Keep it all in the family this summer with Nature Air and Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality Family Travel Package.
From young eco-minded adventurers to more senior explorers who like a little pampering, Costa Rica has what it takes to cater to multi-generational families looking for more bang for their buck. During the Green Season (May to December) kids 12 years and under fly for free on any of Nature Air’s 74 daily flights to 15 destinations across the country, AND stay and eat for free at some of the top eco-luxury accommodations in Central America.
Partnering with Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a company that manages a number of Earth-friendly lodges, hotels and inns in the Central American region, carbon-neutral Nature Air allows families to economically combine city stays with rainforest adventures, mountain and beach getaways for this summer’s vacation in one of the most popular eco-tourism destinations in the world.
An incredible experience any time of the year, Costa Rica’s shoulder season offers great value in many ways. Called the “Green Season” due to an increase in precipitation and rich green growth (showers only fall for a few hours), prices are reduced and crowds are gone; the cloud- forested slopes of the mountains become greener, and perfect sunny days at the beach are a regular occurrence. The green season Kids fly, stay and eat for free promotion is available at most destinations until Dec. 14, 2012, with additional room night promotions and some date restrictions at certain properties. For more information, visit www.cayugaonline.com and click on Green Season Values for full details.
Kids fly, stay and eat for free promotions include:
Capital city experience: Hotel Grano de Oro, San Jose (stay five nights and pay for four).
Central Valley: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn (stay three nights and pay for two).
Rainforests: Lapa Rios Rainforest Ecolodge.
Mountains: Hacienda Tayutic (stay for three nights and pay for two. Located in the adventure capital of Turrialba, a car rental is necessary).
Beaches & Rainforests:
- Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort (stay five nights and pay for four).
- Latitude 10 Resort (stay five nights and pay for four).
- Harmony Hotel (stay five nights and pay for four).
Getting to and around Costa Rica
It takes between three and seven hours to fly to Costa Rica from most US and Canadian cities; most international flights land in San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport (airport code SJO), which is serviced by all the major airlines. Located in San Jose, Nature Air’s mission is to offer travellers a reliable, innovative and fun airline to travel throughout Central America. Nature Air pledges to keep on neutralizing its carbon footprint in order to keep the beauty of Costa Rica in its natural state. Nature Air voluntarily compensates 100 per cent of its carbon emissions through the preservation of tropical forests in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, one of the most biologically diverse regions on the planet. Each year, more than 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide are offset through the purchase of local carbon credits – since 2004, this eco-consciousness has helped protect more than 350 hectares of privately owned forests. More information and additional family friendly accommodations may be found online at www.natureair.com.
Planning a successful family vacation in Costa Rica:
Knowing the ‘lay of the land’ and developing an itinerary that will take into consideration the whole family’s vacation desires is critical to organizing a stress free family getaway. Below are a few suggestions on how Costa Rica’s top hotels, inns and eco-lodges can meet everyone’s expectations.
An oasis in the heart of a bustling city, Hotel Grano de Oro (www.hotelgranodeoro.com) is the perfect landing pad for adventurous families eager to learn about San José’s rich history, culture, flora and fauna. Tours and activities range from visiting world-renowned gold and jade museums to tackling Costa Rica’s whitewater rapids and witnessing the power of the Arenal Volcano.
For families travelling with matures or senior members of the family, Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn (www.fincarosablanca.com) offers easy access to begin or start the family journey, as it is located only 15 minutes from Costa Rica’s International Airport. These family seniors will also appreciate the obvious work ethic behind this family owned and operated resort , the tour of their organic coffee plantation, and the value offered by a well-thought out design that allows suites to be connected to accommodate the whole family while sharing common areas and a kitchenette.
