Small yet packed with beauty: Costa Rica
It is an extremely long trip, but the journey to Costa Rica is worth every single minute you spend strapped into an airplane seat, watching cartoons. Words can hardly describe just how beautiful this country is and how rich its cultural and natural resources, a third of which are protected in national parks. Naturally the exotic countryside has an enormous appeal to the western world, yet mass tourism is something you won’t find in Costa Rica. Visitors tend to travel individually and are accommodated in private guest houses, ensuring a close touch with the Ticos, Costa Rica’s indigenous population, famous for phenomenal hospitality.
A journey of this kind requires a tremendous amount of mobility, but if you rent a car you will have no troubles exploring the country, as the road network is extensive and in good condition.
Discovering Costa Rica can be an adventure!
Though it is not necessary, your trip to Costa Rica can be quite physically demanding. There are mountains to be climbed, national parks to be crossed on bikes, waves to be hit, and salsa to be danced. Your exploration is not even limited to the lands of Costa Rica: the marine world off shore is stunning. Scuba divers and snorkelers especially gather in Manzanillo, about 8 miles (11 km) from Puerto Viejo where you will also find some of the most gorgeous beaches in the country.
Quieter beaches are located along the Nicoya peninsula.
The country’s capital, San José
, is a convenient starting point for your itinerary. It is a relatively small capital, but has good museums and great markets.
If you are not too exhausted from your day of discoveries you might enjoy San José’s excellent nightlife, limited not just to bars and clubs, but visible even in the streets. Your dance card will be filled all night, the Ticos are happy to give you a rhythmical introduction to salsa, leaving you addicted to the dance.
Exploding with sites!
A rental car will take you to the remote volcano Arenal
. This volcano is still very active and therefore attracts tourists as well as scientific expeditions every year, making it one of the most popular volcanoes in Latin America. Bubbling lava changes the face of the volcano daily, a phenomenon best observed during the night. The lava also warms up the hot springs not to be missed.Not far from here the Catarata de Fortuna
is a waterfall cascading into a blue Laguna in a canyon. This is a magical place: take a dip in the water and look out for monkeys jumping from tree to tree. Depending on the season you might be joined by thousands of butterflies.
Relax on Costa Rica's beautiful coastline
Thanks to the good infrastructure the journey along the coast of Costa Rica is quite a comfortable one. If you’re tired from the ride find a white beach in Puerto Viejo
and relax in a colorful hammock and watch professional surfers hit the waves.
The beaches of the Nicoya peninsula are slightly quieter. They are perfect for taking in one of the typical Pacific sunsets: explosions of color combined with tranquil beauty, mirroring the small Latin American country of Costa Rica.