Costa Rica – The Ultimate Tropical Vacation

Where to Travel This Winter? Costa Rica, Florida, or California

Are you in the process of choosing a winter escape destination and looking for some inspiration? How about some help in finding a super vacation that’s got more than you bargained for? Central America offers some extra special places such as Costa Rica, where you don’t just lay around recovering from your miserable commute, exhaustion, poor health, and dull daily work tasks.

No, instead, how about a vacation with no limits, endlessly fascinating, and lots for you, your friends and family to enjoy? You may even want to retire here.

The Red Eyed Tree frog is a national symbol. See more about eco-tours at

Here’s vacations that aren’t hospital settings, nor are they all you can eat and drink bar rooms or food courts. Whether you’re playing golf, doing an eco tour, walking a beach listening to waves crash, or trying out zip lining, mountain biking,  or kite surfing, you’re active and feeling alive.

Maybe these vacation posts will help you discover what’s missing in your life and how you can fill it with something exciting and fulfilling. Fulfillment is the ultimate determinant of your happiness. I hope these posts boost your desire to travel so that you might bring back what’s missing in your world. A lot of people are retiring in Costa Rica.

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They’ll get Ideas!

Plenty of Warmth, Sunshine, Activity and Fun

Warm water, sunshine, soothing breezes, palm trees, beautiful scenery, and comfortable accommodations are the usual features of a winter vacation travel package. Those are nice basics, but is a vacation package complete without fun and adventure? No way. Fun and adventure magnify everything else you experience here, even your relaxation. That’s your choice. I’d advise spending 2 weeks at least on your winter vacation. Negotiate your vacation even if it’s unpaid time.

My most sage advice: Take your vacation and take your time because everything you think is so important right now will disappear. You will be damaging your life and career by not taking vacations.

Florida Keys, California and Costa Rica have all the leisure, rich food, alcohol, and beaches to lay around on, but they have so much more. These three amazing destinations are the safest places to visit and offer the greatest variety of relaxation and activity. You may argue that the hustle and bustle of touristy Cancun is more exciting but it’s like comparing sugar to a healthy salad. Costa Rica adventures are healthy! If you’re not sure of what kind of Costa Rica Adventure Vacation you’d like, see the resources listed at the bottom of the post.

Costa Rica – Living Pura Vida

Pura Vida is a saying Costa Rican’s use to describe a pure way of life – a focus on nature as a central thread in their lives.  Millions of global travellers know about this eco-focused vacation destination and are happy to experience Pura Vida themselves. They’re making Costa Rica (and Belize) Vacation destination priorities, yet hundreds of millions more await their turns so let’s hope Costa Ricans can protect this world heritage spot from harm. Few people know a lot about Costa Rica which is why I thought you might like this ecclectic mix of Costa Rican sites and experiences. Enjoy your Costa Rican adventure – from beaches to Volcanos and coffee farms to mountain biking and surfing.

But first, what does the geography of Costa Rica look like? You’ll want to choose the experience that’s most relevant to you. Costa Rica is a small country however, you can’t possibly see it all at one time. You may choose a hotel or condo near the beach or on the mountainside with a view of a live volcano!

Map pic courtesy of the CostaRicaTravelGuide.

As you can see, San Jose the historic capital city is located in the Central Mountains which offers its own unique nature, views, activities, and experiences.

It’s All About Fun in Costa Rica

In these first two videos you experience zip lining, a thrilling ride downhill through lush rainforest.

And yet more fun ziplining in Costa Rica adventures.

And why not a nice easy mountain bike ride? Oh yes, looks like they have the serious stuff too.

Long golden sandy beaches, soaring mountains, strange wildlife, incredible landscapes, interesting art and music, excellent restaurants with amazing food, and most of all, relaxation. Yup, it can cost a lot so you need to make decisions.

Costa Rica Wildlife

Pic courtesy of

Costa Rica is synonmous with nature and wildlife and you’ll likely enjoy the world’s largest diversity of plant and animal species. From butterflies to sloths, you might be fascinated with the beauty of nature. The slow moving Costa Rican sloth is one of those unusual animals you might see (not to mention some cool looking money. 10 Million Colones is worth about $18,000)

Why are Travellers so Crazy about Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a small central American country, still unspoiled, relatively safe, has the charming latin American culture, interesting history, great beaches, quaint shopping, unique restaurants and cuisine, mountain to sea geography, beautiful sunsets, and lots of nature.

And with round trip airfares as low as $440, it may compete with Cuba for economy yet offer a much richer vacation experience.

The world’s been coming here for some time and Costa Rica’s tourism industry is huge. They have two international airports now to bring in eco-tourists and medical tourists.  Medical tourism is huge. You can have any type of surgical procedure done here at a fraction of the cost in a US medical facility.

There was a record 2.34 million tourist visits in 2014 and its tourism revenue surpassed what they earn on coffee, bananas and pineapples.

