Costa Rica News 6-14-16 posted by on June 14, 2016
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Daily update⋅June 14, 2016
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CR News Headlines posted by on June 26, 2014

Here are today’s headlines from Costa Rica:


President Solís says proposals to lower record-high fuel prices are not viable

The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) sent President Luis Guillermo Solís two proposals for lowering record-high fuel prices: 1) Eliminate fuel taxes and 2) Reduce spending at the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE).

However Solís believes that the tax elimination proposal “is not a valid option considering the harsh fiscal situation the country is facing.”  Continue Reading


Supreme Court asks Solís to clarify Cabinet post for Lutheran bishop

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, or Sala IV, on Wednesday admitted a citizen’s complaint over whether the appointment of Lutheran bishop Melvin Jiménez Marín as presidency minister is constitutional. Justices gave President Luis Guillermo Solís 15 days to formally respond.

Attorney Álvaro Orozco Carballo filed the appeal on June 11. According to Orozco, Jiménez’s appointment violates Article 142 of Costa Rica’s Constitution. Paragraph 3 of that article states that all government ministers must be “members of the secular state,” which the complaint interprets to mean that government ministers cannot be active members of religious organizations. Continue Reading


Costa Rica leads Central America in Cup of Excellence coffee auction


The breakaway favorite of Costa Rica’s 2014 Cup of Excellence competition took home the highest bid in the Alliance for Coffee Excellence international auction Tuesday.

Luis Enrique Navarro of Monte Copey in Dota, Tarrazú, winner of the Cup of Excellence in May, received $41.20/lb. for his lot. Maruyama Coffee, Sugi Coffee Roasting, Ponpon Coffee, and Orsir Coffee of Taiwan purchased 1,518 lbs. of Navarro’s coffee for $62,541.60.  Continue Reading

In pictures: Passenger jet converted into luxury hotel in Costa Rica rainforest


Revealed: How governments can take control of smartphones

Legal malware’ produced by the Italian firm Hacking Team can take total control of your mobile phone. That’s according to Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab and University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab(which also obtained a user manual).

Operating since 2001, the Milan-based Hacking Team employs over 50 people and offers clients the ability to “take control of your targets and monitor them regardless of encryption and mobility,” while “keeping an eye on all your targets and manage them remotely, all from a single screen.”  Continue Reading







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How To Enjoy Costa Rica with your Four Legged Canine Companion posted by on July 7, 2012
Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Blog

dog beach costa ricaTo have a dog is a privilege. A privilege that can greatly improves one’s quality of life. Your dog can be the reason to drag yourself out of bed in the morning and get outside. He or she can be the reason to hurry home after work or after you run your errands. After all, you have someone waiting for you, someone depending on you. There really is nothing like having a friend in your life who loves you unconditionally. A partner in crime so to speak, with whom you can share your daily life experiences without comment or complaint.

If you are planning on moving your four legged friend to Costa Rica or if you have been thinking about purchasing your first dog while living in Costa Rica, there are some things that you should be aware of.

First of all, shipping your animal from countries like the United States or Canada is a fairly painless process. If you follow all of the necessary procedures regarding notarized vet checks and paperwork required to immigrate your dog, then there is zero quarantine time upon arrival in Costa Rica. If you fail to comply with the requirements, there is still normally only a 48 hour quarantine period. However, costs may be incurred for expedited paper work, medical checks to pass your dog through customs. You also may be charged for your furry friend’s food and lodging during this period.

If you have been kicking around the idea of buying your first dog in Costa Rica, I highly recommend adopting your future companion. Not very many people spay or neuter their dogs in Central America. The result this brings is a saddening over-abundance of homeless (abandoned) and needy dogs. Organized Humane Societies are little to non-existent in Costa Rica. Most animal rescue initiatives are run by small non-profit organizations or just private citizens who have a good heart and a little extra space and resource. Remember, for every dog adopted, a new dog can be taken in off of the streets to be groomed for adoption into that loving home that every innocent dog deserves (but so few get).

