Costa Rica is a country in Central America, and a great place to visit to get a taste for the region. Bordered by Nicaragua and Panama, and with the Pacific and Caribbean coasts less than a day’s drive apart, Costa Rica boasts numerous beaches, lush rainforests and an enormous range of flora and fauna. The country also has a good reputation as an eco-friendly destination, being ranked fifth among its American neighbours for its eco-friendliness. All in all, it may be the perfect destination for anyone interested in natural beauty, wildlife, a fascinating mix of cultures and fresh, tasty food!
Costa Rica is a great place to get in to some cool, adventurous outdoor activities, such as white water rafting, jungle trekking and high lining. If you’re not looking for a huge adrenaline rush, it’s also possible to find some excellent places to relax and take part in yoga courses, specialised cooking courses or learning Spanish.
Of course, the beaches of Costa Rica are second to none. With an extensive coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, there are plenty of options from the well-developed resorts catering to your every whim, to secluded, hidden slices of paradise waiting to be discovered. In Costa Rica, you’re never far from the coast, and with a tropical climate, it’s the perfect place to relax on the sand by the gently lapping waves under a palm tree.
For such a small country, Costa Rica has an amazingly diverse range of wildlife, from monkeys and other mammals to reptiles, birds, fish and many kinds of plants not found anywhere else in the world. Famously, Costa Rica is the home of the sloth, and it’s a great place to see this cute and fascinating creature in its natural habitat.
This may not be the first thing that springs to mind when planning a trip to Costa Rica, but the local culture is a rich and diverse one. With historical influences from Mesoamerican cultures, native South American cultures as well as more recent influences from Europe and Africa, Costa Rica is a cultural melting pot, and this shows today in the local food, dance, music, arts and literature.
Being in the tropics, it’s possible to grow almost anything in Costa Rica, meaning that the quality and availability of local produce is far superior than its more northerly neighbours. Eating out in Costa Rica can be a great insight into how the locals live, with the so-called sodas (cheap and basic roadside eateries) being the best place to get a glimpse into this part of tico life. Rice and beans dominate, but also common are avocados, plantain and a myriad of fascinating tropical fruits. And of course, don’t miss the locally grown coffee!