Scholarships Available to Teens Seeking Meaningful Summer Travel Experiences

April 23, 2014 on 9:01 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Beachbooker, Central America, Costa Rica, Hawaiian Islands, Thailand | Comments Off



Monetary assistance is available to teens who have a yen to travel and be a force for positive change this summer.

Founder’s Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 per student will be applied to program tuitions for students who meet criteria outlined by Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC) and who enroll by May 9 in ARCC programs ranging from Costa Rica to Thailand. For over 30 years ARCC has delivered meaningful international travel experiences for students ages 13 through 19.

Adventures Cross-Country advocates meaningful travel as the best way to inspire teens to become responsible global citizens.

“I am extremely proud of the lasting impact that ARCC students have had on people, on communities and on the environment around the world,” reflects Scott von Eschen, parent of two teens and President of Adventures Cross-Country (http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/). “Often their travel experiences are life-changing as students learn to be contributing members of our global community.”

Scholarships are available to boys currently in grades 9-12 for two programs: Thailand Elephant Service that runs July 1-31 and Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs June 28-July 18. A third scholarship program open to boys in grades 7-9 is Hawaii Service with two departures, July 1-14 and July 18 -31.

Scholarships are available to girls currently in grades 8-9 for Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs July 16-Aug. 5 and for girls currently in grades 7-9 for Costa Rica Service Classic that runs July 21-Aug. 3.

Thailand Elephant Service – In Thailand students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land. Students volunteer in a hill-tribe village, learn how to cook tasty Thai delights, spend the night among monks at a Buddhist monastery, explore the temple wonderland of Chiang Mai, scuba dive spectacular multi-colored coral reefs, whitewater raft the Pai gorges, teach English and make friendships with children in a local primary school in this country named The Land of Smiles.

See: http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/trips/thailand-elephant-service

Costa Rica Service Ultimate – Student travelers dive into the heart of Costa Rican culture by working with school children and rural farmers on community service projects. Enroute they whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, surf an unspoiled coastline, patrol turtle nesting beaches, help a community build a shelter, do daily chores with a family and help educate village youth. See: http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/trips/costa-rica-ultimate-service

Costa Rica Service Classic – Students teach English in a local school, whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, engage in conservation and ecological preservation, come together with a rural community to build a shelter, plant a vegetable garden, explore lush rainforests, untouched beaches, and a rainbow of exotic wildlife, and surf the friendly waves of the Pacific Coast.

See: http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/trips/costa-rica-classic-service

Hawaii Service – Students traveling here engage in a celebration of a landscape of perfection, where the beauty of turquoise waters melt into captivating sunsets. Enroute they engage with communities in helping preserve natural and cultural environments while sharing a laugh with local children at a Boys and Girls Club, surfing, swimming and hiking the magnificent Na Pali coast.

See: http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/trips/hawaii-service

Adventures Cross-Country’s 50-page catalog details Community Service, Language Immersion and Multi-Sport programs in 21 countries on six continents for youth seeking a summer service learning experience, all while exploring cultures and communities off the beaten path. The full catalog in a digital version can also be viewed online: click here. To order a copy or to speak to a representative, call (415) 332-5075 or visit online: http://www.adventurescrosscountry.com/.

About Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC)

Founded in 1983, ARCC has become a leading provider of Community Service, Service Learning and Adventure Travel programs for youth ages 13 to 19. For over 30 years ARCC has been offering life-changing experiences to students who participate in two- to four-week small group programs that visit 21 countries on six continents. From teaching primary school English and building water purification projects in Africa to running whitewater rapids in Costa Rica to enhancing fluency in Spanish or Mandarin in Spain or China, ARCC brings youth face to face with the challenges, realities and beauties of nature and our global community. For post-high school students ARCC operates Gap Programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college combining a rich academic curriculum with the experiential benefits of international travel.