Here are a few sites where you can find information on pet adoption:

Once you have your new friend at home with you, it is very important to get to the vet right away (don’t worry, veterinary assistance is very affordable in CR). Make sure that you double up on Flea and Tick medications, like Frontline and Advantage or an injectable with a Flea and Tick collar. Ehrlichia, a Tick born disease, is the number one killer (illness wise) of dogs in Costa Rica. A vet told me once that it usually takes around 48 hours for Ticks to transmit diseases like Lyme and Ehrlichia. So, give your dog a nightly once over to remove any of the pesky bugs. Even tripled up on Tick meds, my dog still picked up Ticks (especially in the rainy season), so this is very important.

If you have a puppy that is too young to handle the pesticides in Flea and Tick medications, consult your vet about a puppy Flea and Tick collar and check the puppy often. Removing Ticks may seem gross at first, but in Costa Rica it is a responsibility that you have to keep a dog healthy. Plus, grooming your new friend and spending time inspecting his or her body in this way will create a unique bonding experience.

Staying current on all internal parasite medication is also important. Many different types of intestinal Parasites as well as Heart Worms are common place in sub-tropic and tropical environments. Parasite pills only cost around $4 per month and it is $4 very well spent. Compared to North America, vet care for is extremely cheap in Costa Rica. If there is ever an emergency, don’t hesitate to take your dog in to the local vet. Surgeries and treatments that would cost thousands of dollars in the United States only cost a few hundred here in Costa Rica.

If you have a pure bred dog (or one that just looks pure bred or pretty), avoid leaving it where someone access it. If you leave your beautiful dog on a lead outside when you’re not home, there is a high probability that it will be stolen. This probability increases exponentially if your dog is female. People in Costa Rica see dollar signs on their possible ability to capitalize on selling pure bred pups. It is very sad thing; stolen dogs used for breeding are bred over and over until they are used up and then discarded.

Along for the lack of respect for other peoples’ property or the fact that to many people, a dog is a member of the family, culturally, many Costa Ricans have been raised without much respect for the value of an animal’s life. I have seen people intentionally run dogs down with their cars and laugh about it. In Manuel Antonio, I saw a taxi driver aim for and run over baby monkeys who were on the side of the road. My own dog was recently run over in my small neighborhood. The person did not even stop.

With this said, never let your dog venture out to go to the bathroom on their own. Especially if there is a road near-by. Even if your dog knows not to go out into the road, someone will eventually attempt to clip your dog when it nears the shoulder. In addition to cars, many people let their large breed dogs roam free. If your dog hasn’t been integrated into the neighborhood packs, then there is a likelihood that your friend will end up in out-numbered fights.

You and your dog can live a happy and exiting life in Costa Rica if you keep these few simple things in mind. This is a beautiful country and (in my opinion) it’s made even better with a four legged companion to explore it with.


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Costa Rica a divine spot for even the mildly adventurous posted by on May 23, 2012

From Pavones, one of the longest left-hand waves in the world, to Witches Rock, a 12-foot-high, 300-yard-long wave featured in “Endless Summer,” Costa Rica has some of the best surfing known to humanity.

And if none of that registers with you, don’t worry.

Because while this surf mecca attracts the world’s best, it’s also great for beginners. My travel partner had never picked up a surfboard in her life. By the end of the vacation, she was ripping it up. So, if you’re curious about surfing and looking for a vacation that’s part adventure, part exercise and all relaxation, buy a round-trip ticket to San Jose, rent a four-wheel drive with a roof rack and tour Costa Rica’s west coast.

My main advice is travel during the dry season (mid-December to mid-May) and don’t worry about trying to find the “best” spot. There’s plenty of beautiful beach and surf to go around. Here’s a quick hit on my favorite locales.


Montezuma is not a great surf destination, but it’s a great place to start your adventure.

A five-hour drive from San Jose, Montezuma will wash off the stress and dust of travel and settle you into the beach mentality that Costa Rica locals call pura vida. Home to some of the most exotic beachside restaurants, bars and night life in Costa Rica, this artist-commune hamlet is known for its healing arts and yoga communities, eco-tourism lodges and canopy tours. It also hosts the annual Costa Rica International Film Festival, which attracts top filmmakers and talent from around the globe.

