Costa Rica Adventures by Disney: The Vacation of a Lifetime -
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

Costa Rica Adventures by Disney: The Vacation of a Lifetime

Photo illustrating International Travel - Traveling
by Marley Braun, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 9/25/2008 > Articles > International Travel > Traveling  

If you are like me, you are the vacation planner of the family. You comb through travel articles, surf the web for other traveler's advice, and you know every minute detail of your vacation before your family ever packs their suitcases (and let's admit, you probably pack those as well).

International Travel photo

If the above describes you, I have a secret to let you in on. There is a way to have a vacation of a lifetime and not plan a single detail. You just show up and they take care of the rest. You won't even have to research a thing, entertain your children, or worry about your next meal if you don't want to. You can just relax. That is how you will feel if you go on an Adventure by Disney tour. They are first class all the way and you can leave all your planning and worries at home and just enjoy your vacation.

Adventures by Disney offers guided trips throughout the world. Whether you choose to saddle up in Wyoming or brave the jungles in Africa, Adventures by Disney will take care of every moment and you can just sit back and enjoy the view.

My family was fortunate enough to win an Adventure by Disney to Costa Rica this summer. From the moment we arrived at the San Jose airport, I did not have to plan a single detail of our vacation. Our two guides for the week were Michael and Fico. They helped us settle into our hotel and filled us in our upcoming adventure.

Our first there days were spent in Arenal, which was a two hour bus ride from San Jose. On the way there, we stopped at the beautiful La Paz Waterfall and Butterfly Gardens. We took an easy hike to the bottom of a very refreshing waterfall and then wandered around the world's largest butterfly garden.

Our tour bus arrived at the Hotel Arenal Kioro just in time to take in a quick sunset view of the volcano before it disappeared into the mist. To say this hotel is spectacular would be an understatement. It is by far the nicest hotel at which any of us had ever stayed. The view from the room was phenomenal. You could practically reach out and touch the volcano from your balcony! After a leisurely buffet breakfast overlooking the volcano the next morning, we headed out for our biggest adventure of the trip, a zipline tour! I am very afraid of heights, so trust me when I say, if I can do it, anyone can. You are literally hanging hundreds of feet up in the air, flying over the rainforest from platform to platform. After a mini test ride to make sure you really want to go careening through the jungle, you are off! Children must be at least eight years old to zipline. They are able to ride tandem with an adult if that makes them (or you) feel more comfortable. For children younger than eight or adults who choose not to take the zipline, a very pleasant, slow gondola ride is waiting to take you back down through the rainforest.

Wishes Just Ended photo
Wishes Just Ended

A photograph taken at the end of Wishes, from the Train Station in Magic Kingdom

- photo by Lisa29

After our adrenaline rush wore off, we spent a quiet afternoon with local artisans painting souvenirs and then winding down at the nearby Hidalgo Hot Springs. The hot springs are actually heated by the volcano and it had to be one of the most surreal places I have ever been. Words really can't describe it but if I had to pick a few: secluded, misty, otherworldly, pure bliss. There were at least five different pools, at various temperatures. It was the perfect ending to a very adventurous day.

Our last day in Arenal started off at the Corsicana Pineapple Plantation. This might not sound as exciting as ziplining through the rainforest, but our entire group had a fantastic time there. Our guide, nicknamed the Pineapple Slayer, would just snatch the pineapples up from the field, and after a few quick slices from his machete we were presented with the best pineapple we had ever tasted. The tour was not only educational, but the kids (as well as the adults) had a blast watching the Pineapple Slayer in action.

After gorging ourselves on pineapple, we headed to the Rio Sarapiqui to burn off some of those calories. We had never been whitewater rafting before and here we were preparing to go down Class II and III rapids. We were a bit hesitant, but hey, we survived ziplining didn't we? The whitewater rafting turned out to be a lot of fun. Under the supervision of our trusty guide, there was a lot of laughing, splashing, and teamwork involved in the hour that we braved the rapids. From the rapids, we also had great views of sloths hanging from the trees above us.

Our last two days were spent unwinding at the beach. We arrived there in style in our own private plane. The plane ride itself was enough adventure for me for one day (did I mention I'm afraid of heights?), so I was happy to spend the rest of the day being pampered at the local beach.

Our last day was spent exploring Manuel Antonio National Park. As we hiked through the park, our guides pointed out monkeys, sloths, deer, and all sorts of other creatures that were roaming free around us. Our hike ended at a beautiful cove where the water was calm and the howler monkeys and iguana kept you on your toes. They were everywhere! Several monkeys were brave enough to hop down on unattended blankets and see what they could "borrow" for the day.

Overall, it was definitely a vacation of a lifetime. I have been to almost all of the Disney resorts and on several Disney cruises, and by far, Adventures by Disney is a notch above the rest. If you really want to treat yourself and your family, I highly recommend booking a Disney Adventure. It will truly make you feel like Disney royalty!

Duffy and Kids photo
Duffy and Kids

Our oldest is a little Duffy obsessed - check out the Duffy purse. - photo by leopard643

You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Marley Braun is a stay at home Mom who enjoys traveling, tennis and writing in her spare time. Marley is a previous contributor to PassPorter News. Her article on Bicycling through Vermont appeared in the August 7, 2008 issue.

Recent International Travel Articles:
Bistro Chez Remy at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Dining Review last updated 01-15-2015
Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Attraction Review last updated 01-08-2015
The Holidays at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Review last updated 12-25-2014
One Night in Venice, Italy - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 10-02-2014
Hong Kong Disneyland - A Disney Parks Review last updated 05-22-2014

More Related Links:

Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009

Reader Comments:

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 9/25/2008 - Article #115 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by

Tokyo Disney Questions...
by Meggera
31 Mar 2015 at 9:42am
HEY PASSPORTERS!!! I haven't posted on here in a few...years. Our family dynamics have changed quite a bit since I posted last. I'll have to tell...
(click title above to view replies)

Train excursions American and Canadian?
by Pris
21 Mar 2015 at 9:54pm
I've been doing a little exploring the excursions offered by Amtrak and by the Canadian Railway. I'm particularly interested in the Pacific...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney's Hilton Head Resort
by KathyL
21 Mar 2015 at 8:31pm
DH and I are considering taking a trip to Disney's Hilton Head Resort in late October. For anyone who has been there, what can you tell me about the...
(click title above to view replies)

Questions about Bounce Back offers
by jenifermg0
18 Mar 2015 at 7:17pm
So, my BFF is going to WDW in June with her family. She and I are headed back to WDW in March of 2016 for a girl's trip. I know that sometimes you...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 5262

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.