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10 Days Costa Rica Culinary Vacations

10 Days Costa Rica Culinary Vacations

  • Heredia - Alajuela - Punta Islita

Taste of Paradise Culinary Vacation in Costa Rica

This amazing vacation showcases many Costa Rican highlights, taking you from the remarkable central highlands to the tranquility of the Pacific Coast. As you dive into the local culture, you will have the opportunity to stay at an authentic coffee plantation, take a delicious chocolate tour and cooking class, and tour the beautiful local markets. This experience will immerse you into the true Costa Rica so that you can walk away with a greater appreciation for the Pura Vida!

Highlights

  • Tico cooking class
  • Cocktail mixing and cooking classes
  • Course on wine pairing and a tasting session
  • Fascinating Sib chocolate and coffee plantations guided tours
  • Visit a regional mercadito and prepare olla de carne
  • Cultural tour of the towns of Barva and Heredia
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 8 days with instruction
  • English
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El Silencio Lodge and Spa

This lodge is a planet-friendly sanctuary for soft adventure and inspired wellness. Silencio, Spanish for silence, is befitting of this enchanting place where daily stress is hushed and the sounds of nature bloom. Enjoy a 500-acre private reserve blessed with hiking trails, gently flowing creeks, and hidden waterfalls.

El Silencio Lodge and Spa has sixteen luxury suites with river or cloud forest vistas, each feature a private viewing deck and whirlpool and premium amenities. The suites at El Silencio Lodge and Spa contain a king-size bed plus two twin beds, a viewing deck with rocking chairs, and a private outdoor heated whirlpool. The 16 suites offer unrivaled mountain or river views.

The Two-Bedroom Villas afford visitors both comfort and privacy. This accommodation features a master bedroom with king-sized bed, a second bedroom with two full beds, two full bathrooms and one half bathroom. It also includes a full kitchen, dining room, and lounging area, a private outdoor heated whirlpool, and a viewing deck with gas fireplace.

Hotel Punta Islita

This romantic, luxury hideaway features incredible views from its perch high on a hill above the Pacific, on the secluded northwest side of the Nicoya Peninsula. Punta Islita is completely surrounded by gorgeous tropical forest and looks down on a secluded beach cove, set along Guanacastes coastline. The 300-acre property is ideal to explore a pristine ecosystem. Hotel Punta Islita is a great place for the discerning traveler to explore the cultural authenticity, fun, sustainable luxury, and the signature friendliness and hospitality of Costa Rica.

Hotel Punta Islitas intimate property contains a variety of different room levels. For the affordable luxury that Costa Rica is famous for, the deluxe rooms feature a king-size bed or two queen-size beds, a terrace with a hammock, and partial ocean views. A step up are the suites, with a king-size bed, indoor or outdoor lounge area, private deck, and ocean views. Perfect for romance, they also have a private whirlpool bath outside. The casitas of Hotel Punta Islita have a king-size bed, private balcony a private plunge pool, and a large lounging area.

Last but certainly not least at Punta Islita are the villas. These offer the joy of your own private beach home. Two or three bedroom villas are available for groups or families traveling together. These beautiful accommodations feature a full kitchen, large lounge area, private gardens, and a plunge pool.

Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca

Finca Rosa Blanca is a beautiful family-owned coffee and art hotel outside of San Jose, renowned for its on-site coffee plantation. This boutique hotel is a charmer, especially when you notice its local touches. From the artisan crafts and murals in each suite to the bracelets in the gift shop, this hotel is a comprehensive snapshot of local culture and it is much different than anything you have seen at an all-inclusive resort.

Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca has 14 unique suites including two extraordinary master suites, and eleven elegant yet whimsical junior suites, four of which can be united to form two spacious villas. Each suite is unique and features fine local woods and pieces from the owners extensive modern art collection. All of the luxurious rooms at Finca Rosa Blanca Inn include Jacuzzi baths and mini bars as well as private verandas overlooking the lovely Central Valley and the volcanoes above.

