Costa Rica has been in my radar recently, thanks to friends who just came back from there and couldn’t stop raving about the country’s beauty. I’m currently in the Caucasus region, and thinking of where to go next.
My number 1 priority is adventure activities, followed by natural wonders. Perhaps Costa Rica is the answer? I did some research and found some really good reasons to visit Costa Rica.
Although it only covers 19,729 square miles, Costa Rica does not run short of attractions and experiences that are worth seeking out.
With its rich biodiversity, dense rain- and cloud forests, vibrant ecotourism scene, range of adventure sports (definitely my cup of tea!), and a variety of rental property in Costa Rica, you’ll definitely want to add this Central American wonder to your bucket list.
Here is a glimpse of what the country has in store for tourists planning for a unique and exciting trip.
You get to raft through a rainforest
If you’re looking to up your whitewater rafting game, Costa Rica won’t disappoint. Here you get to ride class II to V rapids in one of National Geographic’s picks for top ten river trips in the world: the Pacuare River.
This tropical river is exceptional in that it has 16 sections and more than 50 rapids, with the 23-mile Lower Section and its class III and IV rapids a long-time favorite.
Its surrounding scenery is a standout as well, thanks to lush rainforest vegetation, moss-covered cliff walls, and towering trees and waterfalls. Plus, while you may get soaked, the water does not get freezing cold.
You get to glide through treetops
Soaring above the jungle on a series of zip lines is one of the most thrilling adventures you can try in Costa Rica. The country actually introduced zipline canopy tours to the world, and today available tours range from tame to extreme.
If you’re daring enough, you can go on up to 60 mph rides in Arenal, glide almost 600 feet high in Monteverde, or mix rock climbing with zip-lining in Rincon de la Vieja.
If you prefer exploring the forest canopy at a leisurely pace, there are now hanging bridges and walkways along with elevated trams and platforms that let you view treetops and wildlife more closely.
You get to walk in the clouds
In Costa Rica’s Northern Plains, on top of the continental divide, you’ll find the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Set at higher elevations than rainforests, cloud forests feature a canopy-level cloud cover, creating a cool, foggy atmosphere.
In the 25,000-acre Monteverde Park, where an extensive bridge system is in place, you can actually trek through the wispy clouds that get snagged in its trees and enjoy the crisp and fresh mountain air. With the constant moisture, the ecosystem here is lush and unique, making for a more astonishing experience.
The wildlife’s incredibly diverse too, and you’ll get to see different monkey species and if you’re lucky the elusive Quetzal bird. During night hikes, you can spot the wide-eyed kinkajou and other nocturnal mammals.
You get to rappel down a waterfall
Costa Rica gives rappelling a wet-and-wild twist. Instead of simply scaling down a rock face, you’ll be descending the mossy cliff face of a crystal-clear waterfall. Yes, this means mountain water will be cascading over your shoulders and splashing into your face, leaving you soaking wet.
If you’re physically up for the challenge and not afraid of heights, you won’t want to miss out on waterfall rappelling (or canyoning as it’s sometimes called). You can tackle the 70 to 90-foot waterfalls first, and then round up the courage to slide down the 180 to 210-foot waterfalls — a must-try for certified adrenaline junkies.
You get to soak in a volcanic hot spring for free
Natural hot springs surrounding Costa Rica’s famed Arenal Volcano are said to be among the world’s most soothing. And you don’t have to spend on a resort to experience just how pleasant the area’s hot springs are.
Near the huge Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, you’ll find a bright yellow gate that opens to a 100-meter path leading to a rushing thermal river of the same temperature as the bathwater in neighboring resorts.
This free hot spring is Río Chollín. You may hear others refer to it as Río Tabacón or Río Arenal, or locals calling it Piscina de los Pobres (Pool of the Poor). With rapids and waterfalls, and a strong and heavy current, you can get a nice vigorous message as you dip in its waters.
The best time to visit is late in the afternoon, when it’s not too hot and you can watch lightning beetles light up just as the sun sets.
You get to surf two oceans
Surfing in Costa Rica is a treat — the water is warm nearly year-round, waves are consistent and break cleanly, and the beaches do not get overly crowded. But it’s the country’s small size and location that make for a rare opportunity: to surf both the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
You can actually conquer the two oceans within a single day.
Start with the Atlantic Ocean’s Caribbean Coast, where Playa Cocles and Salsa Brava are among the popular destinations. Then go on a six-hour drive to the Pacific Coast’s surf spots such as Jacó and Playa Hermosa, just in time to catch waves before the sun sets.
You get to stay in eco-lodges
Costa Rica is one of the pioneers of eco-lodging and now offers options of every kind and setting. Eco-lodges are built and designed to have a minimal footprint and promote sustainability while still providing comfort and convenience.
The greenest ones are constructed out of locally sourced materials, reuse and recycle when and where they can, and pay it forward with programs that benefit their communities.
This could be your chance to stay in a solar-powered building, volcano observatory, or working agricultural farm. Beachfront bungalows, rainforest tent lodges, treetop houses, and eco-friendly accommodations in valleys, mountains and national parks are available as well.
Unbelievable, breathtaking and once-in-a-lifetime experiences await in Costa Rica, and with a well-thought-out itinerary you can have a taste of the country’s true essence, from its amazing culture to its natural wealth.
How about you? Would these reasons be enough for you to visit Costa Rica?