Visiting Costa Rica for the first time opens travelers to a rugged, wild and extremely beautiful part of the world. Costa Rica is a rain forested Central American country. It is here that visitors will discover exceptional coastlines and beaches facing both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
The capital of Costa Rica, San José, is home to cultural institutions like the Pre Columbian era Gold Museum. Yet Costa Rica is far better known internationally for its amazing tropical beaches, awe inspiring volcanoes and immense biodiversity in nature. Some of the volcanoes in Costa Rica are still active.
Named “the rich coast” by Spanish conquistadors who first made landfall here in 1502 and populated the country with Europeans. Costa Rica is one of the planet’s most naturally splendid and biologically diverse regions. No wonder Costa Rica is so popular with explorers and adventurers from around the world.
In fact approximately a quarter of its available land area consists of protected jungle regions of rain forest and parks. These protected areas of tropical jungle are rich with all kinds of amazing wildlife including timid spider monkeys and quetzal birds to name but a few.
Today one of the largest revenue streams is coffee and tourism. Yet Costa Rica was largely undeveloped until the middle of the 20th century (mainly due to its lack of traditional “riches”, namely gold, silver and spices, the traditional forms of wealth.) Fast forward some time and the country is today drawing fresh new generations of travelers and explorers seeking more lasting and enduring treasures.
The Sights of Costa Rica
Upon traveling to Costa Rica expect many sights to appreciate such as misty cloud forests, rare wildlife and bird species, foliage and fauna. There are also a surfeit of glorious sandy beaches that run along the coastline.[tubepress mode=”tag” tagValue=”Costa Rica beaches” playerLocation=”popup” resultsPerPage=”2″]
These Costa Rican beaches are the gateway to world class water sports including surfing, diving, and sport fishing as well as the aforementioned land activities visiting volcanoes and dense jungles.
A Diverse Tropical Destination
Dramatic volcanoes, misty cloud forest, and deep river valleys make Costa Rica an ideal destination for the adventure and activity minded traveler. However you needn’t be too hard core to want to travel to the island either.
Costa Rica’s family friendly welcome and culture is twined with great year round weather, although there is a brief rainy season. Hence whenever you travel to Costa Rica and whatever you intend to do it will always we warm and welcoming.
Here we present a guide to 6 unusual things that will make you want to visit Costa Rica and start exploring this amazing country. If you are thinking of planning a trip then also check out our earlier travel guide to this wonderful island like country.
Sunset in Costa Rica
The sunsets in Costa Rica are truly spectacular, enough to give the island of Santorini in Europe a run for its money. With so much unspoilt coastline and amazing beaches there are plenty of awesome vantage points to watch the sun go low.
It is certainly the case that Costa Rica offers some of the most jaw dropping sunsets to witness anywhere in the world. Whether the sun is viewed descending over the sun kissed oceans or falling behind the lush tropical rainforests it is a sight to behold and admire.
Visiting Costa Rica offers unforgettable travel memories across a vast selection of great vistas and landscapes venues to enjoy these intoxicating and awe inspiring sunset moments.
Happy Hour on a Costa Rican Beach
Just as we were telling you about the amazing sunset views, what better way to watch the sun go down when paired with a cool beer or cocktail.
Time for a cold one, you bet! Sink cold beers as the day ends from anyone of the stunning beaches that adorn this part of the world in Costa Rica. A sure way to make the beer taste sweeter that will have you reaching for the next bottle in no time at all.
Relax in Natural Hot Springs
Visiting Costa Rica offers the chance to explore hot springs and jungles. The island is home is some truly mind blowing hot springs. These hot springs take your vision of the ideal spa and turn it up several notches.
Some of these hot springs are elaborate and luxurious places to unwind and relax, take a look at some examples. Tranquil springs that are great at allowing you the opportunity to sip a martini at a wet bar. Or instead unwind in a private heated alcove. Other hot springs are more energetic, supplying spa guests with a rich sampling of crazy water slides and deep water pools to plunge into and swim.
Many hot spring tours aimed at visitors are accompanied by other exciting outdoor activities. Some of these activities include mud baths, relaxing massages, horseback rides, zip lines, hanging bridge tours, and so on.
Some of the best hot springs can be found in the La Fortuna and Arenal areas. Springs are also found in Rincón de La Vieja region. A trip to the springs makes a interesting change from other holiday activities.
See Cute Howler Monkeys
I never get weary of observing the extremely cute Howler monkeys and their monkey friends when traveling to Costa Rica. It is so much fun to head into the jungles to watch the adorable, tiny Squirrel Monkeys jump and play. Visiting Costa Rica is just not complete without a trip to see the jungle monkeys.
For instance the Spider Monkeys of Costa Rica are simply wonderful to watch swinging casually through the jungle trees with their long arms and legs extended. Pause to wait for the haunting sound of Howler Monkeys. They make their call at dawn, dusk, or just before the rain starts to fall.
There are only a few locations across Costa Rica where you can see all four native species of jungle monkeys. These monkey view spots are found at Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge on Golfo Dulce, the Piedras Blancas National Park, Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park.
Active Volcanoes of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home a great number of active and dormant volcanoes. In total there are six active volcanoes and another 61 dormant or extinct volcanoes in the country.
For the past fifty years, Arenal was the country’s most active and dangerous volcano. Although it entered into a resting phase in the year 2010. A resting phase means that its eruptions have taken pause for the time being. Sleeping but not extinct in other words, these kind of volcanoes can wake at any time.
Arenal still is one of the country’s best-known and most frequently visited volcanoes. There are, however, many other volcanoes that are worth exploring when traveling to Costa Rica. Most are caldera style volcanoes, whose craters are filled with water and rising steam.
In May of 2016 however the Turrialba volcano decided to erupt demonstrating that volcanic activity is alive and well on the island. The eruption dropped ash over the capital of San José.
You can’t beat a fast flowing waterfall to start to feel cool and relaxed. Waterfalls are awe inspiring sights in nature and the falls found in Costa Rica are no exception.
The waterfalls of Costa Rica astound both experienced and novice travelers to the island alike. Prepare to stand back and be stunned by the incredible sight of rushing water. Watch as water falls dramatically from the rainforest canopy into a pool at the base of a cliff far below.
After a long dry and arid hike through the jungle in the tropical heat. A cool dip beneath on of the remarkable waterfalls of Costa Rica will not disappoint. Waterfalls include La Fortuna, La Paz waterfall in Cloud Forest and Rio Celeste. If you like waterfalls we also have several features on waterfalls of the world.
Final Thought on Visiting Costa Rica
Visiting Costa Rica has all to offer the curious and well engaged traveler. From lively monkeys, dense jungles, active volcanoes to amazing sandy beaches, wildlife and jaw dropping scenery. This small island like country is a great place to stay for a relaxing holiday by the beach, or for rugged outdoor activities and extensive overland exploration.
There is plenty to see and do when visiting Costa Rica on your travels. The Juan Santamaría international airport is at El Coco, 16km from San José. Most airlines will fly you in here. The best time to go to Costa Rica is during the time of the coffee harvesting, which runs from December to January every year. Coffee is one of Costa Rica’s major economic exports.
The climate is good all year but there is a rainy season that stretches from September and October, some hotels maybe closed during this time period or offer limited services to guests.