Costa Rica is a rugged, rain-forested Central American country with coastlines on the Caribbean and Pacific. Though its capital, San Jose, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum, Costa Rica is known for its beaches, volcanoes, and biodiversity. Roughly a quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, teeming with wildlife including spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
We visited Costa Rica in November 2011 and stayed at the Villas Sol Hotel and Beach Resort in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. We enjoyed trekking through the jungle, zip-lining and water slides at an adventure park, horseback riding, soothing hot springs and mud baths, and sunset cruising.