It is very well known that Costa Rica is famous for its rich nature! It seems like no matter wherever you turn, you’ll constantly discover amazing features such as waterfalls, rain forests, animals, beaches, volcanoes, and the list goes on! I was honestly overwhelmed with the amount of things I could see and do. Luckily, the amazing people over at Travel Excellence Costa Rica have made knowing exactly where to take visitors their profession.
They helped to arrange two days of tours throughout Costa Rica but both days beginning with a hotel pickup in San Jose. Instead of following some sort of pre-planned itinerary, they took my interests into account and formulated a plan that suited me like a glove. It was even adjusted along the way as I discovered what exactly I wanted. I’ve never had such a personalized tour, it was truly something special!
The first day started with a prompt hotel pick up at 7am. We were headed to a famous volcano! Along the way I had a lovely chat with my first tour guide, Oscar. He was sure to bring me to a very local coffee shop on the way. Not long after we were up to the Poas Volcano where we were briefed on safety. This was the first time I had ever seen a volcano crater and it was truly something special! Smells like rotten eggs.
We moved on to viewing some waterfalls that were not too far away. These were enveloped in some of the most luscious landscapes I have ever seen in my life. It was truly a delight to see that Costa Rica takes so much pride in conserving their beautiful nature. I got my drone up and flew around to capture several waterfalls in the area.
It was almost lunch time and luckily next up was a stop at Corso Farms. Corso Farms specializes in raising cattle, strawberries, and blueberries. The farm has an incredible restaurant where you can taste foods made directly from the land. First we toured their fruit plantation and then stopped in their restaurant for lunch, where my mind was blown! Out of my extended trip in Costa Rica, this turned out to be my favorite meal of the whole visit! Chef Arturo Mora put together a small tasting menu which simply was perfect. It was comprised of the farms strawberries, cheese, and beef. The way that chef Arturo balanced the flavors was just amazing and made me want to keep eating. He could easily work in any of the top restaurants in the world! The farm’s beef was also much more tender than I ever would’ve imagined. We finish with a cup of coffee and were on our way back to San Jose.
I had a chance to rest for a bit and then knowing that I loved gastronomy, Travel Excellence organized a fine dining meal at Restaurante Silvestre. Restaurante Silvestre focuses on providing modern Costa Rican food in a beautiful space. The interior of the restaurant was just magnificent and I got to meet the owner and chef. Some of the dishes I enjoyed were the ceviche and the incredible dessert!
Day one was over and it was time to get started again after resting for a day or two. The second day started at 8am and I’m happy that I didn’t eat breakfast because we got to stop for local Costa Rican breakfast at a lovely restaurant. Not long after and it was time to see the first beach but not before spotting a few Scarlet Macaws along the roadside and a crocodile! The birds looked like they came right out of National Geographic!
The volcanic sand beach was the one that struck me the most. The dark black sand was something truly unique that I had never seen before in my life.
Just near the beach we stopped at El Patio Restaurant and Bar. This was a fairly modern yet casual restaurant. I went for the red snapper that was super freshly caught, crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. This meal was absolutely incredible! Nothing like fresh fish.
I really appreciate the fact that Travel Excellence focuses on conservation of the beautiful nature we have on our planet. In keeping with this theme, they even provide biodegradable water bottles during their tours. It’s not all about the money folks!
The evening was coming to a close but not before we made a quick stop at Villa Caletas Hotel which is located on top of a cliff overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Nicoya. We toured a variety of the rooms and then stopped by for a drink. The views from this property were stupendous! Can’t wait to come back and stay here.
I was very impressed with Travel Excellence Costa Rica from the beginning to end. I started with not knowing much about the country and finished with feeling like I know a lot thanks to their lovely tour guides. They did a lovely job of explaining more than just the surface level of Costa Rican history and culture and gave me a much better impression of the inner workings of the country. I am very thankful for such lovely experience! Without a doubt, I highly recommend Travel Excellence Costa Rica!
San Jose, Costa Rica