There's a local phrase in Costa Rica which is on everyone's lips, "pura vida". Roughly translated it means pure life but in reality it means all’s well and life is great and it really is the answer to everything! I reckon that's why the local Ticos are so warm and friendly and the whole place seems to have a relaxed vibe.
At just two thirds the size of Scotland, Costa Rica is a small country that manages to pack a lot in. It's a nature lover's paradise with active volcanoes, adventurous activities, alluring cloud forests and verdant rain forests teeming with exotic birds and other wildlife. There are plenty of beaches too, if you want to throw in some rest and relaxation. There's enough to see and do to keep everyone interested which is why it makes a great destination for both couples and families.
Here are some of the highlights that I experienced on a recent trip to Costa Rica:
Raft the Pacuare River - stay at a gorgeous jungle lodge where you arrive by raft and stay amidst tropical forests surrounded by nature - your wake up call will be melodic bird song (if you're lucky) or the screech of the Howler Monkey (if you’re not)!
Zipline through the jungle - get a treetop experience with a thrill as you whizz through the rainforest canopy from tree to tree in the midst of some stunning forest landscape.
Experience a volcano - there are over a 100 volcanoes in Costa Rica (some more active than others) including Arenal with its iconic conical shape and Poas with its huge crater and stunning blue lagoon.
Witness wonderful wildlife - see anything from colourful birdlife, to swinging monkeys, huge crocodiles, clambering sloths, cheeky racoons, timid tapirs and maybe even the elusive jaguar.
Get off the beaten track in the Osa Peninsula - this unspoilt part of the country offers intrepid trekking, epic boat journeys, remote lodges, amazing sunsets and the chance to visit Corcovado, one of the most diverse National Parks.
Get to know the locals - you won’t find a rich cultural history in Costa Rica but, experiencing the local way of life will definitely be a rewarding part of your trip.
Plant a tree - Costa Rica is the developing world's leader in sustainable tourism and participating in your hotels tree planting scheme will help restore the land to its original biodiversity and you will be leaving something positive behind.
Relax on the beach - swing in a hammock or catch the waves at one of the many beach locations which offer everything from large family style resorts to gorgeous boutique beachfront hideaways; be warned that this is a volcanic island, so you want get talcum powder white sands.
Things to know if you're thinking of travelling to Costa Rica Unfortunately there are no direct flights to Costa Rica from the UK and getting there will involve at least one transfer. Also, the country is a popular (and cheap) destination from the US and many of the resorts pander to the Americans. But, stay in some of the more out of the way places and choose your hotel wisely and you'll (hopefully) avoid the hordes. Costa Rica definitely ticks a lot of boxes when looking for an adventurous family holiday, honeymoon or any trip where you want to combine outdoorsy activity with the chance to spot wildlife and some time on a beach.
If you’d like to hear more about Costa Rica and how it might work for your next holiday, then please do get in touch with me.