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When in Costa Rica - Hotel Review

Hotel Review: A beautiful location for a mindful get away at a stunning resort destination in Costa Rica. If you're looking for a home away from home to enjoy relaxing and a chance to recharge, take a look at there booking schedule today.

Cochal Beach Guanacaste Costa Rica near the surf town of Tamarindo. This exotic tropical paradise is an easy 40 minutes from the Liberia airport. Our transportation to and from the airport was included in our travel package. Our driver was waiting for us when we arrived at the airport and he did a great job of explaining the geography and local attractions. The Liberia airport is clean, modern and quite easy to clear customs and find your transportation. My trip included my boyfriend, myself, my boyfriends daughter and her boyfriend.

Costa Rica is a simply magical. The Westin Chochal Beach Guanacaste was a unexpected gem with the perfect combination of beach and jungle to enhance the whole experience. The Westin is located just North of Tamarindo and just south of the Nicaraguan boarder and exceeded our expectations. The property features two beautiful golf courses (cost to rent clubs, cart and greens fees under $100) a white sand beach where you could easily go horseback riding, jet skiing or sample some of the local Flora Cana rum in a fresh coconut without ever leaving the 24 acre property. Having traveled to Costa Rica many times, I was skeptical about staying at an all inclusive resort but my boyfriend's daughter found a great deal with Costco Travel so I was down for a new experience.


The Westin had an easy natural jungle feel (shoes optional) with the bungalows and the endless wildlife viewing opportunities. I spent most mornings wandering around the beautifully landscaped property following a huge family of howler monkeys and their babies eating their way through the variety of huge trees steps from my front door. I have hiked and trekked many miles in Costa Rica with my children to catch a glimpse of the wildlife that was easily found at the Westin at Cochal Beach. In addition to the Howler Monkey's, we encountered beautifully colored large iguanas, coatimundis, raccoons, and various exotic birds.

The smells and sounds of the jungle are all around as you can hear the low gurgling roars from the howler monkeys and the ever present sounds of the exotic birds. In addition to chasing monkeys from tree to tree, we enjoyed peaceful morning yoga sessions on the deserted white sand beach, expert massages from Norma who nurtured our stiff bodies ($30 for one hour under her beach front massage table), and delicious Costa Rican coffee. I was informed that Costa Ricans love their coffee and it is amazing how a simple cup of real Costa Rica coffee with a little real cream and natural sugar can start your day.

The restaurants at the Westin were delicious. Nobody ever went hungry with 24 hour room service and a variety of restaurants to choose from. They even made fresh pizzas that were available all day long if you were too busy playing to sit down for lunch. Our least favorite was the Asian fusion but all the others were fantastic.

New experiences, delicious food and new adventures were around every corner. While jet skiing and horseback riding, we encountered large black leatherback turtles mating on the ocean surface. These beautiful turtles floated connected on the surface of the ocean and then would dive underwater like a choreographed dance. Tens of thousands of sea turtles grace the shores of Costa Rica each year to lay their eggs. Las Baulas National Marine Park is located just north of Tamarindo and is Costa Rica’s most important nesting site for leatherback turtles. Nesting season runs from October through March. Additional information on turtle nesting in Costa Rica check out


We had the opportunity to plan some of our experiences ahead of time with Nestor at here. He was very helpful and guided and educated us on what types of activities were available through the resort. I do have to caution you that their categories of difficulty are a bit different than by US standards. We went to the Rincon Volcano on a medium day excursion. We ended up climbing 100 flights of stairs and completed over 13,000 steps of rainforest trekking. We loved the experience but just thought it was much more strenuous than the medium difficulty detailed in the information we were presented with.

We enjoyed experiencing Sensoria - Land of Senses and Magical Rainforest. We walked through a pristine rainforest, stood under blue waterfalls and swam in three thermal pools. They provided us with walking sticks, which I was happy to have especially since I was the only one to fall trying to scamper over a slick fallen tree. The facilities included changing rooms, restrooms and a lovely open air dining room where we enjoyed lunch after our experience and an interesting video of all the animals that inhabit this enchanted environment.

Our guides couldn’t have been more informative and we got to visit a local town as well as a beautiful view of the continental divide. I learned that Costa Rica has protected 60% of their beautiful natural resources as National Parks and they have no military. In 1948 they decided to take the money they would have used for a military and used the money to educate their people. There are only three degrees they can get and lucky for all of us, one of them is tourism which enhanced our experience. Everyone we met had knowledge about nature and the beauty of Costa Rica that they were willing to share.

I have often tried to describe my deep affection for the beautiful Costa Rica culture and the feeling that we are all connected (nature, animals, humans) and the generic answer is that they are extremely warm and genuine humans. Their loyalty and love for their families and for the nature around them are evident in every conversation we had. They are very much lovers of nature, family and the human experience and they feel a deep connection with not only other humans but with animals and their environment. We all felt extremely safe and comfortable exploring the area and I would highly recommend a trip to Tamarindo for lunch and some local shopping.

One of my favorite Costa Ricans was Richard Arrieta Zelaya (you can reach out to him on Facebook) who took me horseback riding on the beach. His horses wore bitless bridle's and they were obviously well loved and cared for. I went once with my family and enjoyed it so much I went back the next day and he and I went back out and played in the ocean. Please reach out to him if you are going to be in Costa Rica and enjoy horses.

My time in Costa Rica when by way to fast but we plan on being back soon. We were so pleased with our overall experience. We could feel the genuine warmth of the entire team and the sense that they were very happy that we were there in Costa Rica.

Pura Vida!

To book your stay at the Westin refer to the link below:

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