When you think of Costa Rica, images of the majestic Arenal Volcano, verdant forests, and exotic wildlife come to your mind. Whether it is for the hiking trails, the picturesque lakes, and the rich flora or the friendly locals, a relaxed lifestyle, and the Pura Vida experience, Costa Rica attracts more than two million tourists every year from all over the world. So, to help you make the most out of your Costa Rican trip, here are three fundamental ways to improve your vacation time in this Central American country:
- Take a Guide Along
Whether you are exploring the Arenal Volcano National Park or the Manuel Antonio National Park, always hire a professional guide if you want to make the most of the nature tours. Meander through the deep forests spotting sloths, white-faced Capuchin monkeys, ocelots, toucans, and red-eyed leaf frogs, on your way. A guide has the first-hand experience of the forests and knows about the exact places where you can spot wildlife. Without a guide, you may not be taking the correct route and never see the animals you always wanted to watch. Instead, you may just end up crossing paths with the most visible iguana basking under the Costa Rican sun. Wild animals are likely to hide when tourists come trudging along the forest paths. Hiring a guide will let you avoid the obvious trails and take the ones to spot birds, monkeys, reptiles, and amphibians.
- Choose a Combined Tour
If you want to see most of Costa Rica in a short time, opt for combo trips. You can book the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna waterfall tours, the hot springs and hanging bridges tours, or combine a coffee plantation, Sarchi and OxCart, and a Poas Volcano tours for a single day. Most of these combo trips come with a meal. So, you don’t need to carry your lunch.
- Consider a Long-Range Tour
Taking a long-range tour is the best option if you have more places to cover in less time. Instead of booking hotels in different locations, you can take longer excursions. If you love the place, we suggest investing in a vacation villa in Arenal Hill with financing options. For example, if you are staying in the Arenal region for a week or so, but don’t want to miss scuba diving or snorkeling in Guanacaste, we recommend a day tour to the place instead of booking a hotel there. It’s a long trip, but it is more convenient than checking in and out of different hotels in different locations.
Traveling to Costa Rica is fun if you know how to make the most of your trip. So, plan smart. And if you want to make this tropical paradise your second home, invest in our vacation villas. Call us at 1-844-MY-HILLS to learn more.
For young vacationers seeking some adventure, fun, and excitement, the Arenal region in Costa Rica delights them with several recreational activities. Whether you are looking for biking, hiking, spelunking, or just love to soak yourself in the all-natural springs, the country has it all. With scenic views, diverse topography, majestic volcanoes, cloud forests, and natural caves, Costa Rica has several things for you to do. Here are some of the most exciting activities for you in Arenal:
Explore the Venado Caves
Stretching across 2,700 meters, these limestone caves are known for their pointy stalagmite and stalactite formations and are about 15 to 20 million years old. So, if you are an adventure seeker, gang up with your family or friends to explore the natural cave that will take you 8,850 feet underground. Take a trip from the Arenal region to the caves, wading through underground rivers and streams, spotting subterranean creatures and marine fossils on the way. A professional guide will tell you about the history of the cave. During a guided tour, you may notice monochrome frogs, bats, and fish that are frequently seen in the caves.
Take a Warm Bath in the Natural Hot Springs
Tired after a strenuous hike or a long walk in the rainforests? Soak your stressed muscles and unwind in the all-natural hot springs at Arenal. The place boasts many thermal pools, the water of which is naturally heated underground. Did you know that the country’s mineral waters are as good as therapeutic baths and have been effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis for at least 200 hundred years? Vacationers can take a refreshing dip in the warm waters, surrounded by the verdant rainforests and the majestic Arenal Volcano.
Go for Road Biking
Take a biking trip around Lake Arenal to enjoy the beauty of the undulating hills and verdant forests. This trip is ideal for novices as well as intermediate bikers. Your ride will start near the Arenal Dam and then take you by a picturesque lake and through the deep rainforests. After the ride, stop for lunch and then take a boat trip across the lake offering stunning views of the volcano on your way back.
