There are plenty of excellent reasons to visit Costa Rica. This Central American country with a coastline on the Caribbean and the Pacific is actually quite a surprise package. Did you know it doesn’t have an army, because it says it doesn’t need one? Of course, this isn’t one of the reasons to go to Costa Rica - we’re looking for something way more exciting than that. And, excited you will be because this is a glorious, beautiful, unexpected, charming country. Let’s take a look at just 7 Fabulous Reasons to Visit Costa Rica:
1. The Climate
The weather is always something we consider when choosing our vacation. Beautiful weather is definitely one of the reasons to go to Costa Rica if you’re heading for a beach vacation. The country has a very varied geography which gives it lots of micro climates but on both coastlines you can expect two seasons – dry and rainy – also known as High Season and Green Season. Generally speaking, high season is December through April.
2. The Beaches
Costa Rica’s beaches rank among the best in the world. There are stunningly gorgeous and pristinely clean. They offer cashmere soft sands for lazing on, and crystal clear, safe waters for swimming. Water sports are plentiful and surfers can find plenty of reasons to visit Costa Rica. It doesn’t matter whether you choose the Caribbean or Pacific coast. On the Caribbean side you can enjoy the delights of beaches lined with swaying coconut palms like, Cahuita, Manzanillo, Puerto Viejo and Gandoca. Jaco beach on the Pacific coast is one of Costa Rica’s premier party destinations, whilst the Nicoya Peninsula also present shimmering white sandy stretches like, Tambor and Montezuma.
3. The Scenery
Choosing scenery as one of the best reasons to go to Costa Rica may sound a bit lame but by its very diversity, the varying landscape makes for excellent sightseeing, and outdoor activities. It’s perfect for photographers as they can see many different types of scenery within short distances, and for those who love to walk, there’s a mass of interest. One day you could be tramping through a rainforest carpeting the sides of a volcano, the next along a waterfront canal. Much of the land is national park – in fact a whopping 26% of the country is designated as protected areas. This means you get to see it exactly how Mother Nature painted it. Where there is human intervention it is sympathetic and subtle.
4. The Wildlife
Thanks to the excellently conserved landscape, the wildlife of Costa Rica is an animal lover’s treat. Your morning wake-up call will come from a howler monkey, and as you laze by the pool you’ll be serenaded by tropical bird song. You can watch the magical site of turtles laying eggs on a beach and watch capuchin monkeys swing through the trees. Colourful tree frogs scuttle up trunks and branches and when out and about on your sightseeing and rainforest walks you might catch glimpses of porcupines, opposums, raccoons, kinkajou, all manner of insects, snakes and crustaceans, and if very lucky big cats such as jaguar, ocelot and mountain lions. Birdlife is spectacular with woodpeckers, macaws, hummingbirds, vultures, cormorants, and heron. There’s also a mass of butterflies, so amazing wildlife viewing opportunities is certainly provides animal lovers with reasons to go to Costa Rica.
5. The Culture
The culture and people of Costa Rica are as beautiful as the country. Costa Rica is one of the most stable Central American economies and there’s a strong focus on quality of life. UNESCO actually declared Costa Rica to be the Capital of Ibero-American culture in 2003, but there’s also a heavy tinge of the laid –back Caribbean. It’s a multi-cultural society which makes visits to towns and villages interesting and rewarding. About half the population lives in the capital, San Jose, which means that much of the country’s heritage is on view in the one place – the museums, major monuments, universities and major churches, are all in the one city – makes for easy visiting.
6. The Food
One of the best elements of any foreign vacation is discovering new food. Even if you eat in a restaurant back home claiming to be authentic, generally, it’s a far cry from the real thing. There’s certainly one thing to note about Costa Rican food and that is it’s perfect for anyone with special dietary needs. Cheese and dairy products (great for lactose-intolerants) don’t feature much and bread is more likely to be made from cornmeal instead of flour (great for gluten-intolerants). The staple of most diets in Costa Rica is the corrida tipica – black beans and rice. Pork is the favored meat but others are enjoyed – usually barbecued. Expect lots of fruits and vegetables you don’t see back home, and you’ll notice a familiarity in the cuisine on the Caribbean coast.
7. The Conscience
The most contemporary of reasons to visit Costa Rica is that it is one of the most eco-friendly destinations on the planet. There is a national conscience to tourism here, and great lengths are taken to ensure development and tourist activities do no harm to the glorious environment. Hotels and resorts are built sympathetically to blend in naturally with their surroundings, and feature sustainable materials and products made by local craftsmen. Hotels and resorts also compete to be awarded the Certificate of Sustainable Tourism, and towns want their beaches to gain the prestigious Blue Flag Award.
Costa Rica is a fabulous country and it’s so good to know they are truly concerned about keeping it that way, as much as they love the tourist dollar. You’ll find plenty of reasons to go to Costa Rica but you really only need one – because it’s fabulous!