Costa Rican Historical Tours: San Jose

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When you plan your Costa Rica vacation, consider heading to San Jose for their historical tours. There you can learn about Costa Rican history and explore many of the historical buildings. Several places for you not to miss are listed below.

 

  1. Our Lady of Sion. The chapel itself is located at Central and 1st Ave. It was built in the years between 1883 and 1887. It was initially a girls’ school and a convent. Today it is one of the older buildings in the city. It functioned as Sion High School through the 1960s, and it now houses part of San Jose’s Legislative Assembly.
  2. The Blue Castle. A well-known politician named Maximo Fernandez built this home in 1908. From 1914 to 1923, the home housed the president of Costa Rica. Several presidents stayed there, including Julio Acosta Garcia, Alfredo Gonzalez Flores, Francisco Aguilar Barquero, and Federico Tinoco Granados. In 1989, the Blue Castle became home to the Legislative Directory.
  3. Costa Rican National Museum. Initially a home built in the 1870s, the Costa Rican National Museum went through several owners before the government bought it in 1914. From 1928 to 1932, the building housed military barracks. Today it is the museum, which houses a pre-Colombian history wing and a wing containing the history of Costa Rica.
  4. Plaza de la Cultura and Banco Central Museum. Built in 1976, the museum was a center for literary, scientific and artistic activities. It was finished and opened in 1982. It houses many exhibitions and two museums within the large building.

For accommodations and travel information in Costa Rica, contact us at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.


 

Costa Rica Weather Outlook: April-May

Costa Rica Weather

April is one of the best times to travel to Costa Rica. This is during the peak of the high, dry season, just before the wet, low season is getting started. This means a majority of your trip will be rain free. However, do expect some minor showers in the evening that only last a few minutes.
 
Instead of needing umbrellas, you will need lots of sunscreen. The days last almost 12 hours and give out lasting sunlight for that whole time. Areas such as the beaches have little shade, so make use of an umbrella to cover up when the sun is just too much.
 
Temperatures hold steady in the high 80s and low 90s all month near the coast. If you visit the higher elevations and the forests, the temperature is about 10 to 15 degrees cooler on average. This is great weather for all the activities you may have planned. Do expect that most attractions are crowded during the month of April.
 
During May, the whole country transitions into the rainy season. However, the first few weeks of May will be very dry. In late May, the seasonal rains come. This means that your last chance to book travel before the rainy season is the second to third week of May. If you are planning a trip last minute, make sure to check the weather predictions. Do realize, though, that the weather could turn at any minute.
 

Horseback Riding in Costa Rica

Horseback Riding in Costa Rica

After booking a room at one of the many hotels in Costa Rica, consider booking a horseback riding tour. You’ll find horseback riding tours available in most areas of the country, especially popular tourist areas. Most of these tours require advance reservations. Below are the top places to go for tours on horseback.

 

  1. Monteverde to Arenal Tour. This tour lasts two and a half hours, and takes you up close to the Arenal Volcano. You will travel through thick rainforests, jungle and farmland. The first leg of the tour ends at the Arenal Lake, where you’ll get to go on a boat tour of the lake. Afterwards, you’ll jump back on your horse for the return trip.
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  3. Don Tobias Tour. This tour takes you through the fields and forest below the Arenal Volcano crater. You’ll travel partway up the mountain to a beautiful lagoon, where the horses can take a break while you can soak in the view of Arenal.
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  5. Manuel Antonio Tour. This tour takes you deep into the rainforest near many beautiful waterfalls. After discovering the rainforest and its wonderful plants, take a dip in a nice pond fed by waterfalls.
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  7. Samara Beach Tours. Ride horses along the Pacific Coast and through the beachside forests. The tour will go through nature trails where you’ll see many wild animals. Along the beach, you might see turtles, as the trail goes through a turtle nursery.
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  9. Nicoya Peninsula Tours. This tour is on a private coastal ranch that features a turtle preserve and part of a wildlife refuge. There are three tours daily in this pristine ranch.

 

Stay Four Nights, Get 5th Night 50% Off

The peak dry season is the ideal time to travel to Costa Rica. The weather is great and all the roads in the country’s interior will be open for travel. This time of year is excellent for weddings on the beach, or for the perfect honeymoon getaway. If you stay at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, you’ll get to take part in the iconic candle-lit dinners, along with the classic exotic resort experience.
 
