El Tucano Hotel: Natural Costa Rican Paradise

There are beautiful places all over Costa Rica, so there’s a good chance that no matter where you stay you’ll see many beautiful sights. There is one place that stands out more than the others and I would recommend it to anyone. The name of the resort is El Tucano Hotel and it is located in Aguas Zarcas, Costa Rica. It is situated on the side of a mountain and only 90 minutes from San Jose. It has all the things that you’d expect in a lush Costa Rican forrest including a variety of birds, monkeys and butterflies, but there is also a river that wraps around the resort that is brimming with hot water from multiple thermal vents.


There is huge swimming pool that constantly circulates this fresh mountain water with NO CHEMICALS!



Not to mention there’s a sauna which was built over a thermal vent, so once again all natural, mineral rich water plus two hot tubs and kiddy pool.


The BEST part though is walking down to the actual river and just lounging in the water or sunning on a nearby rock. Everytime I have gone, we have been the only ones at the river, so it’s very private.




There is also a delicious restaurant that is open all day. The staff is also incledibly friendly, but be warned if you ask them to take your picture, they might take a selfie first.


There is indoor and outdoor seating. The picture below shows the balconny seating. My mom and I joked that they must let out butterflies on a timed sequence because it seemed like every 5 mintures a giant blue morpho butterfly would come fluttering by from the same direction.



At the time of writing this post, their website was down for maintenance, but you can find them on Expedia here. If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, this place is a must stay!

Driving in Costa Rica… like a boss.

There is only one thing that I can recommend to bring to Costa Rica if you plan on driving. This was key to my survival of the notoriously challenging and at times perilous Costa Rican Roads. Drum Roll, please… My Mother.

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She can drive a stick shift like nobody’s business. The hazards of Costa Rican roads include many steep inclines that result in frequent accidents..

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People driving with unnecessary distractions, like dogs…

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Cows… not a cow, but multiple cows..


But don’t worry, they are accompanied by a nice herding gentlemen..


Plus there’s lots of traffic…

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Not to mention when it’s rainy season and the roads are washing out all the time. There’s also the occasional avalanche, rickety bridges and crazy aggressive drivers… So if you aren’t blessed enough to be escorted by my mother, my advice would be lots of prayer and have someone with you that drives better than me.

I wasn’t a total chicken though, I did try to drive a few times. I even got the pleasure of getting stuck in traffic while going up a mountain. There were policemen directing traffic and I actually got pulled over apparently for looking like an idiot. I guess you cause them to wonder if you actually have a drivers license after you stall three times in a row… front and center of the line.. while they yell at you to go forward (no pressure, right?). My glorious, Spanish speaking mother had a good laugh with the policemen (at my expense) and then he sent us on our stalling and sputtering way. Thanks, Mom.

Tell me your driving stories below!