When Tocu saw that the times of peace and harmony had been altered, he manifested his anger with a rash of fire, gases and rocks, which caused the death of people who roamed the land ruled by the sovereign.When such misfortune came to the ears of the Malekus, the tribe prostrated itself and with the cajúli in hand they implored the creator once and again not to spread the wrath on the man. The anger did not stop. One of the wise elders took a creature that did not surpass 4 years, raised it saying these words: "this is your disciple, it belongs to you, do not spread your anger that here is your disciple, take it, it is yours" minutes after the volcano He stopped erupting, and calm returned.
 
The people sent a message to the non-Malekus saying, "Do not make Tocu's wrath spread over the earth again, you can go in peace." Months later the disciple delivered to Tocu died, and he lives today in the bosom of Tocu. Since then "Tocú laca" remains calm. It is said that only the Maleku can ask for your peace of mind.The old Maleku, know from before that very soon they have to leave the land and in advance advise their families and tell them that in the direction of "Tocú laca" they should point their head, in order to be able to watch and rest next to Tocú in their forest sacred.

IL VIAGGIO TRAVEL can help you  be part of this culture, traditions, leyends, food, arts and crafts. 



Monday, January 29, 2018

Rescue Center is the Central Valley

This weekend we visited Costa Rica's ZOO AVE.

In 1990 ZOO AVE a local old fashion ZOO was transformed to the new vision through a non-profit organization with modern facilities, with a new vision which prioritizes conservation and animal welfare. It is now called Rescate Animal Zooave, operated by the Fundación Restauración de la Naturaleza (The Nature Restoration Foundation), with a focus on conservation, animal welfare and environmental education.

This rescue center is located in La Garita de Alajuela, just 40 minutes from San José and 15 minutes from Juan Santa María International Airport. In this beautiful center you can walk on fully accessible trails where you are able  to explore the botanical gardens and learn about 125 species of animals, among them birds, mammals and reptiles that have been rescued and, due to health or behavioral reasons, cannot be fully rehabilitated for reintroduction into their natural habitat.

When you visit this center you will be supporting the other amazing projects which include:
  • Rescue Center
  • Reproduction Center of Macaws
  • Environmental Education
  • Release Projects in San Jose - Piedras Blancas - Nicoya  
  • Rehabilitation enclosure of wild cats
Another amazing detail is that in 2011, the foundation became certified as the only rescue center in Costa Rica accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)

We invite you all to visit, donate or help others know that its an amazing location for All!!!

By the way the rescue center has a Restaurant inside the area of exhibitions which has great food, peacocks walking free, great forest views and a playground where kids can play while parents wait for the dishes to arrive. This is a great detail we enjoyed!!!









Thursday, January 4, 2018

Avoid the Crowds with a Family Expedition to Silence

Nowadays the actual everyday life of all of us is full of noise, city, smoke, internet, cell phones, electronic games... Its very hard for parents and children alike to disconnect.

So we have very good news. This can be done in Costa Rica.

We have found special spots around Costa Rica which we call OFF THE GRID or AVOID THE CROWDS locations.

To start mentioning them I want to start with a piece of Paradise in Costa Rica where everyone can stop that busy day and just sit down to relax, hear the silence, the rainforest, the water and let the soul be in peace.

This location is called Catarata Toro, and Laguna de Hule. Its surrounded by the Juan Castro Blanco National Park AND Poas National Park.

Amazing trails in the Rainforest that end up on beautiful waterfalls.

But if you want to visit this area. You do have to consider a good physical condition, children over 8 years old and a good 4x4.

Keep posted for more outstanding locations and if you want more details don't hesitate to contact us: info@ilviaggiocr.com








Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Take your Vacation in Costa Rica

First I want to share with you a short summary of why Costa Rica is a kid-friendly country.
  • Located in Central America with great and many flight connections.
  • The country has been declared one of the happiest countries in the world.
  • And not only that, one of the most biodiverse countries in the world which can be discovered on very short distances due to the small size of the country.

Now, if we think on the true daily life. Families are very busy, days are shorter, families live with a lot of pressures and so connections are weaker. This is a very sad daily story of many people around the world; that is why we encourage families to take their vacations and make them the best experience ever. Each vacation, of every year should be sacred.

And what can we do to help families decide. Well, we can tell you why Costa Rica is the best kid-friendly destination:

1. In Costa Rica you will explore, learn, try new things, come to know
every thing about conservation and strengthen the connection with wildlife and nature.

2. Spark the curiosity by trying new costarican foods

3. You will be expose to new cultures and perspectives by being part of local traditions like the “cimarrona and mascarada”

4. Learn New Life Skills for example how to saddle, climb, ride a horse like the local costarican “Sabaneros” do.

5. Enhance the kids’ education during the whole visit with a private guide/driver/host/captain service

6. Promote Self-Discovery by leaving technology behind. When they have nothing more than nature their imagination start exploring. And don't forget the pictures. Let them take their own. Its a way your children see the world.

7. Meet new people is an important factor of the trip. It can be other travelers or locals. Just by the fact that you are in Costa Rica the family will be part of this human connection.

8. Unique worry-free safe destination. A country that has been stable and peaceful since 1948 with great health-care, education and No Army.

9. With the wide range of activities, ecosystems, experiences the whole family can encounter in Costa Rica Tons of Fun.

10. Kick back and Relax. The outstanding views, smells, sounds, textures, service and quality around the country will make it a multi-sensory experience. Just let it flow and be part of the “PURA VIDA” way of life.

This are 10 reasons why if you have a long weekend, a week, or more time to connect, bond and be with the family Costa Rica is the best fit for your upcoming Family Adventure.