The Pura Vida of Costa Rica

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For more information: Call us at 617-566-1907.

Depending on availability, this tour can be reserved for any dates.


Your getaway to Costa Rica begins on the sparkling beaches of Guanacaste, where you recover from the North American winter at your award-winning boutique luxury resort on the Pacific Ocean, Punta Islita.  From here, you embark on a week exploring the unique flora, fauna, geology, and culture of one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and progressive countries.


Hotel Punta Islita, with Pool and the Pacific Ocean

Hotel Punta Islita, with Pool and the Pacific Ocean

Approximately five percent of all known species on earth are found in Costa Rica, even though the country occupies less than three ten-thousandths of the earth’s land area.  You explore Palo Verde National Park, the most important migratory bird site of the Mesoamerican Pacific, swim in the waters of Arenal, pleasantly warmed by geothermal activity; and marvel at the profusion of orchids and waterfalls in the beautiful cloud forest of Alajuela. 

Your winter getaway ends with three days enjoying walks, a wellness center, visiting an orchid collector, and more, at El Silencio Lodge and Spa, your eco-luxury hotel in Costa Rica’s mountain cloud forest.  There is also the opportunity to pursue activities on your own at Hotel Punta Islita and El Silencio Lodge and Spa.

You find landscapes of active volcanoes, cloud forests, sparkling beaches and tropical forests. There are more butterflies in Costa Rica than in the whole of Africa.  Over 840 species of birds have been identified in Costa Rica more than twice the number of bird species than in the whole of the United States.  In addition to rest, relaxation, and wildlife, you experience the people and culture of one of the world’s most environmentally friendly and progressive countries.

At your first charming boutique hotel, Punta Islita, you enjoy four days of the Constellation Tour program here.  In addition, you can opt for many independent activities such as swimming, snorkeling, horseback riding, and canopy zip lining. For kayaking enthusiasts, there is not only river kayaking, but also mangrove kayaking and the opportunity to join a kayaking expedition.   Tennis and golf are here as well.  For many, there is the ability simply to relax and read a good book.


Pool overlooking the beach at Punta Islita

Pool overlooking the beach at Punta Islita


Later, you nestle into your lovely boutique mountain retreat, the El Silencio Lodge and Spa, for three days of your Constellation Tour exploring the hidden waterfalls, flora, and fauna of the pristine Costa Rican cloud forest.  In addition to the Constellation Tour program here, such as enjoying guided walks, visiting an orchid collector and the town of Los Bajos, there are many activities reflecting one’s own interests.  For example, for the more active, there is rafting. Or for those seeking peace and relaxation, enjoy yoga, meditation, the spa or sitting on the deck of your cottage in a rocking chair with a good book.


Your Constellation Travelexperience Itinerary

Day 1: You fly into Costa Rica’s Liberia’s Airport (LIR).  You travel through the countryside to Hotel Punta Islita on the beautiful Nicoya Peninsula, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and one of the world’s “Blue Zones”, where people commonly live active lives past the age of 100.

Here, you enjoy magnificent beaches with dramatic coastal scenery, and small villages each with its own distinct charm.  On 300 acres, Hotel Punta Islita offers deluxe rooms with full views of the ocean, beaches, and adventure.   Water sports such as surfing, fishing, snorkeling and diving define much of the character of the region.  The Pacific side of Costa Rica presents one of the best stretches of surfing coastline in the world.





Tonight you have a Welcome Reception and Dinner with wine as you enjoy glorious views overlooking the Pacific.

Day 2:  With your guide you have a morning walk discovering this beautiful tropical forest.

Day 3:  You have a day trip to spectacular Palo Verde National Park.  When you arrive, you board a boat to see this remote wetland sanctuary, the most important migratory bird site of the Mesoamerican Pacific.  Palo Verde National Park harbors one of Central America’s largest concentration of rare aquatic birds.  Spotted regularly in the park are Great Curassows, Scarlet Macaws, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, Anhingas, Jabirus, Toucans, and Wood Storks among many others.  At Palo Verde, lunch is included.


Golf at Punta Islita

Golf at Punta Islita


At Palo Verde National Park, around 75 species of mammals, including peccaries, armadillos, deer, monkeys, and coatis roam the brush.  Palo Verde also has Costa Rica’s largest population of jaguarundis, a brownish, small wild cat. Over fifty species of reptiles and amphibians are here.

Day 4:  Free Day.  As throughout the trip you have the opportunity to relax and pursue your own interests.  The hotel offers a wide range of activities.

Day 5:  After four nights at the Punta Islita, you travel to the Cloud Forest and El Silencio Lodge and Spa.  En route to your Cloud Forest retreat, you stop for lunch (included) near the base of the Arenal Volcano.  Here we can swim in natural thermal pools warmed to a comfortable temperature by the volcano.

You then continue to your hotel, El Silencio Lodge for your remaining three nights in Costa Rica.

