In our original post two Fridays ago, you read about our shock and awe (and wonder and gratitude) at receiving this gift. Well, in this post, we’re going to tell you how we chose between the five different packages on offer.
Each package includes four tours, three different areas and hotels, and three different landscapes in the paradise that is Costa Rica. It was a hard, hard, HARD choice!!
Costa Rica is distinct in that it has so many different eco-systems in one small country: rainforests, cloud forests, dry forests, high lands, low lands, wetlands, beaches, Caribbean coast, Pacific coast, coral reefs, etc, etc. It also has the great distinction of trying to build its future on the firm and beautiful foundation of ecologically sound practices and a staunch commitment to the betterment of its people. To the latter point, over 95 % of Costa Ricans are literate. This speaks volumes about a place, doesn’t it? As for environmental sustainability: according to the Environmental Performance Index, they are ranked third in the WORLD, first in the Americas! These two points alone endear me to this amazing country.
So, as Deb described in our last post, we hemmed and hawed over which package to choose. And if you’re curious, you can go to the Costa Rica Facebook page and peruse the various packages (click on Terms and Conditions and a pdf file comes up that also outlines each trip)… This is also where you can enter to win a trip like ours.
How to narrow down the marvelous choices??? Okay, so don’t laugh: first we eliminated any terrifying ones. Okay, so laugh if you must. But neither Deb nor I could consider the white water rafting package in Adrenaline Happiness. The guys, if you’ll recall, had little say and basically sat back and watched our confabulations, bemused smirks on their faces.
So Deb and I narrowed it down to the experiences we really wanted to have: meet the locals, check; tour nature and see wildlife with a knowledgeable guide, check; see the volcano, check; go to the beach, check; eat well, check; have options of more tours, check; horseback riding, oh my gosh check.
Several packages suited all these criteria. So finally we googled the hotels and the scales were finally tipped by the tranquil, romantic settings found in the … Romantic Happiness package! Doesn’t sound as exciting maybe as Adrenaline Happiness or Adventure Happiness, but to us it sounds like perfection.
We’ll spend two nights at El Silencio Spa and Resort in a tropical cloud forest.
Two nights at Arenal Springs Resort and Spa at the base of the Arenal Volcano.
And three nights at the Harmony Hotel on the beaches of Guanacaste.
We will meet the Maleku Tribe and they will perform a ceremony called “God-Nature-Man” in native costume and language, and then teach us how they do their handicrafts (sooo excited for this).
Hike through the cloud forest led by a Naturalist guide.
Go horseback riding in the wilds around the volcano.
Take a sustainability tour at the Harmony Hotel.
And have the additional option to surf, yoga, zip-line, aerial tram, etc etc (see how yoga is sandwiched between the other more adventurous stuff?!)
So there you have it. A package to end all packages. Every hotel seems to have wi-fi so it’ll be easy for us to keep you posted every day on what we’re up to. I can’t wait to share this experience with you guys!
Deb: ARE YOU KIDDING ME???????????????
Okay, I’m fine now. I just had to express my glee!
We are going to have such fun and we are going to love sharing with you.
Just wanted to add an extra FUN video bonus here.
This video of a future bride and groom went viral. Then, during an interview on the Anderson Cooper show just last week, they also received a wonderful Gift of Happiness to celebrate the start of their marriage.