If you are looking for some adventure activities and a bit of an adrenalin rush, then Arenal is the place to be. Do you want more information about our vacation homes and all that you can do around this location? Call us at 1-844-MY-HILLS today.
The Costa Rican rainforests are home to about 100 different species of plants. Colorful, giant-sized, and brilliant orchids spill out from the tree barks, nourished from the fresh air, rain, and moisture in the soil. You may also notice howler monkeys, fer-de-lance snakes, sloths, and toucans while venturing into the depths of the forests. Whether you want to explore the pristine jungles of the Arenal region or the remote forests of Osa Peninsula or Manuel Antonio, this Central American country has it all. So, if you are planning a Costa Rica forest excursion, here are three things you must know:
- Jungle Tours
Though the rainforests of Costa Rica have thick undergrowth, there are hiking trails for young adventure seekers who want to get close to nature. Hire a guide to learn more about the rich Costa Rican flora and fauna and spot diverse species of wild animals on your way. You can also take a cruise trip or jungle kayak to explore the unspoiled beauty of the verdant forests. A trip along the mangrove canals will surprise you with wading birds foraging for food in the swamps, and sometimes they may gather in flocks of thousands delighting tourists and vacationers. Avoid taking a motor boat if you want to spot some of the more ‘uncommon’ animals of the tropical forests.
- Plant Life and Flowers
The rainforests of Costa Rica are home to a variety of plants that are accented with bright orchids and beautiful flowers. One of the common flowering plants is the large red, yellow, or orange heliconia. If you love orchids, these forests have them in abundance, mesmerizing tourists with their colors and vibrancy. The tropical forests boast a large number of these orchids and bromeliad species. When your guide identifies the guanacaste tree, take a picture in front of it— it is the national tree of Costa Rica.
- Skywalk Tours
Want to explore a rainforest from the top? Go for a walk among the jungle’s high treetops. You might be wondering how. When biologists learned that about 90 percent of forests animals thrive in the canopies above and away from human intrusion, suspension bridges were built to study and explore the mysterious creatures high up. The skywalk tour includes a two to three-hour excursion on six hanging bridges in the town of Monteverde. Spanning across drainages and canyons, these bridges can accommodate up to 12 tourists at a time.
Rainforest excursions in Costa Rica come in different forms. If you are exploring the Arenal region, make the most out of your vacation by opting for horseback riding, hiking, or taking a canopy zipline tour in the jungles. A one-time or short visit is not enough to discover the many mysteries of the place. You need to stay here and make it your second home. We have excellent villas at Arenal Hills that embody the essence of contemporary living set in a rustic backdrop. Our villas even offer a spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano right from the bedroom? Call us at 1-844-MY-HILLS to find more about Arenal Hills.
Horseback riding to the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfall is one of the most sought-after recreational activities in Costa Rica. Horseback riding around this region will leave you mesmerized when you see how the majestic Arenal Volcano paints an impressive picture on the Costa Rican landscape. Though the volcano is sometimes shrouded behind a cloud forest, the view is truly awe-inspiring. While you meander through the lush green forests on horseback, you may see a thin mist hanging softly over the treetops and hear toucans calling in the distance.
Horseback Riding around La Fortuna Waterfall
Horseback riding to the La Fortuna Waterfall starts two kilometers south of the town of La Fortuna de San Carlos. You can choose a horse based on your riding skills. The 45-minute ride will take you through scenic landscapes, twittering forest birds, and the gurgling La Fortuna River. If you are lucky enough, you may spot White-faced Capuchin monkeys, colorful toucans, coatis, and peccaries.
After Your Arrival near the Waterfall
Upon reaching the waterfall, leave your horse behind and walk up to the 80-meter wonder that waits for you. If you love swimming, walk further down to the river for another 20 minutes or so. You will need to cross a 20-meter suspension bridge to reach the foot of the canyon. Take a dip and feel the rejuvenating touch of cool waters. After a refreshing swim, you will have to walk back towards the top. It’s also a good idea to snack on some food because the next stop on your ride would be the Maleku Reserve, which is about half-an-hour away. This Reserve is a must-visit if you want to learn more about the life and lifestyle of the indigenous people.
