June 20, 2016

Envision yourself kicking back in a comfortable chair, eyes closed, enjoying the feeling of sunshine on your face.  Last week’s traffic congestion or the last challenging assignment at work fades into distant memories, and you simply focus on enjoying the present moment.  This can be your reality when you vacation in some of the most relaxing vacation spots on earth.  Experience true leisure when you visit Koh Samui in Thailand, Maui in Hawaii, or Costa Rica

Koh Samui, Thailand

Relaxing near Koh Samui

Anything seems possible when you’re in Thailand. But that’s especially true when you’re looking for some opportunities to relax and escape from stressful days. One sure winner in this department is the NaTian Butterfly Garden, in Koh Samui. Take a peaceful stroll of the grounds, and expect to see an abundance of colorful butterflies in a natural environment. Enjoy trying to get the perfect photo.  Included is a museum and small shop where you can take a break for some tasty ice cream.

Another relaxing experience to take in is AngThong National Marine Park, comprised of 42 islands near Koh Samui. It includes abundant gorgeous countryside, including mountains, jungle, beaches, waterfalls, and hidden coves.  You can spend your day hiking, snorkeling, diving, sailing, or simply enjoying the splendid beaches.  Way too beautiful to miss!

It’s always relaxing to have a great meal, and you can do that easily in Koh Samui.  The food is incredible! You can find a wide variety of choices. If you’re looking for traditional Thai food, it’s all available. You can easily partake of red, yellow, Massaman, and Panang curries, papaya salad, or mango sticky rice.  Additionally, Koh Samui is known for its amazing coconuts, so you’ll want to add some to your meal. Or you might try a well known restaurant such as Pepenero Koh Samui, where you can fulfill your wishes for excellent choices of Italian food.  Whatever food you desire, you can generally find it in Koh Samui.

And finally, if you want to play a little golf to unwind, you can find that on Koh Samui, as well.  The Santiburi and the Royal Samui Golf serve the area for golfers, and the amazing views of the stunning countryside will make it a challenge to focus on your game.  But it will definitely be a relaxing way to spend a few hours!

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Maui, Hawaii

Maui sunset

Claim a bit of relaxing paradise for yourself when you vacation in Maui this year.  Catch some waves on popular Kaanapali Beach, if you like.  This notable area stretches across three miles of Maui’s northwest coast, and offers plenty of space for surfing, sunbathing, or snorkeling.  (The current is too strong for swimming.)

If you’d like to swim, Napili Beach reportedly has calmer waters, and the area is popular for families. You can also paddle-board or boogie-board.  Or you can choose to sunbathe, because the atmosphere on this beach is very laid back.

If you’d like to take a walk along a trail, visiting Waianapanapa State Park would be perfect.  Beyond being amazed by the black sand, which results from volcanic sediment, you can see the freshwater caves in the area. See an abundance of ancient sites and find plenty of photo opportunities.  It’s a lovely area to spend a few hours.

If you find yourself in Maui on a rainy day, you can visit the Maui Ocean Center, where you’ll get educated about Hawaii’s underwater ecosystems. It includes a tunnel going underneath an exhibit of more than 2000 fish, and you can see a little bit of everything from sharks to stingrays. In fact, this aquarium offers so much of interest that you would likely want to come even on a day of sunshine.  It’s a gem.

Another relaxing destination, while in Maui, is Banyan Tree Park.  Found on the northwest coast, this park includes one of the largest banyan trees in the country. This amazing tree rises more than 60 feet, and provides an abundance of shade for picnickers.  It’s a great place to simply relax and people watch for a while.

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Costa Rica

sunset in Costa Rica

Rest and relaxation opportunities abound in lovely Costa Rica. With such breathtaking scenery, you’ll want to feast your eyes on the whole of it. One such place is Arenal Volcano. Set within a 29,960 acre national park, this stunning sight will keep you snapping photos for a while.  Taking a stroll around the area is certain to inspire a peaceful outlook.

Playa Hermosa Guanacaste also promises relaxation, with its fabulous beach and relaxing views of the two mountains that encircle it. It’s known for its calm surf, so swimmers enjoy the area immensely.  But it’s just as appropriate to put on the sunscreen and enjoy sunbathing for a time. It’s generally not as crowded here as some of the other beaches, which will add to its appeal.

Another gem not to miss is Cahuita, which is a small town near a gorgeous national park of the same name.  In this quiet town, people may end their day of hiking, animal spotting, or swimming by taking some time to read a novel. It’s just that sort of place!

Another amazing treasure in Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio.  This gorgeous beach boasts white sand and turquoise waters that won’t disappoint. But you can also visit the nearby national park that includes great hiking trails and even some secluded beaches to explore.  And the area is known for three different kinds of monkeys, if you enjoy spotting animals.  A great way to unwind in a beautiful place.

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