Costa Rica is like a little piece of green paradise for nature lovers and those who are looking for adventures! So if you would like to expierence good life – Pura vida – there is no better place to go!
Costa Ricans, who usually call themselves Ticos, use optimistic slogan “Pura vida” all the time. How are you? Pura vida. How is your work? Pura vida. It’s beautiful! Pura vida. It is just perfect phrase to use at any time during the conversation. Ticos seem to be optimistic and enjoy their lives.
Costa Rica, situated in Central America and bordered to the North by Nicaragua and Panama to the South, has access to Caribbean See and Pacific Ocean. The famous Pan-American Highway (nb 1) goes through Costa Rica as well. It is the only country in both Americas without army and the country in which renewable energy supplies about 98% of its electrical energy! They are going to reach 100% soon.
There is no really bad time to go to Costa Rica because it depends on what you plan to do. Basically, there are only two seasons: dry from November till April and wet from May until October. I was very lucky to go to Costa Rica in May. Two weeks before my arrival everything was brown and dry. When I got there at the very beginning of wet season, the country was in bloom again, showing off with greenery. The country with over 100 vulcanoes, exporting bananas and coffee now becomes a new top touristic destination.
Must see in Costa Rica – Arenal Vulcano
I had a plan and I knew what I wanted to see for sure. I didn’t expect that I would see all of it and even more! Arenal Vulcano was at the top of my list. I was a little bit afraid of the weather if it would be good enough to see the top of the vulcano during this time of the year. Even Ticos said that it might be impossible. Sitting on the bus, coming closer and closer to my destination I saw it! The most famous vulcano in the world for his absolutely perfect shape was right in front of me!
Having visited Catarata Waterfall and Hot Springs with 25(!) thermal pools, I headed to see something completely different to rain forest – Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. The Reserve consists of 6 ecological zones and is distinguished by extremely high biodiversity. The very first thing I had to see was the Hummingbird Sanctuary. I saw a hummingbird once when I was in Mexico but by the time I noticed it had already gone! This time it was a little bit different. Costa Rica has over 50 different species of hummingbirds and I was standing in the middle of the garden surrounded by so many of them! Blue, red, green, big, small, fast and slow! All kinds of them!
Monteverde is famous for its amazing hanging bridges. It is scary to walk and see the ground through the holes in the bridge but better stay focus and look what’s around you and not down below because then you see amazing things. The Cloud Forest. Taking a stroll over there is an fabulous experience. Take your time and don’t walk really fast. Why? Because there are everywhere very special plants, trees, insects and creatures! Don’t miss a chance to spot them. I always think that having a guide is a good idea even if you travel on your own. There are many surprising information which isn’t written in the guide book and you won’t find on the Internet. My guide in Monteverde not only spotted a monkey but also let me use himself as a tripod! 🙂
Palo Verde National Park
Palo Verde surprised me a lot. First of all, jungle all around, brown muddy river, so you expect what kind of creatures can live in such environment. Full of birds, bats which live on the tree trunks, insects and crocodiles. Being onboard of the boat, which was quite fragile and I wouldn’t say very safe, was the real adventure. I saw some of the crocodiles from the distance, even a baby crocodile, however, the captain had another idea how to show us a beast. He stopped a boat in the middle of the river and took a stick. No, he didn’t want to poke one of them saying “Hello Mr Crocodile, please turn around and show your big teeth so we can take pictures!” Because feeding crocodiles is forbidden in Costa Rica, he put on his stick a cloth and tried to tease it. It didn’t work that well, our crocodile was a clever beast so she wasn’t very keen on coming closer. Then our captain had another idea! Let’s put banana skin on the stick! And it worked. Our crocodile came closer and when she was jumping trying to ger the banana peel she landed on our boat… Usually on the trip like this you may scream “Man overboard!” not “CROCODILE ONBOARD!” Hello adventure! 🙂
Is it a good idea to go to Costa Rica?
Yes! It is a great idea to visit this wonderful place!
- People are helpful and friendly. There are not so many vendors who will follow you until you buy something. Ticos are cultural sellers.
- 1300 km of beaches! Which are quite different to beaches in other parts of Americas. You won’t see better combination of dark sand, blue water and green jungle.
- Plants, flowers, trees, mountains and landscapes! Even if you are not a nature lover you will be impressed with things that surround you and how people who live there care about them.
- Variety of birds, monkeys, sloths and other animals!
- Delicious fruits and coffee.
- Many chances to take a selfie with iguanas 😉
- And of course, pura vida!