Costa Rica News – Since we had one Christmas in Costa Rica article, The Costa Rican Times thought we would get another Christmas article in your hands and on your mind before black Friday. But in actuality this is the time that people are starting to make their final decisions on their vacation destinations for the holidays so here is a story from one of our readers.
I used to hate Christmas. I just dreaded Christmas: the hype, the gross eggnog and stale fruitcake, the office parties, the dashing around to purchase overpriced material goods – often for complete strangers (aka Secret Santa) all with a Dec 24th deadline looming. I have been likened to Scrooge, but not because I was a miser. I just hated the stressful and wasteful commercialism that Christmas had become for me.
After my kids got old enough to have to share in the drama of shopping, decorating, cooking, and cousins, we created a new paradigm. We agreed that we will all exchange a couple of well conceived gifts, make a contribution to our favorite children’s home, and pack our bags for a warm, tropical vacation. For nearly twelve days we relax, play and have adventures together that are the stuff family memories are made of.
As a result, planning our Christmas escape has become something I look forward to all year. I scour online Christmas Vacation deals and discounts, as historically hotels double their rates from Dec 20- Jan 3. The last couple of years we have been coming to Jaco Beach, Costa Rica for Christmas, and rather than staying in an overpriced hotel , we have been renting private oceanfront condos from owners. With 4-5 of us, we are able to rent a fully furnished residence with 2- 3 bedrooms and everyone has their own bathroom. Not only is the cost for a full home less than hotel rooms, but having the extra living spaces and amenities like a laundry room, housekeeper, concierge service and 24 hr. security makes our entire stay a no brainer at a great value.
We love Paloma Blanca, an oceanfront condominium at the south end of town with 4 pools. Although there are several small restaurants close by, it is a short walk, bike or taxi ride to Jaco town center which has modern grocery stores, shops, dozens of international restaurants, a library and now even a movie theatre and live theatre. Graffiti, Poseidon, Tsunami Sushi, Paparazzi and Lemon Zest top the best restaurants in Jaco list. Honestly, after a full day fishing at Los Suenos Marina, I love just grilling up our fresh catch and watch the sunset with a rum and coke from the balcony. We save a ton of money on meals and beverages, and keep the fridge stocked with healthy snacks and quick meals for when we are just too hungry to even put clothes on. Delicious Tamales are the Christmas traditional food in Costa Rica, and we find them homemade in the local “soda” for a dollar along with $5.00 casados and lots of gallo pinto.
What’s ideal for our family, is that our grown kids can head into town, and we can swing in the hammock with a good book if we choose to. According to my over 21 kids, the town comes alive after 10pm with nightlife, casinos and dance clubs. (I’ve never stayed up late enough to confirm this)
Once a sleepy surf town, Jaco has become a thriving tourist town for the casual vacationer who wants beach, surf and a taste of Costa Rican Pura Vida natural living. Only 90 minutes from the San Jose airport, Jaco is a great jumping off point for all the best Costa Rican adventures. Nearby Cararra National Park is teeming with monkeys, sloths, crocodiles and birds you only see in pictures. Canopy Tours, Zip Line, ATV Waterfall tours, Sportfishing, Scuba, Championship Golf Course, Manuel Antonio National Park are all minutes from Jaco Beach. We took a (long) full day tour to visit Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs that was awesome, booked through our Concierge.
Many days we are content to just lay on the beach and watch the kids surf, but we try to fit everyone’s favorite adventure into our Twelve Days of Christmas. My son’s favorite is the Crocodile Tour along the Tarcoles River, where 10 foot long crocs lay in wait. My daughter loves the photo ops of the waterfall hike to spectacular Tres Piscinas. My husband books his full day sport fishing for Marlin before he even arrives, and for me, a day on the Pacific Ocean from sun up to sun down that starts with a yoga class and ends with a seaside massage at sunset is pura vida bliss. Oh, I just love Christmas.
If you are looking to rent a condo or property in the Jaco area and not looking to spend an arm and a leg, The Costa Rican Times recommends going through Faith Mulvihill at Costa Rica Events, for personal service. She works directly with the owners of around 20 condos in the area and can offer great discounts.
Click Here, and mention to Faith you were sent by The Costa Rican Times and she will give you 10% off your booking.