Sunday, October 11, 2015

Places in Costa Rica to see before your kids grow up

Kids grow up so fast!!!
There are so many places and things to do, see and explore in Costa Rica.
This is a list of 10 places to see before your kids grow up:


1. A Volcano Crater 2. La Paz Waterfall Gardens 3. Sloth Sanctuary 4. Rainforest Adventures Park 
5. Turtle Nesting 6. Cimarronas and Mascaradas Cultural Tour 7. Manuel Antonio National Park 
8. Children's Museum 9. Hot Springs 10. Coffee Tour

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Why visit the Central Valley?

The Juan Santamaria International Airport is the main airport of Costa Rica. Its located in the Central Valley and is where most flights from around the world arrive.

The Central Valley is a great destination for those who want to do a short visit to the country but get to see a lot by doing one day tours and not moving from hotel to hotel.
From the central valley you can visit volcanoes, different types of rainforest, adventure tours, cultural tours, spa, beaches, eco-tours, leisure... and many more.

Another important factor of the area is the wide variety of hotel options. From 5 star hotels to small boutique hotels, from those located right downtown San Jose to those on more rural areas. 
Also if you select a Hotel like Holiday Inn Escazu you will have a
lot of restaurants, shops, theater and cinema on walking distance.
The Holiday Inn Escazu specializes on a good night sleep on vary comfortable beds and a good healthy breakfast to start the day. And this specific hotel has an amazing location.

The Central Valley can also be a first and last night location if what you are looking for is to travel around the country. There are various routes we can recommend.

Either way this area is great for families with babies, toodlers, kids or teenagers.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Tabacon is a great 5 star Resort located in Arenal area.
We have categorized this destination as ideal for those parents who want to show their family nature, adventure while enjoying luxury facilities.
Families with kids and teenagers can enjoy the thermal pools and waterfalls which vary in temperature.
Those families with smaller children will enjoy the spacious rooms where toodlers can play, enjoy the tub while parents can sit down on the soft sofas or lay back on the comfortable beds.
For all of them the hotel counts with connecting superior rooms (one king and two queen beds) and large suites (with 2 queen or 1 king bed). All guest rooms include DVD player, flat screen plasma TV and internet access.
At the front desk you can find perfect family in-room amenities like a wide selection of DVD's and X-Box systems with a large variety of games.

By the way Tabacon offers comfortable and safety-approved cribs, upon request.

In the restaurants or in the room service, they  will gladly prepare puree, fresh fruits and vegetables for a natural meal for
your baby  and for older kids a children favorite.
 We invite you to be part of this amazing experience by combining the marvellous hotel with the wide variety of tours we offer on the area. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

The majestical Arenal Volcano

The Arenal area was a calm farming area where lots of crops were grown. It used to be a silent volcano that local farmers even called a mountain "cerro arenal"
But then the story changed. On Monday, July 29, 1968 at 7:30 AM, the Arenal Volcano suddenly erupted. The eruptions continued unabated for several days, burying several kilometers of land  with rocks, lava and ash. When it was finally over, the eruptions had killed people, buried small villages, crops were spoiled, property was ruined, and livestock was killed. It was a difficult time for the people of the area.
After this big situation there was a study done and all  towns, hotels and trails were set at a safe distance from Arenal Volcano and the National Park was founded.
Between 1968 and 2010, the Arenal Volcano was extremely active – it spewed hot rocks, smoke, ash, and lava from its top almost every day. This continues activity made the area very atractive for tourists so while agriculture is important for the region, tourism has becom
e the main source of income of the area. Due to this a great investment was done at the area and in response a wide variety of activities, hotels, restaurants and services were developed.
Nowdays the volcano is a silent volcano again with little to non activity.

Arenal area is a Family Friendly destination with a wide array of activities for all ages.
Here are some examples:

River Float Tours
Chocolate Tour
Farm Tour

Water Parks and Hot Springs
Visit La Fortuna Waterfall
Wildlife Refuge

Guided walks on Trails
Hanging Bridges
Horseback Riding
Cultural Tour

White Water Rafting
Sky Board
Sky Trek - Canopy
Tubing or Sky River Drift

and many more....

