Nothing has surprised me more than Costa Ricans and how friendly and kind they are. No matter where you come from or what language you speak, you will always find a friendly face around the corner. Whether you need directions, help to translate something from Spanish to your language. Or just someone to talk to.
Their ¨Pura Vida¨ way of being ( a Hakuna Matata lifestyle for locals) is always in the air. They will always treat you like you are part of their family and make you feel welcome everywhere you go. It does truly make sense that they call it one of the happiest countries in the world.
Sure, there are lots of beautiful beaches all over the world. But, I am pretty sure as well, that you can’t find as many of them that close to each other anywhere else in the world.
Costa Rica is a small country, so you get the chance to visit many places without having to travel that far to get to where you want to go.
Just imagine the warm, cozy weather. The breeze caressing your skin. Coconut water on one hand and on the other, your favorite book. You are touching the sand with your bare feet, and right there in front of you… there is a crystal-clear ocean that awaits for you to deep yourself into its warm salty water.
I encourage you to google ¨Playa Conchal¨ in Guanacaste. ¨ Manuel Antonio¨ in Puntarenas or ¨Punta Uva¨ in Puerto Viejo. I bet that as soon as you do, you will feel the need to take a vacation!
Plenty of fun & exciting things to do everywhere you go.
One of the biggest reasons why many people visit Costa Rica is its waves. There´s a lot of surfing going on. So much so, that the country has hosted 2 ISA World Surfing Games. (One in 2009 and the other one in 2016) and many other professional competitions.
If you like surfing, this is definitely one more reason to visit. I mean, even celebrities like to visit the country just for surfing) But, if don’t surf at all, but would like to give it a try, there are lots of surfing instructors at your disposal. You might even get the chance to get lessons from some of the Costa Rica´s finest surfers, such as Lisbeth Vindas, or Cali Muñoz. Many of them hang out at their hometowns and give lessons. (when they are not too busy training for competition) So, who knows, right?
But surfing is not ALL there is to do in this beautiful country. You can visit national parks or the rain forest to connect with nature and see creatures that you might have never seen where you come from. Colorful birds and butterflies, frogs, friendly monkeys and cute sloths are just a few of the many possibilities.
You can also go hiking, zip lining, horseback riding. You could rent ATV´s and dirt bikes. Go kayaking, paragliding, parasailing, Sport fishing, visit active volcanoes, and SO much more.
They have a pretty active nightlife as well, (mostly beach towns). You can find lots of nice restaurants to go to for dinner time, and bars where they would have live music or even ¨Open mic¨ nights. You can go clubbing or dancing and mingle with the locals, and again.. live it ¨Pura Vida¨ Style.
Just like any other country, Costa Rica has its own traditional dishes. Their main staple is black beans and rice. But that’s not all there is. They have an incredible variety of vegetables and tropical fruits that they use to make”Picadillo”, “Ceviches” “Empanadas” desserts and many other exquisite dishes.
“Jocotes”, “Yuplones”, “Guava” (Not the same as Guayaba), “Nance”, ” Pitaya” & “Mamón chino” are just a few of the many exotic fruits they grow.
Costa Rica grows lots of coffee. Their coffee beans are known to be among the best ones in the entire world and if you are a coffee lover just like I am, You are not going to want to miss the opportunity to taste their premium “Tarrzú” coffee, which by the way, happens to be the most expensive one sold by Starbucks.
Pretty much in any supermarket, you will be able to find all of its different presentations such as roasted whole beans, grounded. Instant or the kind that needs to be brewed. You can even find coffee gift baskets that you can take home to give your friends and family as souvenirs.
What else could you possibly want?
If you are backpacking by yourself, looking for great adventures. If you want to connect with nature. If you are looking for the best waves, or in search for adrenaline. If you want a nice vacation away from home with your friends or family. Or if you are looking to meet new people, mingle with the locals, party and have an awesome time. Costa Rica has it all! So you definitely can’t miss on the opportunity to visit this beautiful little country and its amazing “Pura Vida” lifestyle.
In my opinion, If you want to experience The best of Central America and all its beauty, Costa Rica is definitely the place you will want to start with.