I was lucky enough to have the chance to spend our family Christmas vacation in Costa Rica. The brief from my husband and daughters was action, adventure and animals. My brief was beach and relaxation; it’s been a busy year! Costa Rica ticked all the boxes and I can’t recommend it highly enough as a perfect family winter holiday destination.
Armed with my Balance Me holiday staples: our natural protection moisturiser spf25 for my face; our rose otto body balm for my after sun; our rose otto body wash (I prefer using my own to hotel offerings) and our stellar beauty balm due to its multitude of uses including soothing insect bites, we set off on a chilly late December morning and didn’t see any rain until our return. Bliss!
First stop was the capital, San Jose which we spent an interesting 24 hours exploring, taking in the National Theatre and National Museum via at least 10 shoe stores (the place is full of them) to find some holiday pumps for my eldest! Next on our agenda was the beautiful rain forest of Tortuguero national park in the Limon province on the Caribbean coast where we stayed in a family-friendly lodge. We kayaked and hiked and saw caimans, iguanas, howler monkeys and frogs as well as an array of birds and insects. I smothered the family in Citronella oil to keep the mosquitoes at bay and we came away pretty much unscathed, which was a blessing as I forgot to pack our mosquito nets!
We then spent Christmas in the Arenal region, climbing the volcano on Christmas Day – hats off to my children as it was no mean feat – and chilling out in hot pools to rest our weary legs. We drove on to Monteverde in the cloud forest which was like being inside a food blender, due to the lack of decent road surface (apparently the locals want to keep the tourists away) and hiked on hanging bridges and experienced the forest by night. The girls’ highlight was the zip wire adventure tour which involved 15 cables and 18 platforms (I remember the exact number as I had extreme vertigo half way through)! The views were amazing, the thrill of the rides less so for me but I do feel a sense of achievement that I made it to the finish in one piece.
Our final destination to see in the new year was Samara on the Pacific Coast where we chilled by the sea for the rest of our holiday and saw the magnificent Olive Ridley Turtles laying their eggs on the beach during night fall. I learnt to surf, something that I have been meaning to do since university and we met two lovely Canadian families who had children the same age as ours. They kept each other occupied for our whole stay while I kept our hammock occupied with my collection of holiday reading!
New Year’s Eve was quite an adventure as we were caught in a cross fire of badly buried fireworks on the beach. Luckily I had plenty of our stellar beauty balm to rub on to the red patches left by the gunpowder on the arms and feet of our new friends! It was perhaps the most bizarre reason for a Balance Me product introduction I have made to date but I think they were well and truly converted to the multi-purpose benefits of one of my favourite Balance Me products!
I was very sad to leave the 35 degree heat behind -I still have the weather report for Samara in my mobile – my husband told me to delete it as it only makes me shiver - but I am truly excited about all our Balance Me plans, projects and product launches for 2014. The vegetation and colour of Costa Rica inspired me greatly.
Happy New Year and watch this space!
Our Balance Me Natural Protection Moisturiser SPF 25 provides a non-greasy and every day solution to protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. Two different types of hyaluronic acid ensure that skin is hydrated and plumed from within, giving a natural dewy finish. Kukui Seed Oil is rich in essential fatty acids, whilst Lavender and Aloe Vera extract calm sensitive and reactive skins.
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