Costa Rica No Artificial Ingredients – No Hidden Fees

April 7, 2014 on 8:38 am | In Adventure Travel, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



Spring is sprung, summer is just around the corner, and EcoAmerica Tours brings you the real Costa Rica with No Artificial Ingredients and no hidden fees!

Travel in style with private guided scenic transfers from point to point at an easy pace and stops at your own convenience for viewing and picture opportunities. In the Caribbean Park of Tortuguero join a group of nature-enthusiasts and discover the flora and fauna of the waterways, creeks, and lagoons of the Amazon-like Tortuguero National Park. Then continue with your personalized, guided expedition through the diverse eco-systems located in and around the Arenal Volcano National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest. At the end of your nature and adventure Costa Rica Coast to Coast exploration, you will enjoy a well-deserved relaxing time at the beach in the Guanacaste Coast.

Includes:

8 nights at your choice of hotels.
17 meals+ (8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners).
All applicable entrance fees*.
Shared tour bus transfer to the Tortuguero Park.
Shared tour boat transfer to/from the Tortuguero lodges.
All Private Guided Transfers in modern A/C vehicles.
Guided Land and Water Adventure in Tortuguero (on shared basis).
Guided Private Drive through the Caribbean Basin of the San Carlos Valley.
Guided Private Visit of the Thermal Pools at the Tabacon Hot Springs.
Guided Private Visits of the Arenal Sky Park Hanging Bridges, the Rainforest of the Highlands.
Guided Private Drive around the Arenal Lake and the Tilaran Mountain Range.
Guided Private Visit of the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Guided Private Drive through the Pacific Savannas and through the Dry Tropical Dry Forest Lowlands.
English-speaking private guide during tours (share a guide service for Tortuguero).
Personalized service of our Costa Rica-based operational office.
All applicable taxes.


New Ethical Latin America Travel Company Continues To Grow

March 14, 2014 on 10:25 am | In Adventure Travel, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Central America, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, South America, Uruguay | Comments Off



Ethical travel company ‘Sumak Sustainable Travel’ adds eight new Latin America destinations in its second year of operation. Patagonia, Ecuador, the Colombian Sierra Nevada and Chicamocha Canyon, the Galapagos Islands, Peru, Costa Rica & Uruguay.

Specialising in community-based travel and eco-tours right across South America and Costa Rica, Sumak brings to life a new movement in travel. As more people become aware of the sustainability issues surrounding tourism, the demand for ethically-minded and responsible travel is growing. People want to go beyond what is often a faceless, pre-packaged mode of travel offered by many of the larger tour companies and really connect with the local life and culture of the places they visit.

By combining visits to the well-known sights of Latin America, with community-based stays and real off-the-beaten path adventures, Sumak provides truly diverse and experience-rich holidays. From Patagonia to Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle and Costa Rica, the company has built up a network of unique partners offering diverse travel experiences. These local community-based operators are welcoming like minded travellers, inviting them to get to know their ecosystems and culture first hand and gain a much deeper insight into the countries that they visit.

Amongst the newly launched tours is the exciting Undiscovered Colombia Adventure. Travellers take on a five-day hike through the Caribbean jungle to the incredible ruins of an ancient lost city, as well as journeying into the Amazon Rainforest to encounter its indigenous culture and wildlife. On the Chilean Andes & Chiloe Tour travellers criss-cross the Andes through the beautiful Lake District, staying with local Mapuche communities in the heart of some of the most stunning national parks on the continent. The new Peru adventure, The Inca Empire – Lake Titicaca & Machu Picchu Tour, takes travellers on an alternative Inca Trail trek. As well as seeing Machu Picchu they will be the guests of local communities and visit their coffee plantations, learning about rural life in the high Andes.

In Ecuador, the Andes to the Pacific Coast Tour gives an unparalleled experience, travelling through volcanoes and cloud forests, being the guests of the country’s unique rural communities and enjoying the beaches of the Pacific lowlands. There is also an in-depth wildlife tour Natural Selection – Amazon & Galapagos Tour for the real nature enthusiasts.