Hotels range from $10 a night for a dorm bed and a shared bathroom at the clean and eclectic Hotel Lucy, right on the waterfront, to $300 a night at Ylang Ylang, which offers secluded romantic private beachside bungalows, a pool, a spa and daily yoga classes. Cheap eats are found at the Bakery Cafe (one of our favorite breakfast spots), or enjoy an upscale romantic meal at Playa De Los Artistas right on the beach. The cuisine is Mediterranean, and the ingredients are always fresh.

Mal Pais

Many towns in Costa Rica are known for surfing, but Mal Pais is one of the few that is quintessentially surf. It’s also a favorite spot for celebrities. Forbes Magazine calls this place one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. But in spite of the stardust, Mal Pais is a laid-back, noncommercial getaway that delivers great surf.

If you’ve never been on a surfboard, take a lesson (all the schools in Mal Pais are good). Once you get the basics, rent the longest board you can find — there are surf board rental shops all over town — and ask the locals to send you to a beach with waves of about 2 to 3 feet.

Lodging prices in Mal Pais are the same as you’ll find in most beach towns in Costa Rica. If you want to go cheap, you can find cheap. If you want to spend money, you can do that too. But don’t rely too heavily on your guidebook. Ask the locals if they can recommend a good spot; it’s all part of the adventure. On our trip, we didn’t book anything in advance, nor did we stay in hotels. We just asked locals if they knew a good place to stay, and we consistently found fantastic private bungalows that were affordable and almost always on the beach.


In contrast to the earthy surfing mecca of Mal Pais and the hippy eccentricity of Montezuma, Nosara is the oldest expatriate community in Costa Rica. And in spite of its dirt roads and rustic feel, it attracts visitors from all walks of life.

And it’s no wonder, because this spot has a lot to offer. The Nosara Yoga Institute is top-notch professional career yoga training center known throughout the world. Similarly, the Ostional Wildlife Refuge is famous for its olive ridley and leatherback sea turtle populations. And, of course, there is fantastic surf plus great surf rental shops and surf schools. In fact, many consider Nosara to be one of the best places to learn. (The smaller waves are easier to ride than at other beaches.)

Like most Costa Rican beach spots, there are numerous restaurants and hotels ranging from cheap to expensive. We met a British surfer along a road who found us a two-bedroom house with a kitchen and pool overlooking the rain forest for $30 a night. It even had a grill, which we used to cook up freshly caught lobster tails we picked up from a fisherman on the drive up.

Cabo Matapalo

For us, the most magical beach town in Costa Rica is Cabo Matapalo. Near the Panama border at the outermost point of the Osa peninsula, it’s a remote paradise far off the tourist path. If you want to see wildlife, this is the place. Howler monkeys shook the jungle with their booming calls, while flocks of red blue, green and yellow macaws sailed from tree to tree like crows, and spider monkeys regularly watched us doing dishes. Of course, we could have skipped the jumbo crayfish that occasionally nipped at our toes in the stunning crystal blue waterfalls in Corcovado National Park.

Cabo Matapalo is the only place where we suggest you book a place in advance. There are no hotels, and most of the bungalows were full when we arrived. In fact we were scrambling as the sun was setting, wondering if we were going to have to sleep in the car. That being said, we did manage to find one of the most beautiful places to stay on our whole trip, though I think pretty much anywhere you stay in Cabo Matapalo is awesome. Prices are a little higher here, starting at about $100 a night, but it is well worth it.

There are few sure things in life, but Costa Rica is one of them. I’ve been there many times and plan to keep going. This is not an expensive trip; and for what it delivers, it’s a winner. And please don’t sign up for one of those all-inclusive safe resort packages: You’ll never experience the glory. Go wild, rent a car, rent a board, paddle out, learn as you go and discover the pura vida that is Costa Rica. Who knows, it might change your life. It changes mine every time I go.

