My Belize Experience: Where to stay + What to do

I have just returned from Belize, and couldn’t be happier with my time spent there.

A perfect honeymoon at Nayara Springs

Once I decided I would get married in Costa Rica, there was no hesitation on where I wanted to spend my time after the wedding on my honeymoon. 

Why I chose Costa Rica for my destination wedding and honeymoon

I just returned home from Costa Rica where I married my person with our toes in the sand surrounded by our closest friends and family, and then spent some time honeymooning in the rain forest at one of the most beautiful resorts in the world.

planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica

It’s been the most amazing start to the year, but of course planning a wedding a mere 3 1/2 months after getting engaged was quite a tall order. Not only that — it was a destination wedding. For me, that meant planning an unforgettable vacation experience for 30 people I care deeply about, and wanting their time in this beautiful country to be special and meaningful as well. 

So many people have asked “why Costa Rica?!”⠀

Costa Rica is my soul destination. If you’ve ever been, you can understand why. It has the highest life satisfaction in the world, and being there you can’t help but have that rub off on you.

It is also an adventure lover’s perfect playground. There is so much to do, see, and experience here, that your vacation can delight your senses in every way possible. The great thing is though, you don’t have to do all. the. things. You can also find delight in swaying in a hammock all day and watching some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen.

Best destination wedding in Costa Rica
sunset cruise costa rica.JPG

I saw our friends and family enjoy the experience we created for them, and truly live PURA VIDA, even for just a few days. And my wedding? I still can’t tell you what type of flowers were in my bouquet, but I remember taking a moment towards the end of the reception to just look out and soak it all in. It was better than I hoped it would be. Without  being overly sappy, it truly was the best day ever. 

photo courtesy of  Quaint + Whim

photo courtesy of Quaint + Whim

Pura Vida is a way of life. The literal translation is “pure life”— and you can use it as a greeting, a thank you, or just to say something is awesome. It symbolizes moving things forward and simply enjoying life. ⠀

I believe that when you visit this place their outlook on life rubs off on you and you can’t help but feel more at peace in this beautiful country. ⠀

My hope is that we introduced that to all of our guests and they felt that as well.

beachfront wedding in Costa Rica Playa Langosta

I’d love to do the same for you! Contact me to plan your own personal vacation or honeymoon to this amazing destination and lets make it unique and special for you and your interests. 

If you are thinking about planing your own destination wedding here, I’d love to help you make this a vacation experience your guests are sure to remember. Take a look at my own wedding website for our Costa Rican destination wedding to get a feel for the experience I created, and lets talk about what will be special for you!

If you are interested in what an awesome Costa Rica itinerary might look like, check out this inspiration [click photo]:

The Most Romantic Spots To Watch The Sunset In Guanacaste, Costa Rica

I’m so excited to share this blog with you today because it’s the love child of two of my favorite things… Costa Rica and sunsets.

The Top 5 Destinations for Adventurous Travelers

Adventure travel speaks to me…sometimes. I am the type of traveler that can thrive on doing absolutely nothing for days on end, and also find great enjoyment in having the most mind blowing, adrenaline pumping, heart racing adventures.  I constantly have to ask myself, is this trip seeking to be an epic adventure of a lifetime, or will the most adventurous part of my trip be having two desserts? Decisions, decisions.

I know there are some people who fall firmly in one camp or the other, no matter what. Adventure seekers are always a blast to plan trips for because I know I can really let loose and create a fast-paced trip they are sure to love.  They aren’t going to call me a few days in asking me to cancel the rest of their plans because they just fell like laying low at the spa. They are going to go, and then go some more. 

If you are in that camp, I want to share with you a few of my favorite destinations I recommend for my fellow thrill-seekers.

End of year travel: Where to go and why

Here is yet another thing I love about traveling the world: You can literally pick the season you want to enjoy at any time of year, and go somewhere perfectly suited to experience it. Did you miss your opportunity for a summer vacation? Or are you like me, and jump at the chance to work on your tan any chance you get? Well, you’re in luck.

Since most people don’t start their winter travel until mid or late December, traveling in November and early December means crowds are small and your vacation dollar will go a lot further in huge sections of the travel world.

Today’s blog gives you some fantastic ideas to help you add a week or two of summer vibes toward the end of the year.

