You just landed in a beautiful part of the world that you’ve only seen pictures or video of and that dream is now becoming a reality. You’ve got your best travel buddy (unless you’re the solo-adventurer) and you’ve got an array of clothes for who knows what activity you might find yourself in, but you don’t know what to even do or even where to start. Yikes! Let’s not let that happen.
If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, we’re going to break down the essentials for knowing what to do while you’re in the most beautiful country in Central America—and maybe the world (yes, we’re biased).
To Surf or Not
Breaking down activities by their category is going to help you get a vision of what’s possible and it’ll help you plan accordingly with the amount of time you have in Costa Rica. So think, do you want everything you do to be outdoors? Do you want a taste of everything?
With 801 miles of Coastline, it’s easy to see why surfing is popular in Costa Rica. Did we mention that the beaches are covered with white sand? Learning to surf from the locals will probably improve your ability to pick up the sport and it will definitely get you more in touch with the Costa Rican culture. The touted best places to surf include Guanacaste, Puntarenas, and Limón. If surfing isn’t your thing, sand volleyball or just soaking up the rays aren’t bad options either!
It’s a Jungle Out There
The best treat you can give yourself is to go explore the amazing jungles of Costa Rica. More than 25% of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle, and there are actually 3 different types of rainforests in Costa Rica: rainforests, cloud forests, and tropical dry forests.
Want to see wild crocodiles in their natural habitat (safely, of course), tropical birds, sloths, and more? Carara National Park is the place to see these things and it’s especially great if you’re staying near the capitol (San Jose). There are a couple of trails within the park that are very accessible: the medium distance 2.7 mile Laguna Meandrica Trail and the quick .6 mile Araceas Nature Trail.
Other popular activities that will offer you the chance to do something new while seeing things you won’t be able to anywhere else in the world include volcano tours, zipline tours, horseback riding, canoeing, and kayaking. The Arenal Volcano is the most famous in Costa Rica— probably because it had a steady stream of eruptions for decades and went dormant. This means you can drive to the rim of the volcano and take a look inside—so cool! Let’s not forget about the natural hot springs around Arenal that are enjoyed as an all-natural soothing and relaxing activity after all of that exploring.
The cuisine alone is worth making your trip to Costa Rica. The Matador Network and Javi’s Travel Blog have made some great lists of food recommendations worth checking out. In short, it might seem familiar to someone used to Mexican-style cuisine with infusions of tropical flavors and foods unique to Central America. So delicious.
The coffee here in Costa Rica is top notch—but seriously. It’s actually the only place in the world where it is illegal to produce any type of coffee other than 100% Arabica. If you’re not a coffee connoisseur, that’s the highest quality of coffee bean there is. So, even if you’re not a coffee fan, you should try the coffee here so you can at least say you have.
The food of Costa Rica will be an experience in and of itself and it will enrich your visit unlike anything else—except maybe where you stay (more on that later)!
The fact that you could do all of the things mentioned thus far and see ancient archaeology is simply astonishing. Just a little east of San Jose you can check out the Guayabo National Monument where you’ll see how millions of people have lived, dwelled, and moved on in this high traffic area for thousands of years. You’ll have to see for yourself the anomaly of giant, perfectly rounded stones sitting along the grass together. In addition to seeing crumbling cities and other outdoor wonders, you’ll have to see the treasures kept inside the museums throughout the land.
More than 500,000 animal species exist throughout Costa Rica. Even if you’re not trying to look for animals, you’ll likely see amazing animals that you’ve never seen before and may never see again. Red-eyed tree frogs, two-toed sloths, three-toed sloths, tropical butterflies, toucans, monkeys, ocelots, sea turtles, and just so many more animals to see.
Try finding a local guide to make the experience educational and fun by using Trip Advisor or AirBnb. Children’s Eternal Rain Forest, Juan Castro Blanco National Park, and Braulio Carrillo National Park are all wonderful places to see some animals with a guide and just a short distance from San Jose!
Where to Stay
These days people are wanting an immersive experience when they travel. Make your experience complete by staying in a tree house hotel. Tree house hotels can be an affordable and safe way to enrich your relaxation and adventure. Can you hear the tree frogs calling you?
We recommend finding a tree house hotel that’s going to be in the middle of all the action so that you’ll have the best chances of seeing and doing everything.
Come visit us to get the full experience!
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