If you go

Montezuma: low end, Hotel Lucy (phone 011-506-2642- 0273,; high end, Ylang Ylang (888-795-8494,

Eating: low end, Bakery Cafe (011-506-2642-0458); high end, Playa De Los Artistas (011-506-2642-0920,

Mal Pais: low end, Mal Pais Surf Camp and Resort (011-506-2640-0061,; high end, Beija Flor (011-506-2640-1007,;

Eating: low end, Umi Sushi (011-506-2640-0968); high end, Mary’s Restaurant (011-506-2640-0153,

Nosara: low end, Rancho Congo (011-506-2682-0078,; high end, Harmony Hotel (011-506-2682-4114,

Eating: low end, Beach Dog Cafe (; high end, La Luna (011-506-2682-0112,

Cabo Matapalo: all high end, Tucan Terra (; Lapa Rios (

Eating: Buena Esperanza Bar (

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Weekend Getaways: 72 Hours in Tamarindo, Costa Rica posted by on May 21, 2012

onging for surf, sun, and sand? Hop on a flight to Liberia, a western Costa Rican hub that’s an hour-and-a-half from the cute beach town of Tamarindo. Here, you can join bikinied surfers in catching breaks, or stroll with the combers ambling along the two-mile Pacific strand.

You’ll stay a ten-minute walk from town at Cala Luna, a 41-room hotel with myriad design schemes (thatching! seashell-fringed lamps!) across the street from the beach (doubles from $295). Or the also-beachfront Hotel Capitán Suizo, which is right on the water (doubles from $165).

On your first morning, arrange an excursion with Arenas Adventures. You might spend a few hours revving an ATV through the thick of the rain forest—spotting howler monkeys, eagles, tropical birds, and iguanas—before emerging onto one of southern Tamarindo’s isolated beaches. You could also take surfing or wake-boarding lessons, rent a kayak, or traverse the rain forest canopy via zip-line (one-hour ATV tours from $39 per person). Recover back at the hotel by lying on the golden sand, then head into town for a tamarind margarita and sunset-viewing at Nogui’s Sunset Café, Tamarindo’s oldest restaurant—established 1974 (Tamarindo Circle; 506-2653-0029; appetizers from $3). Dinner is grilled lobster and salade niçoise at Nibbana Beach Bar & Restaurant, where the tables are in the sand, tucked between palm trees (entrées from $15).

On your last morning, get up early to snag a beach chair at Le Beach Club, where you can sunbathe and sip mimosas before brunching on buttery shrimp or whole red snapper at Copacabana (Tamarindo Blvd.; 506-2653-0872; entrées from $12). And hey, order a caipirinha or two—it might make your departure seem a little less dire.

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Costa Rica airfare sales posted by on May 9, 2012

Costa Rica is an adventure playground with laid back beaches, rainforests, active volcanos to colonial cities and cultural sites. The country is about the size of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined — with the Caribbean Sea on the east coast and the North Pacific Ocean on the west.

Most tours include an overnight in Tortuguero National Park to spot alligators, monkeys, herons, egrets and more.

Another highlight is to Arenal Volcano and an overnight to witness nightime lava action from your bed (lodging suggestions at Visit Poás Volcano National Park for its magnificent waterfalls and the active Poás Volcano — famous for its bright green crater lake.

Activities are endless with opportunities for snorkeling, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, zip lining, river rafting, kayaking to hot mineral pools and posh spas.

Delta Air Lines is currently running airfare deals to both the national capital city of San Jose and to Liberia — the capital city of the northwest Guanacaste province.

Round-trip rates to San Jose are $541.43 and $609.49 to Liberia.

Both offers require a 28-day or more advance notice of travel. Travel on Fridays-Sundays are $10 more, each way. There are no blackout dates to avoid and these rates are valid on trips finished on or before April 3, 2013.

There is one big difference in the airfare rules. Travel to San Jose requires a minimum stay of any two nights. The sale rate to Liberia requires a 7-night minimum stay.

Delta serves both destinations with daily nonstop flights from Atlanta.

Both of these sale rates carry no ticket-by date. Since only a limited supply of seats is available, act quickly to make your purchase.

I recommend starting the search for available seats at vs. calling an airline directly. You can also search for the sale at travel Web sites such as Expedia or Travelocity, etc.

Costa Rica can be explored through independant tour packages or with escorted or guided tours. Some of the most comprehensive tour companies for Costa Rican vacations include Caravan, G Adventures, Gate 1, General Tours, Globus, Tauck and Trafalgar. Land packages range from $100 to $400 per day, per person.

Check out Viator ( for pricing on day tours and other sightseeing options.

The official Costa Rica Tourism website ( is an ideal spot to begin general trip planning. The site also offers links to Costa Rica vacation specialists in the greater Atlanta area.

Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.

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Photo of the day: Costa Rica posted by on May 9, 2012

Today’s pic comes from Kirsten F. from Washington, D.C.:

“I’m in Costa Rica having surgery!” she says. “I came here because I couldn’t afford medical care in the U.S., and am I glad I did. This is a shot of my hospital. It’s an unbelievably beautiful paradise and that beauty translates to faster, stress-free healing to boot. One of my friends commented that it was the first time he’d been jealous of not having adequate medical care!”

This photo was submitted by Kirsten F.

Do you have a pic you’d like to share?

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Ten Tips To Face Record Gasoline Prices In Costa Rica posted by on May 7, 2012

Ten Tips To Face Record Gasoline Prices In Costa Rica

1. Keep the tires properly inflated. All four times should be the same pressure.

2. Use recommended lubricants.

3. Turn off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a few minutes. Restarting the vehicles uses less fuel that it sitting idling for long periods of time.

4. When driving keep a constant speed. Accelerating and decelerating adds to fuel consumption and leads to added cost.

5. Avoid overloading the vehicle, either of people or goods. Running the vehicle beyond the make and model’s capacity, stresses the engine and consumes more fuel.

6. Turn off your air conditioning. This tip might be somewhat impractical in a hot climate like Costa Rica. However, the air conditioning compressor loads the motor mote and will reduce fuel economy.

7. Drive slower. Yeah right, you say. Obviously it is one thing that is difficult to do. But, it is a proven fct that fast driving increases drag and thus increases fuel consumption.

8. A tip recommended only for experienced drivers is drafting. Obviously, it requires a bit of skill and it’s not exactly recommended, since you should pay attention to the road. However it is probably one of the best “secret” fuel saving tips. This technique is frequently used by race car drivers to gain speed and truck convoys to save fuel. Every car has a certain amount of drag (or wind resistance). This drag, the rolling resistance of your tires and the friction in your engine are the three main causes of reduced efficiency. A car moving through the air causes the air to split around the car and turbulence behind the car. If you drive your car into another cars slipstream, both cars will save fuel (less turbulence). The following car saves the most gasoline.

9. Close your windows. Believe it or not, but opening your windows will increase the turbulences and eventually cost you fuel.

10. Drive less.

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Leaves & Lizards Adds Equestrian Journeys To Its Costa Rica Horseback Riding Vacations posted by on May 2, 2012

You can practically see the love for the horses at Leaves & Lizards Cost Rica resort. Debbie is an expat from the United States who made her and her husband’s dream come by developing one of the most wonderful Costa Rica resorts in the Arenal La Fortuna area. Leaves & Lizards now offers multi day and night horseback riding vacations.

Leaves & Lizards has been rated as one of the best choices for a horseback riding vacation in Costa Rica. The love for the horses is visible at the Costa Rica resort and Debbie an expat from the United States ensures that everyone who visits discovers a new depth of the bond that can be felt between the horse and rider. She will will help you choose just the right horse or as Debbie believes “maybe your horse will choose you. In Spanish it is called `Vinculo'; it is an unexplainable bond between two souls”.

The Costa Rican horses, Costarricense de Paso also known as Criollo, are a combination of several Spanish horses (Barb, Andulusian, Arab) and the Peruvian Stepping Horse. This magical combination has created horses with a smooth, comfortable gait. The spirit of the Costa Rican horses will touch your soul. They are fearless, sure footed, hardworking and extremely versatile. The horses at Leaves and Lizards are cared for and trained using natural horsemanship techniques based on the 7 games of Pat Parelli. The range of horses that guest can choose range from the highly spirited Criolla to low key Quarter Horses and anywhere in between. The riding style is Western.

With the addition of multi night horsback riding journeys anyone interested in an adventure vacation Costa Rica experience will not go home disappointed. The multi night horseback riding Costa Rica treks range between 4 – 6 nights. Each trek takes features cantering across rolling hills, through rainforests, fording clear rivers, and trotting down isolated country roads through sleepy villages. Views from the hilltops are breathtaking. The Arenal Volcano dominates the vista, look the other way; you’ll see 3 more volcanoes in the distance and across the Northern plains Lake Nicaragua shimmers on the horizon. One will be sure to spot all sorts of creatures, including curious monkeys (without wings), happy sloths, dozens of species of flamboyant tropical birds, poison dart frogs and maybe even an ocelot or other wild cat. The guides will teach the group about the environment and how the flow of energy works in the complex circle of life in the rainforest.

