Costa Rica: Perfectly Positioned for Adventure

Costa Rica: Perfectly Positioned for Adventure

Although it’s smaller than West Virginia, Costa Rica is chock-full of national parks, active volcanoes, and natural, protected zones, the perfect setting for a thrill-seeking vacation. This tropical, Central American country, positioned between Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the southeast, has become the most prosperous, stable, and progressive nation in Latin America. With the Pacific Ocean to the west and Caribbean Sea to the east, its two coasts offer world-class sport fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling just a short distance off its white and black sand beaches. From surf camps to five-star hotels, there are a variety of properties to sample, accessible from the country’s two international airports, San Jose and Liberia.

Costa Rica, known for its rich biodiversity, was one of the first countries to focus on ecotourism and sustainability, with most high-end hotels utilizing innovative green technologies on property. Planning a one-week stay? Focusing on either the northern or southern region would be an option.

Please check out my guest blog on Four Seasons website to read all about our adventures on Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica’s northwestern Guanacaste region.

Four Seasons Papagayo, Costa Rica

The boys spent hours snorkeling off of Playa Vilador

Costa RicaLooking for a day trip? Some “don’t miss” sites include: Palo Verde National Park, Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, and Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Costa Rica

Tempisque River, Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica

A boat trip down the Tempisque River puts you up close with the wildlife

Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s natural beauty does not disappoint

Costa Rica

On our excursion to the Tempisque River, we learned that cashews grow outside their companion fruit

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

 

 

Costa Rica

Learning to scuba in Blanca Pool

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Ricauniquefamilytraveler.com. To become a SUBSCRIBER of unique family traveler, please enter your email address in the box on the upper right hand side of the blog (or scroll ALL the way to the bottom), and then make sure to respond to the follow-up email (check spam folder).

Herricks Travel American ExpressReady to plan a unique trip for you or your family? Contact me at mollie@herrickstravel.com. For more information on my trip planning services, please click here.

Hampshire: An Edu-vacation in England’s countryside

Hampshire: An Edu-vacation in England’s countryside

I’m pleased to announce my guest blogging stint for Four Seasons hotels,Have Family will Travel,” which details our recent trip to Hampshire, England. After spending a long weekend in London, we ventured out of the city to experience the English countryside, making stops in Stonehenge and Bath before arriving to the Four Seasons Hampshire – a lovely Georgian estate in Dogmersfeld, 48 miles southwest of London.

Four Seasons Hampshire, England

Four Seasons Hampshire

Relaxation time on a family vacation is key, but we also relish enriching and educational experiences for our boys, 12 and 15. Travel can broaden their minds, sharpen their skills, and encourage them to embrace new environments. From outdoor sports steeped in history to excursions back in time, the experience sparked their curiosity as they pursued their passions in this country home away from home.Four Seasons Hampshire, England

Riding: Although I am a novice, I was eager to visit the Equestrian center. Advised to wear thick trousers, I was professionally outfitted with riding boots, gloves, and helmut.  The instructor gave me a quick tutorial, and then led me on an informal half-hour hack through the fields. Riding up high offered a lovely new perspective on the estate grounds, and we even had a chance to circle near Belvedere Pond and say “hello” to my boys as they fished.  I’d like to think they are quite impressed with their mom’s horsemanship!  Children will love the “Own a Pony” experience: two hour sessions for kids seven to 16 on how to care for their own horse, ride included.

Image 1Four Seasons, Hampshire, EnglandFishing: After pulling on complimentary Wellingtons in the lobby, the guys ambled down to Belvedere Pond for a morning of fishing with John, our expert guide. He came well equipped with fly rods, reels, flies and nets, and loads of advice on the fine art of fly-fishing. Shouting “Fish on!”, the boys were in their glory, catching and releasing colorful rainbow trout. They returned the next day for a round of rod-and-reel fishing.

Hampshire, England, Four Seasons

The boys couldn’t wait to drop a line in Belvedere Pond

Four Seasons Hampshire, EnglandFour Seasons, HampshireIMG_0852Clay pigeon shooting: After a quick walk to the estate’s South Field, we were warmly greeted by Brian, the nattily dressed shooting instructor. He spent several minutes outlining the safety instructions and describing the five-platform shooting circuit, dispensing equipment and ear protection. Brian provided plenty of assistance to my younger son, a beginner, and gave expert tips to my older son and husband, both experienced riflemen.

Four Seasons Hampshire, EnglandCycling: We picked up a pocket map from the concierge and headed out for an off-road adventure, exploring the miles of trails that traverse the property. The Spa provided us with bikes of all sizes, helmets and water bottles. On our ride, we stopped at Tundry Pond and biked near the farms to greet the lively pigs in their pens and the shaggy, longhaired Highland Cows dining on pasture land.

The Four Seasons Hampshire all season pool

The Four Seasons Hampshire all season pool

Canal walk: One afternoon, we walked along the scenic towpath of Basingstoke Canal, which winds its way throughout the estate.Four Seasons Hampshire, England

Hampshire, England, UK

DAY TRIPS FROM HAMPSHIRE: 

Stonehenge & Bath: Iconic Stonehenge is the ancient stone circle aligned with the movements of the sun, raised 4,500 years ago by a sophisticated prehistoric people. Bath is the site of the famous Roman Spa, which still flows with natural hot water—the UK’s only hot springs. Together, they make a perfect historical day trip.

Stonehenge, England, UK

Stonehenge

Bath, England, United Kingdom

Bath

Highclere Castle, England, UKHighclere Castle: Even if you’re not a “Downton Abbey” fan, a visit to the massive, real-life home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnavon is worth it. An added bonus was the Egyptian Exhibit displaying King Tut’s artifacts famously discovered 100 years ago by the 5th Earl of Carnavon and archeologist Howard Carter.

Hampton Court Palace: We could’ve spent hours exploring the rooms of this historic royal Tudor/Baroque palace on the Thames. The kids also loved the lush Privy Gardens, the Hedge Maze, the 240-year-old Great Vine and the Chocolate Kitchen.

Hampton Court Palace, England, UK

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

Hampton Court Palace, England, UK

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

For tips on sightseeing, shopping and eating in London, please read my recent posts:

London: 22 Top Shops
London Top Ten
London: 18 Favorite Places to Eat

Looking for an expert tour guide in England? Check out Mirandus Tours for top notch walking and driving tours of London and the countryside.

Herricks Travel American ExpressReady to plan a unique trip for you or your family? Contact me at mollie@herrickstravel.com. For more information on my trip planning services, please click here.

EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: to view my previous posts, and my ENTIRE blog, please click here: uniquefamilytraveler.com. To become a SUBSCRIBER of unique family traveler, please enter your email address in the box on the upper right hand side of the blog (or scroll ALL the way to the bottom), and then make sure to respond to the follow-up email (check spam folder).