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Holiday, Vacation & Tour

 

Where Is Peninsula Papagayo In Costa Rica, Home Of The Four Seasons Liberia Costa Rica?

It's all very well being told about an amazing Four Seasons hotel in Liberia Costa Rica, but first of all where is Costa Rica, and second, Where is Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica?

My wife informed me that The Four Seasons in Peninsula Papagayo was where she wanted to go for Christmas as our luxury family Holiday, Vacation & Tour.

It only took me a few minutes to discover that Costa Rica is roughly between North and South America, and the peninsula Papagayo was on the Pacific coast, a...

Where Is Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, Liberia Costa Rica Beach Hotels, four seasons Liberia

It's all very well being told about an amazing Four Seasons hotel in Liberia Costa Rica, but first of all where is Costa Rica, and second, Where is Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica?

My wife informed me that The Four Seasons in Peninsula Papagayo was where she wanted to go for Christmas as our luxury family Holiday, Vacation & Tour.

It only took me a few minutes to discover that Costa Rica is roughly between North and South America, and the peninsula Papagayo was on the Pacific coast, and not far from the Daniel Oduber Internation Airport, Liberia, so flying in wasn't a problem.

The Four Seasons looked fantastic, so we made our reservations very confidently because we knew the standards the Four Seasons group of hotels.

The arrival is spectacular, because as you pass through the gate into the property, you see the whole bay before you drive around much of the golf course to reach the hotel.
The welcome is genuine, the staff seemed to know who we were instantly.

We had adjoining rooms with interconnecting doors for the children in the 3000 building because it is close to everything. The bedrooms and bathrooms were beautiful, and we both had huge private balconies.

The memories we brought back are what made the The Four Seasons Liberia Costa Rica such a special Holiday, Vacation & Tour.
The golfcourse which my sone loved, we couldn't keep him away.
The different food in the restaurants especially the steaks at the clubhouse.
The beautiful pools
Mostly the service, which was absolutely up to the Four seasons mark in every way.
We intend going back as soon as we have saved up, because it was wonderful but not cheap, but then when did you find anything of high quality that was cheap?

Finally we don't have to ask the question.
Where is Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, Home of The Four Seasons Liberia Costa Rica?
We know and we'll be back.

 

24 Hours In Panama : A Travel Guide To Panama City

Panama is an adventure wonderland just waiting to be discovered. The country’s expansive rainforests are among the richest and most complex on the planet. It’s the only country where jaguars and pumas prowl just a short drive from the capital. Its vast, roadless jungles are home to over 940 recorded bird species and 105 endangered species, including the spectacled bear, the Central American tapir, the American crocodile, the scarlet macaw, as well as several eagle species.
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panama, panama city, nicaragua, mexico, honduras, belize, costa rica, latin america, central america

Panama is an adventure wonderland just waiting to be discovered. The country’s expansive rainforests are among the richest and most complex on the planet. It’s the only country where jaguars and pumas prowl just a short drive from the capital. Its vast, roadless jungles are home to over 940 recorded bird species and 105 endangered species, including the spectacled bear, the Central American tapir, the American crocodile, the scarlet macaw, as well as several eagle species.

This small, untapped country offers some of the finest diving, birdwatching, and deep-sea fishing in all of the Americas—yet only the most avid adventurers are aware of it. Panama boasts scores of deserted palm-lined beaches, miles of lush rainforests, great national parks, mysterious mangroves (where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to a time when dinosaurs walked the earth), steamy cloud forests, mountains, waterfalls, raging rivers, abandoned forts, as well as desert.

In Panama you can spend the morning diving in the Caribbean and the afternoon swimming in the Pacific. You can explore historic ruins of the colonial era…dive for Sir Francis Drake’s lead coffin (supposedly buried at sea near Portobello Bay)…see the rainforest in an aerial tram…ride a dug-out canoe to a native Indian village…discover the remote and mysterious forests of the Darién region right on the border of Colombia (where the roads end a few miles before the border, leaving you with the feeling you’ve reached the end of civilization)…come nose-to-nose with a red-napped tamarind monkey or a trio of colorful toucans…

Conde Nast Traveler, in an article from its February 2005 issue said "Panama has temperate rain forests, great surf and beaches, and more birdlife than any other country in Central America. Now…it also has a newly elected administration that wants travelers to enjoy every bit of it."

