Why Visit Costa Rica? What It’s Like & What to Expect

There are so many great reasons to visit Costa Rica, and this blog has covered many of them, like the beaches, the volcanoes, the wildlife and biodiversity, and even the off-the-beaten-path gems.

But Costa Rica is more than just a great location for a vacation. Costa Rica is more than just great beaches. A trip to Costa Rica is food for the soul. This article will give you some personal insight into why you should visit Costa Rica, what to expect, and what makes a trip to Costa Rica so memorable.

Rio Celeste Waterfall panoramic view (Costa Rica)

Build global awareness

For many travelers, a trip to Costa Rica may be their first time traveling outside of their own country. It is sometimes said that “Costa Rica is Latin America for beginners.” One of the things that makes Costa Rica such a special place to visit is that it is a safe place for travelers – especially families with children – to build global awareness.

Global awareness is learning how different societies live and organize themselves. A trip to Costa Rica provides travelers an opportunity to compare and contrast Costa Rica to other countries.

Costa Rican Family and Culture

As part of Central America, Costa Rica shares many qualities with its neighbors, such as language, demographic makeup, religious practices, lifestyle, and a strong emphasis on family. However, since disbanding its military in 1945 and investing those resources in universal healthcare and education, Costa Rica has distinguished itself from many of its surrounding countries. The result is a society that has achieved higher levels of safety, peace, high human development indexes, and natural resource conservation.

That being said, Costa Rican roads are full of potholes, many of the schools are crowded and poorly equipped, and the country deals with many of the same issues as any other society, such as racism, sexism, and discrimination.

Each country has nuances that are worth understanding to build awareness and global savvy. Spending time in Costa Rica is a great way for families or couples to strengthen their knowledge about the world and to understand the nuances of a society in development.

Learn about the natural world

When nature is all around, as it is in Costa Rica, it is easy to begin to build knowledge and insights into the natural world.

For example, as soon as they spot a sloth sitting high above in a guarumo tree, kids will be on the hunt for that same tree and will begin to learn how to distinguish it from all other trees. They will also pay more attention to the earth beneath their feet as they look out for the ever-present leaf-cutting ants that build highways in the grass.

Baby brown-throated three-toed sloth

Adults will find delight in spotting the riotously loud oropendula birds and their nests which hang from high treetops. Or they will begin to identify the different flowers that they see in each destination like the birds of paradise, the hibiscus, the heliconias, and bromeliads.

Paying attention to the natural world strengthens awareness and helps us to be better stewards of that world. Costa Rica is one of the best places to learn about the natural world that surrounds us due to its abundant wildlife and biodiversity.

Get healthy with a Pura Vida lifestyle

Getting healthy is another great benefit of spending some time in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one of the healthiest nations in the Americas, consistently ranking higher in health indexes than its neighboring countries, including the United States. This is part of the reason why Costa Rica has become such a popular destination for digital nomads and retirees.

Healthy woman on beach in Costa rica

When a family or a couple travels to Costa Rica, they can try out a slightly different lifestyle for a short period, sometimes resulting in a changed lifestyle back home!

Plenty of visitors find that a trip to Costa Rica helps them jump-start a better diet at home by eating simpler meals of rice and beans and including plenty of fresh fruit on the side. Learn more about traditional Costa Rican food. Or, they return home with more “pura vida” (Costa Rica’s famous slogan for “easy living”) and a desire to be more present in the moment. Or, they realized that they enjoyed spending more time outside while in Costa Rica, and so when they go back home, they commit to getting more active.

Have fun in an adventure wonderland

Waterfall in the Costa Rica jungle

From white-water rafting down raging rivers to paragliding across mountain chains to zip-lining through the rainforest, there is no end to the adventure activities in Costa Rica. Every year, adventure companies find new ways to activate tourists’ adrenaline.

As a result, traveling in Costa Rica feels like an a la carte menu of exciting and memorable activities. Costa Rican families will often spend the weekend at the river watching the championship kayakers run the rapids or diving into the cold mountain water. Most towns have local waterfalls that are hidden in the folds of the mountains. And there are gorgeous jungle trails carved into every forest or reserve in the country that are worth exploring.

In other words, no one gets bored on a trip to Costa Rica!

Experience beauty at every turn

Beautiful rainforest at Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica

Aside from its somewhat crowded and chaotic cities, which are a work in progress, one of the reasons that Costa Rica is such a great vacation spot is that it is just stunningly beautiful. And you don’t even have to be on the most Instagrammable beach in the world to find the beauty.

The most beautiful places in Costa Rica are sometimes seen from out the window of a bus, from the middle seat of a white-water raft, or sitting on an old dock at sunset.

And that’s just the beautiful places to see! Many people travel to Costa Rica to experience all of the beauty it has to offer the five senses, like the nocturnal symphony of the rainforest, the aromatic decadence of a reina de la noche tree in bloom, the sensation of salty ocean mist at sunset, and so much more. Visiting Costa Rica is like a visit to the Garden of Eden!

Visiting Costa Rica is good for the soul

As you can see, a trip to Costa Rica is so much more than just great beaches and sunsets. Costa Rica is a country that has intentionally embraced its strengths (people, culture, nature, lifestyle) and, as a result, has so much to offer. Traveling to Costa Rica is an opportunity to build awareness, learn, grow, get healthy, and have fun in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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