The horseback riding trek review has been provided by the White Collar Vagabond who has recently featured Leaves and Lizards in their expat life interview series focusing on expatriates in Costa Rica. The interview of expat Debbie and owner of Leaves and Lizards can be seen on

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Taking Advantage of Costa Rica Travel Deals During the Green Season posted by on April 28, 2012

People looking to take advantage of Costa Rica travel deals can find significant discounts during the green season.

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Costa Rica Travel Agent
Quote startHead south of the border – really far south – for the best dealsQuote end

Denver, Co (PRWEB) April 28, 2012

People looking to take advantage of Costa Rica travel deals can find significant discounts during the green season. The term “green season” was originally developed because it was considered more appealing to potential clients than the term “off-season” which usually led to them to think about poor weather conditions.

Costa Rica’s green season is from May to December for most regions, with the most precipitation occurring during the months of September and October. However, the months of July and August are the driest months of the green season making it ideal to achieve great value vacations.

Savvy travelers have been taking advantage of Costa Ricas green season during the months of July and August for years. A majority of hotel rates are discounted between thirty and fifty percent, the large crowds of tourists have disappeared, and sunny days at the beach are still very much the norm.

Yes the rainforest mountain slopes may be getting soaked but why should that prevent travelers from taking advantage of the huge savings on travel deals to gorgeous beach locations? If it does rain along the coast it usually starts in the afternoons and then stops by nightfall.

Emily Glazer (writer for The Wall Street Journal Travel section) recently wrote an article stating “head south of the border – really far south – for the best deals. Many countries in Central America and South America are experiencing a tourist boom for eco-travel in particular – thanks to a slew of new hotels and cheap package deals. And your dollar will go a lot further than in the U.S. and Europe.”

Travelers can take advantage of great travel deal packages like the Tamarindo Beach Escape. The package includes a four-night stay in the luxurious four-star hotel Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Resort, a welcome bottle of wine, meet and greet at the airport and a 4-day SUV car rental. During high season the package starts at $1378 for 2. People who purchase this package for travel in July and August save 30%. The package rate drops to under $1,000 for 2 based on double occupancy.

Casa Conde Del Mar is located to the north of Tamarindo and on average gets the lowest precipitation in all of Costa Rica. Even though the green season really doesn’t affect this region travelers can still take advantage of travel deals such as the Four-Night Guanacaste Beach Package for Two. The package includes four-nights at the Hotel Casa Conde del Ma (4-star hotel), a 4 day SUV rental, airport meet and greet and a welcome bottle of wine. The retail package price during high season starts at $1378 for 2 but for travelers heading south in July or August can save 30% and purchase the same package for under $1000.

Not all travelers are looking for a beach vacation. Visitors who want to explore some of Costa Ricas most famous volcanoes are in luck. The regional green season for the Arenal Volcano and Northern-Lowlands area is opposite to the Coast. This area offers the best weather during the green season.

Just because the Arenal Volcano regions green season doesn’t start until December, doesn’t mean travelers still can’t find Costa Rica travel deals offering substantial discounts.

The Three-Night Volcanic Spa Package for 2 is a perfect example. This package includes an airport meet and greet, private transfers, 3 nights at the Arenal Kioro (volcano view suite with hydro massage tub in room), welcome drink, Titoku Hot Springs, volcanic mud mini facial for her and a rainforest zipline tour for two. During the high season the package rate starts at $1,754.50. People who purchase this package for travel in July and August save 30%. The package rate is around $1,250 for two people.

Whether an individual wants to book their own trip or choose to alleviate the hassle and book their vacation through a travel agency one fact is clear, travelers can save a lot of money traveling during the green season without being overly affected by the amount of rainfall in the months of July and August.

If you have questions about any of the Costa Rica travel deals found in this press release or for more information please contact Monica McIntyre at 1.888.340.4943 or by e-mail at: customerservice(at)latinexplore(dot)com.

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