The Ultimate Honeymoon Hideaway: Nayara Springs in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Weddings & Honeymoons – If you’re looking for an unexpected-yet-romantic honeymoon hideaway, look no further than Nayara Springs in Costa Rica. The award-winning, five-star hotel has landed a spot on our annual “BRIDES Honeymoon Awards” for years, and it’s no surprise why. This luxe resort is located in Arenal Volcano National Park, which is home to one of the world’s highest concentrations of tropical plants and wildlife. In fact: The property alone (along with its sister property Nayara Resort, Spa & Gardens) has 15 acres of lush gardens, overlooks Arenal Volcano (the third most active in the world), and features relaxing underground mineral thermal springs. Basically, it’s your dream rainforest escape IRL. And that’s not to even mention your digs! And the spa! And the activities!

Keep reading for an insider’s guide to what to do, eat, and enjoy while you’re at Nayara Springs. Trust us: This is the ultimate honeymoon spot for a couple who wants adventure and relaxation. (And let’s be honest: Who doesn’t?!)

Check in

After a two-and-a-half hour drive from the country’s main airports (in San Jose Alajuela and Liberia), you’ll know once you’ve arrived. Upon arrival, a golf cart (your personal taxi for the trip) will quickly whisk you away to the secluded Nayara Springs lobby, where you’ll be greeted by the friendly staff and a flight of welcome cocktails—mini tastings!—in colors as bright as the flora around. Welcome to the Pura Vida life!

Get comfortable (in your own private oasis)

Make one of the property’s 16 private villas home for the week. Each has its a “his & her” bathroom complete with an indoor shower, an outdoor shower in a tropical garden, and closets big enough for that honeymoon wardrobe you’ve been obsessing over. But even better than that dreamy outdoor shower situation is the bedroom. This oasis (seriously, there’s no other word for it!) features the dreamiest canopy bed you ever did see. Post up here for an afternoon nap or even take a night-in after a day of adventure. The staff will happily hand deliver room service, along with a collection of DVDs if you want Netflix and chill, the old-school way.

Take in the villa’s view

The best part of each villa is obvi the personal plunge pool, which is fed by mineral hot springs nearby. And, lucky for you, this infinity pool-and-deck combo is so picturesque, you may never want to leave. We suggest an afternoon nap on the comfy lounge chair, your morning coffee at the bistro table, and volcano sightseeing from the pool’s edge—champagne in hand, at sunset. (As evidenced by the above photo, an Instagram here is a must.)

Relax by the pool(s)

But just because the villa is so amazing doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave! Definitely check out the two infinity pools on property. The newest (shown above) has a poolside bar, underwater tables, and more volcano views. We suggest an afternoon in the comfy lounge chairs—complete with margaritas and some of the best pizza around.

Chill with sloths

If you’re up for the challenge of spotting sloths in movement, you’ve come to the right place. The resort’s grounds are filled with hundreds of Cecropia trees (their fave food!), which means there’s a rumored dozen sloths on property. Popular spots for sight-seeing are behind the pool deck and around the hot springs, which are nestled amongst the lush landscaping. If you’re lucky, you may see a sloth take a swing or two!

Taste local (and not-so-local) foods

It’s safe to say you won’t be hungry or parched during your stay. Between the two sister properties, there are five full-service restaurants, a coffee bistro, and a wine bar. A favorite is surprisingly the sushi (yep, in Costa Rica!) at Asia Luna. Cozy up in a corner, make yourself comfortable, and order the fried chicken wontons, beef yakitori, and signature Nayara roll (chicken, avocado, and plantain). Even if sushi isn’t your thing, Mis Amores will be. This open-air restaurant has some of best views on property and features everything from wood-fires pizzas to yellowfin tuna and beef tenderloin. And trust us: You may be tempted to do breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. We aren’t judging.

Make your own coffee

Visit the recently-opened Mi Cafecito for your morning espresso or an afternoon frappuccino. Costa Rica is famous for its coffee—seriously, even the in-room stuff is awesome—and after a taste of this menu, you’ll understand why. Talk to the barista about the coffee beans in your drink (they’re roasted on-site) and you may get a mini lesson in the art of roasting. Several days a week, the baristas even offer formal lessons that go more in depth into the traditional making of coffee in Costa Rica.

