There are few countries in the world which can truly offer visitors a totally different kind of vacation. We are talking about nature, history, beauty, the might of Mother Nature, and a unique kind of feel. Costa Rica is one of those destinations.
If you’re thinking that this beautiful Central American destination is not easy to visit, you’re totally mistaken! Nowadays you can venture to San Jose’s airport with ease, and accommodation is also plentiful and varied. You can opt for a tree house, a B&B, a small hotel, or you can go all out and enjoy luxury, with five star hotels, or one of the many rental property in Costa Rica options.
The country is easily separated into sections, some of which are more remote and off the map than others, but despite that description, they are easy to visit if you are determined to get there. First things first however, let’s talk weather!
Because Costa Rica is not too far away from the equator, you can expect tropical conditions no matter what the month. Despite that, there is a wet season and a dry season, which are can loosely be described as winter and summer respectively. The ‘winter’ time is from May to November, with ‘summer’ being December to April. There are parts of the country where it rains no matter what the month, so this is something you need to consider, and this is mainly in the rainforest areas, where you can expect humid and damp conditions, in-keeping with what you would expect from this kind of landscape.
Costa Rica is one of the world’s biggest ecotourism destinations, and has really picked up in popularity of the last ten years or so. Despite that, its beauty has not been dampened by tourism, and approximately 25% o the country is protected, to ensure that nothing adverse ever happens to its special beauty. From rainforests to stunning beaches, huge volcanoes to massive lakes, with booming cities in-between, Costa Rica really does have it all.
Let’s explore the regions a little more.
The most populated and busiest area is the Central Valley, because this is where the capital, San Jose, is located, and the main airport, to which you will arrive. The second most popular part is the Central Pacific, and this is where you will find a lot of tourism, with resorts, beaches, hotels, and some national parks to explore too. Most people venture to this area, and then head off to explore the rest of the country from there, using it as a base.
If you want to go somewhere a little more remote, there are options. The Caribbean Costa Rican area is where you will certainly find more than your fair share of pesky mosquitoes, but you will also be able to enjoy white water rafting, and turtle spotting, as a repayment for that downside! Guanacaste is the driest part of the country, and here are some fantastic beaches around here, with great surfing conditions too. If you head a little further north, up towards the border with Nicaragua, you can also explore some more national parks.
You only have to Google Costa Rica to see arguably its biggest feature – the Arenal volcano; still active, and still rather majestic! This is located in the Plains of The North, and is surrounded by bubbling hot springs, volcanic lakes, and some seriously amazing scenery. This is a must visit.
Finally, we have the South Pacific area. If you venture this far, you will be rewarded, as some of the planet’s most stunning and quiet beaches are located here, as well as biodiversity in abundance. It might be a trek to get there, but it is one which is more than worth it!
There’s no denying that nature is certainly the biggest pull in costa Rica, but the beaches are also fantastic. The country has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, so you can certainly imagine the quality of these beaches! Literally, white sand, translucent blue sea, and swaying palms – just like something from a Castaway advert!
Costa Rica also has land borders with Panama and Nicaragua, which makes it a popular backpacking country too. Those who explore Central America on their own steam often venture to Costa Rica as one of their first stop off points, and a simple Google search on images, will show you exactly why!
The important thing to remember about visiting Costa Rica is that you should certainly make a concerted effort to get out and enjoy the nature that is around every corner. If you simply hole yourself up in your hotel, enjoying the weather and the pool, then you are missing out. Yes, you will return relaxed and chilled out, but there is serious tranquillity to be found in nature, and you will have some of the most memorable experiences you can imagine, simply by heading to a nearby rainforest, and admiring Mother Nature at her very best. If on the other hand, you want to check out her fire and fury, it has to be the iconic and downright amazing Arenal volcano. Yes it’s active, but it’s unlikely to erupt any time soon, and if it does, you will have a lot prior warning, as it is constantly monitored.
So, if you want true rest and relaxation, it has to be nature, and it has to be Costa Rica!