When I returned to Costa Rica for the second time, there was one place I knew we had to visit that, since I had missed it the first time around. Manuel Antonio National Park is in the central Pacific Coast side of Costa Rica and is well-known for its diversity of plants and animals - pretty astounding considering the whole country is the most biologically diverse in the world.
Note: A portion of our trip was provided by Riu Hotels. However, all words and photos are mine.It's been ten years since we visited the Riviera Maya area of Mexico. And the last time we were there, I broke my ankle! Lucky for me, this trip - and our time at Riu Palace Riviera Maya - were totally incident-free. In fact, everything was exactly what you want from a beach vacation. Well, the weather was maybe a touch cool (75 F) for Mexico, but I will let Riu off the hook for that. As in 2006, our best friends Danielle, Jeff and their son joined us. We consider each other "framily" in that we spend holidays and vacations together. This time was extra, extra special because we watched the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl while drinking cervezas on the beach. WOOT!
Note: Part of my stay was covered by Parador Resort. All words and photos are mine.When I was searching for a hotel during the Manuel Antonio portion of our recent trip to Costa Rica, one resort popped up over and over again: The Parador in Quepos. Manuel Antonio is a must-see travel destination: a national park with beautiful beaches and the most bio-diversity in Costa Rica, within a country that touts the highest density of bio-diversity in the world. So, of course, I knew we wanted to visit the area and was happy to come across Parador Resort, which combines luxury accommodations with environmentalism.
I am First Generation American, after my mother and grandparents moved to Maryland from Germany. I was very lucky to visit Bavaria all through my childhood. During that time, Germany was still divided - and for various reasons, I have never been to Berlin. Hopefully that will change in the next few years! But until then, I have been scouting the web and the German tourism site, compiling my wish list for places to see when we do go.
Have you traveled to Berlin? What are your favorite spots to visit?
Note: A portion of our stay was provided by Tabacon Resort. However, all words and photos in this review are mine.This fall, I was able to go back to Costa Rica for my second time and bring the boys for their first time. I knew for sure I wanted to bring them to Tabacon Resort in La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano. They have their own hot springs resort right across the street - which is included in your stay. People not staying at the hotel can visit with a day pass for $85 USD (which includes a meal) per person... but you can imagine how having free access included is a major plus to staying at Tabacon Resort. But it's definitely not the only plus. This five-star hotel does not disappoint. When you arrive, you are greeted by friendly staff and a fruity, refreshing drink. The grounds are lush, just like it should be when you are nestled in a rainforest.
We just got back from Costa Rica! It was my second time, and the first for my boys. I had gone last year for a conference, and was able to do some excursions, but I was determined that this trip would be all about family travel fun, especially for parents of tween and teen kids. After lots of planning, I really feel like we were able to see a huge part of the country in only 10 days. We missed Tortuguero National Park on the east side, but it just was too far to go out of our loop. (So keep that in mind as you look through our itinerary, if that is really important to you.)