Treat yourself at the spa

Fair warning: After a visit to this open-air paradise, you’ll never want a facial or massage inside a room again. Seriously, book the couple’s Signature Nayara (100 min; $160 per person) for a memorable treatment, just the two of you. This service includes a traditional (stress-releasing!) massage with volcanic mud—that’s said to hydrate and regenerate skin—and a mud facial. And even better: All off this takes place in the the comfort of a private, open-air pavilion that’s literally suspended in the rainforest. (Who knew the sound of birds chirping could be so peaceful?!)

Walk on hanging bridges

You should also plan some activities away from the resort (we know, we know, you’ll be back!). The Arenal region has plenty to offer in terms of mild-to-moderate adventure, from nature hikes and zip lining to an all-out canyoning experience that’s made for the true thrill-seeker. A favorite activity is the half-day excursion that’s organized by Nayara Springs. This getaway starts after breakfast (you can eat continental at Altamira Restaurant, which is next to the main lobby), when your driver-slash-naturalist guide escorts you in a private black car to Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, which is about a 20-minute ride. Once there, strap on your walking shoes and lululemon backpack because you’re about to be one with nature. It’s best to have your guide walk ahead of you as you explore the carved pathways, 10 regular bridges, and six suspended hanging bridges (of course!). He or she can point out the plethora of wildlife and plants along the way. Expect to see plenty of neat critters—like howler and spider monkeys, tarantulas, blue jean poison dart frogs, and sloths—but don’t worry: Your guide is trained to know his/her surroundings (seriously, it’s insane what they can spot!) so that you won’t be surprised or scared in the least bit. That being said, this “hike” is perfect for serious hikers and amateurs alike. In fact, we’d think of it as more of a natural stroll—and more importantly, the perfect opportunity for panoramic photo ops.

Visit a waterfall

After an hour-and-a-half of exploring the highs and lows of the park, hop back into your car (and sip on a local beer en route!) for a drive to the near-by La Fortuna Waterfall. (Note: Wear a bathing suit and waterproof shoes, like Salamons, with your hiking attire.) The entrance fee is just $15, and you’ll find that it’s well worth the ticket. In fact, the views are even worth the 600 steps down (and back up!) it takes to reach the waterfall. Once you’re down the many, many stairs, the main attraction (on your right) is a 200-foot waterfall that plummets down into an emerald-color pool. Hop in for a quick dip, giving yourself just enough time for your guide to capture your photo. The waters are a bit rough so if you’re looking for more of a swim, walk over to the nearby stream, which is much calmer but still as chilly.

Head to your next stop—or start planning your return trip!

After a few days here, you’re not going to want to leave, but know that another benefit of honeymooning in Costa Rica is that you can explore two environments in one country. Many honeymooners do a combo trip that involves a visit to the popular beach destination, Peninsula Papagayo, too. But even if that’s not an option on this trip, that’s OK. All the more reason for an anniversary trip, right?!

By Anna Price Olson,

The Ultimate Honeymoon Hideaway: Nayara Springs in Costa Rica syndicated from


Costa Rica & The Adapted Surfing World Championship

Costa Rica Surfing – Six young Ticos are preparing for the Adapted Surfing World Championship, from November 20th to December 4th, which will take place in the United States.

On the waves, they are unstoppable.

Disabilities and diseases don’t stop the courage and determination that led these people to perfect their surfing maneuvers and take part in this national team that will compete in La Joya, California.

Last year, the team was incomplete but still managed to place eighth. They hope to do better this year but need to raise $45,000 to get the athletes and companions to the event.

Henry Martinez lost his sight at 2 years old. He surfs with an assistant who holds the board as he does the maneuvers. The assistant tells him if the wave is coming to the left or the right. The other athletes are just as impressive.

Mattews Vanderlooth Luna overcomes progressive chronic polyneuropathy, Juan Manuel Camacho an assault that left a bullet in his spine, Axel Zúñiga a fall that left him without mobility in his right arm, Ismael Araya a traffic accident that affected his legs, and Natalia Vindas a car accident that left her in a wheelchair.

Costa Rica & The Adapted Surfing World Championship syndicated from

Doctor Using Hospital Hallways to Treat Patients

Costa Rica News – A doctor is using hospital corridors in Alajuela to care for terminally ill patients and their families.

He is the only specialist in palliative care and pain control at the San Rafael Hospital and is without sufficient space to see patients.

The first-time appointments for those suffering from non-terminal chronic pain are for the beginning of 2020. The doctor doesn’t have any staff to help him. He is his own secretary and sees patients in hallways, the kitchen and even the bathroom.