On all of these tours travellers will see incredible sights, meet inspirational people, and sit down to talk and eat with the locals (as guests, rather than customers). Through these unique and authentic experiences they will gain a true insight into life in Latin America. See the full portfolio of tours and adventures covering Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay.


20th anniversary of Rainforest Adventures

March 8, 2014 on 1:28 pm | In Adventure Travel, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



This year marks the 20th anniversary of operations for Rainforest Adventures, who opened their first park in Costa Rica in 1994, and have since gone on to create one of the world’s most recognized sustainable adventure park companies, with current operations in four countries and plans for expansion.

With two parks in Costa Rica, Rainforest Adventures has undertaken a number of initiatives to help protect the environment, engage with local residents, and educate guests on the importance of sustainability practices. And, many of these initiatives started during to construction of the first park, Costa Rica Atlantic, in 1994. According to the Rainforest Alliance, Earth University and Costa Rican Tourism Institute, these two parks are the model for best practices in the world when it comes to sustainable development and operations.

“When we decided to build our first park in Costa Rica, we had two choices: cut down trees to build our aerial tram experience, or find a way to preserve the pristine environment,” says Joaquín von der Goltz, president of Rainforest Adventures. “While it was complicated and expensive to construct the aerial tram without removing trees, for me, the decision was easy – we had to protect the rainforest. Otherwise, why build a park to help educate visitors on the importance of rainforest conservation?”

During the construction of the Costa Rica Atlantic park, local loggers were hired to help with the erection of the aerial tram lift. Rather than cut down part of the 1,200-acre rainforest in order to create a lift-line (much like a chairlift at a ski resort), the tram was completed without cutting down a single tree. By using helicopters to construct the tram (and, in turn, all future trams at the other parks), the result was an untouched rainforest environment, where guests could travel at canopy level, and view the flora and fauna in an in-depth, immersive experience.

This initial commitment to sustainability continues to present day. All park locations and operations in Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, and St Lucia have on-going practices in place to reduce the impact on the environment on a day-to-day basis, including park-wide environmental management systems and an extensive recycling program for both guests and staff. The environmental management system includes: an energy savings plan where all electricity is measured and reduced whenever possible, thereby reducing the reliance on bio-diesel; a management plan for liquid and solid waste generated in parks; a water saving plan that involves water-saving taps, urinals and toilets; and a response plan for the care and management of potential spills. The recycling program for guests and local teams includes international signage to help identify the correct containers for plastic, metal, glass, paper, compostable and non-recyclable waste.

In addition to these programs, Rainforest Adventures has a commitment to buying local, and encouraging their guests to do the same. The parks have an agreement with local artisans in which they are invited to showcase their crafts for sale to guests. And, more than 95 per cent of food and beverage available for park guests is derived from local products produced by local farmers.

With a focus on social sustainability, Rainforest Adventures employs more than 500 local, multilingual guides at their parks. Each guide adds depth and colour to the visitor experience by sharing insider information about the region’s rainforests, native plants and animals and about local customs, cultures and traditions

Rainforest Adventures is committed to minimizing their overall impact on the environment, while encouraging their guests to take the in-park methods and apply them at home. Parks feature education centres where guests can learn about conservation and the importance of preserving the world’s natural resources. Understanding that youth are future policymakers, Rainforest Adventures pays special attention to this demographic by offering a number of all-age, family-centric experiences, activities and exhibitions that are designed to empower and educate youth about the environment.

And, with the commitment to sustainability, government and NGOs have taken notice. Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Pacific has been recognized for its sustainability by the country’s government, earning an Ecological Flag, a Blue Flag, a Decree of National Interest for the Republic of Costa Rica and Certification for Sustainable Tourism. Both Costa Rica parks were verified by the Rainforest Alliance– a standard recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council – achieving the highest rating possible. In 2012, EARTH University officially certified the Costa Rica Atlantic park as carbon neutral, Costa Rica’s first tour operation to receive a carbon neutral title.

