Epperly clients, Jonathan and Chelsea, celebrated their anniversary recently by jetting over to Costa Rica. These two enjoyed their first stop at Secrets Papayago, and came back with glowing reviews. The biggest highlight of the trip came from their stay at Nayara. Read on below for additional insights from the couple and tips for planning your own getaway to Costa Rica!
First off, THANK YOU so much for planning a fabulous trip for us!! The weeks that have passed where I’ve been unable to respond are certainly no indication of our satisfaction- we appreciate all you and Kelsey did, and our trip was even better than we hoped!
Both regions are gorgeous. I’m totally down for retiring in Costa Rica now. Jonathan still thinks I’m kidding, but he is quite mistaken 😉
We were very pleased with Secrets
! The resort is pretty hilly, but we enjoyed walking it and there are ample golf carts for those who are older/ would prefer to be shuttled. The views there are stunning. It’s located in a cove area, and the juxtaposition of a beach surrounded by green and lush vegetation is really something. We had a gorgeous view from our room too, since you hooked us up with a panoramic location. We were impressed by the staff, from the recreation team to the various waiters. We got to know several workers there, through doing some of the activities and just talking to whoever would talk back, which made the experience even better. It’s also really close to the airport, which was nice to be there so quickly after the flight.The food was great too- we hear sometimes all inclusives have sub-par food, but that is not the case here! They put out ‘happy anniversary’ banners on room doors, similar to ‘happy honeymoon.’
Lindsey, you were 100% right about Nayara
– we are SO glad we stayed there! It’s easily the fanciest place we’ve ever been, the staff is super helpful and friendly), and it’s wild how these gorgeous casitas are in the middle of the rainforest. We found ourselves even watching the brightly-colored birds there, because tropical birds are way cooler than the pigeons you see in Atlanta.
Our room was incredible- we felt very spoiled. The note from Pippa was precious 🙂 Also, booking through a package is definitely the way to go. The restaurants are pretty pricey, and friends we made there made several comments about pricing for dinners throughout the stay. Since ours were prepaid, we didn’t have to worry about how much we were spending as it went. Dinners would easily be $100/meal, so a package was both a better value economically and more enjoyable psychologically (i.e., not painful to pull out the wallet)! We added a hanging bridge tour, in addition to the volcano, eco springs, and ziplining. We couldn’t pick a favorite- we’re glad we did all, because each had a unique perspective on the region.
The drive from Guanacaste to Arenal is an excursion in itself, as was the drive from Arenal to San Jose. The landscape everywhere we went is beautiful, and we enjoyed all our transfers. Thank you also for recommending we use professional drivers. While Jonathan determined he could have navigated the roads, he really appreciated being able to enjoy the scenery without the added stress of learning where to go.
Overall, our trip was everything we hoped for and more. We got to do so much while there, yet despite having many activities, it was still a relaxing vacation. This was a huge splurge for us, but an investment in ourselves and our marriage we wanted to make while we had time. We felt spoiled and pampered everywhere we went, which is quite a luxury! Everywhere we went was beautiful, and I can’t wait to make our photo book from the trip! Thank you for making the planning process stress-free! I can’t imagine trying to organize it all on my own while also juggling a new job and scheduling all of his residency interviews/ 12 separate mini-trips for the interviews. It was a vacation all the way through, from start to finish!
Now that Jonathan is in residency, we won’t get an extended vacation for a few years. When it comes to his freedom down the road though, we will absolutely be using Epperly Travel for our next celebratory trip!