He must give patients bad news in overcrowded rooms without a private place to process. He has only four beds and 2,000 patients.

He needs a team with a psychologist, nurse, social worker, pharmacist, nutritionist and secretary to offer a basic service.

The CCSS decided to start offering this service in this location three years ago and the doctor has since accumulated 42 vacation days because with such a demand he can’t find time to take off.

Doctor Using Hospital Hallways to Treat Patients syndicated from

Geothermal Energy Development in Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Working through numbers of global geothermal development, we realised a mistake in our numbers which we herewith correct.

In our newspaper published this October we have an overview on geothermal power generation capacity stating an installed capacity for Costa Rica of 305 MW, indeed that number is 205 MW.

It shows the difficulty of reporting on numbers for geothermal plants worldwide, as numbers from different sources vary greatly.

So here an overview on the current status of geothermal operations and development in Costa Rica.

The geothermal power plants of Costa Rica
  • Boca de Pozo – 5 MW
  • Miravalles I – 55 MW
  • Miravalles Wellhead Unit 1 – 5 MW (backpressure)
  • Miravalles Wellhead Unit 2 – 5 MW (shut down 1999)
  • Miravalles Wellhead Unit 3 – 5 MW (shut down 1998)
  • Miravalles II – 55 MW
  • Miravalles V – 19 MW
  • Miravalles III – 29.5 MW
  • Las Paillas I – 42.5 MW (providing around 36 MW net)

Ongoing geothermal development in Costa Rica

  • Las Paillas II – 20 MW (2019) – Construction status around 60% as of spring 2017
  • Las Paillas further development 35-55 MW (unclear if this includes the 20 MW for Las Paillas II plant under construction)
  • Borinquen I – 55 MW (2023)
  • Borinquen II – 55 MW (2024)
  • Estimated development total around 165 MW

The country further has a great geothermal development potential, how much of that though is actually available for development due to its location in national parks continues to be part of ongoing debate.

But further geothermal development is possible in this areas Locations: Miravalles, Rincón de la Vieja, Iras Turrialba, Tenorio, Platanar, Pos, Barva, Fortuna, Orosí-Cacao with a development potential of  Single Flash Technology – 865 MW, and Double Flash – 1,108 MW.

Costa Rica is a role model for the utilisation of renewable energy sources for its electricity needs, deriving the vast majority and nearly to 100% by renewable energy. While hydropower is the predominant source of electricity, geothermal contributes around 15% of its electricity.

By Alexander Richter From Think GeoEnergy

Geothermal Energy Development in Costa Rica syndicated from

Top Tips on How to Write a College Application Essay

When applying to the college or university students are obligated to give their results of previous coursework, the score of the standardized test and write an application essay. If the scores of first two criteria cannot be changed, the application essay can help to increase the chances to pass the process of admission successfully. To be accepted to the college students have to know what they can bring to the college community and teach other students.

So, when you would like to get into such prestigious school as Princeton, Harvard, focus on crafting the admission essay which can even provide you with a possibility to earn the scholarship.

Here are a few useful tips to help the future students to make the writing of an application essay much easier.

Determine the Essay Goals

The main question students have to answer in their application essay is how they can add something useful to the educational process, help the students achieve better results and make the university prestigious in the future.

You have to tell about yourself to let the admissions officers know you better as a person, about your personal features and strength. Colleges look for the children who have some ambitions, so describe your study goals, and if you would like, tell the admission board about your future career path and life plans.

Another aspect to reveal in this type of the essay is participating in the public clubs and organizations, leadership in sport teams, voluntary or full-time job and other.

In order to get into college students have to distinguish themselves from the rest of applicants. You have to think what makes you different from other students who are also applying to college and what difference you can make in the place you are going to spend a few years in a row. The admission officers are interested in your long-term goals, are you aimed at reaching any business, social or scientific goals, etc.

You may be considered a needed student if you realize that the main thing for a young person is to broaden other students experience by developing your own skills and vision of the world. That’s why international students are especially valuable as they are able to make the college social and learning life better significantly.

Choosing a  Topic

If you are aimed at writing an application essay, consider not only your goals but choose a topic related to you that could help the admission officers get acquainted with you easier. To get you into the college or university you have chosen write an essay avoiding such topics as:

  • some other people achievements
  • your time at the summer camp
  • unsuccessful working experience
  • case of illness

Make your essay as much specific as possible filling it with a lot of details from your past focusing on a positive attitude.  When writing your essay you can give the answers to some questions that will tuck up the curtain of your personality, for example:

  • What makes you different from the members of your family?
  • Are you good at solving problems? What are our organizational skills?
  • Tell about your “super powers?” Are you easy going  person?
  • Tell me about the best day or the happiest event in your life
  • What is your vision of the world?
  • What are you proud of in your personality?

