Why vacation in Costa Rica? There are too many reasons to count, so we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 reasons why you should make Costa Rica the destination for your next vacation.
#1 Pura Vida
The words Pura Vida literally translate to “Pure Life” and have become the Central American country’s most famous and ubiquitous motto. If you ever find yourself at a loss for words in Spanish in Costa Rica, you can fall back on this handy saying because it can mean many different things in different contexts. Pura Vida aptly describes Costa Rica’s laid back way of life and overall vibe, which is focused on being present in the moment and enjoying the simple things in life, making this tropical destination a memorable place to vacation.
A vacation in Costa Rica will place you in one of the most biodiverse regions of the planet. Its wild spaces are teeming with tropical plants and animal species, many of which are threatened or in danger of extinction. You can enjoy watching animals in the wild in their natural habitats in Costa Rica’s many National Parks such as Manuel Antonio or Corcovado or in private reserves such as the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Monteverde.
Inspiring non-profit wildlife rescue centers such as The Toucan Rescue Ranch rescue, rehabilitate, and, whenever possible, release the wild animals back into their habitats. Costa Rica’s well-trained and licensed bilingual naturalist guides can help you spot and learn about species such as tree sloths, strangler figs, poison dart frogs, scarlet macaws and four species of new world monkeys. The country’s many butterfly gardens reproduce dozens of species of the winged creatures, while the less common herpetariums allow visitors to view reptiles and amphibians such as enormous boa constrictors, bright yellow eyelash pit vipers and neon-colored poison dart frogs.
Costa Rica contains all of the ingredients necessary for an adventurous vacation in nature for avid explorers including varied and rugged terrain, tropical jungle, rushing rapids, waterfalls, mountains, and adventure tours to lure amateurs to professionals. The country provides an exotic backdrop for outdoor extreme sports such as mountain biking, canyoning, rappelling, caving, climbing, and bungee jumping. The country’s highest peak, Mount Chirripó, provides a view of both oceans that is worth the strenuous hike. For those who prefer water sports, white water rafting, surfing, windsurfing and kayaking tours will hit the spot. For nature lovers, there are plenty of hiking trails, zipline canopy and hanging bridges tours through the rainforest or cloud forest.
A prime honeymoon and wedding destination, Costa Rica’s white-sand beaches, luxurious hotels, exhilarating waterfalls and balmy evenings make it an ideal vacation place for proposals, marriages or anniversary ceremonies and trips. Couples can opt for a sunset catamaran on the Pacific ocean, hot springs at the foot of a volcano, a couple’s massage at the spa, or a simple walk on the beach for a secluded couple’s vacation. Costa Rica has luxury accommodations and boutique hotels that provide a romantic stay in nature with comfort and class. The wild beauty and breathtaking sights of Costa Rica, combined with its laid back atmosphere make it a perfect place to fall in love.
Costa Rica has become known across the world as a place to unwind and “disconnect to reconnect.” You’ll find high-end spas, wellness and retreat centers throughout the country, such as Asclepios in Alajuela and Raindrop Spa in Manuel Antonio. Costa Rica has earned a reputation as a yoga vacation destination, with retreats and teacher trainings going on throughout the year. The Pacific Beach town of Nosara has been dubbed the “yoga capital” of Costa Rica.
#6 Tico Culture(s)
Costa Ricans are known as Ticos, a nickname that supposedly came from the habit of using the diminutive in Spanish. Costa Rica is home to a diversity of cultures including eight Indigenous groups, each with their own territories, arts, languages, and spiritualities. The Caribbean coast is enriched by the Afro-Caribbean heritage and Jamaican roots. Costa Rica’s food is an excellent way to enjoy cultural traditions from the famous gallo pinto rice and beans dish to the lime-soaked fish and seafood dish of ceviche. You can learn about Costa Rican history at museums such as the Museo de Cacao chocolate museum and tour in the province of Limón or at the Archeological site of Guayabo National Monument.
#7 Something for Everyone
Costa Rica has great activities for all ages, interests, and abilities. It is an excellent family vacation destination with fun tours and activities for children and even toddlers. Party-goers will find nightlife in Costa Rica, whether it’s a bonfire on the beach or a discoteca in the capital San José. There are accommodations for a range of budgets and tastes, from rustic jungle hostels to upscale boutique hotels. Costa Rica offers the amenities of the cities in the Central Valley, while it also has locations off the beaten path that are ideal for remote family vacations.
#8 Tropical Weather
Costa Rica enjoys a warm, tropical climate. It provides the ideal vacation weather for those trying to escape a cold northern winter, as the months of late November to April are the dry season or Costa Rican summer. The wet or rainy season from May to mid-November has frequent afternoon thundershowers, but mornings are often sunny and hot. With temperatures generally between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, both dry and wet seasons stay within a comfortable temperature range. Because Costa Rica has such a diversity of microclimates from the beaches to the mountains, factors such as location and activities will help you decide the best time for visit Costa Rica for you.
English is widely spoken in Costa Rica, especially in the province of Limón, by tour guides and in areas where tourism is the main economic activity, which is the case in most of the country. For visitors hoping to practice their Español, Costa Rica is an ideal location for a homestay and Spanish learning because of its clear accent, which is often described as “universal”. If you learn Spanish in Costa Rica your accent will be understood anywhere in the Spanish-speaking world.
Although it is a relatively small country the size of the US state of West Virginia, Costa Rica’s location on the isthmus connecting North and South America makes it a crossing grounds for cultures and species. Its stunning geography includes mountain ranges, active and inactive volcanoes, pristine rivers and waterfalls, lush tropical lowlands, and both Pacific and Caribbean coasts. It has more than 12 life zones including tropical forests, highlands, coral reefs, and wetlands. Its small size makes it possible to visit the rainforest to the beach in a few days. Even on a short trip, you can visit several different ecosystems and microclimates, which is ideal when planning a vacation in Costa Rica. For example, you can take a trip that includes hiking through hanging bridges cloud forest, touring a volcano, and kayaking on a pacific or Caribbean beach.
Contact Us to Plan a Costa Rica Vacation
John Rabenau has been working in the eco-tourism & adventure travel industry in Costa Rica since 2002. He has worked in a variety of capacities from Outdoor Educator & Principle Guide to Itinerary Design Manager & Business Owner for numerous organizations. He has grown Costa Rica Escapes into one of the most reputable Costa Rica travel agencies since its creation in 2006, hosting more than 5,000 people with custom vacation itineraries.