Discover Costa Rica – A Tropical Adventure
“Welcome to Costa Rica – Slow Down and Relax!” … better words could not have greeted us on our way to charming Playas del Coco, Guanacaste Province, one of Costa Rica’s oldest beach communities! And with warm tropical air casting a spell to melt any lingering thoughts of Canadian snowbanks, things already felt magical! Although for us, the magic had begun before we’d left home. This, our first trip to Central America, was a gift from our daughter and son-in-law. They were excited to show us all there is to fall in love with in this Latin-American paradise. And as we were soon to discover, that’s quite a list!
Costa Rica is best known for:
- Some of the prettiest beaches in the world, both white and black sand
- Tropical jungles, rainforests, waterfalls, beautiful flora, and fauna
- Mountains and 67 volcanoes – some of them still active!
- Exotic cats (like Ocelots and Jaguars)
- Monkeys! There are so many monkeys!
- Creepier creatures, too – crocodiles and 22 varieties of venomous snakes
- Sloths (one of my favorites … it’s just crazy cute how slow they are!)
- Coffee (another favorite … I’m kind of a sloth without it … but not quite so cute!)
Where to stay in Playas del Coco:Because tourism is one of Costa Rica’s leading industries, there’s no shortage of beautiful accommodations. Of the many in Playas del Coco, a few near downtown, minutes from Coco Beach are:
- Pacifico Beach Club
- Hotel Coco Palms
- Green Forest of Coco Beach Studios
Best things about Guanacaste Province, near Playas del Coco:
African safari parks
Deep sea fishing
The Best of it?From the moment we arrived until the moment we left, the friendliness and welcoming ways of the people we met rivaled the charm and beauty of the intoxicatingly beautiful country we were visiting. And we had no trouble finding someone to chat with us in English wherever we went. That might be because we did lots of touristy things. One tip I’m taking back for next time, though is to learn at least a little of the language!
What languages are spoken in Costa Rica?
- Spanish is the official language, spoken by almost everyone
- Costa Rican slang is called “Pachuco”
- Costa Ricans are “Ticos” (males) and “Ticas” (female)
- Travelers are “Gringos” and “Gringas”
- You also hear Jamaican Patois (Mekatelyu), a Creole-English language
- There are many dialects of ancient, pre-Columbian indigenous languages
- Plautdietsch is spoken in areas of Mennonite settlement
- You may hear “thou” instead of “you”; a remnant of “olde” English brought to Costa Rica by Quakers
- Immigration continues to introduce new languages to this tropical paradise
Things to remember in Costa Rica:
- Don’t feed the monkeys. It’s against the law.
- Or touch tiny frogs. Some are venomous and that’s just nasty!
- Don’t forget bug spray. Mosquitoes and insects love Costa Rica, too!
- Don’t remove sand dollars, seashells or flora, and fauna. It’s illegal.
- Don’t forget sandals on the beautiful black beaches. They get very hot!
- Or closed-toed shoes for jungle tours! There are ants – not toxic, but annoying!
- Don’t underestimate the power of rip-tides or high surf. Drowning is a danger.