Day 1 - Arrival

Upon your morning or midday arrival in San Jose, you will transfer to Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn in Heredia for your overnight stay. You may then unwind by the hillside swimming pool and enjoy the stunning view.

Day 2 - Cultural highlands tour

On the second day, you can experience the Costa Rican culture and history with knowledgeable guides who will take you on a journey through the colonial towns of Barva and Heredia. You will visit the iglesia of San Bartolome completed in 1575 and then move on to Heredia, the provincial capital founded in 1706, and explore the Spanish colonial style landmarks arranged around the Parque Central, the main cathedral, El Fortin, the guard tower, as well as the Casa de la Cultura, a historic colonial residence.

Day 3 - SIBU Chocolate tour

On a private tour and tasting at SIBÚ Chocolate, you will embark on a fascinating journey through the history of cacao. On this tour, you will be able to savor gourmet truffles, caramel and pure dark chocolate tasting squares. Visitors will learn about how cacao is grown and the social and environmental importance of the cacao crop to the region. Join local artisans tempering chocolate on a marble slab and decorating bonbons by hand at a small workshop set just on the edge of the cloud forest of the Braulio Carrillo National Park. Enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with fresh ingredients and inspired by local cuisine. The night will be spent at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn.

Day 4 - Finca Rosa Blanca coffee tour; transfer to Bajos del Toro Cloud Forest

On the fourth day, you will enjoy a tour of a coffee plantation and learn, step by step, just what goes into creating delicious coffee. Learn how the experts discern and rate gourmet coffee by participating in a coffee cupping. In the afternoon, you will transfer by ground to the El Silencio Lodge and Spa for your overnight stay.

Day 5 - Tasty Tico traditions tour

On this day, you will team up with other guests as you pick organic veggies and herbs from the in-property garden. You will then join the chef for a cooking lesson to prepare tasty Tico cuisine. The afternoon is free to relax in your suite or explore. This evening you will enjoy a wine tasting experience, as you let sommelier Carlos take you on a fantastic wine lovers journey, that includes a crash course on wine-pairing, highlighted by a fun tasting session stacking up two red wines and two white wines to illustrate the fine art of selecting the perfect wine to complement the flavor of a delicious dish. The night will be spent at El Silencio Lodge and Spa.

Day 6 - Mercadito and Olla de Carne tour

On the sixth day, you will learn a little Spanish as you visit a regional mercadito and prepare the best olla de carne on record. A photo guide will help you undertake your mission of finding, selecting, and purchasing the freshest produce at the community market. In the process, you will have the chance to interact with local farmers as you learn about their daily lives and culture. Back at El Silencio, participants will make a hearty stew to be enjoyed at dinner. The rest of the day is free to relax in your suite or explore the natural reserve. The night will be spent at El Silencio Lodge and Spa.

Day 7 - Transfer to Punta Islita, evening cocktail mixing

On the seventh day, you will transfer to San Jose Airport (SJC) for the flight to Punta Islita. Once there, you will be taken to Hotel Punta Islita, perched high on a hill on the North Pacific Coast, for your overnight stay. In the evening, you may enjoy cocktail mixing with Miguel, as you learn to bartend with tropical flare.

Day 8 - Tico cooking with Chef Leanneth

On this day, you will learn the secrets behind Costa Ricas favorite dishes including the healthy, citrus ceviche, the versatile picadillo, or the deliciously sweet tres leches dessert. Led by chef Leanneth Viales, this fun session will help you understand the flavors behind local traditions so that you can make them at home. The remainder of the day is free to relax at the beach or pool. The night will be spent at Hotel Punta Islita.

Day 9 - Punta Islita free day

On the ninth day you are free soar over the canopy on a zip line, or head to the nearby beach to explore fascinating tidal pools or horseback ride. Visitors between July and November can even plan a tour to watch sea-turtles come ashore and lay eggs. The night will be spent at Hotel Punta Islita.

Day 10 - Departure

In the afternoon, you will transfer to the Liberia Airport (LIR) for departure.

