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Diverse terrain, a wealth of outdoor

attractions and a splash of turquoise Pacific

waters make Costa Rica’s cowboy country

an ideal backdrop for family adventure.

Family Adventure in

GUANACASTE,

COSTA RICA.

By Michele Peterson

WRITER AND GRANDSON SOAK IN A THERMAL POOL

AT BUENA VISTA LODGE & ADVENTURE CENTER

©MICHELE PETERSON

HOWLER MONKEY

©WWW.CRITTERMOMENTS.COM

FALL 2018 | Ultimate Family Vacations

13

12

Ultimate Family Vacations | FALL 2018

READY TO GO WATER SLIDING AT

BUENA VISTA LODGE & ADVENTURE CENTER

©MICHELE PETERSON

BEAUTIFUL HIDDEN BEACH IN THE LUSH GUANACASTE REGION

As we traverse a narrow trail through old-growth

forest, our horses’ hooves slide on loose rocks

sending pebbles cascading down a slope into the

creek below. I eye a handy-looking vine in case

my horse takes a tumble.

“Don’t worry,” says our guide, who rides as

though born to the saddle, “Our horses are part

Costarricense de Paso

– a mix of Andalusian

and Peruvian Paso – making them more agile

and braver than other breeds.”

My 10-year-old grandson and I are horseback

riding on a jungle trail near Rincón de la Vieja

Volcano National Park, a protected area in the

province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica located 30

kilometres from Liberia. Along with two other

families with budding biologists in their mix,

we’re looking forward to a full day of wildlife

encounters and active adventure.

While Costa Rica is best known for its humid

tropical jungles, among its many different

ecosystems is the unique Area de Conservación

Guanacaste in the country’s northwest corner.

Forming a bridge between dry lowland forest and

lush rainforest, it provides a protected corridor for

species to migrate along and is recognized by

UNESCO for its biodiversity.

It also happens to be the heart of cowboy country.

One of Costa Rica’s first regions to be conquered

by the Spaniards, it has preserved many colonial

traditions such as rodeos, folkloric dances and

cattle ranching.

Our base for explorations is Dreams Las Mareas

Resort & Spa Costa Rica. AMResorts’ first resort in

Central America, the 447-suite resort is located on

a remote stretch of Costa Rica’s northern coastline.

Our multigenerational group of families had spent

the first few days watching curious white-nosed

coati tiptoe by our string of connected swim-out

suites and listening to howler monkeys roar from

the treetops. Along the shoreline of El Jobo beach,

the kids scouted for marine discoveries in tidal

pools serving as natural aquariums for purple

starfish, hermit crabs and sea urchins.