For more information about Rainforest Adventures, visit www.rainforestadventure.com.

About Rainforest Adventures
With tour operations in Panama and award winning, adrenaline-inducing adventure parks located in Costa Rica (both Pacific and Atlantic), Saint Lucia, and Jamaica, Rainforest Adventures locations serve as ecotourism attractions, nature reserves and wildlife refuges. Since 1994, the company has been combining unique rainforest adventures such as aerial trams, bobsleds and zip line rides, with exceptional, multi-lingual naturalist guides, giving each guest an educational, adventurous, sustainable and unforgettable rainforest experience. For more information, visit www.rainforestadventure.com


Costa Rican Culinary Tasting Tour: June 1 – 7, 2014

March 5, 2014 on 11:47 am | In Adventure Travel, Central America, Costa Rica, Dine Drink | Comments Off



Costa Rican Culinary Tasting Tour: June 1 – 7, 2014
Hosted by award-winning Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

Glenn and Teri Jampol, the owners of award-winning Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort, are on a mission to showcase the amazing flavors of Costa Rica for their guests during a six night, six day culinary tour, June 1 – 7, 2014.

Called the Costa Rican Culinary Paradise Week, guests will be introduced and guided by chef instructor MikeC., author of Kitchen on Fire and creator of Wine Country Culinary Adventures in Napa , and international culinary adventurer Gilad Chudler, of Costa Rica Culinary Tours. Together with the Jampols, their goal is to showcase some of the best local artisan foods and beverages that Costa Rica has to offer, including:

- Tour of Finca Rosa Blanca`s Rainforest Alliance Certified, organic coffee farm and tasting;
- Visit to Heredia`s Central Farmers Market;
- Cooking class and pairing artisanal cheeses with local craft brews;
- A day of nature hikes and tours of cacao, vanilla and pepper farms;
- Visit to Ark Herb Farm and Meadery;
- Mead and honey with goat cheese pairing over lunch; and
- Chocolate Tasting and lunch at Sibu Fine Chocolates workshop.

And there will be cooking classes and fine dining, based on the raw ingredients of vanilla, chocolate, coffee and pepper stirred in throughout the itinerary.

Cooltan Tan-Through Shirts & SwimsuitsThe total cost of Costa Rican Culinary Paradise Week is $3095 USD per person for double occupancy and $3,995 USD per person for single occupancy, and includes, five nights accommodation, all meals, cooking classes, guided tours and in-country transportation. More information and reservations are available at www.fincarosablanca.com

An ecolodge steeped in authentic Costa Rican culture
Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort is located just 20 minutes from the San José International Airport, set in the highlands of the beautiful Central Valley. At 4,000 feet above sea level, the lodge’s property offers acres of tropical gardens and paths and a thriving, 30-acre hard bean organic shade grown coffee plantation.

From the beginning, the Jampol family envisioned the creation of an exclusive boutique inn which would become one of the world’s leading hotels, combining luxurious accommodations and amenities, cultural authenticity, environmental respect and sustainable tourism. Today, they have fulfilled this dream and the resort is recognized as one of the globe’s top destinations, demonstrating that it is possible and necessary to combine luxury with sustainability.

When it comes to the overall guest experiences, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort offers 13 uniquely designed rooms (two master suites and 11 junior suites), each featuring private verandas, sweeping valley and volcano views and artistic décor. Common guest areas include a picturesque lobby with 40-foot ceilings, skylights and tropical gardens; a private office centre with internet service, computer and printer; eight acres of tropical gardens and paths, complete with a spring-fed swimming pool and waterfall and a commodious hot tub.

A gift shop features local crafts, organic skincare products and chocolate, and guests can enjoy a full-service spa, and a gourmet restaurant featuring garden to table innovative dishes.

About the Chefs & Guides:
Costa Rica Culinary Adventures is the brainchild of American Chef Gilad Chudler, who lives with his wife, Costa Rica native Natalia Schyfter, in the Central Valley outside of San Jose. Formerly one of the Bay Area’s most popular culinary instructors, Chudler founded Plátano Verde, a green-based catering and event planning firm, in 2012. His clients include award-winning hotels (including Hotel Sugar Beach, for which he recently served as a consulting executive chef) and restaurants (including ProductC), as well as the prestigious Punto de Vista Villa in Manuel Antonio.

While most chefs spend their entire careers working in restaurants, MikeC. was always hooked on teaching. In 2002, while completing his studies at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, he began working for Sur La Table as a resident instructor and manager of their in-store culinary program, which included assisting such visiting celebrity chefs as Martin Yan, Jamie Oliver, Alton Brown and Michael Chiarello. Now based in Napa Valley, MikeC. has led cooking classes and winemaker dinners at Cedar Gables Inn (among other venues) for nearly a decade. MikeC. has been featured on numerous television programs, including the Travel Channel’s “Great Weekend Getaways with Samantha Brown.” He was selected by Circulon, one of the largest cookware brands in the world to serve as the guest host of the first-ever web-based cooking show series, “Hungry Bytes” and was featured as the most recent host of the long-running TV series Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet, filmed on location in Mexico, Belize, and New Zealand, as well as Northern California.


Banana Coast Welcomes First Cruise Ship

February 17, 2014 on 10:24 am | In Adventure Travel, Belize, Central America, Costa Rica, Cruise Boats, Nicaragua | Comments Off



Banana Coast, the new Western Caribbean cruise port at Trujillo, Honduras, hosted its first cruise ship on Feb. 10 when Travel Dynamics International’s 130-passenger Yorktown visited. Passengers tendered to shore and were welcomed by Garifuna musicians playing the unique style of the Central American music. They shopped for locally made crafts, went on tours to the nearby rainforest and relaxed on the beach.

“It was rewarding to see Banana Coast come to life today with its first cruise passengers,” said Randy Jorgensen, general manager of Grande Trujillo Authoridad, which developed the port.

Banana Coast has shopping, a newly built tender dock, a reception center and transportation hub and 10 acres of beachfront in the town of Trujillo, which was established in 1525. To date, five cruise lines have scheduled 20 calls on eight ships at the first cruise destination on the Honduras mainland. The Honduran island of Roatan, a frequent port of call on cruises, is about 32 miles north.

Holland America Line has committed to a series of port calls to Banana Coast beginning in November through March 2015. Silversea Cruises has scheduled calls in December 2014 and March 2015. P&O Cruises and Oceania Cruises are slated to call in the first quarter of 2015.

Situated within the Bay of Trujillo, Banana Coast has a natural, deep-water harbor that provides protection from winds and waves. Christopher Columbus landed there more than 500 years ago during his last voyage to the Americas.

Since then, the area has been a Spanish colony and was at various times controlled by the Dutch, French, English — and pirates. During the early 20th century it was the banana export capital of the world.


G Adventures partners with ASTA’s Young Professional Society on Costa Rica Retreat

February 11, 2014 on 2:09 pm | In Adventure Travel, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



G Adventures, the leading small group travel pioneer, announced it is the official supplier of ASTA’s Young Professional Society’s next retreat.

ASTA’s Young Professionals Society (YPS) is a group of travel professionals under the age of 40 with a focus on networking, education and career development.

YPS hosts networking events and retreats throughout the year.

This year, G Adventures will sponsor their annual spring retreat in Costa Rica, May 16 – 24.

Ron Fenska, G Adventures Director of Sales, US, says the retreat will be the company’s Costa Rica Quest itinerary offered at a great discounted rate.

He adds, “The trip will mimic the exact itinerary offered to our regular clients but will include training and brainstorming sessions, as well as a Planeterra visit to learn more about sustainable tourism. We are thrilled to show these travel professionals not only Costa Rica but how G Adventures rolls.”

