Travel: Costa Rica, Spring 2017, part 1

April brings Spring break for many Mid Westerners and we have enjoyed many years with John’s sister, her husband and their two wonderful children, Lucy and William.

This year we decided on Costa Rica.  We flew the five hour flight from Chicago nonstop to Liberia, Costa Rica’s newest international airport.  It is in Northwest Costa Rica and serves the growing tourist destinations of that region.  We spotted several airlines at the airport: United, Southwest, Delta, and American, along with many private jets.

Entering Costa Rica air space.

Taxis, shuttles, buses and private car services are available from the airport.  We decided on a rental car.  It is arguably best to book your car from a known rental company in the US.  Do some home work.  The airport does not have rental cars on site.  Several companies serve the airport via shuttle service to the rental car lots in the area. Drive time to our resort from airport was about 80 minutes.

Note: some travel agencies offer prepaid transfers to the hotel/resorts.  After arrival to the hotel we learned there was an Avis agency at our hotel.  There was no such information on the hotel website regarding that agency.

JW Marriott Resort, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

We chose the JW Marriott resort in the state of Guanacaste as our base for our seven night stay.  It is a full service resort with several restaurants and bars, a massive pool complex open 24 hours a day, luxury equipped extra large rooms with large balconies and/or patios.  Service is excellent as you would expect from a five star property.  It makes a great base to explore the Northern part of Costa Rica.

Pool complex by day. The beach is just beyond. Note, the surf can vary significantly depending on the time of day.
Pool by night.
Fellow sunbather
Poolside refreshment!
Sugar thief!
Lucy and William catching some rays at the pool.


This is a nice day trip to the small town of Tamarindo, which hosts numerous restaurants, shopping and activities for tourists of all ages and interests.  Touted as the top “surf and party destination”.  We went for shopping and dinner at Nari, a pizza and pasta restaurant on two levels with indoor and outdoor options, part of a larger hotel complex.

Sunset from the beach at the popular town of Taramindo.


4 thoughts on “Travel: Costa Rica, Spring 2017, part 1”

  1. You 2 have to settle down awhile. I am jealous BUT the good news is that Jim has agreed to cruise from Rome to Dubai. I have wanted to see first hand the buildings in Dubai. We will also go through the Suez Canal.

  2. It looks so nice. I didn’t understand that you were there with the whole family. The kids must be in heaven! Are you sure you are not looking for a little hacienda to run away to when things get even more dramatic here???? No? Damn. I was hoping to rent a room!


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