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Meryl and Joseph debated where to go for weeks. “Peru, Nova Scotia, a road trip along California’s coast, Iceland -- you name it, we considered it,” says Meryl. Finally, she, an administrative assistant, and Joseph, an artist, settled on Costa Rica. “It’s budget-friendly and offers tons of activities,” she says. After an August 2011 wedding near their Philadelphia home and a mini moon at Sweetwater Farm in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley, they were off, dividing their time between Bajos del Toro’s cloud forest and Montezuma, a boho beach town.
Here, the couple unwind at Montezuma’s Playa de los Artistas eatery.
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Stay: 10 days
Airline: American Airlines
Flight Time: 4 1/2 hours
Smart Travel Tip: “August is right in the middle of ‘green season,’ which means fewer crowds, better deals, and light showers that break the afternoon heat. It’s a great time to go,” says Joseph.
Tranquil Retreat: “Our Bajos hotel, El Silencio Lodge, was completely rejuvenating,” says Meryl. “The suites are all private cottages, there are waterfalls on the property, and the spa is incredible.”
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“You really need a hat for shade,” Meryl says of the trusty J.Crew fedora she brought along.
Sweetest Moment: “We rented an ATV in Montezuma and drove to the Cabo Blanco nature reserve and the cool surfer communities of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa,” says Meryl. “Then a thunderstorm blew in, and we had to race back to the hotel with the wind in our faces and the rain on our backs. It might sound sappy, but it was so romantic.”