Now in its 24th year, G Adventures’ small traveling groups (average 10-12 passengers) enjoy the ease and convenience of local tour leaders known as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) who provide insider perspective on the company’s tours, safaris and expeditions to more than 100 countries on all continents. With G Adventures, members of YPS will be able to match their clients travel interests with the best travel style – and there are seven travel styles to choose from including Small Ships, Family and Active portfolios. G Adventures offers their travel programs according to travel style versus simply by destination, helping agents better qualify and meet the needs of their customers.

“Our partnership with G Adventures on this retreat symbolizes both our members’ interest in the small group adventure travel market as well as their interest in working with travel companies with a purpose,” says Evan McElligott, CTA, from Find Longer Vacations and YPS board member. “The next generation of Travel Consultants will carry a lot of responsibility for thefuture of sustainable tourism and forging partnerships with companies like G Adventures sends the message that we are committed to this kind of businessmodel and, in turn, it shows G’s commitment to the next generation of dedicated travel professionals.”

With G Adventures, YPS members and their clients can depend on differentiating services such as 100% guaranteed departure dates, 24/7 service and a lifetime deposit that’s unparalleled.

Applications are being accepted now through the end of February.


Enjoy Hotels to Open First Boutique Property – El Mangroove in Costa Rica‏

February 7, 2014 on 10:06 am | In Beachbooker, Caribbean, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



Newest Opening within Preferred Boutique Portfolio Boasts Prime Papagayo Bay Location, Just 20 Minutes from International Airport

February 3, 2014 – The Enjoy Hotels brand announced today that the highly anticipated El Mangroove in Papagayo Bay, Costa Rica will open its doors to international travelers on February 2. El Mangroove, a member of Preferred Boutique, is the first boutique property to open within the Enjoy Hotels portfolio and the only independently owned and operated luxury boutique hotel in Papagayo Bay. In addition, the luxury beachfront property is the closest resort to any international airport in Costa Rica, located just 20 minutes from Daniel Obuder International Airport.

“El Mangroove is not only inspiring but also fresh and unique, offering impeccable service, warm hospitality, and a cozy yet luxe environment. El Mangroove is Costa Rica’s best new option for travelers who are seeking a balance between impeccable and inspiring design and a relaxing, natural, and exciting experience,” said Ruben A. Pacheco – Executive President, Enjoy Group.

Set on more than 15 acres of beach forest surrounded by virgin mangroves and autochthonous landscaped gardens, offering breathtaking sunset views, El Mangroove offers the perfect combination of nature and simple luxury. The concept of El Mangroove focuses on the idea that “true essence is in simplicity,” and this philosophy is exuded across the resort through a variety of water and wood elements, which are complemented by sleek design lines, natural furniture, and subtle touches of color.

The resort’s 85 suites – among the largest in the region starting at 625 square-feet – feature indoor/outdoor living rooms, regional artwork, and a simplistic-meets-exotic furnishings. To reflect the lifestyle theme found throughout the Enjoy Hotels portfolio, El Mangroove features live music daily offered by the poolside DJ, sensorial gastronomy at its two restaurants, nature-inspired fitness facilities with indoor/outdoor training spaces, and 7,000 square-feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space.

Active travelers looking to experience Papagayo Bay can access the resort’s boats to enjoy fishing trips, surfing tours, and beach hopping excursions, or experience the area like locals during a visit to the artsy town of El Coco, which is just 15 minutes away. For those looking to indulge in the art of relaxation, El Mangroove features a full-service spa that is nestled among the mangroves and offers outdoor yoga and meditation areas, as well as a 130-foot pool with poolside private cabanas and pool lounges. Among the hotel’s other features are 24-hour in-room dining, 24-hour concierge services, and complimentary WiFi.

El Mangroove is a member of Preferred Boutique, an inspiring collection from Preferred Hotel Group that represents more than 150 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts around the world.

