By Hillary Latos

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Though many countries claim to have first been discovered by Christopher Columbus, he is still credited with being the first European to have set foot on the golden shores of Costa Rica- hence earning its name that translates to “Rich Coast.”  The adventurous spirit of explorers and adventure seekers still reverberates through this tropical paradise and is especially evident in the coastal town of Papagayo.  With rainforests and jungles protected from over development, the golden beaches of this crescent coastline exude a rugged beauty that has been untouched by overdevelopment of similar Central American landscapes.  Become one with nature as you explore diverse wildlife in their natural and lush habitat and embark on a once in a lifetime experience.

For nature lovers there’s an abundance of national parks and active volcanos to explore offering thrill seeking adrenaline activities such as river rafting, ATV and canopy tours to the heart pumping hikes.  For a more leisurely experience, take the river boat ride in the Palo Verde Park which is home to over 300 species of birds, white face monkeys, howler monkeys, alligators and iguanas.  Your guide will train you to see beyond nature’s camouflage to spot these fascinating creatures.  Witness an alligator egg hatching while mothers protect their young, or mischievous howler monkeys vociferating their territorial roar while at play.

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A relaxing and casually elegant place to stay is the Occidental Grand Papagayo, the area’s first adult only all inclusive resort.  Nestled amongst the lush rainforest that characterizes Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific Coast, the sounds of nature reverberate through the property with birds singing their melodies throughout the day while the mesmerizing cadence of cicadas and the quiet roar of the ocean soothe the senses.  Relax by their manicured pool or take a dip in their adjacent crescent beach and snorkel with the sea turtles.

For the most luxurious experience upgrade to the Royal Service with exclusive access to the Royal Club lounge offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and tropical landscape, VIP access to activities and amenities as well as access to the suite sized rooms.  Experience international flavors as well as local specialties at one of their four restaurants that offer an international buffet, Tex Mex, Italian or Pan Asian cuisine.  Entertainment is non stop with live music in the plush open air lobby bar that continues into the wee hours at their disco.

Relax and rejuvenate in their spacious and well appointed Royal Club suites decorated in a Spanish colonial style.  Every room features a king sized bed with luxury linens, an ensuite living room and a private terrace with garden or ocean views.  With all of the comforts of home surrounded by natural beauty and a lush landscape, this is the ultimate escape to paradise.

For more information:

occidentalgrandpapagayo.com

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