Destination Weddings in El Castillo | Volcano Watersports

Destination Weddings in El Castillo

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29 February 2024

Destination Weddings in El Castillo

According to a survey undertaken in 2023, destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular. Nowadays, around 25% of couples choose to get married abroad, combining both the wedding day and the honeymoon into one whole experience.

It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. No matter where you go, honeymoons are supposed to be romantic, peaceful, and beautiful getaways, but a wedding is the most romantic day of your life. Why wouldn’t you get married in a place that radiates the same beauty as your honeymoon destination? Why wait until the day is done and the knot has been tied?

We’re passionate about the place Volcano Watersports calls home.

El Castillo, Costa Rica

Being based at Lake Arenal, in the northern highlands of Costa Rica, we’re situated right next to one of the most popular wedding spots in the country: El Castillo.

This is an opulent, gorgeous province, known for its boutique hotels, fun activities, and amazing scenery that looks almost curated for a wedding backdrop. Of course, there are many reasons why this could be the perfect destination wedding for you, but one of the most obvious is the romantic aspect.

* A Roaming Romance

No matter whether you’re planning a simple elopement, or you want to bring along your closest family members, El Castillo is a fantastic place to instil some natural romance into your wedding day.

Nearly every location offers something different. Near the Villas Paradise, there are rolling hills that are covered in rainforest. At the Birdsong Villa, there are electrifying views of Arenal Volcano. In El Castillo, there’s even an overlook view of the Pacific Ocean, which glistens in the distance like a masterfully created painting.

There’s a very clear reason why El Castillo is considered a prime wedding spot, and that’s because everywhere you look, there’s something beautiful.

* Plenty of Unforgettable Experiences for Families, Honeymooners, or Bachelors/Bachelorettes

While the very idea of getting on a plane to a far-away place guarantees an experience to remember, no one should rest on their laurels. There is, however, often a fine line between doing too much and doing too little to create those lifetime-lasting memories. Lake Arenal offers the perfect foundation for striking that balance.

Watersports bring adrenaline – and the variety of opportunities within ‘watersports’ means that families, honeymooners, and bachelors/bachelorettes can do exactly the one thing they want to do or be greedy and do as much as they please. A few hours out on the lake learning new skills and speeding over the lake’s surface.

But, our boat rentals can provide you with peace on the lake, too. The beauty of the water, the lakeside surroundings – it’s a perfect place to talk with everyone you bring with you, to share a meal. It’s the slow moments that can stick with you as much as the heat-pounding ones.

* Easy, Fun, Safe

Speaking of bringing family along, Costa Rica itself is also a great destination wedding for convenience. With a land area of around 19,700 square miles, this country is relatively small, but there are still two international airports that welcome flights from many US and European cities.

Travelling to El Castillo is also a breeze. With easy shuttles, domestic flights, buses, and beaming chauffeurs – Costa Rica is the happiest place in the world, remember! – the journey itself is far from stressful, making it a great destination if you’re concerned about the journey aspect.

Costa Rica is also safe! With one of the lowest crime rates, Costa Rica is considered the safest place in Latin America according to the Global Peace Index, making it a good choice if you’re a nervous traveller looking for a location you can immediately feel comfortable.

* The Whole Experience

When you’re planning a destination wedding, you need to think about the experience as a whole. Unless you’re a masterful timekeeper, you’re not going to be able to jet off to Costa Rica, have the wedding, and then jet back in a single day. Not to mention, your guests probably wouldn’t thank you for that!

In El Castillo, there are plenty of things to do to make the wedding a full experience. This includes sightseeing at the nearby La Fortuna waterfall, waterskiing on Lake Arenal, horseback riding around the Lava Fields, and hiking along the stunning hanging bridges of the Arenal rainforest.

As we mentioned before, this is about merging your honeymoon with your wedding. With plenty of fun activities and adventures to experience right outside your door, El Castillo can provide a couple and their guests with the whole package, ensuring that not a single moment is wasted.

Planning Your El Castillo Wedding

We’ve talked a bit about why El Castillo is a magical wedding destination, but what exactly do you have to do to make it a success? The first thing to think about is the accommodation. Because Costa Rica is such a popular destination full stop, the best villas and venues get booked up pretty fast, so you should allow for around 12 to 18 months to secure your spot.

In this regard, you need to make your mind up about when your wedding will be. Costa Rica is known for its tropical climate, with temperatures averaging around 80-85 degrees, but each season offers something different. In the months of September and October, you can expect to experience sunny mornings but rainy afternoons, and throughout May to August, you will experience mostly sunny days with occasional afternoon showers.

The dry season runs from December to April, so if you’re looking for a wedding without any rain, this could be the best time to book. We should note, however, that Costa Rica is just as beautiful in the rain as it is in the sun. If you want really beautiful wedding aesthetics, the rain helps the forests to burst into life, with blooming tropical flowers, bright colours, and active wildlife. The rainy season is also cooler, with better rates and fewer crowds, so that’s something else to consider.

Getting Married in El Castillo

Your marriage requirements also need to be a top priority. There are three legal requirements to consider before getting married in Costa Rica legally. These include passports – which you’re sure to have – a legal officiant, and two witnesses to provide contact information and passport documents. If your hotel or venue has an on-site officiant, then you can get them to arrange one for you, but finding one yourself isn’t too difficult.

If you were hoping for a church wedding, this might be a little harder, but seeing as Costa Rica is around 90% Roman Catholic, it can still be arranged, – although you will still need to contact a lawyer to handle the paperwork. If you follow other religions such as Islam, Judaism, or Buddhism, it’s a good idea to bring your own officiant. In addition to this, if you have been divorced, you will need to bring a copy of your divorce documents or make a sworn statement that you’re no longer married.

When Should I Book My Costa Rican Wedding?

Costa Rica is beautiful year-round, so there’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It could even depend on your personal circumstances. Have you ever wanted a Christmas wedding, but don’t want to brave the harsh winter conditions at home? A warm and sunny Costa Rica trip could be the perfect option.

How Many People Should I Invite?

This depends on your circumstances and budget. More guests, of course, means higher accommodation and catering costs, and there’s also the question of travel. Not everyone wants to travel so far for a wedding, so it could be a good idea to ask around and get the lay of the land. In our opinion, a handful of special guests is the best way to go for a wedding like this.

Where Should I Take My Photographs?

As we mentioned before, the landscape around El Castillo is going to be the backdrop to your wedding, so it won’t take you long to find the best place for photographs. While your accommodation could organise this for you, there’s no beating wedding photographs on the banks of Lake Arenal, or under one of the waterfalls in the nearby, intimate rainforests. It’s important to do your research about the area and pick out these spots ahead of time, however.

What Time is Sunset in El Castillo?

One of the most popular – and romantic – times to take wedding photographs is during the sunset. The sun will set depending on the time of year, but if you’re planning on getting married anywhere between December and June, you can expect the sun to set from around 5:50 PM to 6:10 PM.

What’s the Local Food Like?

Delicious! Some of the best Costa Rican dishes include gallo pinto, casado, olla de carne, tamal, chorreadas, and ceviche. Make sure you look into each of these dishes and perhaps try a few out before you arrive!

Is an El Castillo Wedding Really Worth it?

If you want your wedding day to be an experience you’ll never forget, in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then yes. It’s worth it. A lot of planning has to go into getting it right, of course. But to stand in a magical rainforest, staring into your partner's eyes with a glistening waterfall behind you, that’s a moment that cannot be beaten. It’s pure love, personified in a single place. Why would you want to get married anywhere else?