House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time.

Pack your bags: Costa Rica

First, came our our engagement. Then, the wedding and honeymoon planning. And, finally, last month, our enchanting and unforgettable wedding day! After all that planning and preparation, the icing on the cake was our honeymoon - a trip to Costa Rica - to kick-off our marriage. We've done a pretty good job documenting the two-year process of our engagement and wedding planning and thought it only fitting to bring you some of the highlights we noted from our trip. After all, Costa Rica is a popular and exotic destination and every little bit helps when planning your trip to the region! (hint, hint) And, to be honest, as exotic as Costa Rica may sound, it wasn't crazy in terms of cost...in fact, it was cheaper to fly to CR than to try to fly home to either her parents or mine in Florida and Colorado, respectively.

Amazing, huh? Now's the time to plan, so here we go...

"Costa Rica" literally translates from Spanish as "rich coast" and the country does not disappoint. More than any other country or region I've travelled to, Costa Rica greets you with lush landscapes, wildlife and natural wonders - EVERY PLACE YOU TURN! We decided to get a good taste of the varied climates, topography and regional culture by travelling to four different areas of the country: The Arenal Volcano/La Fortuna Rainforest, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Playa Conchal/Guanacaste beaches and the Uvita/Marino Ballena National Park area.

costa rica trip map

(And don't worry, this is not a loooong blog post that drones on and on about the regions, cultures and history. I'm aiming to let some of the thousands of photographs we took do most of the talking from here on out!)

The Arenal Volcano/La Fortuna Rainforest

This part of Costa Rica is only a couple hours drive from the capital city of San Jose, amidst the jungles of Arenal Volcano National Park. From a series of hot springs to the vibrant and amazingly-colored flora and fauna, this is a beautiful spot not-to-miss! And the rain? You hardly notice it, especially if you're soaking in the nice, cozy hot springs.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest

Imagine rainforest, but higher altitude and a gentle, chilly mist that ebbs and flows all day long. From beautiful panoramas on horseback to forest hikes to zip-lining in and out of dense clouds and more, this picturesque part of CR is not to be overlooked. We had a blast here and however many days you think you should stay...add two more!

Playa Conchal/Guanacaste beaches

In stark contrast to the damp and often overcast parts of Arenal and Monteverde, we left the cool forests for the warm sunny beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets of Guanacaste overlooking the Pacific. Playa Conchal and the surrounding beaches (Tamarindo and Flamingo) are wonderfully hedonistic respites from the adventures of the rainforest. You'll meet vendors on the beach, whose craftsmanship in weaving, ceramics and jewelry are worth seeing. If you enjoy beachcombing, this is your spot: You've got seashells of all varieties, hermit and ghost crabs galore and plentiful hours to be had in the sun listening to endless waves.

Uvita/Marino Ballena National Park

Uvita and the surrounding locale are renowned for whale-watching and marine wildlife. Beaches are different from Guanacaste, here, sporting darker volcanic sands and thick forests as the immediate backdrop: a perfect combination of the inland rain forests and beach wonders we experience in Playa Conchal. While a bit more remote, the calmness and serenity of this corner of CR is a wonderful way to spend a portion of any vacation here.

Pretty amazing, huh? Well, feel free to head on over to Expedia.com or Kayak.com and begin mapping out your Costa Rican adventure!

If you've been, what are the not-to-miss spots you'd recommend on a trip to Costa Rica?

3 ways to use your car in non-conventional ways

Helping your kids eat healthy