I just picked up a copy of Eyewitness Travel’s book titled Costa Rica travel guide. It has to be one of the best resources on everything you can do there including long zip line rides, rainforest canopy walks, siteseeing on one of the world’s most active volcanos, surfing, and fishing for Marlin. So, I’m just in the process of finding the right destination.

This is from the book. A picture of the Volcan Poas which is 8850 feet above sea level. The crater is almost 1000 feet deep. You can get excellent views from the rim of the crater after a short walk. Don’t think you can walk down into it though. You can walk down into another volcano crater in Costs Rica though. Wouldn’t that be fun!



Sounds like a fantastic adventure holiday. Now to check out some tour operators and accommodations.

I’ve been whitewater rafting only once but I have to say the Costa Rica Whitewater tours look fairly serious. Class 5 rapids are a real thrill!

There’s no audio on this trip up the Volcano, because they used a copyrighted sound track.

The Rainforest Aerial Tram looks like fun.


Costa Rica Vacation Packages

Check out Costa Rica Expeditions page to help you sort out what is you’d like to experience:

Some fun facts about Costa Rica from

Best Family friendly Ecotours in Costa Rica:

10 Interesting Vacation Packages from Travel Excellence:

Luxury Vacation Rentals in Jaco, Costa Rica:

The Museums of Costa Rica:

The Top Beaches of Costa Rica:

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Gord Collins Pinterest Boards

The Joy of Travel!

Yes, as part of my social media domination plan, I’ve got some Pinterest Boards set up. It’s the middle of winter and we all need a lift.  I’ve only put up a few of my own pics up but there’s so many beautiful ones available online.  Have a look at some some brilliant photographs, videos, and illustrations from Banff, San Diego, Vancouver, Costa Rica, San Francisco, China, and Sarasota Florida.

You might really enjoy the pages on Romantic SpotsSan Diego Restaurants, Exotic Cars, Mountain Biking and Tennis. And I have some excellent progressive house music videos. Pinterest is great. Have a look and maybe start planning your next refreshing vacation. The best the world has to offer.


Retro Thursday – Gloria Estefan

It’s back to the late 80’s and early 90’s with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Their music was normally fun, upbeat, romantic and her musicians were talented. These are really nice songs, and they made more.

She had and still does have one of the most beautiful and distinctive voices of any female singer. Her songs were nice and revolved around dancing, romance, and a lovelorn girl pining for the wrong guy it seemed (bad boys).

gloria-estefanShe’s still going with a new album and into acting with TV shows like Glee. Her homepage,  Twitter page and Facebook page shows she’s not dead yet.  She’s pretty hot for her age eh! In fact, she’s hot enough to appeal to Gen Y audiences.

Her new music is nice but I’m not sure her middle aged fans will like it or not. I can see them dancing on their yacht parties.

She probably could redo the Miami Sound Machine music and there’d still be an audience for it.

Anyway, after viewing and listening to the videos, what do you think of her music? What do you think her potential still is?  Should she  try for some new music that’s more lively or just settle for the lounge music?

 Gloria Estefan, Glee

This is probably my favourite song from Gloria Estefan

I really liked hearing this one in the morning: “Get on your feet”

Gloria Estefan with Words Get in the Way

Another happy song with a lively, latin beat.

Check out more music videos and progressive house music.

Retro Thursday — Def Leppard

This UK group appeared in the 80’s. They were produced by Mutt Lange, Shania Twain’s ex-husband who was creating a series of super groups that would culminate with the girl from Timmins.

Def Leppard was definitely wired, perfect for young guys like me with too much energy going to play hockey or whatever! Love those guitars!

Photograph was probably their biggest hit.

Got a photograph, picture of..
You’re the only one I wanna touch.
You’re all I want a fantasy
Oh!!! Look at what you’ve done to this rock’n roll clown
I don’t want your….. I don’t need your… All I’ve got is a photograph
You’ve gome straight to my head!!!
I wanna touch you.

Let’s Not get Hysterical

Me to We Equador

My niece has arrived in Quito, Equador for her teaching trip in a developing country. Part of her training to become a teacher. She’s probably arrived now in the town of Coca near the Columbian border at the top of the Amazon.


That doesn’t sound very safe does it? I hope she’s okay, and can breathe at 9300 feet above sea level. You know, we’re part gypsy, so it makes sense that she’s roaming the world. But she’s teaching, not selling snake oil.

This is a part of the Me to We program which is integrated with Ontario Universities. She has to teach grade 7 & 8 kids while she’s there.  Anyone would enjoy that but an all day bus ride through the jungle would definitely get your eyes wide open.

A Photograph’s Not Enough! – (look at what you’ve done to this rock’n roll clown).  How about some 80’s rock music too with the Youtbue video: Def Leppard and Photograph (Yes, I’m that old. This was produced by Shania Twain’s ex husband Mutt Lange).