    Education 2

You may experience some difficulties if you need to tell about your personality but the thing is that this is not the time to feel shy. In case, you cannot choose an appropriate topic, ask your close people if they know anything you can tell everyone about you. They can definitely underline your strengths better than you.

Write in High College Style

The style of an application essay has to be as high as possible to reveal your level of overall development and education. So, when writing a college application essay, keep in mind some tips related to the style. Write in complex instead of simple and compound sentences including in the text metaphors, similes, oxymorons, anaphoras and other.  Write using only standard English language avoiding using slang and low-level words. You need to show that you are ready to meet requirements to future students. If you still experience any difficulties in writing your application essay, ask for help of some writing service, for example, to get qualitatively written essay right now.

Ask Someone to Proofread Your Essay

This tip could be considered a tip number one as it is very important. First, check the essay on spelling mistakes and typos, then ask your relative or friends to read it one more time as thoughts not always lie on paper smoothly. Also, you can use some checkers but don’t rely only on them since they are designed to look only for gross mistakes. Also, friends and close people know you better than anyone else, they are able to give you a hint concerning choosing the topic of the application essay and some advice related to the way of writing. If they are older, they may help you to adjust the style of this essay.


Writing an application essay may seem to be difficult for pupils as they are only trying to make a step into an adult life and this one of the first challenges. Though if you know your goals and like to study your chances to become a student of your favorite college are still high. Be sure to ask for a help from all the sources you can take advantage of and do your best to get a possibility to study where you want.

Top Tips on How to Write a College Application Essay syndicated from

Dogman of Laguna Creek Wetlands

Ghosts & The Supernatural – Sacramento County actually has many cryptids. There are stories of giant salamanders that can be found along the Sacramento River and Laguna Creek Wetlands. There are stories of Mothman perching on top of the Tower Bridge. There is a story about a water sprite called a Wetlash in the Sacramento River and don’t let me forget, there are stories and sightings of a large (sea serpent) aka River Serpent in the Sacramento River. Sacramento is actually a hotbed of the paranormal. I’m not even going to mention UFO sightings, airship sightings in the 1800s and the many ghosts, shadow people, demons and poltergeist activity that haunt the homes of Sacramento County. Oops! I guess I did mention ghosts & UFOs. My apologies, let’s get back to cryptids. 
Many times I have my ghost busting signs on my Kia Forte aka the Rusty Anomaly and people will ask for my HPI (Halo Paranormal Investigations) business card. While driving with my psychic dogs Hi-Pee and Princess Hannah, along with their poodle friend AJ and looking for a good place to walk in the Wetlands, I was stopped by Darion Wilcox who is visiting his friends in Elk Grove. Darion is actually from Seattle, WA and he is staying in Elk Grove for one week. Darion tells me that his grandmother used to live on a ranch in Elk Grove near Francesca and Franklin Blvd. He makes claim that his grandmother (known as Sarah) saw a Dogman type of creature in the fields. Sarah says at first she saw the unusual creature on all fours sniffing around the open field and then it raised up, it had to be at least 6’1″.

The Dogman type of creature now became bipedal and was walking around on two feet. The Dogman creature saw Sarah and turned around suddenly and let out a horrible screeching sound. Sarah ran back to the ranch terrified. This all happened in the Summer of 1962. Darion claims that he has heard reports from his friends that to this day, Dogman is at times seen in the Wetlands.

His friends claim that Dogman has red eyes, but if you look at him directly, his eyes seem to change to a bright silver color. Dogman’s face is somewhat like a German Shepherd with a distinct snout. I asked Darion if I could talk with his friends and he says that his friends would never want their identity to be known and associated with the Dogman, because people will think they are crazy. Darion says he does not mind if his name is published in this article, because he lives out of state. Darion even mentions that ghostly dogs have been seen in the Wetlands, but they look shadowy. What is interesting about what Darion says, is that I had two dogs, a black Chow named T-Rex and a Jack Russell Terrier named Pika, both are deceased and both dogs loved walking in the Wetlands.

