Costa Rica - 2015


Hotel

Hot Springs

Zip lining

December 2015 and it's 85 degrees and rainy in South Florida. So we head off to Costa Rica where it's... 85 degrees and rainy. Did I mention we love consistency?

Tabacon Resort and Spa is a true 5-star resort built across the street from an active volcano. Now, when I say "active volcano" it's best you erase the images of Hawaiian lava flows from your mind. Arenal Volcano is a smoker, an occasional lava drip will happen (although not during the week we spent there) but for the most part the only thing visible is a constant wisp of smoke coming from the top.

The resort is made up of a series of two-story buildings, most with a view of the volcano, and a massive chain of pools, waterfalls, and streams all fed from the volcano's 102 degree hot springs. They have a minibus to take you across the street and a quarter-mile down the road to the pools and the spa, and attendants at both ends of the 30-second journey to open the doors and welcome you. We spent most of the sunny parts of our stay at the hot springs.

Getting to Tabacon from San Jose where the international airport is found is an experience similar to NASCAR driving. Tailgating is the national sport. Picture roads barely wide enough for two motorcycles to pass in opposite directions. Now imagine a full-size tourist bus on one side and a cement truck on the other. Wait, we're not done. Put those two motorcycles back into the mix and you've got the players. Last, the road, while nicely paved in most places, has six-foot dropoffs on both sides, hairpin turns, and goes up and down the mountains at the same pitch as a ski slope.

The Hotel
With some magic by our travel agent, we were upgraded to the Honeymoon Suite. Gigantic bedroom with a sitting area, breakfast table, 50" flat screen tv, minibar, 20' cathedral ceiling, and a glass wall looking out at the gardens and the volcano. The bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub large enough for four people but a plexiglass ceiling that amplified the rain at night. Click the thumbnails below for full-size images.

Hot Springs
The hot water from the volcano heated springs has been channeled into dozens of pools large and small, waterfalls, and flowing streams. At 102 degrees, it's pure relaxation. While the springs are open to the public for a fee, they are included when you stay at the hotel and there's an area that's hotel guests only and no children. Guess where we were. Click the thumbnails below for full-size images.

Zip Lining
I'm not quite sure which fear was supposed to be overcome, but I'd do this again in a heartbeat! Seven ziplines, the longest at a half a mile! 42 miles an hour peak speed. Click the thumbnails below for full-size images.