From November 26, 2020 to January 31, 2021, Visit Costa Rica held a contest, inviting the public to nominate someone who had been essential to them over the past year for a chance to win a seven-day trip for two to Costa Rica in 2021/2022.
After reviewing more than 5,000 nominations from individuals in North America who had shared stories about “essential” loved ones, community members, colleagues, students and more, Visit Costa Rica selected 15 “Who Is Essential to You” contest winners.
The first two winners enjoyed their dream vacation in June and July 2021. To view their trip itineraries and our tour partners involved in making these trips possible, read on.
Day 1: Arrive at Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO)
Day 2-4: Tortuguero The village of Tortuguero is one of the most remote destinations in Costa Rica and can only be accessed by boat or plane. Created to protect the endangered baula, carey, cahauma, green and lora turtles that spawn on the Caribbean coast from July to October, Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most important conservation sites and iconic tourist destinations in the country. Enjoy the peace and quiet of kayaking or canoeing through Tortuguero´s extensive network of rivers and canals, while spotting wildlife. Tortuguero is home to over 300 species of birds reptiles and mammals including jaguars, tapirs and monkeys, which rely on the park’s protected status for survival. Among the most outstanding species found in the area are the green sea turtle (the original reason the park was created), the green macaw, and the black river turtle. Caimans, snakebirds, and jacanas (a very colorful bird species) are commonly seen, among others. Don´t forget to visit the colorful town and taste their Caribbean dishes.
Day 5-7: La Fortuna and Braulio Carrillo National Park Arenal Volcano National Park is another popular tourist destination and is a must when visiting Costa Rica for the first time. Home to the famous Arenal Volcano, the small town of La Fortuna is often nicknamed the adventure capital of Costa Rica. Enjoy hiking an active volcano, swimming in one of the many steamy, volcano-fed hot springs, ziplining through a rainforest canopy, traversing Tarzan-like hanging bridges, waterfall, rappelling, white-water rafting, nocturnal wildlife tours and so much more.
Enjoy a visit to Braulio Carrillo National Park where you can traverse the rainforest by an aerial tram, zipline canopy or trekking. The park’s terrarium and gardens are home to many species of butterflies, orchids, hummingbirds and frogs.
Day 8: Departure from Juan Santamaría Airport (SJO)
Itinerary Travel Partners:
Day 1: ArrivalArrive at Daniel Oduber Airport (LIR).
Day 2: Carrillo Beach Explore downtown Liberia on a city tour or visit one of the many waterfalls not far from the city center. Later, stop for lunch at a “soda” or typical Costa Rican restaurant, on the way to the beach. In the afternoon, unwind in the city of Carillo, home to white-sand beaches lined with palm trees and peaceful waves. Considered a favorite holiday destination among the locals, Carillo Beach has grown in popularity in recent years due to its natural beauty and proximity to the beach town of Samara, one of the most touristic destinations in Guanacaste. Carillo Beach has obtained the Blue Flag certification for its ocean quality, coastal sanitation, and safety.
Day 3: Carrillo Beach Enjoy a day of sport fishing at Carrillo Port, a small Costa Rican fishing village along the Pacific Coast considered one of Costa Rica’s top fishing destinations. Several inshore species can be encountered in the area, including the Cubera and Rock Snapper, Grouper, Roosterfish and Amberjack, among others.
Day 4: Carrillo Beach In addition to sunbathing, Carillo beachgoers can enjoy activities such as, swimming, snorkeling along the coral reef, kayaking, water skiing, and more. Kayaking is a unique way to explore the beautiful, tranquil waters of Carillo, before catching the sunset.
Day 5: Punta Islita Located in a secluded corner of the Guanacaste province along Costa Rica’s northwestern coast, the picturesque small town of Punta Islita features two quiet, white-sand beaches with incredible sunsets and opportunities for diving, surfing and horseback riding.
Day 6: Punta Islita Enjoy a day of sun and sea at Punta Islita’s beaches or one of the nearby beaches, such as Corozalito, Bejuco or San Miguel. Visit the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge where you can partake in surfing, hiking or view the spawning of four of the seven sea turtle species that exist in Costa Rica.
Day 7: Departure from Daniel Oduber Airport (LIR)