Fortunately, Panama is a small country. In a short one- or two-week trip, you can see much of what this diverse country has to offer.

In this special report, the IL team proposes a plan to get the most out of 24 hours in Panama. From a traditional Panamanian breakfast to a trip to the Miraflores Locks to evening drinks in a little boutique hotel overlooking the Bay of Panama…we have it all thought out.

Breakfast in El Trapiche

Exploring the best Panama has to offer is hungry work. Start your day on a full stomach and head for breakfast in El Trapiche, a busy diner in El Cangrejo (Vía Argentina, tel. (507)269-4353). Here you can enjoy breakfast Panama style and indulge in a hearty feed of carimañol—a yummy roll made of mashed yucca and stuffed with ground beef and boiled eggs—and a side of corn tortillas, that more resemble silverdollar pancakes than taco shells. The bill should be less than $8, even with that second café con leche.

Trip to the Miraflores Locks

No trip to Panama is complete without seeing the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the Panama Canal. According to the Panama Canal Authority "The history of the construction of the Panama Canal is the saga of human ingenuity and courage: years of sacrifice, crushing defeat, and final victory." This statement, while true, doesn’t go far enough to describe the mighty toll taken by the building of the Panama Canal. Construction began in 1904 and took 10 years to complete. It remains one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time, completed despite landslides, disease, setbacks, and the loss of 75,000 lives in total. Engineers directed most of the actual construction, which cost $375 million, and involved the excavation of 240 million cubic yards of earth.

The Canal, 51 miles long, opened to shipping in August 1914 and was formally dedicated on July 12, 1920. In 1921, the U.S. paid Colombia $25 million as redress for the loss of Panama; in exchange, Colombia formally recognized Panama’s independence.

On average it takes a vessel eight hours to travel from one ocean to the other, passing through three sets of locks. The best place to see the Canal is from the Miraflores Locks (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., admission free). Make sure to get to the Miraflores Locks for 9 a.m. as this is when you are most likely to see large ships passing through.

Tamales in Casco Viejo

By now you’re probably feeling a tad peckish… Time to hop on a bus or hail a taxi and make your way toward Casco Viejo for tamales. If you’re in luck, you’ll bump into Luis Antonio Visuette on the streets of Casco Viejo, where he has been selling delicious homemade tamales, wrapped in plaintain leaves, for more than 10 years. With his Yankee cap and five-gallon bucket of hot and spicy tameles calientitos, Luis is hard to miss. These lunchtime treats are available in both large (50 cents), and small (25 cents), and are a real hit when washed down with an ice-cold drink. International Living’s local office is located in the Casco Viejo area, in the Cathedral Plaza, next to the Panama Canal Museum and just in front of the stunning Metropolitan Cathedral, so if you want to enjoy your tamales in our office (Luis will be making the rounds) call in for a Panamanian style "power lunch."

Explore Casco Viejo

Located at the mouth of the Panama Canal, Casco Viejo is the oldest city on the Pacific Coast of the Americas…although it was there long before the Canal was built.

In fairness to history, the original Panama City (now known as Old Panama or Panama La Vieja) was founded in 1519, about two miles from the center of Panama City as we know it today. From here, expeditions were mounted to conquer the Inca Empire of South America and all of the wealth pillaged from Peru, Chile, and California flowed to Spain through Old Panama. It is no surprise that this booty attracted pirates like Henry Morgan, who looted the city in 1671.

During Morgan’s attack, this original Panama City was burned to the ground. Two years later, in 1673, the capital was moved two miles to the west, and present-day Panama City was founded. This is the area now known as Casco Viejo.

As the city was being rebuilt by the Spanish settlers, they decided to build a massive surrounding wall and a stronger fortress for its protection and to ensure that the enormous wealth in gold and silver that passed through it would never again be susceptible to the likes of Henry Morgan.

