Costa Rica offers great opportunities to enjoy a romantic or family trip with nature, adventure, culture, gastronomy, and relaxation. In this blog, I share with you 15 reasons to visit us:
1- The happiest country in the world and with one of the highest longevity rate!
The happiness feeling in the country of the “Pura Vida” way of life seems to be written in its people’s DNA. Also, Costa Rica is one of the fastest growing international destinations, in which tourism is one of the engines of the Costa Rican economy. So far, it is one of the oldest democracies in America, as well as a peaceful country that abolished its national army more than 70 years ago.
In addition, it is home to one of the 5 “Blue Zones” in the world: the Nicoya Peninsula. Moreover, it is the only Blue Zone in Latin America, and the largest in extension, with more than 800 inhabitants over 90 years old.
2- Get to know a route dedicated to cheese
In the Turrialba area, also known for having one of the largest volcanoes in Costa Rica, together with the Arenal Volcano, Irazú Volcano and the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano, a thematic route has also been developed by taking advantage of dairy activity through the denomination “home of the Turrialba Cheese ”, one of its most characteristic products.
In addition to its local gastronomy, family groups can also delve into Costa Rican culture by sighting the Guayabo National Monument or experiencing the touch of nature in the Turrialba Volcano National Park, which has been reopened by authorities after several years of closure.
3- Experience the “Pura Vida” wellness feeling
Get a massage with volcanic stones heated in water with temperatures between 50 and 65 Celsius degrees. Actually, these stones are placed therapeutically on the skin, especially the outdoor spa treatments on Montezuma beach, in the province of Puntarenas.
Also, enjoy bathing in waters and volcanic mud in certified sites such as the hot springs near the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano in Guanacaste, or La Fortuna de San Carlos. Any of these options will allow you to enjoy a relaxing bath right in the middle of nature.
4- Spot a sloth closely
In the rural areas of Costa Rica, it is possible you spot a sloth either slowly crossing the street or resting in the top of a tree close to the road.
5- Discover nature in a country with the highest density of biodiversity in the world
With more than half a million species, Costa Rica has 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity and stands out as one of the best places to explore flora and fauna. A quarter of its territory is protected by national parks and reservations, and these places have an astonishing variety of ecosystems, including tropical rain forest, tropical dry forest, cloud forest, mangrove forest, the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean coasts, as well as long miles of coastal reefs.
In addition, the great diversity of flora and fauna, which can be sighted with the naked eye, is the best learning experience about biodiversity you can ever have.
6- Birdwatching in Sarapiquí
The Sarapiquí area is located north of the provinces of Heredia, Turrialba and Cartago, located less than 3 hours away from San José, the capital city of Costa Rica. It has a wide range of tourist products in adventure activities, nature, bird watching, and other elements of cultural value.
In addition to the Braulio Carrillo National Park, the city of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí is also an interesting destination because of its rich cultural identity.
7- Savor the local gastronomy
Do miss savoring the traditional “gallo pinto”, “roasted tamale”, “empanada con chicharrones”, among other dishes… Costa Rican cuisine opens up to the palate in a combination of flavors and smells that will not leave anyone indifferent.
In just over 51,000 kilometers, there are 12 climatic zones and a series of microclimates in Costa Rica that make possible having such a variety of numerous fruits and vegetables. The best way to enjoy it is through juices and natural soft drinks, common in all restaurants and cafes in the country.
Among fruits, you can find papaya, banana, pineapple, and passion fruit. But Costa Rica also has local products such as the cashew fruit, which comes from the mango family and is frequently used to make a soft drink similar to lemonade. Another local product is “pejibaye”, which is usually served with mayonnaise.
8- Enjoy one of the best coffees in the world
Savoring a Costa Rican coffee will be the finishing touch of the after-dinner table for coffee lovers. In order to learn more about the history and culture around coffee, in different regions of the country, guided tours are organized that explain the origin and treatment of the bean in its different stages.
Family groups will also be able to check out other sweet delicacies of the Costa Rican gastronomy such as milk cartons, flakes, cotton-candy, or sponge cakes.
9- Beer tour in “Chepe”
“Chepe” is the name by which the capital of Costa Rica, San José, is affectionately known. A fun and curious way to getting to know the city is through a craft beer tour, where different styles of Costa Rican beer and the most suitable pairing for each style will be savored.
Accompanied by an expert brewer, you can also discover the nightlife of San José, including telling the story of many of its most emblematic neighborhoods.
10- Purchase an ox cart as a souvenir
The traditional “ox cart” in Costa Rica is not only the typical carriage, but it has also become the most recognized handicraft in the country, also declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The colorful and unique art of painting wagons in the Sarchí area of the Alajuela province will not leave anyone indifferent.
Although they were formerly used to transport coffee, now ox carts in Costa Rica are a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage. They are painted with bright colors and unique designs that turn them into works of art. In addition, the traveler will find numerous memorabilia that recreate this particular decoration.
11- Participate in a traditional cocoa ceremony
Traditionally, the cocoa bean is packed with magnesium, calcium, and antioxidants. Believe it or not, it is considered to have benefits for the heart. In order to experiencing its health benefits, as well as discovering the history and culture of Costa Rica, there is nothing better than participating in a cocoa ceremony right in the style of indigenous peoples.
This way, by sitting in a circle, you will enjoy the ceremonial drink, made from boiled cocoa beans and participate in the songs to the sound of traditional instruments.
12- Adventure in the heights
Uniquely, Costa Rica is a land of volcanoes (some of them are still active), humid and cloudy tropical forests, huge waterfalls, and plentiful rivers. This generous nature also offers any traveler a varied proposal of activities to discover the country from the top.
Hanging bridges like those built in the Monteverde region, as well as zip lines, canopy, or cable cars will be the options proposed to sight the beautiful Costa Rican landscape from the heights.
13- Stay in ecological accommodations
Costa Rica is a pioneer country in ecotourism and sustainable tourism. In this regard, the country has a wide variety of ecological accommodations that allow tourists reduce their ecological footprint during their stay.
From places with bungalows on the beach, tents and old farms, to hotels with solar energy or luxury establishments, there is always a great option all over the country so that any foreign visitor can travel sustainably anywhere in Costa Rica.
14- Walk on a sandy whale tail formation
The Marino Ballena National Park, located on the southwestern Pacific coast, is not only a common spot for humpback whale watching, but it is also known for the sand formation called the “Tómbolo”. At low tide, this formation looks pretty much like a whale’s tail when sighted from the air. And from land, you can walk on it, being shaped like a real whale’s tail.
In addition to Uvita Beach, where the Tómbolo is located, there are other beaches within the Protected Wild Area: Bahía, Colonia, Ballena, Arco, and Piñuelas. And even without whale watching, the views of this national park are truly spectacular.
15- Rafting on the Pacuare River
The Pacuare River is one of the best known rivers in Costa Rica for both its plentiful rapids and the frequent practice of kayaking. This experience, when doing it as a couple, will demonstrate the level of complicity of both people, either in jumps or movements while navigating one of the most famous rivers in the world, right in this sports modality.
In addition, just 6 hours apart by car, surfers will be able to practice their favorite sport in 2 oceans, due to the size and privileged location of Costa Rica.