Vacation Diary – Family Adventures in Costa Rica

A week on the water at Hermosa Beach, Costa Rica

To say the Martin’s family vacation went off without a hitch this year would be an understatement. When Lori and her fellow globetrotters, including her husband, 12-year-old daughter and 16-year old son, as well as another family of three, arrived in Costa Rica, they didn’t know quite what to expect. It was their second family vacation with Luxury Retreats, so one thing they could count on was a full-service week of fun at a top notch villa.

The vacation began bright and early at Chicago O’Hare with a 5am flight to Miami International. “We arrived in Miami around 10:30am and hopped on the connector soon after at 12pm, arriving in Costa Rica at around 3pm. There is only an hour time difference so we didn’t have to waste any time adjusting”, says Lori.

Right from the get-go, their expectations of this little slice of Central America were surpassed. “As we flew in, I couldn’t believe how incredibly lush the landscape was. There were no skyscrapers; the lack of development translates to beautiful and charming towns with a ton of character. This is the type of place my family and I like to vacation in,” says Lori. They were picked up at the airport by a Luxury Retreats coordinator and, after that, it was straight to villa La Costa, right on Hermosa Beach, just in time for their first taste of a picture-perfect sunset.

“My first impression of the villa was its incredible proximity to the ocean. Being right on the water was spectacular”

“My first impression of the villa was its incredible proximity to the ocean. Being right on the water was spectacular—we could hear the ocean waves as we ate dinner and literally walk right from the villa on to the beach,” she adds. And a beach vacation it was: though Lori brought a suitcase loaded with a variety of vacation gear, she notes, “We spent almost the entire time just enjoying the waves. Everything we needed was right at our fingertips… there was no excuse good enough to leave!”

The superb meals prepared by Private Chef Jose made it even more difficult to peel themselves away from La Costa. “The food was to die for. Jose used locally sourced ingredients, including delicious, fresh salads with lobster that his friend would catch in the morning, and Costa Rican classics such as rice and beans were on the menu too”, remembers Lori. Of course, no vacation in the sun would be complete without creamy guacamole and homemade tortilla chips too. “I’m sure there are great places to eat in Costa Rica, but we thought—why leave when we have the best chef right here in our villa?”

“For us, catching the sail fish was a very big deal. My husband is always going on fishing excursions back home—but nothing compares to getting 10-12 sailfish hooked on”

Much to their surprise, the It-Chef Jose even found the time in between whipping up tantalizing meals to teach the whole gang how to surf. As Lori says, “He traveled the world surfing too! So we all got our hands on some boards and were novice surfers by the end of the trip.” Other than taking to the waves, the group enjoyed a day of snorkeling with their own private charter, Costa Rica Dreams, which Lori praises for its five-star quality and service. For her fishing enthusiast husband, Eric, no trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a day of deep sea fishing. Lori notes, “For us, catching the sail fish was a very big deal. My husband is always going on fishing excursions back home—but nothing compares to getting about 10-12 sailfish hooked on, and my daughter even got up close and personal with one!”

With the snorkeling, the fishing and surfing made easy with a villa on the beach, this vacation was truly a dream experience for the whole family. And what’s the best thing about having beachfront access? Watching the sunset right from the comfort of your own backyard. “20 years from now, there is one memory that will remain vivid to me: standing in the waves with my loved ones and watching the sun set in complete tranquility,” smiles Lori.

You know a vacation is a home run when the first thing on the to-do list upon returning home is rebooking for next year. Lori says, “This sounds crazy, but it was actually perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”

We’re looking forward to hearing all about Lori’s next stay on Hermosa Beach in April of next year.

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