We had always wanted to do an all-inclusive deal in some tropical paradise.  That way, we wouldn’t need to worry about our “room and board” beyond a single daily price – just our activities.  It worked out very well in Costa Rica, where our hotel came with unlimited fruity drinks, amazing buffets, and nightly shows.

But I didn’t expect it to also come with so many photographic opportunities.

Between the beach and the birds, the trees and the pools, there was so much to take in!  Of course, they would want a well-cultivated landscape to delight their patrons, but in a place like Costa Rica, little effort was required.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We were on a beach that was somewhat scungy with dark sand and murky water, but even that proved beautiful.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I had a few favorite spots at the resort.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

To begin with, I loved the first view that greeted us each morning: the balcony view of the courtyard.  We passed this every time we came and left our room, and on each passing, I had to take a slight detour to admire it both day and night.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Secondly, we both couldn’t get enough of the pier.  In the daytime, it provided beautiful symmetry with the lights lining the railings and asymmetry with the on-pier bar jutting out to one side.  The mornings also boasted a line of seabirds who would fight for the spot with the best vantages.  And I even got a bit creative with the surfers and boogie-boarders visible through the pier itself.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

In the evening, the lights were more pronounced, and it was simply a quiet place to venture to the outermost edge like a plank and let yourself be swallowed by the pitch darkness.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Lastly, I loved that beach.  We managed to catch a couple of amazing sunsets – both of which were mostly a surprise.  Lines of palm trees formed a loose boundary between the sand and the lounge chairs, and they conveniently coalesced into a tunnel to draw my photographic eye.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

The spot where the beach and pier met was photogenic; I had both dramatic waves crashing against the wood and mesmerizing patters underneath the walkway.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

The beach was also where we could find our little beach resort cat – such a friendly little fuzzball!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

I looked upwards each night to see if I might espy any stars, but weather patterns dictated afternoon clouds every day.  It wasn’t until our last night that we finally saw the faintest twinkles, and even then, the visibility was short-lived and scattered.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Fortunately, the resort had plenty more with which to entertain my trigger finger.  I almost didn’t need to even leave to get all the pictures I wanted.

…almost.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017


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