The new city boasted a cross-sectioned design of 38 blocks, with three main streets running from east to west and seven streets running from north to south. Unfortunately, this urban development was interrupted by various fires that devastated its streets. In 1737, the "big fire" destroyed two thirds of the city, and the "small fire" of 1756 destroyed more than 90 houses. These and other catastrophic fires help explain why so few true examples of Spanish colonial architecture exist today.

The fortress still survives, though, and today houses several important, cultural, and historic buildings and monuments. But it is the architecture of Casco Viejo that makes it so special. The old Spanish colonial style is overlaid with French balconies and architecture, remnants of the French inhabitants who made the initial attempt to build the Panama Canal in 1881. Over the years, a Caribbean influence also took hold and, today, Casco Viejo is a melting pot of architectural inspiration and style, with some buildings dating as far back as 300 years.

Museums, shopping, and fortune telling

Up until the early parts of this century, Casco Viejo remained a thriving cultural center. But as Panama City modernized, and as the automotive age made transportation easier, it spread outward, leaving Casco Viejo behind. The old city’s narrow labyrinth streets were difficult for cars to maneuver and its buildings were obsolete in comparison to modern skyscrapers being built. By the mid 1900s, Casco Viejo had gone the way of most city centers of that century. No longer the center of Panama City, it was too oppressed for the upper class and quickly became a poor area of tenement-style housing.

The area is currently undergoing a complete transformation, however. Restaurants and bars are opening with gusto, tourists are coming in growing numbers, and people from all over now want to make their homes in Casco Viejo.

In 1997, UNESCO declared Casco Viejo a Patrimony of Humanity. Today, it is revered as the historic center of Panama City. Two- and three-story houses with flower-adorned balconies overlook narrow streets. At its tip is French Park, where you will find the French Embassy and a monument to the hardy French builders who began the Panama Canal. On one side is an historical Spanish building called Las Bovedas, now housing an art gallery and French restaurant. Panama’s Supreme Court was once housed here. A walkway around the monument offers a nice view of the Amador Causeway, Bridge of the Americas, and Panama City’s skyscraper skyline to the east. A plaque commemorates the firing of canon shots to ward off a Colombian warship and solidify Panama’s independence from Colombia in 1903.

There are excellent museums in the Casco Viejo area, including the Museo de Canal. Here, you can learn about Panama’s history as the connector between the Atlantic and the Pacific from pre-Hispanic to modern times. Next door is the Museum of National History and across the way is the National Cathedral. Nearby is a small museum dedicated to religious art, found in the old Santo Domingo monastery. This is where you will find the famous Flat Arch, which reportedly helped convince engineers that Panama was earthquake-proof and a geologically stable area for building the Canal. A few blocks away is the old San Jose Cathedral, with gleaming spires inlaid with mother-of-pearl and its beautiful gold altar, intricately carved of wood and gilded with gold. This is a must-see when you visit Casco Viejo.

Casco Viejo is home to the Presidential House. If you want to see this, be sure to come on a Sunday as it is closed to the public for the rest of the week. Famous sons and daughters of Panama also make their homes here, including actor/singer (and now Panama’s minister of tourism) Ruben Blades, and boxer Roberto Duran.

Bargain hunters can take a break from the historical sights at Salsipuedes, which roughly translates to "get out if you can." Located just before the entrance to Casco Viejo, it is Panama’s bizarre bazaar, a street so narrow and filled with vendors that it is dark at noon. A few steps away is Santa Ana’s Plaza, where you can have your fortune told for just $5.

Dine at The Bristol

To finish off your day in style, make your way to The Bristol Hotel, just a short taxi journey from Casco Viejo. Dining at the Barandas Restaurant at The Bristol Hotel is an event to savor. The Panamanian-inspired gourmet cuisine, restful ambiance, stunning presentation, elegant settings, and attentive service combine to create an unforgettable dining experience.

A Trip To Panama Caught Your Fancy?

