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Hotel Grano De Oro

A Day with the Animals of Costa Rica
For this nature lover, a month in Costa Rica wasn’t enough; less than a year later, I found myself back in the country that surprised me in the best of ways.

Unlike my previous trip, I decided to leave the logistics to Costa Rican Vacations. They specialize in organizing really customized Costa Rica family vacations along with detailed itineraries for solo travelers like myself. From start to finish, everything ran smoothly, and I felt really supported by their team who checked in on me a few times that week.

As a frequent traveler, I’m usually the one organizing my trips. It’s definitely enjoyable at times—I like researching boutique hotels I might like to stay at and top ranked restaurants—but at the end of the day, I’m not a local and I don’t have the advantage of knowing the place inside and out. So, with Costa Rican Vacations, they relied on their local experts to plan a trip that I’d love...and I really did.

My first night in Costa Rica was in San Jose, and I checked into a room at the Grano de Oro Hotel. Despite a fairly short 4.5 hour flight, I was really exhausted and appreciated that I had a night to settle in and be energized in the morning. I dined at their French restaurant that overlooks a beautiful courtyard in the middle of the hotel.

I learned that the hotel was once the Victorian home of the Pozuelo family, and dates back to the 20th century. While luxurious, it felt like I was in someone's fancy home rather than a hotel, and I really liked this aspect of the property. That and my room had a beautiful enclosed outdoor patio, complete with a fountain and lush greenery.

The next morning Costa Rican Vacations planned an adventure-filled day for me. Our first visit was to Corso Lecheria, a dairy farm housing cows, chickens and even bunnies. I learned the art of milking a cow and realized it’s tougher than it looked. My favorite part was spending a few moments with the bunnies. Corso Lecheria found out that they were going to be killed, so bought them so that they could live freely on the farm. Before leaving, I sampled some of their freshly made cheeses and paired them with strawberries off the vine.

Our next stop was La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Within the park there are thousands of animals, from rare and exotic birds to monkeys, lions and frogs. Coming from the farm, La Paz was much more crowded but still offered a unique experienced. The majority of animals you find here were rescued and deemed unable to survive in the wild. They seem to be taken care of very well.

By the end of the day, my heart was so full. Being around animals can be so healing and as a city slicker, I don’t always spend as much time connecting with nature as I should. This trip proved to me that animals are a type of therapy and an avenue to healing.

Calle 30, Av 2, San José Province, San José, Costa Rica
+506 2255 3322