Regularly ranking as one of the world’s happiest countries, it is no wonder Costa Rica is such a popular travel destination. The pura vida lifestyle is infectious and that laidback attitude extends from the Caribbean coast all the way to the capital. Wherever you go, you will encounter friendly people, gorgeous scenery and beautiful sunshine. What more could you possibly want?But happiness is not the only thing Costa Rica has to offer. There is a lot to love about Costa Rica and I could definitely spend hours going on about how great it is. But we are busy people so I won’t do that. Instead, I will give you ten good reasons why you should visit Costa Rica for your summer vacation.
- The Scenery is Outstanding
Costa Rica is, without a doubt, one of Mother Nature’s finest creations. Beautiful rainforest can be found all over the country, covering the landscape in lush green all the way to the horizon. Under the canopy, waterfalls tumble over rocks and form streams that carve through the trees. Meanwhile the coastlines glimmer under the never-ending sunshine. In brief, Costa Rica is the most Instagrammable country on earth.
- There are Two Coastlines to Choose From
Costa Rica has two coastlines – one that meets the Pacific Ocean and one that meets the Caribbean Sea. Both coastlines have their own distinct personality but are equally fantastic to visit. The Pacific Ocean is a little colder but is better for spotting whales and surfing. On the Caribbean side, lazy little towns, filled with beach bars that play gentle reggae, entice visitors who end up staying way longer than planned.
- There is Amazing Accommodation
Forgot dingy hostels and rundown hotels. There is some seriously luxury accommodation on offer. Eco-lodges and Costa Rica vacation rentals are abundant – often taking the form of opulent villas or even tree houses. If you’re feeling particularly indulgent you could even splash out on a place that has its own private pool.
- Every Single Beach is Beautiful
Not only is the atmosphere on the coastline amazing, but every single beach along both coastlines is beautiful. Depending on where you go, you will find white, red or golden sand, flanked by palm trees, which runs down into the water. A number of the Pacific coast beaches, such as Jaco Beach, Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa are excellent for surfing. If you’re more interested in lying in the sand and sunbathing then the Caribbean beaches, such as Puerto Viejo beach, are ideal
- There are Loads of Volcanoes
Costa Rica is covered in both active and inactive volcanoes. One of the most famous is the Arenal volcano, situated less than 100km northwest of the capital, San Jose. You can’t hike to the top of Arenal but you can admire it from the base and there are hot springs nearby you can dip in after. If you want to hike a volcano, Turrialba and Irazú are both challenging but rewarding volcanoes to climb.
- There are Dozens of Adventure Activities
If you’re an adrenaline junkie and are looking for your next fix, Costa Rica has more than enough to keep you occupied. One of the most popular activities is to zipline through the rainforest. From this vantage point, you get spectacular views of the jungle and surrounding areas. Those who would rather keep their feet on terra firma can try ATVing, hiking up waterfalls, horse riding, or mountain biking just to name a few. With such a stunning backdrop, there is no better place than Costa Rica to get your kicks.
- Costa Rica is Teeming with Exotic Wildlife
Despite being a small country, Costa Rica is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity and hundreds of species of animals. As you explore the rainforest, cloud forest and national parks, you will have the chance to see a huge range of wildlife. In the Ballena National Park, whales and dolphins splash and breach along the coastline, while the cloud forest boasts the rare and beautiful quetzal bird. Elsewhere, monkeys, tapirs, ocelots and more inhabit Costa Rica’s swathes of nature.
- The Food is Delicious
Costa Rican food hasn’t made much of an impact on the global cuisine scene but that does not mean that it isn’t worth talking about. Rice and beans tend to appear in most dishes, but it is what accompanies them that counts. Along the coast, fresh seafood, such as tuna, lobster, and prawns, is grilled to perfection and served up with coconut rice. In other parts of the country, tacos, ceviche and quesadillas with a Costa Rican flair can be found at hole in wall eateries as well as fine-dining establishments. The country also has a vast number of international restaurants, ensuring every taste is catered for.
- You Can Learn All About Coffee and Chocolate
Costa Rica is well known around the world for the quality of its coffee and chocolate. While you’re in the country, not only will you be able to sample both of these products, but you will also be able to learn about how they are made. Many cocoa plantations offer tours to curious visitors and show them the entire chocolate making process, from bean to bar. These tours usually include plenty of chances to taste the chocolate at each of its stages. Similarly, coffee tours teach you all about the production of coffee. Educational and delicious – what could be better?
- It Has a Thriving Capital City
Most people who have been to Central America will tell you to avoid the capital cities. However, Costa Rica’s San Jose is the exception to this rule. The city itself has plenty to do, with markets, museums and malls all over the place. But, even better than that is the city’s proximity to some of Costa Rica’s finest natural hotspots, including the Poas Volcano and Rio Pacuare.
Have you ever been to Costa Rica? What’s your favorite thing about it?