Costa Rica bound

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for the adventure and nature-loving traveller. 

It has volcanoes, surfing, exotic animals, river rafting, zip lining and all within the boundaries of a country that is similar in size to Vancouver Island.

Fifteen years ago, Costa Rica was all the rage for Canadians looking for investment properties and development. 

Today, that market has dissipated somewhat, but the country itself remains a hotspot for the traveller looking for an active and immersive experience. 

San Jose is the capital and home to one of two international airports. The city is a large, sprawling metropolis of sorts, a mixture of new and old. 

It's sadly unremarkable, but worth a day’s touring to explore the colonial section of town and experience the old architecture. 

Head east into the province of Limon and you enter a virtual wilderness of exotic, aquatic ecosystems and rustic lodges. It's a mini-Galapagos of sorts.

The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is home to the Tortuguero National Park. Learn about the endangered green sea turtle and immerse yourself into this pristine nature reserve to explore the canals, jungles and wildlife. 

There are no mega-resorts along this coastline and visitors relish in the laid-back vibe of the Jamaican patois and spicy seafood gumbo indigenous to this region. Dive the reefs of Manzanillo or raft along the Rio Pacuare. 

Volcano lovers will head into the Central Highlands. Costa Rica has six active volcanoes. Mount Arenal remains the most visited site even though its eruptions ended in 2010. 

The Cloud Forest of Montverde is a world above the coastal towns of Costa Rica. Eerily misty rainforests give shelter to thousands of species of mammals, birds, insects as well as over 420 varieties of orchids. 

The area can be explored via hiking trails, trams and thrilling zip lines.

The Central Coast of Costa Rica is likely the most visited area. Due to it’s proximity to San Jose, the development in this area has had a profound affect on the region. 

Jaco Beach is a bustling resort town with an abundance of surf shops and a huge variety of accommodation choices for every budget.

It's a great base to visit nearby reserves to witness the antics of white-faced monkeys, macaws, crocodiles and fellow beach-goers. 

Sitting along the Pacific Coast and stretching from the Osa Peninsula to Panama, South Puntarenas is teeming with natural beauty thanks to its diverse flora and fauna. 

From stunning, secluded beaches to eco-tourism hotspots, Costa Rica’s southernmost Pacific shoreline is an outdoor adventurer’s dream. 

It's a prime destination for the surfing enthusiast and perfect choice for the hiker looking to tackle lush, dense forest trails.

We end our tour in the Northern Province of Guanacaste where Costa Rica’s second international airport, Liberia, services this coastline’s innumerable all inclusive mega-resorts. 

Unlike the rest of Costa Rica, the North Coast is hot and dry. 

The sheer diversity within the small confines of the country make Costa Rica perfect for that two-week holiday.  Domestic flights are inexpensive. 

Car rentals can be expensive due to the mandatory insurance requirements, but allow for easy and spontaneous exploration. 

Be wary of the crazy drivers and police speed traps though and don’t drive at night in rural areas. 

Costa Rica also has an extensive public bus system that allows people to travel virtually everywhere throughout the country. 

In case you weren’t aware, prostitution is legal in Costa Rica and will be evident in the larger centres such as San Jose and Jaco Beach. 

Costa Rica. So much more than just a beach holiday.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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