Both the Caribbean and Pacific sides of Costa Rica boast some of the world’s best beaches. Some are national parks (such as Manuel Antonio and Cocos Island); some are reserves, but all are beautiful. Any beach-going vacation desires are satisfied with the variety of water activities on the Costa Rica beaches: surfing, snorkelling, scuba-diving, boating, enjoying a picnic with your family or just simply walking on the beach.
There are more than 112 volcanoes in Costa Rica. Arenal’s peak is the highest at 5,360 feet. Arenal and four others, Rincón de la Vieja, Irazu, Orosi and Poas, are currently active and another 62 volcanoes that are currently dormant could become active once again. Each volcano offers incredible views both from that vantage point and towards the volcano itself. That natural beauty alone makes volcanoes big draws for a visit to Costa Rica. In addition, each volcano includes distinct surprises. For example, Irazu has a crater lake with gorgeous clear turquoise water. It is simply breathtaking and worthy of being called a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Poas also has a crater – this a boiling acid lake – equally as breathtaking and beautiful in a completely different way. Finally, the volcanoes in Costa Rica make their own weather, explaining why this small country features 37 different climate zones. Each volcano makes for a unique and memorable experience.
Is biodiversity your thing? Then Costa Rica is your destination country! Costa Rica, though it is one of the smallest countries, is universally considered to be the most bio-diverse country on our beautiful planet. Costa Rica is only 0.03% of the land mass of our planet but biologists and botanists universally agree at least 6% of our planet’s diversity is found there. In Monteverde alone there are more than 100 orchid species, 52 hummingbird species (some endemic found nowhere else in the world), two kinds of sloths, five different species of primates, humpback whales, dolphins, and a coral reef that Jack Jacques considered to be the best.
4. Adventure and Fun
Zip lines, white water rafting, whale watching, hiking. How about bird watching, horseback riding, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, boating, sailing, kayaking, fishing? If you can add an “ing” to the end of a word and it is fun or exciting, it is available to you in Costa Rica.
5. ¡Pura Vida!
With every trip to Costa Rica, I am reminded that Ticos are by far the kindest and happiest people I have ever met in my travels around the world. This is probably one of the reasons why they live the longest as a group of people. To say they do not get all wound up about things that folks in other cultures do is an understatement. The Tico population is 98% literate and, from my experience, they are some of the most intelligent and intuitive people I’ve ever met. Most understand that their country is it jewel unlike any other. And they are happy to share with people who have an eco-friendly approach to travel. Pura Vida – the best way of life!
6. National Parks and Reserves
Costa Rica boasts 26 of these natural areas, which together account for more than 25% of the total landmass in Costa Rica. From the smallest, Manuel Antonio, to the largest, La Amistad, each is unique with its own biodiversity that requires it be set aside and not destroyed by developers. Most have camping and backpacking areas or trails; most also have support for such activities; only a few do not. All have birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, plants of every kind (many with healing properties), trees including the Guanacaste and Sura, many different types of mangrove forests, dry rainforests, wet rainforests, and cloud forests.
7. The Food!
Costa Rican or comida Tica is in a word better than you probably imagine and maybe one of the reasons why Costa Ricans have such long lifespans. Freshness is the main ingredient of all their food. A usual lunch or dinner consists of fruit, vegetables and either fish or chicken. Costa Rica is truly an international country and has been influenced by nearly every major culinary style including, as examples, French, Argentinian, Italian, Indian, German, and American. If I am traveling with Rolando and Sonia I always order what Rolando is having, and if it is just me I order the typical which is the house special and I never go wrong. Typical Costa Rican breakfast is scrambled eggs with a side of rice and beans called gallo pinto, and fresh hand-made (hecho a mano) tortillas or toast with home-made jam or jelly which is frequently seasonal. I’ve never had the same jam twice in all my travels! Normally a glass of fresh-squeezed juice, also seasonal, accompanies breakfast. All incredibly fresh and delicious! But for those not ready to take their taste buds on an adventure, most restaurants also include typical USA fare on their menus.
Come and check out what Costa Rica and EcoCostaRicaTravel.com can show you!