Costa Rica – Day 1

lirGreetings from Costa Rica! Or, as they say here – “Pura Vida” – Pure Life!

Getting Here:
Flew from Philadelphia direct to San Jose via Atlanta on Delta. Was met outside of Baggage Claim by a Swiss Tours representative who “tagged me” with a Swiss Tours badge. Customs/Immigrations was super fast and very easy in this very modern and air-conditioned airport. My air-conditioned transfer bus was waiting as soon as I stepped outside.

The Transfer:
Got the opportunity to see a bit of San Jose. This capital city offers everything you’d expect of a big city – many cultural attractions, lots of dining and great nightlife! The transfer to the Arenal area (about 3 hours) went by quickly as my guide gave me some great background information on Costa Rica while we drove through stunning vistas of misty mountains, valleys, sugar cane and coffee plantations. I have arrived in the “Green” season – end of April through the beginning of December. The weather is cooler and wetter. Stopped at a local place on the way called El Jardin (about an hour into the transfer) for a great lunch with the locals!

Host Hotel – Night 1:
Hotel Magic Mountain – No, this has nothing to do with Disney! HA! The “magic mountain” referenced in the name is the beautiful Arenal Volcano! This EP boutique resort (36 rooms and 6 junior suites) offers stunning views of the Arenal Volcano from EVERY room! The resort offers a pool with heated pool bar, two jacuzzis, a surprisingly roomy spa with 4 treatment rooms and convention facilities. The resort features 1 restaurant (breakfast is included) and a sports bar – both offering the same stunning views of the volcano! 3 floors with scenic elevators. This hotel is offered in Apple Vacations’ “3 Night – The Mighty Arenal Volcano”  escorted tour.

Excursion and Dinner – Night 1:
The Tabacon Hot Springs were rejuvenating! Built at the base of the Arenal Volcano in the lush tropical jungle, the Hot Springs are a collection of many springs, waterfalls and pools that collect the magma heated water from the volcano – very hot at the top of the string of pools and cooler as the water flows down the hill to the lower pools. The facility offers a pool bar, restaurant, lockers and even bathing suit dryers! Afterward, I enjoyed dinner at the gourmet buffet offered in the restaurant overlooking the jungle and pools. Food was superb! This excursion with dinner is also a piece of Apple’s “3 Night – The Mighty Arenal Volcano” escorted tour.

Did you know that almost 100% of the power used in Costa Rica is generated by Hydro, Geothermal or Wind? Costa Rica’s goal is to become one of the few countries that are carbon neutral! Nice!

So, ends Day 1! More updates to follow!

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