Costa Rica is a beautiful country populated by colorful wild birds, ideal surfing waves breaking over rocky sand beaches and plenty of colorful drinks to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you are on your honeymoon, enjoying a family vacation or just hanging out with a group of friends; Costa Rica is a country that has something to offer everyone.
Costa Rica is filled with dramatic volcanoes surrounded by mountains, hot springs and lakes perfect for boating or floating. It’s hard to believe Costa Rica is only one country because depending on where you visit you can get a totally different experience. Costa Rica is sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America and is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. From rain-forests, cloud forests, and tropical forest in San Jose to the undeveloped Santa Teresa there is nothing not to love.
The Arenal Volcano is surrounded by a national park with hiking trails, sloths, hot springs and waterfalls. In Santa Teresa you will find howler monkeys, frogs, and quetzals which are brightly colored blue, green, and red birds with mohawk like crowns.
The Corcovado National Park, the largest tropical rainforest in Pacific Central America, is home to scarlet macaws, giant anteaters and countless lizards.
What to do
Adventure travelers can go horseback riding ,whitewater rafting, zip-lining through the cloud forest canopy, hiking in the mountains or canoeing which all can be done easily with a guided tour organized through your hotel. Costa Rica is a beautiful playground no matter your age and it’s perfect for those who love the beach or just chillin by the pool.
What to eat
Another part of Costa Rica’s appeal are the welcoming people, who call themselves “Ticos” and pride themselves on the National motto, Pura Vida or “full of life.” It’s an apt description for the cultural scene here, which starts with some of the best food and drink (especially locally grown coffee) in Central America. Costa Rica’s national dishes include gallo pinto (rice and beans) and, of course, lots of fish in the beach zones. Costa Rica incorporates several staples of Latin American cuisine yet differentiates itself by being much healthier with the inclusion of an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. The quality of the following dishes when they are homemade is unbeatable, so try to get yourself invited over for lunch or dinner.
Another must see is The ‘Croc Bridge‘ on the Tarcoles River; this is a top spot for eco-tourism. It’s a unique and very special place …The Tarcoles River is located along Route 34 between Orotina and Jaco. This is a route that nearly all travelers take on the way to the Central Pacific beach areas. The river is famous the enormous American Crocodiles that live in the waters below the bridge. On any given day, one can stop and look down to see a dozen or more of these massive creatures!
Where to stay
Lodging can range from romantic luxury retreats to beachfront resorts ideal for families and couples alike.
Here are my top five Costa Rica Properties!!
Whether it’s kite surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle-boarding or golf you’re after; this property has everything you desire.
Florblanca has plush but rustic suites. This property exudes romance with only 11 Villas in the quaint small town of Santa Teresa. (my personal favorite)
Nature fuses with South Asian flare at this luxe love nest perched above a boho beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Intimate jungle getaway with four-star dining and abundant activities, from surf to spa, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast.
At the foot of the steaming, ash-spitting Arenal Volcano, the 102-room Tabacon Resort serves up an impressive network of natural thermal springs, rainforest views and the smiling service Costa Rica is known for.
What to do about money
Both US dollars and Costa Rican colones are accepted everywhere and dispensed from ATMs across Costa Rica with the exception of very small towns and maybe shops in rural areas so if you are exploring make sure you have enough cash for food, drinks, or souvenirs.
Tipping is always a personal choice and you should tip an amount you find appropriate and within your budget.
- Restaurants: Your bill at most restaurants will include a 10% service charge. If it does not, I would suggest leaving a small tip to show your appreciation, but it is not required.
- Hotels: It is customary to tip the bellhop and housekeeper (US$1 to US$4 per day) depending on if you are staying in a luxury boutique hotel or a budget friendly hotel.
- Taxis: For short distances I would suggest rounding up to the next dollar and for longer hauls, $1-$5 extra depending on the length of the trip.
- Guides: On guided tours, tip the guide US$5 to US$10 per person per day.
Must know travel information
When making your travel plans to Costa Rica, It’s good to know the details about the Country before you start your vacation.
- You will need a valid passport to enter Costa Rica and the passport must not expire with within 6 months of your visit.
- You cannot drink the water in Costa Rica
- You must wear mosquito repellent
- Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and more Sunscreen
- Be prepared for the drivers in Costa Rica and I am not kidding!! Put on your seat belt, hold on to the door or anything that can’t move. Costa Rican drivers are very aggressive and they do not follow the rules of the road.
Now that you have all of the ends and outs of Costa Rica when are you planning your trip?