This wonderful planet of ours is packed with destinations that are on most bucket lists. From eating pizza in Rome, to hiking in Peru, kissing at the top of the Eiffel Tower to snorkelling in the Indian Ocean, there are countless entries you could come up with. If you are a nature buff however, and someone who loves to experience something a little different, perhaps its time you turned your attention to the wonder of Costa Rica.
Around a quarter of this Central American country is protected due to biodiversity, and is fantastic for ecotourism. If you want to lay on a stunning castaway beach one day, and be hiking your way through the rainforest the next, before calling in on a local volcano, this is the country for you!
Accommodation options are also plentiful, and with many Costa Rica vacation homes for rent, you can stay in a home away from home space, to give you an extra special feel to your break.
The capital city, San Jose, is certainly somewhere to explore before you venture off to the other parts of this really fascinating country. Costa Rica has borders with Nicaragua and Panama, and it has coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean – this description should tell you a lot about the quality of the beaches, and the types of jaw-dropping sights you’re going to see!
When to visit is really something you need to think about, despite the fact that the weather is quite tropical all year around. The major difference between the months is about rainfall, because instead of having the traditional four seasons, Costa Rica has a wet season (winter), and a dry season (summer). When we say winter and summer, it’s really a loose description, because the temperatures aren’t really much different between the two, it’s really about rain overall. You can expect less rain between December to April, and more in the way of precipitation between May to November, however in the rainforests you can expect a shower or a little constant drizzle at any time. Guanacaste is the driest part of the country across the year overall, so if you want to avoid rain altogether, this is your destination!
Weather aside, where can you go, and what can you see?
Costa Rica is separated into regions, and some are more well-travelled than others.
The Central Valley is where most people venture too first, as this is where the capital is located and the airport too. There are a lot of tourism facilities around here, as well as plentiful nightlife in the capital. For beach life, head to the Central Pacific region, where you will find resorts, amazing beaches, more nightlife, and a few national parks nearby to explore.
If you want to venture away from the main tourism parts of the country however, there are several regions youcan visit easily. You can either head off on your own steam, or you can go as part of an organised tour, it really depends how confident you are in terms of travel.
The Caribbean Costa Rican area is quite isolated, mainly because of the large population of mosquitos that tend to live there, but if you can get around that part of the deal, you will find fantastic rafting, beautiful beaches, and plentiful turtles to spot! For another off the beaten track area, check out the South Pacific Costa Rican area, where you will be privy to some of the most stunning castaway beaches on the planet, and virtually no crowds whatsoever. The biodiversity here is also some of the most impressive in the country.
We mentioned Guanacaste as being the driest part of the country, and there is plenty to see and do here, as well as some fantastic surfing conditions. You head up towards the country’s border with Nicaragua you will also get to explore some wonderful national parks, with plentiful wildlife and flora and fauna, before chilling out on a stunning beach.
Finally, we have the Plains of the North, an area that is a must see. This region is home to the impressive Arenal volcano, an active monster which really has to be seen to be believed. The surrounding area is like something from another world, and you’ll be able to check out bubbling hot springs, volcanic lakes, and mountain scenery.
Costa Rica is certainly becoming much more popular in terms of tourism, and for the most part that is because of the biodiversity found here. Much is being done to protect it, and to avoid mass tourism becoming an adverse problem; for that reason, you won’t ever feel crowded or rushed, and you’ll instead experience a very chilled out, laid-back way of life, which fits in perfectly with the natural feel of the country overall.
Whilst once upon a time it used to be quite difficult to visit Costa Rica, the airport is now international and serving many different countries, so flights are much more available than ever before. You could fly indirect and check out another country on the way, giving you a twin centre break, or you could just head over to Costa Rica alone, and revel in the beauty and nature that is evident at every turn. Whether you choose to explore on your own steam or you choose to stay in one particular region, you will certainly be eager to return for another Costa Rican chapter.