Traveling to Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country that is blessed with so many natural resources. It has a great environment that is a happy home to an astonishing 5% of the world’s species. So, if you’re up for an adventure in the great outdoors, you’ll certainly enjoy exploring the wonders of this Central American country. Below are a list of top suggestions that members from our Meetup group, “International Travel with a Purpose“, recommended during our meeting on Costa Rica.
Few Tips Before You Leave
Before you hop on that flight to Costa Rica, there are a few things you should know. By following these, you’ll not only be able to save on your travel expenses, but it will make your experience much more worry-free.
1.) Buy Booze Ahead – If you are planning to buy alcohol during your trip to Costa Rica, it is best that you purchase from the Duty-Free shop before your flight. That is, of course, if you don’t mind having to bring it around with the rest of your luggage. With the exception of Rum, liquor is so much more expensive in Costa Rica.
2.) Go without Guides – When you get to most of the major tourist spots, you’ll usually find that there are locals that are ready to show you around for a fraction of the cost you would pay for a regular guide. These locals are people who are looking to make a little bit of money and know the place more than anybody else. So, forget the guides and go for the locals.
3.) Take Advantage of the Rainy Season – Everything from hotel bookings to flights is much cheaper during Costa Rica’s rainy season. In doing so, you’ll avoid the crowds and take advantage of discounted tours. Don’t worry about getting soaked in the rain during this season, because it doesn’t rain all day. It usually only lasts a few hours and you’ll be good to go for the rest of the day.
4.) Convert a Few Colones – Almost anywhere in Costa Rica, you can survive without ever having to convert your USD into their local currency called the Colones. However, in most cases, they will be giving you Colones as change. So, just bring a small amount of the local currency with you.
What To Eat
They say that the best way to really get to know a place is through the food. Costa Rica has some of the most unique dishes you can find, simply because they have a wide variety of natural ingredients. With an almost infinite number of options here are the absolute must dishes to try:
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, then prepare to be excited. Gallo Pinto is a tasty dish mainly made of beans and rice, seasoned with fragrant and fresh cilantro (Well, even if you are a non-vegans/vegetarians, we promise you’ll love this too!). The Costa Ricans typically consume this dish in the morning as breakfast because it’s simple and very nourishing. You can’t simply take a trip to Costa Rica without having a heaping of Gallo Pinto.
Tostones are delicious appetizers that double as side dishes that accompany most Costa Rican meals. They are made with twice fried Plantains. Plan… what? A Plantain. They look like longer bananas. But unlike the typical banana, you need to cook a plantain. The deep fried goodness completes every single Costa Rican meal.
Where to Eat
When in Costa Rica, be sure to try eating in one of their world-famous “Soda.” This is the name that they give their small local food stores that sell the most affordable and authentic food you can find. You can expect a buffet-like serving for as little as $5.
Where To Go
Costa Rica has some of the longest stretches of fine sand beaches in the world. Here, there’s a little something for everyone — both those who seek to relax and unwind, and for those who are seeking an adventure. But, if you want the best of both worlds, we recommend taking a trip to two of the best beaches: Dominical and Jaco Beach.
Snooze by the beach or take surfing lessons in both Dominical and Jaco. In Dominical, you will enjoy the massive waves that attract surfers from all over the world all year round. However, there’s more to it than just the waves. Surrounding Dominical is lush vegetation and majestic mountains, so you have a great view no matter where you look.
If you’re more into competitive sports fishing, there’s always the Jaco beach. It is known for its charming hidden beaches and of course, surfing! You’ll love exploring every turn and corner because there’s always something new to find.
Did you know that the concept of a zip line started right in Costa Rica? Yes, the zip line started right in the town of Monteverde. You’ll feel as free as a bird as you ride your way through the beautiful Costa Rican forests.
More zip line adventures await you in the town of Santa Elena, where you can find one of the most exciting zip lines in the entire world. Plus, once you’re done you can try out bungee jumping and the 45-meter Tarzan swing. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
Experience the Rich Landscapes
Did you know that some of the most jaw-dropping volcanoes are located in Costa Rica? For starters, you should go visit the Turrialba Volcano, an active volcano surrounded by scenic parks. In the mood for a spooky adventure? Also worth the visit are the bat caves near the Turrialba volcano. Don’t worry, the bats don’t bite.
Another major volcano to visit is the Arenal volcano in North-Western Costa Rica. It is one of the few active stratovolcanoes in the world, boasting an almost-perfect conical shape. Prepare to be in awe of its majesty the moment you see it in all its glory.
Lastly, when you’re done visiting all the volcanoes, you can slow down by visiting the Gandoca Manzanillo Nature Reserve where you can see some of the most elusive wildlife like the harpy eagle, sea turtle, and the hawksbill. If you want to take a more active part, you can even opt to volunteer to help protect turtle eggs.
So if you’re considering traveling to Costa Rica, don’t miss out on all these different attractions. There’s something for every type of traveler in this country filled with adventure. From the extreme to the serene. It’s hard to go wrong with Costa Rica.
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