Costa Rica – Day 2

Apple Vacations offers escorted vacations to Costa Rica!  The 7 night escorted “Discover Costa Rica”  tour is one of many specialized tours created for you!  You will fly into San Jose and stay 2 nights, transfer to the Arenal area and stay for 2 nights and then transfer to the Guanacaste area to relax on the beach for the final 3 nights.  This tour includes specially selected excursions throughout!  Travelers have the option of choosing the Deluxe or Luxury version of hotels.

Arenal Nayara Hotel Boutique / 5 Apple – This resort is a component of the Deluxe version of the “Discover Costa Rica” tour.  The resort boasts beautiful views of the Arenal Volcano and the surrounding countryside.  This little jewel features 44 suites and rooms nestled in a tropical jungle paradise.  Apple clients will receive the Deluxe Casita Suite that features an indoor/outdoor shower, jacuzzi, hammock on the balcony,  iPod docking station, and DVD player with free movies.  Heated pool with pool bar and pool cocktail tables.  One open air restaurant and bar, free WIFI, free International calling and a mountainside spa!  There’s even a state-of-the art Wine Bar available for guests to sample the 32 different varieties of wines from around the world!  I sampled the 2004 Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay – Tasty!  Lots of walking up and down hills.  Wonderful property!

Arenal Kioro Hotel / 6 Apple – This resort is part of the Luxury option for the “Discover Costa Rica” tour.  By far the VERY BEST views of the Arenal Volcano!  This 53 room resort is built right at the base of the mountain.  Some of the largest rooms I’ve seen.  Resort features 1 bar and 2 restaurants, free WIFI, 1 pool with Kiddie pool and fantastic tiered thermal jacuzzis with magma heated mineral water.  Nice spa that features products made on site from the surrounding gardens.  There’s even a helipad!  Again, lots of walking up and down hills.  Beautiful!!!

Allegro Papagayo / 4 Apple – Located on a beautiful black sand beach, this resort features 2 bars, 3 restaurants and 300 rooms.  Stunning views of the Gulf of Papagayo!  Great pool and pool bar.  Guests can climb the “Watchtower” and have a drink while watching the sunset.  Rooms are standard but clean.  Showers only.  Kids club for ages 4-12.  $2 per day charge for the safe and $25 charge for WIFI for duration of stay (regardless of length).  Restaurant reservations are required.  Resort is built on the side of the mountain – LOTS of walking!  Great for anyone looking for a value.

Villas Sol Hotel and Beach Resort / 4 Apple – Too, cool!  This resort is built on the side of yet another mountain with phenomenal views!!!  Every room is Ocean View.  2 restaurants and 2 bars, 2 pools and 1 jacuzzi.  Another beautiful black sand beach!  Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 6am – 1am.  I rode one of these to the highest room – I felt like I was on a roller coaster with all the dips and climbs!!!  WIFI is available for an additional fee.  A very unique product!  I loved it!

Occidental Grand Papagayo / 5 Apple – LOVELY!  I arrived in the lobby and immediately felt the serene Zen-like atmosphere wash over me.  The resort features 169 rooms, 3 bars, 3 restaurants, an open air snack bar and a very secluded tan sand beach.  Buffet restaurant offers multiple themed evenings (Mexican, Asian, Italian, etc).  Free WIFI.  Lobby Bar is air conditioned as is the intimate Disco.  Apple guests receive private check in.  Beach and pool wait service is included.  Nice spa!  Upgrade to the Royal Club for premium liquor, room service and more!  This resort is one of my favorites in Costa Rica!

Host Hotel – Night 2:

Hilton Papagayo Resort Costa Rica / 5+ Apple – Lobby was contemporary and comfortable.  I felt immediately right at home!  Beach is salt and pepper sand, secluded, calmer water and offers great shade!  Resort has tiered “Beach Garden” that gives guests a more personalized area to soak up the sun.  Resort offers cooking and dance classes, walking trails (better be in shape to do these!) and beach/pool wait service.  Features 202 bungalow-style and panoramic-view rooms.  Big spa!  Nice adults only pool!  And, only 20 minutes from the airport!  No restrictions on a la carte dining but you will need reservations.  You will fall in love with this resort!

Fact:

The National Liquor of Costa Rica is Guaro which is distilled from Sugar Cane.  It’s clear and sweet.  You can use it in place of almost any other liquor in mixed drinks – Whiskey Sour becomes Guaro Sour (YUM!), Rum and Coke becomes Guaro and Coke, etc!  I tried a Guaro Mojito – You’ll never go back to the regular version!

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