Tips for Horseback Riding in Arenal and La Fortuna
- Always wear jeans, long pants, and covered shoes. This is important to protect you from bug bites while riding through the forests.
- Carry a poncho if you are in Costa Rica during the rains.
- There is no need to carry backpack and food. Most probably, you will have a guide who will arrange for food, fresh fruits, and water.
- Bring a decent waterproof camera for taking pictures of the scenic beauty around. Try not to bring your DSLR camera if you are riding for the first time. That’s just a safety measure for your expensive camera.
- There is no need to carry mosquito repellents as the gentle Arenal breezes keep mosquitoes at bay.
Horseback riding in the Arenal and La Fortuna region is a thrilling experience for young couples and families with children. If you fall in love with the place, allow us to show you around Arenal Hills’ luxury single-family style villas that you would love to call your second home. Call us on 1-844-MY-HILLS today.
Costa Rica is the land of rainforests, waterfalls, lakes, and volcanoes. One look around and you will be convinced that the best of nature conspired to create this lovely place on the planet. It comes as no surprise that you can find animals of many species in Costa Rica. However, if you are in the mood for monkey business, consider catching the Capuchin Monkeys, Squirrel Monkeys, and Spider Monkeys in action. Learn more about these species here:
1. The White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys
The mischievous Capuchin Monkeys are native to Costa Rica and are known for their smartness and intelligence. You will find them at Arenal, Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio, Nicoya, Palo Verde, and Tortuguero. You may spot them in Manuel Antonio National Park, where they are often seen snatching food from tourists. So, be careful with your food!If you have been following the popular American TV show Friends, you’ve probably seen the White-headed Capuchin, playing Marcel, the show’s most loved character in the series. Capuchins are full of life and are extremely energetic, moving in a group of 20 members. You may see them walking on the ground, use tools, and behave like humans.
2. Howler Monkeys
The Mantled Howler is one of the largest species found in the Costa Rican forests. They are known for their loud calls,making their presence felt mainly during the morning or sundown. If you are in Costa Rica for the time, the Howler’s haunting call may scare your wits away, especially if you hear it at 5:30 in the morning. But relax! Expats staying in Arenal vacation villas hear the loud cry, and jokingly pass it off as their wake-up call in the morning.
Howlers roam in several parts of this Central American country including Guanacaste, Arenal, Manuel Antonio National Park, Osa Peninsula, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, and Monteverde. The males are the loudest of the lot, and you can hear them howling from miles away. The Howler malesyowl to communicate with the group or to respond to their surroundings. They call mostly during the monsoon and howl at people and dogs. These monkeys mostly thrive on leaves and are not as active as the other monkey species. They sleep most of the time to digest the folivorous diet they live on.
3. Squirrel Monkeys
You will spot the Squirrel Monkeys along the Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica. They are the smallest of the species found in Costa Rica. They live on both plants and animals, moving around in a troop of 20-75 members. Due to illegal pet trade and deforestation, the Squirrel Monkey is reducing in numbers as of late. Fortunately, the Costa Rican national parks are striving hard to save them from extinction. You will spot them in Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park, and Osa Peninsula.
Watching monkeys in their natural surroundings is an exciting experience. If you want to experience it more often than not, why not own one of the villa homes in Arenal Hills? Call us on 1-844-MY-HILLS if you want more information about our vacation villas in the Arenal region.
The Costa Rica Star recently warned its readers that some tour operators based in La Fortuna in San Carlos are offering guided tours to the peak of the volcano. Be forewarned that they aren’t authorized by local tourism authorities. The National System of Conservation Areas, or SINAC, has been warning residents and tourists alike that tours to the peak are off limits because they are dangerous. SINAC sites that there are no trails, steep slopes, and the area is prone to falling rocks and landslides. Plus, the temperature rises dramatically and uncomfortably near the peak, putting hikers at further risk.
