Whether you’re looking for adventures, family-friendly activities, delicious cuisine or healing retreats, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the best place to be immersed in some of this planet’s most incredible ecosystems, lush jungles, stunning sceneries, and experience the unique, local Pura Vida lifestyle. Planning a trip to Costa Rica can be overwhelming and the choices are potentially endless. Here, 10 reasons why Costa Rica is one of the vest vacation destinations in the world.
Mother Nature is still in charge in Costa Rica.
With its exotic wildlife, sun-kissed coasts, and dramatic mountains, Costa Rica is heaven on Earth for all the adventurers and nature lovers out there.
With almost 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, you better believe that Costa Rica is an amazing destination for wildlife spotting.
For example, in Tortuguero National Park , you get to spot caymans, a huge variety of birds, sloths, different kinds of monkeys, and you could even get to see some turtles hatchling on the beach. You will feel like you have arrived in a completely different part of the world.
The Sea Turtle Conservancy Tortuguero Visitor Center is an educational center located in the heart of Tortuguero National Park and the oldest turtle research facility in the world. Founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr in an effort to save the turtles from extinction, this natural paradise now invites tourists to get involved and take part in the mission. Not only you can go on a guided walk to watch a sea turtle laying eggs, but also adopt a turtle (or many more!) and follow each step of your satellite-tagged turtle.
Tortuguero also offers different accommodation options—shared dorms, private bedrooms, and private eco-lodges—and fees also include three daily meals of authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
One of Costa Rica’s best-known mottos is “Pura Vida,” or pure life. And the people live like they mean it! The country has a diverse culture and population, but many use this saying to encourage living every day of your life to the fullest and appreciate life’s simple treasures. This mindset may explain why some say that Costa Rican citizens are among the happiest in the world. “Pura Vida” also serves as a greeting or an answer when someone asks, “How are you?”.
Costa Rica might not be the first place you think of for culinary adventures, but it’s actually home to a number of delicious dishes and emerging foodie hotspots. Indulge in pejibaye (a fruit closely related to the peach) cooked in coconut milk with onion, garlic, or tomato sauce. Try the famous « vuelve a la vida » (literally meaning “come back to life”), which is similar to ceviche made from raw fish cured in lime juice. Or maybe taste the arreglados (“arranged” sandwiches).
Not far from the Monteverde Cloud Forest, you can take a popular Coffee, Chocolate and Sugar Cane Tour were you will explore a beautiful costarican farm on a guided walk, discover how this 3 important products are produced and you’ll be also tasting delicious coffee, cocoa and sugar cane.
Or Cook like a local at La Fortuna de San Carlos were you will learn how to make delicious creole dishes such as empanadas and tamales. The ingredients come straight from their organic gardens!
And don’t forget that Costa Rican coffee is considered the best tasting coffee you can find on planet Earth. Indeed, higher altitudes, fertile soils of volcanic origin combined with cool climates and steady rainfall, produces beans with fine flavors and aroma.
Clear your mind. Watch the sky.
In Costa Rica, watching the sun making its spectacular exit is a sacred ritual. One of the best spots to admire the sun welcoming the moon is definitely at Gaia Hotel & Reserve, in Manuel Antonio National Park.
Nestled in the magnificent coastal forests of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, the hotel´s well-appointed, terraced suites and villas offers you amazing views of lush and pristine wild surroundings that are beyond compare.
Take time and taste the moment in this fantastic scenic spot, or just watch life unfold when pink and purple explode across the sky!
Despite being a catholic country, Costa Ricans know how to party! Festivals and celebrations burst and spread during the holiday season and involve anything from bullfighting to fireworks and marimba music. The most famous festival is Zapote in San José, which is a kaleidoscope of intricate rollercoasters and thrilling bullfights.
Make sure you don’t miss Fiestas Palmares, Costa Rica’s biggest cowboy party. The festival lasts two whole weeks and attracts close to a million people from all over the country. The celebrations include horse parades and rodeos with an endless supply of beer for all participants.
Costa Rica is for lovebirds!
The candlelit dinners, the lush forests, the Jacuzzi topped balconies, and the waves being your love soundtrack: everything speaks the language of love. There are so many destinations in Costa Rica where couples will have a fantastic time, and the country has something to offer to everyone. However, you can’t miss the Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa in Arenal, also known as the largest network of naturally flowing thermal springs. Lovebirds can soak in the hot springs while enjoying a glass of champagne, toasting to love!
You cannot leave the country without trying zip-lining, which can be considered a rite of passage when visiting Costa Rica. One of the most spectacular is undoubtedly the Costa Rica Full Day Combo Tour – Zip lining, Waterfalls, Volcano & Hot Springs
Not only is this Zip-Line Tour reasonably priced, but you will most probably spot a number of plants and animals unique to Costa Rica, possibly including howler and white-faced monkeys, parrots, iguanas, and much more. You’ll be hooked in a variety of platforms at different heights, suspended over the lush jungle where you can show off your backflips and jumps from platform to platform.
Sometimes you need to unplug and disconnect to reconnect with your soul.
Designed for those seeking tranquility, Kinkára Resort has been called “heaven on earth“ by former guests.
This natural sanctuary and luxurious resort offer natural healing through its own herbs and organic-produced ingredients. And that’s not all! You can also dive into a yoga retreat, a river hike, or a wellness signature experience. The most famous one is the “Temazcal-Inspired Sweat Ceremony,” where people stand shoulder-to-shoulder around hot volcanic rocks for “a curative ceremony of song and steam.“
At night, relax in the typical tent with its handcrafted wooden furniture and solar-powered reading lights. Now picture yourself lying in the middle of a forest. It’s dusk, and no sounds but the crickets chirping somewhere in the distance. Can you feel the peace already?
And if you are fancy a bit more adventure, you can always book a day trip to go surfing (Costa Rica is known for its surfing, after all), about 30 miles away from the resort.
Although soccer remains the national sport, Costa Rica is attracting the attention of sports enthusiasts from all over the world for its endless sports opportunities.
Did you know that Endless Summer 2, the 1994 documentary, features many Costa Rican beaches? Since then, it’s totally common now to see people packing their boards in vans and heading to Tamarindo, Pavones, Jacó, and other surf hot spots around the country.
Recently stand-up paddling has caught many former surfer’s interests, and Costa Rica has competed for its very first world championship.
A must-do when in Costa Rica is definitely water rafting and canyoning in Pacuare
Experience the adrenaline of rafting the rapids or the excitement of canyoning in a stunning environment. The activities include rock climbing, a descent down a small waterfall, sliding along cables, swinging through the jungle like Tarzan, and rappelling down a 30-meter (100-foot) rock face. The result is a light but exhilarating adventure in an idyllic, natural setting.
It could not be easier to experience Costa Rica: short flights from the United States (only two and a half hour flight from Miami) and very cheap tickets make the planning budget-friendly. The country is beautiful all year round, and no matter what time of the year you go, there’s always something to do!
When it comes to Costa Rica, it might be difficult to explain the beauty and the magic of this enchanted land. The reasons why we love this country of lush jungles, pristine beaches and friendly people are endless.
But the truth is that regardless of the reason why you decide to visit Costa Rica, you’re sure to have a great time!
For more adventures and tips about Costa Rica, don’t forget to check our Costa Rica Travel Guide, where you’ll find everything you need to plan the perfect vacations to Costa Rica !