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#BeTheExplorer Costa Rica Winners

Brooke & Scott's Travel Log

This November Brooke and Scott had the opportunity to travel to Punta Islita, Costa Rica as the winners of our Acanela Costa Rica Sweepstakes in partnership with PINCHme, Shopstyle, Newser, Brit & Co, Vinepair, and Rank and Style.  They had the experience of a lifetime, and were gracious enough to share their story with us!

What were the highlights of your trip?  Honestly, there were too many to count! From the second we arrived at Punta Islita we were enamored by its charm (and cocktails). Morning jungle hikes surrounded by monkeys are at the top of my list, as well as witnessing the baby sea turtles make their dash to the open ocean. An early morning surf sessions and sunset kayaking down the Rio Ora were Scott's favorites.

What places and experiences did you enjoy the most?  A short drive from the Punta Islita Hotel, we enjoyed Sámara and it's nearby beaches. Nothing quite says vacation like a machete-chopped coconut sipped in the sun. Following Punta Islita, we extended our trip down the peninsula to Montezuma, and then over to La Fortuna. We highly recommend visiting the Arenal volcano if possible. We went on two impressive hikes there, off-the-beaten-path, surrounded by lush jungle and rainstorms.

Any Recommendations for Future Travelers? Our recommendation, do it all! There's something for everyone, honestly. Ziplining, hiking, cocktail making, cooking lessons, monkey and bird hikes, surfing and kayaking just to name a few. We finished each afternoon with a swim in their enchanting infinity pool. The dusk hike is a thrill if you don't mind nightlife. We'll never forget the scorpion only visible once highlighted with a blacklight.

Why would you recommend this Acanela Expedition to a friend? We've already recommended Acanela Expeditions to so many people. This trip was a dream come true, and I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience it. We look forward to their other expeditions in the future!

Expedition Photos


Kayaking down the Rio Ora and into the oceans waves

Surf lessons on Playa Islita, the perfect place to learn how to hang ten


Brooke chomps at the bit to cruise another big wave at Punta Islita

Relaxing on our private deck overlooking the verdant jungles and picturesque sands of Punta Islita


Our first breathtaking view of the resort and the pristine nature that envelopes its grounds


Scarlet macaws can be seen regularly flying above the pool deck, while howler monkeys make their name known from below


Brooke taking a few laps in the infinity pool before stopping off to greet Briner the bartender at the swim-up bar

After the morning rains lifted, we had a stunning view alongside Arenal volcano


Enjoying the local fare at Playa Camaronal, expertly opened with a machete moments earlier

Our morning monkey hike guide Jairo led us beneath an entire family of howler monkeys that make their home in the jungle surrounding Hotel Punta Islita


Baby green turtles erupt from beneath the sands at Playa Corozalito and race for the crashing waves just moments after birth

A crafty capuchin monkey, no doubt up to no good, most likely scheming for his next meal


Scott showcases his [lack of] culinary expertise as he aids the head chef during her ceviche recipe demonstation

A few tropical refreshments to set the mood before a dip in the unbelievably relaxing infinity pool


A little fresca adds the extra bite to an already phenomenal fish dish

Punta Islitas amazing landscape shown at low tide while cotton candy clouds float effortlessly above paradise