Though coupons during this season are rare, the Ylang Ylang is offering 50% off the fifth night of stay if you book four nights in a row. This is a great savings during the busiest time of the year. Don’t wait; if you delay, you might find yourself out of luck, since hotels get booked fast during this peak travel season.
 
The coupon applies to the popular Tent Cabins at the Ylang Ylang. This great deal applies to your stay between May 1st and May 31st, 2014. This applies only to reservations you make between March 20th and April 30th, 2014. Use the code TCMAY50% to redeem the coupon online or over the phone.
 
Don’t forget to add 13% in taxes to your total cost of the rooms. The rooms are also subject to availability. This means you need to book now, before it’s too late to reserve your vacation destination. Rooms sell out fast when the weather is this nice in Costa Rica!
 
For more information on the resort and booking a room, contact us at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.
 

Ylang Ylang Beach Resort Announces Peak of Dry Season in Costa Rica

Now is the time to plan your Costa Rica vacation. The Ylang Ylang Beach Resort announced the arrival of the peak dry season on March 22nd. This means it’s the ideal time to travel to Costa Rica to enjoy the beautiful country during the best weather of the year. However, you must hurry to book your rooms before time runs out.
 
During the dry season, rainy days are few. This means you can spend all day soaking up the sun without a cloud in sight. It signals perfect weather to hit the beaches or to explore one of the many reserves. Temperatures hold steady in the 90s throughout this season, making swimming the thing to do.
 
The peak of the dry season emerges in mid-March to April. This brings clear skies and 12 hours of sunshine every day. During this time the Pacific Ocean is nice and calm without large storms or rough surf. Ocean activities are popular and in demand. It is an ideal time for visiting the beach, snorkeling and diving.
 
Montezuma is very busy during the peak of dry season. This means you will run into lots of beach goers, and you might have a long wait at restaurants. If you stay at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, the crowds are small. You will be secluded in your own tropical oasis without having to worry about all the hustle and bustle. Though you are close to Montezuma, you’ll feel like you are on your own private island paradise.
 

Montezuma Nightlife

When staying at hotels in Costa Rica near Montezuma, you’ll need to find stuff to do at night. Luckily, the area boasts a vibrant nightlife with many bars and discos open into the night. There are also many different dance classes and retreats for those who want to avoid the bars. In addition to this are the street performers, who line the streets in town at night.
 
Two places to check out at night are the Café Organico and Chico’s Bar. Both are popular spots to hang out with friends and dance in the evening. The Café Organico offers coffee and organic smoothies. At night, live bands play traditional music in the chill atmosphere. At Chico’s Bar, the atmosphere is more energetic. Live DJs blast tunes while patrons dance.
 
Out on the street, fire dancers put on a show for all to see. Multiple fire dancers dance to traditional Costa Rican beats, while twirling real fire. Puppet shows are common to see out on the streets, too. They tell traditional and local stories about the area and the culture. Also on the street are many different, small shops and carts selling everything from jewelry to food.
 
During the late afternoon, you can take classes for Zumba and fire dancing. Or, you can head out to a yoga retreat. No matter what type of activity, the area offers everything. From food, to dance, to relaxation, you’ll find it in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
 

Costa Rican Dance

When you travel to Costa Rica, exploring the country and immersing yourself in the culture is paramount. One important aspect of the culture is dance. Children are taught from a young age the dance steps for many of the common and traditional dances. Modern options are available in the discos, but traditional dances play a big part in Costa Rican life.
 
There are four major kinds of dance in Costa Rica:

     

  1. Salsa. Salsa dance was popularized in Cuba. It consists of quick steps and sensual movements all to a fast beat. The rhythm is a three-step that is danced over a four beat measure. The man leads in this dance, completing spins and complicated steps.
  2. Merengue. Merengue is one of the most popular types of music to which to dance. Fast footwork and swaying hips make this dance with a two-step beat look amazing. It is a tight dance, with couples sticking in a tight circle, while the man leads.
  3. Cumbia. Cumbia dance takes on a more tropical beat. Originating from Columbia, this dance has a 4/4 rhythm made up of mostly drums and percussion. However, Costa Ricans have made this dance their own with fancy footwork and hopping moves borrowed from jive and swing style dance.
  4. Folk Dance. Traditional folkloric dances are popular at festivals and parades. Each dance tells a different story with complex dance steps and colorful costumes. The Punto Guanacasteco is one of the most popular dances of this type in Costa Rica. 