Arenas Del Mar Beach & Nature Resort (www.arenasdelmar.com) offers the best of both worlds with a beachfront and rainforest experience in one sustainable destination. Its design and layout is well suited for families travelling with the golden generation who prefer to have all amenities close at hand. The grandparents can relax in the spa, on the beach or by the pool, while the rest of the family takes advantage of the resort’s proximity to one of Costa Rica’s most popular national parks and abundance of activities within easy reach – from horseback riding on the beach, to surfing, ocean swimming, kayaking, sun rise and sunset sails to canopy walks and zip lines and numerous options for hiking. A favourite activity for teenagers is the two hour evening walk around the Arenas Del Mar nature reserve to discover the spin tingling wildlife that only comes out into the rainforest at night.
Latitude 10 Beach Resort (www.latitude10resort.com) is perfect for independent families with older children who want to be close to the surf, sand and nature, but feel like they are staying in their own private beach house. Close by Santa Teresa and Latitude 10 is Costa Rica’s first national park: Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve which is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Not only is Cabo Blanco an important refuge for the protection of seabirds, it is also one of the most beautiful and scenic sites on the Pacific Coast featuring a diverse variety of wildlife. Kayaking, horseback riding and rainforest canopy tours can round out the day before retiring to a private casita steps from the beach.
Located in the quiet coastal town of Playa Guinones in Nosara, Costa Rica, The Harmony Hotel (www.harmonynosara.com) is a tropical eco-destination that pays homage to the bygone days of low-key glamour and total escape. Perfect for the family who is more Zen and into yoga, mind and body wellness, it is also located close to some of the best surfing in the country. Food is locally sourced and a juice bar, located at the centre of the native plant garden, serves up a number of fresh and delicious eats, including salads, sandwiches (prepared with homemade bread), veggie juices, fruit smoothies, cookies, espressos and cappuccinos. A favourite family adventure is going after dark in June to witness a natural arribada – the moment when thousands of sea turtles arrive on a single beach to lay their eggs. Free bikes, horseback riding, birding, coastal hikes and ziplining are all within easy reach.
And for the family members who like to walk on the wild side, they will appreciate the commitment of Lapa Rios Ecolodge (www.laparios.com) to preserving some of the last remaining tropical lowland rain forest existing in Central America where the adventuresome family can encounter birds, trees and plants found nowhere else in the world. Guided hikes will bring kids nose to nose with exotic white-faced monkeys, three toed sloth and coatimundis, while the more sedentary members of the family can relax in their open balcony surrounded by the lush gardens and vibrant forest. Spine-tingling guided nighttime explorations are a must for kids of all ages.
Hacienda Tayutic (www.tayutic.com) is a destination for families wanting to pack as much (or as little) as they can into their Costa Rican vacation. Named the adventure sports capital of Costa Rica, activities in the Turrialba valley range from riding horseback through the countryside to canyoning down waterfalls and navigating Class II and III rapids down the Pejibaye River (October 2011’s World Rafting Championship was held at the nearby Pacuare River). Guests of Hacienda Tayutic can also hike through a 25-hectare tropical rainforest, located just steps away from the hotel and featuring well-worn paths, locally- and internationally-created artworks, natural wildlife and a pure spring. The hacienda is building a name for its cuisine and a recently opened spa lets families relax as hard as they play.
About Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality
Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality develops and manages hotels, lodges and other tourism related projects in Latin America and the Caribbean that are committed to the four Ps of sustainability – people, planet, profit and place. It offers solutions and expertise to tourism operators looking to enhance their performance in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. As well, Cayuga provides expert responsible travel advice, including full itinerary suggestions for families, adventurers and honeymooners. For more information, visit www.cayugaonline.com.
About Nature Air
Based out of San José, Costa Rica, Nature Air has been in operation since 2000 and has the honour of being the world’s first certified carbon neutral airline. With 74 daily flights to 15 destinations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, the company’s mission is to offer reliable, innovative and fun flights throughout Central America while helping maintain the beauty of Costa Rica in its natural state through sustainable policies, projects and initiatives. For more information, visit www.natureair.com.
About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of TravelUpdatesbyEllenBarone.com and YourLifeIsATrip.com. Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.