I never forget how lucky I am being a Travel Director for EDEN. I get to see some of the world’s best hotels in the most fantastic places, and experience so many things I might otherwise never have had the chance to.



​​​I've travelled all over the world and have a particular love for The Americas, from New England's quaint seaside towns, to iconic treks around Machu Picchu. Central America though has never really been on my radar… until recently.

Whether it's the fact it suddenly seems to have become more popular, or that so many well-travelled clients have been raving about the unique combination of adventure and a cool beach scene, I felt it was time to see it for myself.

And as a big part of my role is to share all my wonderful experiences with EDEN's extended family, I've picked out a handful of holiday diary highlights just for you...​

My Costa Rica Diary

Day 1

The adventure begins with an easy, 11-hour direct British Airways flight from London to San José! 

Spent some of the time reading about Costa Rica's approach to responsible tourism, from their efforts in banning all plastic bottles, to their many conservation projects – it's all super-impressive! 

Overnight stay on a coffee plantation just outside the capital before heading off into the rainforest tomorrow. ​

Day 2

​Travel by road to Pacuare Lodge on the edge of a river deep in the rainforest. I can’t wait to see one of National Geographic’s ‘Unique Lodges of the World’!

Had the option to arrive by 4x4 or white-water rafting down the Pacuare River – chose the 4x4, but from what other guests said afterwards I wish I’d gone for the raft!

Lodge fabulous – am always amazed how they build a luxury lodge with huge king-size beds in such remote places – complete with rainforest views, hammock and a private pool! ​

Day 3

The stay here includes eight experiences, so lots to pack in (canopy tours, hikes to remote waterfalls...) but the one not to be missed is the Cabécar indigenous hike. Filled up on breakfast as it was a four-hour round trip today. Great guide – very patient, answering every question and pointing out lots of rare birds and sloths hanging from the trees. He was also great at not pointing out the snakes! Surprised at how wet the rainforest was! Ridiculous really… but so much rain and slithering through mud. All worth it though for the unforgettable moment we stepped out of the canopy, into the sun, and looking out over the vast space below – unreal! This is what travelling's all about!

My highlight today was meeting an elder from one of the very few remaining tribes in Costa Rica. It's humbling to see how they live without modern luxuries, simply thriving off the land, and with a great sense of community. A large number of the lodge's staff are actually men from the tribe, who hike each morning to the lodge to help on treks or maintain the beautiful surroundings, and they're always smiling. 

Day 4

​It's not all about hiking and white-water rafting here! The food at Pacuare is excellent – and they waste nothing, with each meal carefully planned to fit in with their sustainability efforts.

Spent a lazy afternoon around the new infinity pool – so relaxing with just the sounds of the monkeys and birds keeping us company. And no rush for a prime sunbed either! ​

Day 5

​Sad to leave Pacuare, but our next adventure to Arenal, the active volcano 56 miles north-west of the capital, beckons. No need for the guide to point it out either – it’s tall, imposing and perfectly symmetrical, so you can’t miss it! Got the perfect shot too, no clouds and lovely evening light. ​​​​​

Day 6

​Spent today with a guide and driver exploring Arenal, walking the hanging bridges and hiking around the volanco's base. It's one of the more touristy parts of Costa Rica, but there's so much to do to suit everyone that it’s worth a couple of nights’ stay. 

Day 7

The beach beckons! Off to the Central Pacific Coast's Manual Antonio National Park, and luxurious Arenas Del Mar where rugged rainforest meets white-sand beach meets coral reefs – perfect!

My vast beachfront suite has the most breathtaking ocean views imaginable, and the whole place feels so authentic: five-star service, yet staying true to their principles and the Costa Rican way of life.

Strolling down the beach, I felt immediately at ease watching the surfers. Met a few locals at the surf school, and one of the beachside restaurants while enjoying the catch of the day! 

Day 9

After a couple of days chilling, it's time to head south for the final stop on the adventure – Lapa Rios – another National Geographic lodge, set in its own private nature reserve fringed by beaches with rich marine life.

Long before sustainable tourism became fashionable, the owners set this up as a project to protect the endangered surroundings, and to benefit the development of the local community. When you see it, it’s easy to see why it’s won so many awards for its work too.

What a beautiful spot – heaven for wildlife-watchers! Just 16 bungalows, all built on natural ridges in the rainforest with incredible views: ocean below, howler monkeys to my left, beautiful toucans flying overhead. There's even wild pigs crossing my path on the way to the main lodge! 

Day 10

They say exploring the rainforest without a skilled guide is like looking through a library without knowing how to read. Good job we have José on our trek today then! 

Born and raised just a couple of miles from the lodge, his trained eye finds sloths and a whole host of birds we might have missed otherwise.

He tells me he's also done several courses in natural history and marine biology. Loved his stories and passion – not just for the lodge but the whole country – over a sundowner afterwards. I could actually spend a week here. 

Day 12

​The office calls, so it's time to head back to San José for my flight home. 

It's sad saying goodbye to Costa Rica. There's a saying here: 'pura vida' – which literally translates as 'pure life' but actually means 'it's a way of life' – and that's what I'll miss the most! ​

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