Hopefully, this special report has given you a few ideas on how to spend your time in Panama, but don’t forget that this amazing country has much more to offer. Pacific Coast beaches near the city; Coiba Island National Marine Park; and the Darién Province to name just a few.

 

A Private Island Honeymoon Spot Off The Coast Of Panama

Islas Secas is not a private island, it is a privately owned group of 16 small islands 12 miles off Panama’s Pacific Coast. If you want to feel like a castaway on your honeymoon, with all the comforts then Islas Secas could well be the place for your private island honeymoon.

Islas Secas is a unique kind of resort built very definitely with the expression eco friendly in mind, and is the ideal honeymoon destination for couples who just don’t want the 5 star crowded all sin...

private island honeymoon, luxury private island Islas secas, private island Holiday, Vacation & Tour, luxury getaway

Islas Secas is not a private island, it is a privately owned group of 16 small islands 12 miles off Panama’s Pacific Coast. If you want to feel like a castaway on your honeymoon, with all the comforts then Islas Secas could well be the place for your private island honeymoon.

Islas Secas is a unique kind of resort built very definitely with the expression eco friendly in mind, and is the ideal honeymoon destination for couples who just don’t want the 5 star crowded all singing dancing resorts that are found all over the world today.

There are two ways to arrive at Islas Secas, either by boat to the floating dock on Cavada the largest of the islands, where you will be met by the entire staff. The dock is floating because of the incredible rise and fall of the tide in the Pacific, so much so that the 16 foot tide empties the bay each low tide.

If you fly in you will arrive on the resort’s private plane after a one hour flight from Panama City, and once again be met by the staff line up.

You’ll be shown to your own totally secluded ocean view guest bungalow known as a ‘Casita’, and there are only six all told in the entire resort. They are round and very elaborate semi permanent tents on a concrete base. There are windows all the way round to make sure you will be cooled by the sea breezes because there is no airconditioning.
Every Casita has solar electricity, which gives enough power for low voltage lights hot water, and small fans. All designed to have as little impact as possible on the environment.

The casitas all have terrific views , and covered areas alongside known as a Ranchito which has hammocks and seating. Everything is totally private thanks to the way it has been landscaped with tropical foliage, with convenient gaps to enjoy the views of the beach and the sky which at night is spectacular.

What you do on Islas Secas is very much up to you. This luxury private island is a luxury escape a luxury total getaway from all the pressure of 21st Century life. So if you really want to get away, then this is the place to be.

There are a number of activities to be undertaken, with the scuba diving and big game fishing quite brilliant if that is what you want to do. One of the beautiful things about these waters off Panama where Islas Secas is situated is the complete lack of people. This means nothing has been ruined or lessened by tourism because there is simply nobody here. Put another way, there aren’t anyone’s footprints on the beaches.

You could make an executive decision after taking advice from the very knowledgeable staff to become a castaway for the day. You could be taken in the morning on the resort’s boat to Pargo Island complete with picnic lunch, beach umbrellas towels, snorkelling. You can spend all day there, and you will feel very much like Robinson Crusoe. The island is everything you ever thought a small deserted tropical island would be. The powder sand, shells, driftwood, with a backdrop of palm trees and not one footprint apart from the your own – paradise!!

Your options at the end of such a glorious day, and of course you may well have gone fishing at Hannibal Banks or surfing at Morro Negro, you can then visit the Spa for any number of treatments to relax you and ease any tired muscles in preparation for happy hour at 5pm at La Terraza a beachside terrace to drink cocktails and discuss the days activities with other guests in preparation for the feast that is dinner.

Then tomorrow, with perhaps some hiking, shell hunting, hobie cats, snorkeling, whatever, this is such a great hideaway.

Islas Secas isn’t for the Gucci Loafer, Radisson Hotel type, but very much for the couple or family who want an escape, with no TV’s or cellphones, just peace, solitude on one of the best private islands anywhere with some of the best hosts anywhere as well.

To find out more about Central America go to http://www.worldwideHoliday, Vacation & Tourspots.com/categories/Central-America/

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