When the nights draw in and the heating goes on, our minds drift away to the sunny climes of Central America…
With rumours of the embargo being lifted and Cuba’s borders opening to the US we’re convinced that now is the time to travel to ensure you experience the real Cuba. The end of November kicks off the busy season, with bright sunshine and blue skies predicted until April. With direct flights with Virgin Airways, Cuba is the perfect choice for a two week holiday over the festive season.
The small but perfectly formed destination of Costa Rica is a 12-hour flight from London, with passengers landing at the main airport San Jose – the starting point for our itineraries. Boasting temperatures of around 25C in the central highlands and late 20s along both coasts, it’s fantastic beach weather, and also a great season to spot wildlife as rivers are calm, and skies are clear making bird spotting a breeze! December to April is the best time to spot the beautiful quetzal bird as it prepares for nesting season, with sightings most common in the misty canopy of the Monteverde cloud forest.
A taste of Cuban hospitality in Trinidad
Dust off your dancing shoes on the cobbled streets of Trinidad and get a taste of local life by staying two nights in a family-run Casa Particulares (the Cuban version of a BnB). Easily one of Cuba’s most atmospheric places, Trinidad has a history knee-deep in sugar and an irresistibly laid-back atmosphere. Your meals will be home-cooked by your host family and this is the time to be brave and test out any Spanish skills you may have picked up. During this 4-day Cuba, the Cuban way trip you’ll spend one night in Santa Clara on your way to Trinidad, for a visit to Che Guevara’s mausoleum.
Handy Cuba hints from our Rickshaw Ramblers:
- Stay in Casas as much as you can – really interesting and better food.
- Anyone thinking of going should do it now before the commercialisation starts!
- We took guitar strings for the musicians which were very welcome but in Trinidad lots of people asked us for soap.
- Trinidad is a great spot to relax and unwind – our Casa host was very friendly, and we enjoyed sitting outside and listening to live music in the evening.
Bubbling hot springs beneath a smoking volcano | Costa Rica
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without a visit to the renowned Arenal volcano and mineral hot springs of La Fortuna. La Fortuna maintains a small-town feel and is the gateway not only to the infamous volcano but to numerous lakes, waterfalls and wildlife. On this 2 night trip you’ll have the option to stay in our In Style hotel which used to be a working observatory. The only hotel in the area located actually within the National Park, the panoramic views of the smoking volcano are truly spectacular. The winter months are the best time to visit the volcano and hot springs as the skies are clear and the weather glorious!
Handy Costa Rica hints from our Rickshaw Ramblers:
- Eat, sleep and rise early and get the most from your trip. You see more at daybreak and as Costa Rica is fairly close to the equator it gets dark early anyway! If possible take a good camera with a good zoom with you
- Fantastic cafe in Samara – Luv Burger. Best veggie food ever!
- Get your departure tax at the bank in San Jose before going to the airport if appropriate to reduce queuing times and it’s easier to change dollars than sterling.
- It rains like nowhere else on earth in Tortuguero! – take a substantial waterproof poncho.