This all-gay holiday is a jungle of activities.
Our Costa Rica Gay Eco-Adventure dives into the national essence of ‘Pura Vida – the pure life. It’s an active trip, but you don’t have to be in top shape. It’s a cultural trip, but we won’t parade you from museum to museum. And it’s a beach holiday, but we won’t simply wallow in the surf like mermaids. Read on for the top ten ways to refresh your mind, body and soul in Central America’s paradise.
1. Sightsee in San José
Costa Rica is best known for its jungles, beaches, and biodiversity. However, the capital of San José offers cosmopolitan flare, lively markets, plenty of cultures, and a lively L. Consider arriving a day early and really dive into the city’s offerings (National Theater, National Museum, and Gold Museum are all worth a visit).
2. Hike lava fields…and rainforest
When Arenal Volcano erupted in 1968, after 400 years, it buried 15 square km/9 miles in rock, lava and ash. But born from this natural disaster was the aptly-named 1968 Trail. On this hike, we’ll pass Los Patos Lagoon, enjoy panoramic views of the volcano, and venture through misty cloud forests. All while our guide points out endemic flora, unique fauna, and a rich range of hummingbird species.
In Bagaces, we’ll also hike in the Medicinal Spring Trail. Only 2.5km/1.55 mi round-trip, we’ll wander beyond the Yurro Waterfall, traipse through the dry Miravalle forest, and sample the legendary mineral waters locals proclaim rich with healing properties.
3. Take a cooking class…in the rainforest
A gorgeous professional kitchen overlooking the lush wilderness isn’t the worst place to prepare a meal. Especially when classic Costa Rican appetizers are on the menu. We’ll learn to make ceviche, a seafood dish that cures – or ‘cooks’ – the fish with nothing more than freshly squeezed citrus juices. Also, on the menu? Empanadas, the savoury Latin hand pies. Bring your binoculars and camera, because we’re bound to see plenty of toucans.
4. Visit an organic farm
Learn how Costa Rica puts sustainability front and centre and discover sustainable production techniques that are in harmony with nature. After touring the gardens and feeding the various livestock, we’ll enjoy a traditional lunch cooked over a fire. We’ll even have Costa Rican-style filtered coffee.
What separates rainforest from the jungle is the rich tree canopy. In a jungle, all the action is on the ground. In a rainforest, it’s all up above. And then there’s a dwarf forest, where the plant life is stunted by higher elevations. This 15-platform course, crisscrossing the Rio Blanco canyon, is a sensational way to explore this particular dwarf forest. After flying over the flora and fauna, you can dive into the waters of our hotels’ many thermal pools.
6. Stretch your limits with jungle yoga
Yoga on vacation? Some would say that’s a stretch. But if you’re a fan of getting flexy, there will be more than one opportunity to gussy up in Lululemon for bakasana, navasana, and ultimately shavasana.
7. Go hot tubbing in nature.
We will have at least two chances to soak up the mineral waters of natural hot springs in both Bagaces and La Fortuna. They sure do beat the self-contained chlorinated crock pots of a traditional hot tub.
8. Go catamaran sailing
Once we make it to Costa Rica’s actual costa, we’ll spend an afternoon sailing Playa Tamarindo and the Gold Coast by catamaran. Be on the lookout for pods of dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish, and breaching whales. We’ll even drop anchor in a secluded bay to splash around in Pacific waters. Snorkel among the coral here, or chill on the beach while our crew prepares a barbecue. The adventure ends with sunset cocktails as we make our way back to Tamarindo.
9. Take a surf lesson.
Although surf lessons aren’t part of our tour itinerary, Costa Rica is known for world-class waves. Since the tour ends in the vibrant surf town of Tamarindo, why not stick around for a few days and learn to catch a wave? Since the sport was once reserved for Hawaiian royalty, you can really feel like a king. Or queen.
10. Savour the downtime
While there will be plenty to do, there are also plenty of ways to do nothing or to choose your own adventure. Go for a walk through the jungle, borrow a mountain bike, or get a massage.
Let us know if our Costa Rica Eco-Adventure sounds like your kind of diversion.
Photo credits: National Theatre ℅ Wikimedia Commons. Iguana by Dan Hadfield, Empanadas by Patryk Pastewski, Ziplining by Perry Grone, Hot Springs by Ezgi Kimball, Surfing by Zachary Shea, Sloth by Javier Mazzeo – all from Unsplash.