Posted on Fri, February 3, 2012 at 1:22PM
From the Travel Editor: We’d like to say we knew about Costa Rica before it got popular, but the fact is that this destination-of-the-moment – home of this week’s sale on the award-winning Parador Resort & Spa – has long been on the radar of savvy, adventure-loving travelers. And it’s not hard to see why, considering the country’s protected rainforests, incredible biodiversity, expansive beaches, and world-class surf breaks. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of tropical beaches, and Costa Rica’s long, white ones are certainly a draw, but if you plan to just sit on the beach, you’ll miss out. If you’re craving water time, take advantage of scuba diving along colorful reefs with hammerhead sharks, surfing breakers above the reefs, and sea- and river-kayaking. Inland, the jungle reveals a world of monkeys, sloths, iguanas, crocodiles, and noisy birds of every size and color. Zip-line through the rainforest canopy, white-water raft down the rivers, and trek amongst the dense vegetation in search of exotic wildlife. Try hiking up volcanoes, horseback riding along rocky headlands, and soaking in natural hot springs and mud baths. We could go on, but the point is that this tiny Latin American country happens to have some of the most pristine and accessible tropical landscapes on earth. Best of all, the word is still getting out, so we can still explore it without constantly bumping into tourists. Tempted? Dates at the Parador – which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and is literally next to the 1700-acre Manuel Antonio National Park – are available throughout 2012.