Costa Rica is a natural paradise filled with zip lines and expansive views of lush green trees and sparkling blue waters. It’s also home to five-star resorts that cater to the high-end adventurers among us, as well as experiences that are less adrenaline-inducing and more mouthwatering, like learning to cook local dishes and horseback-riding through a coffee plantation before tasting the local product.
The Gaia Hotel & Reserve is offering an amazing deal right now that doubles as the perfect excuse to skip town for a few days. The hotel itself is a five-star, adults-only property with ocean views, a spa, and a sleek stone pool that looks out over the tree-covered hillside. The deal includes a three-course dinner (with a bottle of wine), a 90-minute hot stone massage, a 90-minute terra massage, roundtrip airport transfers, daily breakfast for two, and complimentary chauffeur service to and from the beach. All this rounds out to $610 per person, or $1,220 per couple, and does not include airfare. (They say they found roundtrip flights from New York City to San Jose for less than $200 on Fly.com)
One of the best parts of this deal is that you don’t have to book certain dates or even decide when to go yet. You can buy a voucher from Travelzoo and then call the hotel to redeem it directly. It’s valid for arrivals any day of the week from May to June or September to October.
Once you’re in Costa Rica, there are more than a handful of gastronomic experiences to indulge in. First, take a tour of the coffee plantation at Finca Rosa Blanca — you can even tour it on horseback if you’d like, before tasting what they’ve made. Then, the Monte Azul hotel and nature preserve offers the chance to pick fresh herbs and vegetables in the garden, participate in making artisanal cheeses, and tour the coffee farm. The lauded Cerro Coyote Creole Cooking School sits in the mountains with its own organic garden, and offers a wide range of cooking courses. Finally, take a tour (which finishes with a delicious tasting) of the Monteverde Cheese Factory. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/epha)