Destination Overview: Costa Rica
Interested in learning about Costa Rica? This article will help you get a big picture overview of this a popular vacation destination in Central America!
Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Rica literally means “Rich Coast” and the strikingly diverse terrain of lush forests, wildlife reserves, and tropical beaches offers a little something for every single traveler. The charm of Costa Rica lies within the lush forests, unspoiled beaches, and the abundance of wildlife that includes toucans, monkeys, jaguars, and much more. No matter where a person goes in Costa Rica, they are guaranteed breathtaking views of magnificent landscapes wherever they look. Costa Rica is about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire, so visitors should pick their favorite area to visit since most find it’s too big to see everything on one single trip.
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise that may be compact but it is filled with exciting things to see and do and many people will find themselves hiking up an active volcano, soaking in a hot spring, or zip lining through the cloud covered rainforests during their vacation. The miles of pristine beaches on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts means plenty of warm turquoise waters to surf in too. The national parks have plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities and quite a few world-renowned eco-lodges have turned Costa Rica into one of the hottest destinations in the world.
This small Latin America country has a relaxed way of life and the residents, who are known as Ticos, are very welcoming. The Ticos lifestyle is so mellow that they are often heard reciting the catchphrase “pura vida” or “pure life” out loud.
Nature lovers will enjoy every part of Costa Rica as they are trying to live pura vida and each area offers something unique. Beach lovers who are staying along the Pacific Coast will want to head over to Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula’s palm-fringed coastline for the sun and the surf. Nature and adventure seekers who are staying in the Northern Plains or along the Caribbean coast will definitely need to visit Puerto Viejo de Talamanca for a day and then head inland to zip line above Monteverde’s Cloud Rainforest and hike Arenal Volcano. No vacation is complete without a trip into a major city and San José is Costa Rica’s central cosmopolitan capital.
There are so many activities available in Costa Rica, but the more popular ones include ziplining, surfing, scuba diving, white water rafting, sea rafting, horseback riding, and hiking. People can also spend hours fishing or bird watching and many will choose to take one of the multiple eco tours that are available.
Travelers looking for adventures will want to consider Costa Rica as their next vacation destination. The volcanoes are a major tourist attraction and people can choose to hike up one of the five active volcanoes or one of the 200 volcano formations. Approximately 25 percent of Costa Rica is comprised of protected national parks and rainforests and the eco-friendly hotels and tours only add to the positive environmental impact of the country. Anyone who does not enjoy leaving a large carbon footprint can feel good knowing that Costa Rica is attempting to be as low-impact as possible and is practically on their way to being fully sustainable. Relaxation is also a plus for vacations, and Costa Rica has almost 1,000 miles of coastline filled with gorgeous beaches for people to enjoy.
When to go:
Peak season for Costa Rica is mid-December through April. This time frame is known as the dry season and is the best time to go since you can expect plenty of sunshine and ideal weather. Not surprisingly, this is also the most busy and expensive time to visit. The good news, however, is that the U.S. dollar goes a long way here. Try to book your room at least 3 months or more in advance if you plan to go during peak season since popular resorts do get sold out. If you don’t mind a little bit of rain, you may want to visit between May and November when prices are at their lowest. Do keep in mind that Costa Rica is a diverse country and the weather varies by region. Along the Northern Caribbean Sea coast, you are likely to find high humidity and temperatures ranging between the 70s and high 80s year-round. On the other hand, in the North Pacific, you can expect lower humidity levels, but temperatures often soar into the 90s during the dry months.
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