‘5 reasons why Costa Rica is the happiest place on earth and loved by Kim Kardashian’

Paving the way in ecotourism, Costa Rica is an adventure from the off. Over the years it’s become a vacay hotspot for A-listers, such as Beyoncé, Demi Moore, Miley Cyrus, Leonardo DiCaprio and tennis champ Rafa Nadal.

For Kim Kardashian it’s clearly her number one happy place and safe haven. She has stayed their numerous times, famously heading there in 2017 for her first family holiday after the Paris robbery incident.

There’s a long list of reasons for taking a trip to the beautiful country in Central America, but here are our top five…

1. The wildlife

Only 20 minutes into our journey from Liberia airport, our driver pulled over at the roadside to point out one of the many poisonous snakes that inhabit the Central American nation!

Luckily, from then on our nature encounters were magical rather than menacing. Just days later, as we whizzed through the lush arboretum on the 1,360m-long Superman zip line at Diamante Eco Adventure Park – snatching views of the Gulf of Papagayo and seeking out jaguars Nico and Sama enjoying a spot of lunch – we realised we’ d fallen utterly in love with the beautiful nation.



Zip through Diamante Eco Adventure Park

Landing surprisingly smoothly, we then jumped on quad bikes and zoomed across one of the many beaches before finally sitting back to watch monkeys swinging in the trees and lizards scooting tippy-toe across the sands. The Pura Vida – Simple Life – approach adopted by Costa Ricans, or Ticos, was catching on fast!



There's plenty of wildlife in Costa Rica
There’s plenty of wildlife in Costa Rica

2. The natural beauty

We hiked in the rainforest at Tenorio Volcano National Park, experiencing a wanderlust hit at the enchanting Rio Celeste waterfall. Exploring the cloud-topped canopy among hummingbirds and butterflies was unforgettable, too. But Ecocentro Danaus, a biological reserve near Arenal Volcano, is where we truly got to immerse ourselves in nature.

As the sun set on another day, we ventured torches in hand, into the heart of the rainforest in search of iguanas, sloths, frogs and birds.



Enjoy the scenery – and the local wildlife at Rio Celeste National Park
Enjoy the scenery – and the local wildlife at Rio Celeste National Park

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Thanks to our brilliant tour guide Elias, we were successful in our quest, with standout spots being the tiny “blue jeans” frogs sitting snug on the lush leaves and a nonchalant sloth snoozing in the branches. When Elias casually remarked that we should “huddle together” if we saw a jaguar approaching, we were glad to be led by such a knowledgeable and calm expert!

3. The luxury hotels

If you’re after a hotel with a choice of pools, a sandy beach and unrivalled tranquillity, then the all-inclusive Riu Palace is your bolthole. Just a 40-minute drive from the airport, you’ll be off the plane and into your cossie before you can say, “Meet me at the swim-up bar!” Highlights include the four outdoor pools, a Pacha night club, excellent entertainment, buffets galore and the sight of racoons strolling past as you head for breakfast.



Revel in the peace at Riu Palace
Revel in the peace at Riu Palace


Billie Faiers, Greg Shepherd and children Nelly and Arthur are an adorable family unit in the photoshoot

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4. The cuisine

Fancy eating out? Make for Sentido Norte on the Guanacaste coast. Often coined one of the most romantic restaurants in the world, you can feast on Costa Rican-influenced cuisine, from panko-cashew yellowfin tuna to tacos. Father Rooster is the place for an Instagrammable setting and a margarita – or the national drink guaro, distilled from sugar cane juices – while touristy Tamarindo is where it’s at for a surf ‘n’ shop.

For souvenirs head to villages such as Guaitil, where you can pick up a vase or plate at an artisan shop. The Chorotega pottery process, using natural paints and dyes, was a pleasure to witness.

5. Easy travel days

Tui operates directly into Liberia airport throughout the year, but if you can, aim for the dry season, mid-November to April. It offers excellent guided tours, so insect repellent and hiking boots are essential – wear in new boots before you travel, to avoid blisters.

Insider tip

If you do one water-based activity, take a trip on a 28ft Mini Marlin from Playas del Coco for snorkelling and, hopefully, dolphin-watching.



Hot mineral waters flow from Arenal Volcano
Hot mineral waters flow from Arenal Volcano

And don’t miss the hot mineral waters flowing from Arenal Volcano, which are a wellness wow. Visit Baldi Hot Springs where you can relax in 25 mineral pools, or shoot down a water slide. The country’s volcanic soil and high altitudes provide ideal growing conditions for coffee beans, as we discovered on the Don Juan Coffee Tour, where we tasted the beans, pumped sugar cane juice and made chocolate.

“We have problems like anyone else, but we sip our coffee and remain positive,” our guide Chino told us. We’ll drink to that!

How to book

Tui offers seven nights at the 5T Riu Palace Costa Rica on an all-inclusive basis from £1,315 per person. The price is based on two adults sharing a junior suite with balcony or terrace, departing from London Gatwick in August 2022, including transfers.

Upgraded premium seats with additional benefits are available. To find out more, or to book, go to tui.co.uk, visit your local Tui holiday store or download the app.

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