Traditional Costa Rican Foods

Traditional Costa Rican Foods

While on your Costa Rica vacation, you will experience the culture and food of the Central American country. At the hotels and in the villages, you will find many different types of local food. For picky guests, there are some American, Italian and Mediterranean options available. However, your vacation is not complete without trying some of the country’s delicious traditional meals.
 
The food is flavorful and mild, with fresh ingredients. Some common types of staples are:

  • Fresh local fruit
  • Fresh local vegetables
  • Rice
  • Black beans

The Costa Rican national dish is the gallo pinto, a breakfast meal. It consists of rice and black beans, mixed with onions and bell peppers. The traditional lunch meal is called the casado. It is a plate of rice, beans, meat and salad. The meat options are usually fish, pork, chicken or carne asada. It is common to have tortillas, fried plantains and cheese on the side. Expect to be offered some Salsa Lizano, a popular condiment sauce that is sweet, but spicy.
 
For dinner, expect to have some Arroz con pollo, or rice with chicken, which is commonly served with a large Russian salad. Tavern food is popular; with small dishes served that have dip on the side. Most options contain a meat, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Vegetables from the squash family are most abundant within meals, as well as potatoes, onions and peppers.
 
Beverages found in Costa Rica are similar to other areas of North and South America. Coffee is a national drink, with fresh coffee beans available. Other than coffee, another local drink is the agua dulce, or sweet water. It is water or milk with boiled down sugar cane added.
 
For more information about Costa Rica, including lodging, contact us at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.
 

The Wildlife of Montezuma

After booking rooms in hotels in Costa Rica, your vacation begins. There are many things to explore in the Montezuma area. Eco tourism is very popular here, with multiple wildlife reserves to visit and many other places to become one with nature.

     

  • The Curu National Wildlife Refuge offers tours to see all the different wildlife in the area. Watch many different birds in the refuge, including macaws. On site is also an artificial reef, which can be viewed during diving tours.
  • Many areas within and around Montezuma are open to hiking. While hiking, you are likely to see many different species of monkey, deer and even pumas. Early in the morning, more animals are out for you to see.
  • Horseback riding tours are plentiful in the area. On horseback, you can ride trails through the rainforest to different waterfalls, taking in nature along the way. On these trips, you are likely to see a lot of the natural wildlife in the area.
  • Take a boat tour to go whale watching. Along the way, you are likely to meet dolphins and sea turtles. Scuba diving gives you more opportunities to interact with the fish, sharks and other ocean life.

There are only a small number of the places you can view the local wildlife near Montezuma. The whole area is teeming with preserves and national parks. No matter what type of activities you fancy, you will find them in the area, with so much more waiting for you in other parts of the country.
 

The Top 3 Hot Springs in Costa Rica

When you plan your Costa Rica vacation, plan to visit one of the hot springs and spas located in the volcanic regions. Many people do not realize that Costa Rica has volcanoes, let alone hot springs, but the country does. There are many different spas that offer the natural hot springs, but below are the top 3 that you should consider visiting after a rejuvenating stay at the Ylang Ylang resort.

     

  1. Tabacon. The thermal springs at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort offers guests a close encounter with nature at its best. The hot springs here are located among lush gardens and the natural rain forest. The springs are heated by the nearby Arenal Volcano, which heats the water up to 122 degrees. Other spa services are available on site, too.
  2. The Springs at Arenal. The Springs Resort offers 18 different hot springs within its property near the Arenal Volcano. The property is filled with lush gardens among the rainforest and wildlife preserve.
  3. Baldi. The Baldi Hot Springs is a unique destination. They offer 25 different water pools heated by the volcano, but also have three large water slides on the large property, which rests at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. Other services include a full service spa, pools and a sauna.

Hot springs are a feature of a volcanic area that creates a unique experience for the whole family. Costa Rica offers many of these hot springs around the many volcanoes within the country’s borders. Stay for the day, or book a vacation at one of the many spas or resorts.
 
For more information on vacationing in Costa Rica, contact us at the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort.