While staying at the Peace Lodge in Costa Rica, near the Poas Volcano, we took a day to visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens (http://www.waterfallgardens.com/), which are right in the same property, and practically below the balcony of our (beautiful) room.  It was one of the highlights of our month in Costa Rica, and well worth every colone we spent.   We went on a private guided tour with our 3 boys, as part of a package that we booked through the Peace Lodge.  The tour is highly recommended!  The guide shared details about almost every animal, insect and reptile in the gardens, and had permissions to hand us a toucan, let the boys feed the monkeys bananas and give us each plastic feeders to attract hummingbirds right to our faces.  It was amazing!    Our guide then took us through the butterfly garden, where scientists breed butterflies and release them, and…Continue Reading
Nosara, Costa Rica was rated one of “World’s 20 Best Surf Towns” by National Geographic, so Rich and the boys decided to give it a try!  Based on Yelp reviews, we chose to take lessons at Coconut Harry’s (okay, maybe we choose them because they have a yummy taco shop at their main location.  It’s called Taco Taco and it was delicious).  Coconut Harry’s offers group and private lessons for all levels of surfers.  Rich hadn’t been on a surfboard in 20 years and this was our boys’ first time.   We decided to book a group lesson, which ended up being just our family.  The one-hour group lessons were $45 per adult and $35 for kids under 10.  They also have packages with 5 days of group surf lessons for $200 (U.S. Dollars) but we wanted to give it a try first.  All the instructors spoke English and are ISA Certified.  The lesson…Continue Reading
La Luna Playa Pelada, Nosara 4, Costa Rica La Luna is a small slice of paradise on a beautiful beach just north of Nosara.  The food is casual  Mediterranean and the vibe is romantic yet relaxed.  You can choose to eat inside, on the patio or on the sand on sofas or more traditional tables.  The restaurant is beautiful inside and out. We fell in love with La Luna on our first day in Nosara and went back several times in the 2 weeks that we were there.  I’m told they serve wonderful Banana Nutella pancakes for breakfast but we only ate lunch and dinner there.  Our favorite appetizer was the Tico platter.   It included fresh guacamole, black bean coriander dip and tomato lime salsa with patacones for dipping.  Patacones are fried plantain slices and they are delicious.  Our favorite entree was the Athena Pizza which is loaded with feta,…Continue Reading
I love snorkeling!  And Ambergris Caye, Belize is a wonderful place to do it.  Warm crystal clear water, beautiful reefs and frolicking sea turtles.  There is nothing as relaxing as floating on top of the water, watching amazing sea life, with the warm sun on your back.   It’s usually in this relaxing moment that my brain betrays me.  I start to hear that John Williams soundtrack from my childhood.  The beating heart sound from Jaws, slow at first (bum bum…bum bum) and then speeding up with my heartbeat.  Suddenly the beautiful reef seems scary, panic sets in, and I am out of the water. Sharks terrify me.  It has no rational basis. So when my husband suggested a catamaran ride to “Shark Alley” to swim with sharks and rays, I thought he was crazy.  Swimming with sharks!?!  Why would I do that? But these sharks aren’t scary, they’re just…Continue Reading
Ambergris Caye is a fantastic place to visit: warm water, friendly people, white sand beaches and delicious food.  You can go out on a catamaran to see nurse sharks and humongous manta rays, go diving in the coral reef, go fishing, sample the delicious cuisine, or just lie on the beach and do nothing.  There are water taxis zipping around all day and night, so getting from one end to the other is not just easy, it’s fun! While getting around the Caye isn’t too hard, getting there is another story!  If you’re not flying in from Belize City (on little planes that are rather pricey), you have to take a ferry from Chetumal, Mexico, if you are coming from the north, or Belize City if you are coming from the south.  We were coming from Mexico, so that’s the route we took, and we’ll share our experience with you. From Cancun…Continue Reading