  • Discover Braulio Carrillo National Park
  • Explore Punta Islita
  • Go on a tour of a coffee plantation
  • Visit a regional mercadito
  • Visit Barva and Heredia
  • Visit Sib Chocolate

Costa Rica is lined with picture-perfect beaches of yellow sand and swaying palm trees. The clear, turquoise water welcomes swimmers, sunbathers, surfers and snorkelers. The Southern Caribbean has missed the boom of tourist development that has happened elsewhere and continues to remain a pristine, off-the-beaten-path destination with a unique culture of its own. The idyllic Caribbean beaches are a huge draw here.

Activities
  • Boating nearby
  • Cooking classes
  • Diving nearby
  • Fishing
  • Golf nearby
  • Hiking trail nearby
  • Horse riding / rental
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Kayaking
  • Massage
  • Shopping
  • Snorkeling
  • Spa
  • Surfing
  • Swimming pool
  • Wine tasting / tour
  • Whale watching
  • Yoga
  • Zip lining
General
  • Balcony
  • Bar
  • Beach nearby
  • Caf nearby
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Hammock
  • Kitchen
  • Lobby
  • Lounge
  • Poolside bar
  • Restaurant nearby
  • River nearby
  • Terrace
Services
  • ATM / banking nearby
  • Currency exchange nearby
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Local market
  • Room cleaning

Costa Rican food is simple, but simple is not bland. With Latin and Caribbean influences, a wide range of sensory experiences come with a typical Costa Rican meal. While on your trip, do not miss the chance to try some of these signature dishes:

Gallo pinto

Rice and beans is the most basic element of the Costa Rican diet and gallo pinto is the king. It is usually made of black beans and white rice, cooked together until the rice soaks up all of the flavorful juices. Gallo pinto is served with many dishes, even breakfast.

Casado

The casado, which translates to marriage, is the ultimate Costa Rican meal. These full meals include a large portion of meat, usually steak or pork, sauted onions, rice and beans, a light cabbage or palm salad, and fried plantains. It sounds too simple to be impressive, but this hearty dish always leaves an impression. Natives often accompany this with Costa Ricas favorite condiment, Lizano sauce.

Sopa de pejibaye

Pejibaye is the fruit of a peach palm tree, and is often consumed on its own or with a bit of mayonnaise. Alternatively, the thick fruit can be blended into a soup that offers a vast profile of nuanced Costa Rican flavors. The pejibayes are blended with a savory broth to make a creamy, delicious Tico dish that will awaken your palate and give you something to talk about back home.

Chifrijo

Considered Costa Rican bar food, chifrijo is not decadent but it is delicious. Combine rice, beans, meat, and chimichurri with a tomato and lime juice and you have a hearty Tico snack. The meat used in chifrijo is usually chicharrones, crispy fried pork chunks or pork skins. You can even scoop it up with chips or a tortilla.

Tiradito

Costa Rica enjoys the benefits of two abundant coasts, including the freshest seafood. Much like sashimi and carpaccio, a tiradito consists of thinly sliced pieces of seafood dressed in a light sauce. The combinations are endless but you should start with a salmon or sea bass selection. These spreads are often accompanied by lightly-fried cassava chips and other garnishes.

  • Bird watching
  • Canyoning
  • Discover the local fauna
  • Enjoy a hiking trip
  • Explore the rainforest and jungle
  • Fishing
  • Go rafting or kayaking
  • Go surfing or diving
  • Paddle boarding
  • Relax at the spa or hot springs
  • Relax on the beach
  • Yoga practice
  • Zip line and canopy
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Cooking lessons
  • Cultural Highlands tour
  • Daily breakfast
  • Domestic flight from San Jose to Punta Islita
  • Drink mixing lesson
  • Ground transportation
  • Guide for all tours
  • Guided coffee tour
  • Hotel taxes
  • Market visit
  • Sibu Chocolate tour
  • Wine tasting and pairing workshop
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Gratuities
  • Insurance

Arrival by airplane

Arrive at San Jose Airport (SJC). Costa Rica Experts will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.