Your Complete Guide to Paradise
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 www.arenal.net/hotel). 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 Kayak.com 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 (ww.viator.com/Costa-Rica/d747-ttd) for pricing on day tours and other sightseeing options.
The official Costa Rica Tourism website (www.visitcostarica.com) 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.by