A better option is a trip to see the volcano through approved access points through the Coladas and Peninsula sectors. You can find quality, guided tours at the Arenal Volcano National Park, where you’ll find both volcano hikes and hot springs visits.
But perhaps the best way to experience the beauty of the volcano is from your very own veranda at Arenal Hills. The community is designed so that nearly every home has a commanding view of the volcano.
For more information, visit: www.arenalhills.com.
Birdwatchers and novice wildlife watchers alike tend to catch their breath at the site of the bejeweled fliers who can hover indefinitely and fly backwards—making them unique among all other birds of the world. In Costa Rica, they range from very small to surprisingly large, with tail streamers, bright colorations and fancy head plumes.
Co-evolving with the plants of Costa Rica, hummingbirds have long, slender bills and long tongues, perfect for feeding on nectar. Eating their body weight in nectar each day, hummingbirds have an extremely high metabolism—the highest of any bird on the planet, in fact. To maintain their energetic existence, they also supplement their nectar diets with insects. While awake, their heart rate exceeds 1,200 beats a minute. At night, they go into a torpor state to conserve their energy.
Most hummingbirds live relatively solitary lives, and aggressively defend the nectar-bearing plants in their territory from other hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.
The tiniest hummer in Costa Rica is the male of the species Selasphorus Scintilla, weighing in at just two grams. Camplyopterus hemilecurus is the largest hummingbird in Costa Rica, and weighs in at 11.5 grams. This bird is a flash of brilliant violet on its head and beautifully contrasting emerald wings.
Of the 50 species that live year-around in Costa Rica, ten of them prefer highland environments like the Arenal and Irazu volcanoes. In fact, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is within minutes of Arenal Hills, boasts one of the highest concentrations of humminghbirds in a highland ecosystem. These include showy specimens like Panterpe insignis, known by its fiery red throat, and shimmering green body, indigo chest, and a radiant blue crown.
At Arenal Hills, we have purposely included flowering plants that attract hummingbirds to our community. These include orchids, Porterweed, bananas, ginger, and more. We encourage our residents to provide natural nutrition instead of sugar feeders.
For vacationers in search of thrill and excitement, the Arenal region in Costa Rica offers recreational activities like zip lining, bungee jumping, rafting, and more. With varied topography from verdant rainforests, spectacular volcanoes, natural caves, and gushing waterfalls, this central American country has a wide variety of exciting activities. Here are three of the most thrilling activities for you in Arenal, Costa Rica:
- Underground Cave Touring
Would you love to explore some deep underground caves in Costa Rica? You will find many such caverns in the Arenal region, offering you a glimpse into a magical underground world full of stalagmites and stalactites, waterfalls, rivers, unusual subterranean creatures, and fossils. Take a guided tour to see underground limestone rock formations, fish, crickets, and varied marine fossils. Make sure you wear proper rubber boots, a headlamp, and other gear for a safe cave-viewing experience. Wear light clothes that dry quickly as you may get a little drenched because of the river and waterfall. The caves are normally smaller, but you must go for it for a memory that you will treasure forever.
- Bungee Jumping
Would you love the experience of jumping from a height of 40 meters with your body attached to a bungee cord? If you are young at heart, an adventure seeker, and know how to triumph over fear, or would want to experience how it feels when your heart races with every bounce, then you will probably love this experience. Unique to the Arenal region, bungee jumping here gives you an opportunity to dive right into the crystal-clear water for ending a free fall in the majestic view of the imposing Arenal volcano, rainforest, and waterfall. All you see is lush greenery around. You feel free, buoyant, and careless. Fair warning— this activity is not for those with a weak heart. You should know what you are doing to prevent anything from going wrong.