My wife Deanna Jaxine Stinson, a sensitive picked up on both dogs in our home and has felt their presence in the Wetlands. After T-Rex died, I smelled him in the bedroom and Pika went crazy and kept looking at the patio door where he would hang out at. My former roommates have seen Pika in the garage. Some psychics in HPI claim that they have seen T-Rex and Pika walking together on the Laguna Creek trail. Is it possible that maybe people are seeing the spirit of T-Rex or even Pika and believe they are seeing the Dogman?

Since I have been a paranormal investigator and have been on over a 1000 investigations, I have never heard a report about a Dogman in Sacramento County, until now. I did a Google search on Dogman Sacramento and to my surprise, I found this:

It appears that Sacramento has one more cryptid. If anyone has any other reports of Dogman in Sacramento, I would like to hear about it.

Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations (HPI International)!/groups/HPIinternational/

Dogman of Laguna Creek Wetlands syndicated from

When Your Competition Has Lower Overhead Than You Do

Are you making much money even if you close a dozen transactions this year? Or, if you’re a broker, your sales associates close a lot of transactions? The answer depends on your overhead. If you’re not paying for office space, you have a much better chance of clearing a profit than if you are.

VRE stillThe issue of office space won’t matter much if you’re hanging your license with another broker and letting that brokerage manage this cost while you split your commissions with the company. But if you’re the owner of the brokerage, how much more money can you keep if you’re not spending on office space?

The question will take on increasing urgency in the years ahead because more of your competition have no office costs to manage. According to NAR research, between five and 10 percent of your competition today can be defined as virtual brokerages, meaning the agents work out of their home or remotely so brokers don’t have to absorb office costs. That percentage is expected to jump to 50 percent in coming years. That’s when your cost structure becomes particularly important, because you’ll be competing with brokers whose costs are structurally lower than yours by significant amounts.

The issue is touched on in the latest Voice for Real Estate news video from NAR. In the video, the person who heads NAR’s survey operation talks about what the association found when it asked brokers about their business models.

The video also looks at NAR’s Call for Action on flood insurance. For many real estate professionals, flood insurance is someone else’s problem because they don’t have to worry about floods. But far more areas are in designated flood zones than you might expect. The number will change as new flood maps are drawn, but right now about 22,000 communities throughout the country—in every state, in fact—are in flood zones. That means lenders can’t close loans unless the buyer has flood insurance. And that’s where the federal flood insurance program comes in. The number will vary based on area, but in many markets, there are essentially no private insurers, and those that are in the market are expensive. As a result, federal insurance is the main source of coverage. If that goes away, thousands of transactions each day won’t be able to close.

How close are we to losing that insurance? About five weeks. The National Flood Insurance Program has to be reauthorized by the last day of September.

The good news is, the House has a widely supported bill that’s been reported out of the House Financial Services Committee. It awaits consideration on the House floor. NAR supports the bill and is encouraging its members to take a few minutes to send a letter to their member of Congress. The letter’s already written. It’s just a matter of going to and clicking a few buttons.

The video also looks at the potential impact big technology companies could have in real estate in the years ahead. When we think of tech companies in real estate, we might think of or other listing portals like that, but now really big companies are ready to make money in real estate. Amazon and Facebook are two of them. The way they want to make money differs from the way listing portals do, but their presence will be felt. The question is, does organized real estate cooperate with them or try to compete with them?

No answer will be straight forward, but it’s the kind of thing NAR’s leadership is grappling with. NAR President-elect Elizabeth Mendenhall and NAR CEO Bob Goldberg talk about the challenges and opportunity these new players in real estate pose to the industry.

The video also looks at a scam that’s hitting real estate, although it might be subsiding by now. Under this scam, the perpetrator poses as NAR and sends a text saying you owe a fine for an ethics violation or you just won a prize and you need to pay some taxes on it.

If you read the texts carefully you can’t help but see they’re frauds. They’re riddled with errors and say things that no professional organization would say. But sometimes you’re in  hurry and you just skim the text or you go to delete it and you accidentally hit reply, potentially giving them information you didn’t mean to.

This scam will likely disappear soon, if it hasn’t already, but you can be sure more scams are in your future. They’ve simply become a fixture of digital communications. You just need to be  aware of them, and while these latest text scams are riddled with errors, the next ones might not be. They might look quite real. All you can do is get in the habit of taking a second look at communications you didn’t expect to receive and do some checking before you act on them. That’s the case whether the communication comes as a text or an email.

Watch and share the video.