This project is not only naturally inspiring but also fresh and unique. The quality of services and the cozy vibe of our hotel makes El Mangroove the number one option for those who are looking to get in-tune with nature, relax but at the same time have all your senses be awaken and provoke.” Concluded Ruben Alberto Pacheco, Presidente Ejecutivo Enjoy Group.

For additional info about El Mangroove, please call to 506 2291 7750 or send us an email to reservations@elmangroove.net

On the web http://www.elmangroove.net

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

Spark Your Love: Valentine’s Ideas For All Types Of Couples‏

February 5, 2014 on 12:03 pm | In Adventure Travel, British Columbia, Canada, Central America, Costa Rica, Weddings Honeymoons | Comments Off



While pagan fertility festivals and martyred saints are long gone, spending time with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day is here to stay. Whether your idea of romance is a cozy candlelit dinner a-deux, a twosome at a tropical paradise, or shredding powder with your honey, here are some ideas for your inner cupid:

Is your love adventurous? In Golden, BC, you can walk with the wolves at Wildlife Wolf Center or take a snowmobiling tour to a candlelit dinner location. Active couples can ski or snowboard in premium powder or try something new, like ice-climbing on falls with names like Pretty Nuts and The Asylum. Stay in The Eagle’s Eye Suites at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, one of the highest-altitude accommodations in North America. Start with a ride up the mountain in a deluxe, leather-lined gondola, top up with a personal concierge, ski instructor and chef. Starting from $2,283 (US $2,058) per suite per night. www.tourismgolden.com

Is your love exotic? Tropical flora and fauna and luxurious surroundings complement a lush setting in Costa Rica’s Nayara Hotel, Spa and Gardens. The surrounding rainforest and caves await with ziplining or spelunking options. Private verandas with volcano views are a perfect setting for some alone time, and the Nayara Springs Villas even have private thermal-fed spring plunge pools. The Romance in Paradise package starts at $1,834 (US $1,653) for 3 nights’ accommodation, full breakfast buffet daily, romantic dinners, hot stone massages and more. www.arenalnayara.com

Is your love glamorous? Badrutt’s Palace Hotel hosts royalty and the Hollywood elite on a regular basis so they know how to provide star treatment. Badrutt’s Palace offers an iconic location, exceptional service and fine restaurants such as Le Restaurant, Nobu and Chesa Veglia. Add a chauffeured Rolls Royce ride to the hotel, activities and events such as the St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow and Crazy Horse’s Parisian revue Forever Crazy, and you have the makings for a sophisticated holiday for glamorous couples.
The Love Your Love package at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel starts at $4,344 (US $3,916) for three nights’ accommodation and includes three romantic dinners, a spa treatment for two, and an exclusive candlelight pool visit. www.badruttspalace.com/en

Is your love cozy? Bask in the warm hot springs at Harrison Hot Springs and re-discover why you love spending time together. Venture out to the local shops and restaurants and discover this charming small-town with your favorite person in tow. If you are nature-inclined, take a jetboat tour to view wildlife, including stragglers left from the thousands of bald eagles that visit Harrison each winter. The Be my Valentine package at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa starts at $379 (US $342) per night and includes one night’s accommodation, an elegant dinner, breakfast and sparkling wine upon arrival.

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

Occidental Grand Papagayo Announces Same Time Next Year Promotion‏

February 5, 2014 on 11:46 am | In Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Central America, Costa Rica | Comments Off



Guests who stay at the adults-only, all-inclusive Occidental Grand Papagayo in Costa Rica will receive a certificate allowing them to return to the hotel in 2015 at the same rate booked in 2014. The booking window for this promotion is January 2 – December 22, 2014, for travel valid January 2 – December 22, 2015.

The Same Time Next Year promotion requires a minimum 3-night stay and can be booked through the resort, a travel agent or tour operator. In order to redeem these special rates, guests must book the following year’s trip within 60 days of their original stay, and must submit the certificate when booking to guarantee the same rate. Booking must be made in the same room category and the guest must travel during the same month of their original visit. *The booking and travel period is subject to change.


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