Day 6:  With your guide you begin to explore the peacefulness of El Silencio’s 500 acres of pristine mountain Cloud Forest.  Costa Rica’s Cloud Forests are like vast vaulted cathedrals, places of peace and renewal.  Each cottage is essentially a small home with lovely outdoor decks and rocking chairs, perfect for listening to the sounds of the valley in the mornings and evenings.  El Silencio provides you the opportunity to enjoy hidden waterfalls, adventure activities, yoga, hiking, horseback riding, and a wellness spa.  Your walk today takes us to three beautiful waterfalls.  As with Hotel Punta Islita, at El Silencio you have activities that are included with the tour and free time for each person to pursue his or her own interests.

Day 7:  Today you have a morning visit to the town of Los Bajos, to get to know a Costa Rican community and to learn more about orchids.  Orchid lovers will enjoy the great abundance and diversity of orchids that exist at these humid mid-elevations.  One biologist found forty seven different orchid species growing on a single tree.  It is appropriate that the orchid is the national flower of Costa Rica: the country has more than twelve hundred identified species, the richest orchid flora in Central America.  Countless others await discovery.

You have a Farewell Dinner with wine at El Silencio Lodge.

Day 8:  Your experience of Costa Rica’s Pura Vida comes to an end.  You travel an hour and a half from our mountain retreat to Costa Rica’s San Jose International Airport (SJO) for your return to the United States.


Discover Costa Rica’s remarkable history.

Costa Rica has been blessed with few extremes of wealth and poverty, no standing army, and a proud history as Central America’s most stable democracy.  The 1990 elections were so trouble-free that crowd control at polling stations was handled in part by schoolchildren.  The literacy rate in Costa Rica is 94.9%, one of the highest in Latin America.  Universal public education is guaranteed in the Constitution.  For these and many other reasons, Costa Rica was included in both the 2011 and 2012 lists of The Developing World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations.  This is an annual ranking of the best tourism destinations: evaluating environmental protection, social welfare, and human rights.

For most of its history, what is now Costa Rica was a sparsely populated backwater.  High mountains and swampy lowlands impeded the arrival of settlers.  On his fourth voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus is said to have proclaimed the coastline “a rich coast” giving the newly discovered territory its name “Costa Rica.”  However, when the Spanish actually landed, the region had few inhabitants, forcing the colonists to work the land themselves.  Trade with other colonies was infrequent at best.  Conditions didn’t favor the development of the colonial-style feudal system of other Spanish enclaves.  After the initial impetus given by Columbus, Costa Rica went largely unappreciated and overlooked by the Spanish Crown and was left to develop on its own. 

Outside of the mainstream colonial culture, Costa Rica developed into a more egalitarian society than many of its neighbors.  After declaring independence from Spain in 1821, power was distributed among separate towns, and it took several years for a stable pattern of political alignment to emerge.  The four leading cities of Costa Rica felt as independent as the city-states of ancient Greece.

In recent times, Costa Rica has followed a path of independent leadership.  In 1986, President Oscar Arias Sanchez, combined social liberalism and economics with a desire to bring peace to his warring neighbors.   He negotiated the Central American Peace Accord and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Today, one of his Vice-Presidents and a former Minister of Justice, Laura Chinchilla Miranda, is now Costa Rica’s first woman president.


Butterfly at El Silencio

Butterfly at El Silencio


Learn why ancient species, that have died out elsewhere, are still here.

Costa Rica straddles the great Andean-Sierra Madre mountains that run the length of the western shore of the Americas.  Great volcanic cones and domes dominate the landscape.  Approximately three million years ago, volcanic activity caused the Central American isthmus to begin to rise from the sea and to form the first tentative link between the North and South America.  Birds, insects, reptiles, and some of the first mammals began to move back and forth between the continents.  Eventually a land bridge allowed the very different flora and fauna of the two continents to mix. 

This intermingling of plants and animals from both continents resulted in a proliferation of species that, in many respects, is far richer than that found in North or South America alone.  Costa Rica’s unique location, along with a great variety of local micro-climates, have also made it a refuge area for ancient species endangered by changes in environmental conditions.  Species that have died out elsewhere can still be found here.

The rich volcanic soil and climate conditions of Costa Rica are also ideal for growing some of the world’s best coffee.  Coffee was first planted in Costa Rica in the early 19th century and soon became Costa Rica’s major export.  In April 1870, President Tomás Guardia managed to cut the power of the coffee barons and used revenue from coffee to fund a landmark revision to the Constitution making “primary education for both sexes obligatory, free, and at the cost of the Nation.” 

Coffee production remained Costa Rica’s principal source of wealth until well into the 20th century.  However, today, tourism earns more foreign exchange than bananas, pineapples, and coffee exports combined.  Costa Rica pioneered nature tourism.  It is recognized as one of the few countries with real and sustainable eco-tourism.


Space is limited.  Reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis.

The eight day tour, The Pura Vida of Costa Rica,  includes double occupancy at boutique hotels.   You have deluxe rooms at Punta Islita with full ocean view and at El Silencio, cottages with outdoor decks and jacuzzis.

Also included with the Constellation Travelexperience Tour: 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 7 dinners, including festive welcome and farewell dinners; touring program as outlined with entrance fees, guides, driver and transportation.

International airfare to and from Costa Rica is not included.


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