Coming soon the hotel recommendations of the area. Follow us!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Puntarenas a great family spot

The province of Puntarenas is one of the biggest coast lines of Costa Rica and it also has the closest beaches to San Jose. The town of Puntarenas is located just 1 hour from San Jose.

Last week we visited this wonderful town which surprised us in many unexpected ways. For foreigners this town is normally not considered for their vacations. But we discovered that it can be a wonderful spot for get a ways, weekends and stops during journeys.

 Right on the strip we found Hotel Puerto Azul. This hotel has been on site for a long time. But it has a new owner who has invested a lot of love and money. The property is marvelously recovered. On site guests can be part of the standard rooms with one or two double beds, new a/c, flat screen tv with cable channels, private bathroom, hot water and balcony. Or if you are traveling with family like we do and recommend; the property offers condominium style rooms. From a one bedroom to 5 bedrooms, with fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living room, laundry machines, a/c, and great modern finishes. This building has an elevator which means is also accessible for older family members. 

The whole complex has 2 swimming pools, a tropical bar, gardens,
conference rooms, beach style volleyball court, darts, ping pong, beauty center, kids playground, and a marina. Hotel Puerto Azul is a safe property and the perfect combination of experiences for all ages.

At the Hotel you can just relax, enjoy a Churchill, play, visit the beach or the mangrove. (both are right next door)

The views from the condo tower are amazing. Puntarenas is well known for
the outstanding sunsets so don’t hesitate to enjoy one while on the area.

If you are wondering: What can I do from there? These are our family oriented tours we recommend:
  •  Private boat tour to an off the beaten path island to discover beaches (with private picnic)
  • Regular catamaran tours to Tortuga Island or San Lucas Island
  • Mangrove boat tour to see wildlife
  • Sport Fishing
  • Sunset walk on the boardwalk in town and enjoy a Churchill
  • And for those families with kids and teenagers all the activities offered near jaco which is only 50 minutes away;  for example canopy – atv – surf – carara national park – crocodile tours – guided walks

We have sent some nice suggestions to the hotel to improve some family services but in general they are ready for your visit.

When you have the opportunity visit this property and let us know all your thoughts, comments, updates… share the power of traveling as a family!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Trogon Lodge at San Gerardo Dota

Trogon Lodge is a small, magical and rustic lodge located in San Gerardo de Dota at an altitude of 7000ft above sea level. Which means you have to bring long pants, close hiking shoes, sweater, rain coat, and a nice warm pajama.

Here is where we can find an unspoiled spot in Costa Rica where we have the in-touched Cloud Forest. This amazing ecosystem is endangered all around the world. But at San Gerardo de Dota, Chirripo, La Amistad International Park, Los Quetzales Reserve and many other protected land of Costa Rica near the area protect  this amazing forest.

A cloud forest is a tropical rain forest in the clouds. It is a
highland forest characterized by nearly 100% humidity throughout the year. Clouds are constantly drifting through the valleys and treetops. The forest gathers water through the accumulation of water vapors on the floor and in the aerial plants. The foliage harbors a wide diversity of epiphytes. Tree trunks are almost always covered with mosses, bromeliads, ferns, lichens and other plants. Intact cloud forests play an extremely important role in the hydrology of certain regions of the planet; they capture, store, and filter water that feeds into local communities and large rivers hundreds of miles away.

In addition to this amazing water provider and filter its home to the famous Resplendent Quetzal considered as one of the most gorgeous birds in the new world and which inhabit San Gerardo year round.

This is why I can certainly agree and confirm that Trogon Lodge is located on a very special area of Costa Rica.

The Lodge features:
  • amazing gardens
  • a local and international cuisine restaurant 
  • trout ponds
  • is part of Los Santos Forest Reserve where you can spot 175 different species of birds including the Resplendent Quetzal 
  • the lodge has 3 different trails on the property to do guided walks
  • the Savegre River runs through the property of the hotel
  • Standard and Standard Superior Rooms. Each cabin offers heating, private bathroom and views of the forest or savegre river.
As optional activities on site you can fly as a monkey from tree to tree on the Canopy Tour on site which consists of 10 platforms or you can do a horseback riding experience with a local.