Nicaragua Overnight Tours from Costa Rica

I love Central America. Costa Rica is one of my “soul destinations”, and by that I mean a place I go to to get in tune with the deepest parts of me, and where I feel like the beauty of nature is on display everywhere you turn.  There are so many destinations within Costa Rica to visit and fall in love with, but it also happens to be neighbors with some other pretty awesome countries as well. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to plan an incredible trip to Costa Rica and add on a side trip to Nicaragua. I feel so inspired by it, that it’s on my to do list to take my own adventure to Nicaragua sometime soon!  It’s proximity to the Guanacaste region makes it an amazing addition to a Costa Rican adventure, or an experience all on it’s own.

Travel Well, Live Well

To travel well is to live well. And the key to both is nurturing that spark of joy in our lives. 

What daily routines make our hearts sing? Listening to our answers, and then intentionally incorporating these details each day, will turn an ordinary vacation into the trip of our lives. Before I left for our New Year’s vacation in Jaco Beach, Costa Rica, I walked to my favorite coffee bar and ordered a cappuccino. Then, I asked myself one simple question: “What three things would make my vacation truly magical?”

That’s right. Not “nice” or “relaxing.” Magical. 

I didn’t want to travel in order to escape my life. I wanted to travel and discover a new corner of the world. And I wanted time to slow down enough to discover more about myself. Yes, I admit that I had high hopes for this trip. But I also did more than hope for it to be great—I planned for it to be great. And so can you. 

Costa Rica Rainforest Ranch: La Anita

Staying at La Anita Ranch was one of the highlights of my trip for many reasons. It was peaceful, serene, absolutely gorgeous, and …. IT WAS A WORKING CHOCOLATE FARM. That last item for me is a game changer because, duh, I love chocolate. And the chocolate produced here is some of the best I’ve ever had.  As a person who has tasted chocolate all throughout the world, I basically consider myself an expert on this subject. 

Why You Should Visit Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Playa Grande, Costa Rica is a gorgeous beach area off the beaten path, just north of Tamarindo. This beach is incredibly popular with surfers, and is the place to go if you consider yourself a pro, or are interested in honing your skills. I saw all skill sets benefitting from the awesome waves there. I don’t surf — at all— but it was enjoyable to simply sit on the beach and watch the waves crashing and the surfers do their thing. 

What to do in Monteverde

Visiting Monteverde is something that many visitors to Costa Rica make part of their itinerary, and it is one of the top destinations in the country.  People come here to experience nature at it’s very finest.  The cloud forests are brimming with plants and animals, the zip lines and suspension bridges are the longest (and most exciting) in the country, and the coffee is tasty, local and cheap. Each of these diversions – as well as countless other activities – can be enjoyed through a number of exciting tours.

Planning a Trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of my favorite places. In fact, it was the first place I traveled when I retired as an athlete and wanted to escape to a place where I could just reconnect with myself, think about my life and the direction it was going, and experience what this “pura vida” was all about. I did all that and then some. Costa Rica truly is a destination that speaks to your soul and makes it sing.

My Trip to Belize

My vacation to Belize last year ended up being such delightful surprise. It was one of those destinations that had lived off my radar until just before I decided to go there. It now ranks as one of my highest recommended destinations for people looking for some adventure when they travel, and want the opportunity to see and do some pretty amazing things.

I love when I have the opportunity to fit in both adventure and relaxing in the same vacation.  I planned that trip with the intention to get a little out of my comfort zone, and make some incredible memories. But, like most of my vacations, I also really wanted some time to relax and unplug… and stare at some gorgeous blue water.

Probably my all-time favorite activity was something called the Actun Tunichil Muknal. The “ATM Cave Tour” is a must-do for anyone visiting Belize, if you have the physical capacity to do it. You hike a couple miles through the rainforest before swimming into a cave, where at times your feet don’t touch the bottom. You make your way to the back of the cave, taking twists and turns, swimming through water, and doing some legit rock climbing, all with the assistance of a specialty guide. 

At times you find yourself in varying degrees of complete darkness where it is not possible to even see your hand in front of your face. In the end though, is a scene straight from National Geographic.  There are untouched and incredibly preserved Mayan artifacts and remains from 1400 years ago that you are able to see up close right in their natural environment where they were discovered. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience! 

There are no cameras allowed during that tour, so you will have to take my word on how awesome it is.  Here are a few pictures I can show you though, of some of the highlights of my trip to Belize.

I love planning all types of trips, but you will see my excitement level up another notch, if you want to plan a trip to one of my favorite places. So, if a trip to Belize is possibly in your future, contact me and watch how excited someone can get over a trip they aren’t taking!

P.S. check out my blog featuring the properties I stayed at during my trip here!