- Night Time Hiking
How about heading for the deep rainforests of Arenal looking for some nocturnal creatures? With a flashlight to show you the way and an experienced guide to help you spot wildlife, get a peep of hanging bats, lazy sloths, and brightly colored dart frogs as you walk slowly underneath the deep jungle canopy. Meandering through the thick Costa Rican forest at night is a wonderful experience. Watching sloths hanging from tree branches, hearing loud calls of nocturnal birds asserting their presence, or witnessing bats preying on insects isn’t something you experience every day. With the end of your nocturnal hike, savor a delicious outdoor dinner while listening to the strange sounds of the deep rainforest.
The Arenal region in Costa Rica has lots to offer when it comes to recreational activities. If you want to learn more about all that you can do around Arenal Hills, contact us now. 1-844-My-Hills.
Costa Rica is a breathtaking country that has a little something for everyone. From thrilling jungle hikes to adventure sports, awe-inspiring scenery to diverse wildlife, you can’t go wrong if you decide to buy a vacation home in Costa Rica. The question is – which location do you choose? If you wish to experience a bit of everything the country has to offer, Arenal Hills is your best bet. Arenal Hills is located near the city of La Fortuna in the Alajuela province of Costa Rica. The area’s most prominent features are Lake Arenal and the Arenal Volcano, which can be seen from Arenal Hills.
Daytime temperatures are quite comfortable, averaging in the upper 80s during the day, and dropping down to cool nights that average in the low 70s. Most of the time, the best air conditioning of all comes from opening the windows and doors to bring in the fresh air. Since this area is located in the tropics, heavy rainfall is common, especially during the rainy season (May through November). However, the water nourishes the local vegetation and makes the different shades of green in the trees and plants pop.
Arenal Lake forms the centerpiece of this region. Green hills dotted with homes slope down to the water. The entire land is a potpourri of village, forest, and field. This rural region has plenty of open, green spaces and wild areas, including a national park surrounding the volcano. The pristine quality of the lake and the amazing views are the reasons why a lot of people are drawn to this area.
Unspoiled Vistas, Modern Convenience
Nature isn’t the only form of entertainment available in the region. If you want modern amenities, you can look forward to high-speed Internet and cable TV. Plus, all utility conduits are underground, so you’ll always have a clear, unspoiled view of the Arenal Volcano and the surrounding countryside.
Arenal Hills promises all the thrill, excitement and magic of Costa Rica. If you buy a vacation home here, you won’t regret it. To learn more, get in touch with us today by calling 1-844-My-Hills.
With so much to see and do in Costa Rica, many people find themselves overwhelmed with options upon touching down at the airport for the first time. Fortunately, we’ve spent enough time here to familiarize ourselves with some of the most well-loved vacation destinations in this lovely little Caribbean country. In this entry, we’ll look at a few of our favorites.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Located just a stone’s throw from Areanl Hills, La Paz is a popular attraction which features an animal sanctuary populated by animals rescued by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment. Guests can follow a jungle boardwalk to 5 waterfalls and an aviary to see some of Costa Rica’s most colorful bird species.
Tabacon Hot Springs
Unwind in some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and well-known hot springs. Another destination located just around the corner from Arenal Hills.
Costa Rica Sky Adventures
Sky Adventures has three locations, each with a wide variety of fun activities for the whole family. Zip line, kayak, bike, or explore some of Costa Rica’s most breathtaking landscapes on foot.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
The gauzy fog that hangs over the unsullied forests of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is like something out of a dream. A favorite destination of ecotourists from all over the world, this reserve offers visitors a chance to gaze on stunning views of the pristinely preserved forest of Costa Rica.
Arenal Volcano National Park
Alright, so we might be a little biased, but we can’t help but marvel at how lucky we are to have this spectacular sight right in our back yard. The park is home to two volcanos, Chato and Arenal, as well as a lively assortment of wildlife native to Costa Rica. At the summit of Chato Volcano, visitors can take in the emerald green waters of a lagoon in the volcano’s collapsed crater.
This might be your first visit to Costa Rica, but it’s not likely to be your last! Give us a call today to learn more about all there is to see around Arenal Hills.