The Quepos Area of Costa Rica – and Glamping!!!
A lot of people will go to Costa Rica and sit on the beach. And while you will have a great time, I think you would miss a lot of the interesting things about the culture and eco-environment that makes Costa Rica a one of a kind destination. I think that is what I liked about using Backroads for this group tour. I could have easily booked a hotel on the beach and done excursions from there. But I’m really glad we didn’t. I also could have spent a lot of time planning a similar trip on our own and saved some money. This is NOT a sponsored post. It was a celebration of a birthday milestone for me, so I let them do all the work this time. And I was glad I did.
The area surrounding the Manuel Antonio National park is directly on the Pacific Ocean. You can take a short charter flight into Quepos airport (a strip really) from San Jose, or the Arenal area as well. You could also rent a car in San Jose and drive down to the Quepos area. After we landed, instead of heading straight to the beach, we crossed the road and walked down a little ways from the air strip to La Foresta. It is a nature resort with hikes, a pool, and other activities available. We did a hike and had a fantastic lunch there. We met some interesting characters too:
A FANTASTIC place not to be missed on any trip to Cost Rica is…..wait for it…..Rafiki Safari Lodge.
You can read on the website about the owner’s journey from home in South Africa to Costa Rica. The owner of Rafiki, Lautjie (pronounced Loki) is a fabulous host and a wealth of knowledge. On a hike with our kids, he showed us how to tattoo our clothes with silver ferns, eat hearts of palm and bougainvillea, pollinate our shirts, spot lizards and birds, and even see a plant bleed red. The kids were riveted and so was I!
He can arrange for a shuttle from the Quepos airstrip, or you can drive yourself if you rented a car. In case you’ve never heard of it, glamorous camping is: hardwood floors, electricity, real beds, attached baths, but with a giant individual camping tent overhead.
Rafiki offers packages that include your stay, meals, and a few activities too. They offer hiking, river rafting, horse back riding, eating at a local’s house, birding, and of course the famous water slide. Judging by the amount of water that went up my nose, I’d say it is the fastest water slide in Central America.
The Lodge Dog, races you on land and cheers (barks) you on, all the way down!! The main lodge is a huge deck (some covered, some not) with room for hanging out, a nice bar and seating for dinner. If you’ve never had South African BBQ, now is your chance. They grill it right on the deck!
Lastly, we enjoyed Rafiki’s river rafting. They have different routes with different classes and sizes of boats, something for everyone. We even got to stop at a waterfall and get in. Closed toed water shoes are a must, as flip flops would have floated down the river. Great fun. Not to be missed.
That was the one of the calmest points in the rafting trip. We even stopped to walk to a close by waterfall and play in it. The boys were surprised at how strong a waterfall could be. They will sell you a disc with pictures of you on the rapids too. Fun stuff.
Next up, the beach!! Pacific Ocean, here we come….