Are you visiting or will visit the San Carlos area near La Fortuna-Arenal Volcano? We have and excellent recommendation of a place if you wish to observe more closely the Arenal Lagoon in all of its splendor with more detail, and also, if you wish, with a good cup of Costa Rican coffee or a specialty regarding local food in a creative way. The Toad Hall is a small hotel in the middle of the mountain near the lagoon and has a great view to it.  Under a boutique hotel style, this place is set among a great variety of green nature that surrounds the gigantic Arenal Lagoon. The environment in the hotel is very warm and perfect to rest with its beautiful views and the tranquility of the area.
    This hotel has family-oriented spaces as well as spaces for couples, private suites and special events. Each room has its own personality in decoration, which makes them even cozier.
    They also offer the "Arenal Adventures Tours" for those who wish a little more of adventure in their trip. The place is located close to the Arenal Volcano, natural hot springs, the Venado Caves, Tilarán and also the beaches in Guanacaste if you wish to continue your journey a little more bordering the Arenal Lagoon. 
    For more information: 2692-8181
    Location: La Unión, 9 kilometres SW from Nuevo Arenal on route 142. Arenal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. 
    We traveled to the Caribbean Zone to enjoy its culture and also its beautiful beaches. We were looking for tasting real rice and beans with coconut milk in a local restaurant. We also wanted to appreciate a wonderful twilight in a relaxed environment. This was some of what we were looking for while visiting this zone. 
    One part of this trip was to know in the same place Le Caméléon Hotel, situated at Puerto Viejo’s locality. It is also very near to the famous Cocles Beach, an attractive place lost into a real rain forest.  
    This minimalist hotel made us rest, forgetting the city’s noise and bustle. This is because its comfort and privacy could invite you to stay in your room, thinking immediately about a room service to have dinner. 
    Another detail that caught our attention was the silence and tranquility that are perceived in this hotel due to the fact that its style is not massive: they do not have many guests. This means that the little sound you could hear is the mix of the sound produced by the own local fauna and some downpours that are typical of the Caribbean weather.  
    Le Caméléon has its own private Beach Club. The best of it is that it is very near to the rooms, because you go across the street and you arrive right there, at the beachfront. In the same way, it offers a Jungle Spa with a wide treatment variety. 
    We must talk about the delicious breakfast that we ate the next morning. Our eyesight and our palate were keen on the guest assistance and the food presentation, because we chose to ask for the Costa Rican typical breakfast: gallo pinto, eggs, cheese, and obviously, a good coffee with very fresh handmade bread. 
    We loved the Caribbean Zone’s detail that the different beaches like Cahuita, Gandoca, Bonita, Manzanillo, Cocles, and many others are all together like in a line. They are connected among them and we can access to them easily. You can visit all of them almost the same day. For this reason, we recommend you to take some snaks and drinks with you, into your travel bag to enjoy your day the best you can do, if one of the beaches invites you to stay more time on it. You can also visit one of the local restaurants that offer a wide Caribbean Food variety. For more information:  
  • “Enjoy your stay close to our greatest park… La Sabana”

    Are you the type of person who always packs your running shoes in your suitcase whenever you travel for business or pleasure? You can find a great option in La Sabana.

    This beautiful park is in the heart of the city and is the perfect scenario for running, walking, or just relaxing next to the lake.

    You are in Costa Rica for vacations and you want to visit a different place that can bring you some rest and relaxation. Be sure to visit the delightful Hot Springs in La Fortuna in San Carlos. 
    Several hotels and recreation places in the area offer this relaxing Hot Springs that come from the Arenal Volcano. Some of these pools appear to be concrete pool while others are built of stones and are surrounded with the exuberant vegetation of the area.  They have different temperatures to suit the visitor. Some of the well-known places where you can find these Hot Springs, with great benefits for body and mind in La Fortuna in San Carlos, are: Baldi Hot Spring, Tabacón Grand Spa, The Royal Corin Spa, Arenal Manoa & Hot Springs, and others. 
    These places not only offer a relaxing hot bath, but also an excellent view of the Arenal Volcano. And if the visitor gets lucky, he or she might enjoy a live demonstration of the volcano eruption. Moreover, there are other additional services like meals included in special packages with the entrance. In some cases, there is a Spa, if you wish even more relaxation. If you are going to visit the Hot Springs, it is important to remember to carry sandals, comfortable tennis shoes, waterproof bag in case of rain, sunblock, hat, towel, clean clothes and waterproof jacket. But just in case, in those places you can also borrow beach towels included with the entrance.  

    It’s no secret that we live in an aging society.  There are families in Costa Rica that enjoy having four or five generations despite so many couples delaying or forgoing having children.   
    Traditionally, Costa Rican planning officials have forgotten to include an aging population in their development plans, which is often understandable given that mobility has not totally replaced the deeply ingrained expectation in our culture that senior citizens will live with and be cared for by their families.    
    The field of social gerontology has grown, however, and a long-term view of the needs of this population is being considered by the government, developers and professionals eager to share in society’s responsibility to care for them.    An inventory of local seniorfriendly facilities confirms that there is a scarcity of centers.
    Club Esmeralda is a private geriatric center specialized in caring for those 60 and over. Location:  Atenas, in La Garita.   More information: Facebook Club-Esmeralda or call (506) 2487-4007/2487-5805 
    * A Cloud forest to know
    We take the road to San Gerardo de Dota - Savegre, where we are shocked and overwhelmed by the great nature that this valley hides. 
    And what a great news it has been to receive recently by UNESCO the official declaration of this place, "Savegre", as a Biosphere Reserve. This area is home to 20% of the flora, 54% of the mammals, and 59% of all the birds in Costa Rica. Besides, it is one of the cleanest "basins" in Central America. This category of conservation considers people and the community as fundamental pillars for achieving sustainable development in the country.
    We learnt about this when we visited the hidden and majestic Trogón Lodge Hotel, which offers a delicious menu to its guests, with unique dishes elaborated with products cultivated in this place. The closest population to the hotel is manly engaged in agriculture, cattle rising, recreational fishing and ecotourism.  Some of these products are even organic.
    When you arrive to Trogón Lodge you feel completely outside of the noisy city, between exuberant mountains, surrounded by the bird song and the fresh water that flows through the nearby rivers. You can also find short and long trails that will lead you to beautiful waterfalls, you can sign in for a zip line ride, or you can participate in a tour to the Los Quetzales National Park, where you can experience a close encounter with the phoenix bird of the Tropical Cloud Forest, the "Quetzal". 
    This place is ideal for nature lovers that seek for a quiet place during their trips and not a hotel crowd with guests. The charming rooms of Trogón Lodge are built with wood and have a comfortable terrace to admire nature. And, of course, they are excellent if you want to have a good rest. 
    For more information:
    Photos by:  Trogón Lodge Hotel