Undoubtedly, you won’t have to work hard to sell Costa Rica to clients looking for a perfect honeymoon recommendation. It’s become a top destination for all kinds of travelers, but for romantics in general, and honeymooners and wedding partners in particular, the draw is choice intimate places to stay and play. Here, they’ll find secluded jungle lodges set against lush foliage and picturesque waterfalls, with exotic wildlife and top-notch adventures, or upscale beach resorts providing romantic sunsets, sybaritic spas, and a range of leisure activities by the beautiful seashore. Let’s get specific and look at a sampling of idyllic hotels for lovebirds.
Hotel Punta Islita (hotelpuntaislita.com) is perched high on a hill above the Pacific on the secluded northwest side of the Nicoya Peninsula in the Guanacaste province. Among the resort’s 40 accommodations—suites, bungalows and villas spread over 80 acres—the tops in romantic lodgings are the suites with handcrafted canopy beds, and outdoor whirlpools on private decks with ocean views. Honeymoon packages feature a candlelit dinner with a live serenata (bolero serenade), a 60-minute couple’s massage in the Casa Spa, the thrills of canopy ziplining and horseback riding.
Set on a 27-acre terrain, complete with two rivers and its own private thermal springs, Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa (hotelarenalkioro.com) offers unsurpassed views of the Arenal Volcano from its rooms, grounds, pool and restaurant. Couple suites have large picture windows, a private balcony with a private jacuzzi tub, and king-size beds—all facing the massive cone of Arenal. Honeymoon packages offer many inclusive dining options, plus a couple’s massage and excursions such as rafting and rappelling.
For an intimate, romantic getaway, praises run strong for Hotel Makanda by the Sea (makanda.com) at Manuel Antonio National Park. Accommodations are in fully appointed (cable TV, kitchenette, terrace or balcony) villas and studios, carefully placed in rainforest gardens 300 ft. above the ocean. Sunsets can’t be beat either from a bubbling jacuzzi or poolside at the Sunset Bar & Grill. The Romance in Nature honeymoon package starts with a chilled bottle of champagne, and segues to special dinners, a sailing trip, and activities from kayaking to horseback riding.
The new property Copa De Arbol Beach and Rainforest Resort (copadearbol.com), located between Drake Bay and Corcovado National Park and accessible only by boat, has quickly become the place to stay. Occupying a pristine 70-acre reserve, the luxury beachfront eco-resort has 10 air-conditioned cabins that are lavishly adorned with the spoils of the Orient, all with pillow-top orthopedic mattresses, and ocean and rainforest views from balconies. Great views can also be had from the restaurant, bar and 4-tiered infinity pool. Adventure comes in the form of deep-sea tours in which guests frequently encounter dolphin super-pods.
TYING THE KNOT IN COSTA RICA
The laws of Costa Rica, a favorite destination wedding choice, permit U.S. citizens to get married here. A lawyer (public notary) can perform the required legal ceremony. The documentation required are valid passports and certified copies of each party’s birth certificate.
If one or more parties has been married before, a certified copy of the divorce decree(s) or a certified copy of the previous spouse’s death certificate must be submitted. Any citizen not married before must come to the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section and make a sworn statement to that effect before a consular officer.
Note: For a marriage certificate to be recognized in the U.S., it must be translated to English by an official translator on the official list of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. This must be authenticated by that Ministry, and the certificate must then be notarized and signed by the U.S. Consular Section.
All steps listed above may be performed by a Costa Rica attorney who, along with a client’s onsite experienced wedding coordinator, should be very helpful in moving the certification process along. In fact, you will find that local wedding planners are experts in delivering services and imaginative in creating memories to last a lifetime.