Its the perfect location for families with kids and teenagers who can do and understand the guided walks, learn about the amazing ecosystem, observe birds, enjoy the fishing experience, do the canopy and horseback riding tours.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Rio Perlas Spa, Resort

Last week we visited Rio Perlas Spa Resort, this is an amazing non touristy location. 

We recommend the following  
3 days / 2 nights Family Trip. 

Its the perfect combination of history, culture, relax, amusement and nature.

DAY #1
irazu volcano
Early morning transfer or drive to Irazu Volcano National Park. On the way you will enjoy gorgeous views of farms dedicated to agriculture.
Stop on the way at a local Soda for breakfast 
basilica in cartagoIrazu Volcano is still active, the last eruption was in 1963. The eruption decimated crops in the area but left the soil enriched for decades to come. The Irazu Volcano is the tallest volcano of Costa Rica 11,260ft.
After visiting this amazing natural beauty con continue to Cartago, the first capital city of Costa Rica. Visit La Basilica de Los Angeles, home of "la negrita" the countries saint patron.
Next stop the Hotel.

hotel rio perlas
family time At Rio Perlas you will have access the following services for families:
  • big rooms with 2 double beds and if you need more space there are connecting rooms
  • the master suite is perfect because it has 2 rooms, living room and a share bathroom
  • kids and adults love the hot spring pool
  • there is a small playground near the kids pool (right now it has cold water but they will change it to hot water soon.)

DAY #2
Breakfast included at the hotel
Pack a snack for your visit to Tapanti National Park which consists of 18 square miles of unspoiled cloud forest. It has several hiking trails, a few swimming holes, several picnic areas and an abundance of wildlife.
orosiAfter the walk head to Orosi Valley. Have lunch at local soda and then visit the historic church and the old monastery which is now a museum. Then head back to the hotel to enjoy the hot springs or a spa treatment. ujarras

Breakfast included at the hotel. Morning to rest at the hotel and delight yourself with the hotel's services.
Right before lunch transfer to Cachi a man-made lake created by the damming of Reventazon river. This area is well known due its beautiful lake and the rich nature that surrounds it.  We will then head to the famous Casona del Cafetal where a Costa Rican lunch, marvellous views and a coffee tour awaits.
After the hacienda experience continue to Ujarras. A lovely park with playgrounds, flowers, grounds to run and play and the unique ruins of Ujarras Church. The oldest church in Costa Rica which was built in 1580 during early colonial times. 

 Now is time to decide. You can head back to San Jose or head to another destination like:

  • Turrialba
  • San Gerardo de Dota
 Coming soon Trogon Lodge in San Gerardo de Dota.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How we recommend

Today I want to give you the standards we will use to categorize the services.

First I have created our Family Friendly logo. This symbol will be given to those suppliers, hotels, tours, destinations, restaurants... who have been verified to be part of this process. It also represents that they can be part of the power of family traveling together in Costa Rica.

Secondly we will use 4 images that represent the different stages of a growing child. This way when we recommend a property you will know if its a good location for your family.

Baby : 0 to 18 months
Toddler : 19 months to 4 years old
Kid : 5 years to 11 years old
Teenager : 12 to 18 years old

When the property is recommended for a certain stage we will keep that icon, if not it will not be visible.

And on the post I will give you all the highlights and recommendations for each specific case.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The power of Family

IL VIAGGIO TRAVEL is owned and managed by Zuñiga Sheehy family.

We are a local ground operator that specializes on the creation of tailor made packages all around the country.

Each service, supplier we recommend on our itineraries are meticulously researched and inspected. All of our site inspections of hotels, tours, restaurants and other services around Costa Rica are checked as a family.

Due to this we have become Costa Rica experts for Family Trips.

The main idea of this blog is to share with all of you this experience and become part of your amazing family adventures. Each week we will post ideas, locations, recommendations, tips...

Lets share together the power of Family!!!!