Guest Post: Lydia Morris
Costa Rica has been a trendy winter travel destination for quite a while now, and it's no coincidence. Snuggled between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, this Central American country has something for everyone.
Magnificent national parks and diverse wildlife make Costa Rica an adventurer's paradise. And its sandy beaches and luxury hotels are perfect for a laid-back vacation. With so many reasons to visit Costa Rica, it's hard to choose only five to talk about. Check out our list and start making notes for your next vacation.
Quick tips for traveling to Costa Rica
There are two international airports in Costa Rica. The bigger one is in San Jose, the capital, and there is also one in Liberia. When picking an airport, you should choose one that better fits your travel itinerary.
Still, you can probably find better flight deals when flying to San Jose. Citizens of the United States don't need a visa to enter Costa Rica. However, make sure you have a passport that's valid for at least 90 more days. Also, you'll be required to show a return ticket to the US at the border control.
If you're not looking to spend your entire vacation in one place, knowing how to get around it's useful. The best way to discover Costa Rica once you get there is by riding a local bus. They're cheap, punctual and reliable.
While renting a car is an option, you should be careful. Rural roads can be quite worn out, and inexperienced drivers might struggle to navigate them. There are also quite a few domestic airports. If you're planning to travel a longer distance while in Costa Rica, getting on a flight might be a good idea.
Why Visit Costa Rica in Winter?
Whatever time of the year you choose to visit Costa Rica, you won't regret it. However, visiting during winter has a unique charm to it. American winters can be cold and depressing, and what's a better way to deal with that than to go on a vacation to a sunny, warm place? If that's not enough incentive, here's a list of the top five reasons to visit Costa Rica and have the time of your life.
Diverse Nature and Wildlife
The estimates suggest that Costa Rica houses 5% of the entire world's biodiversity. This inspired growth in eco-tourism, where visitors can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience of beautiful, diverse nature.
In order to protect it and keep the ecosystems healthy, the land was protected by the law. Reserves and national parks cover almost a quarter of Costa Rica's surface area. Twenty-seven of them, to be exact.
There are many terrain varieties between them: jungles, swamps, coral reefs, and volcanos are all there for you to explore. The most famous national parks are Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park. Both are tourist-friendly, and you'll still be able to experience the natural beauty in its true form.
Adventure Awaits Everywhere
If laying around all day doesn't fit your idea of a perfect vacation, Costa Rica's got you covered. The options for fun, thrilling activities are endless. If you're curious about trying something new, most tour companies offer instructors and guides to help you get on with that.
Rock climbing, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and ziplining are only some of the things you can do. Going scuba diving or surfing is an absolute must if you're close to the beach. This active type of vacation can be fun for the whole family, and it will really give you something to remember.
If you feel like the wilderness and 'roughing it' through your vacation isn't for you, you're not the only one. Apart from being a popular destination for adventurers, Costa Rica also has plenty of luxury hotels, resorts, and spas.
They all offer world-class service with fantastic scenery, no matter where you are. Some of them are in the countryside. However, the majority are located on beautiful Costa Rican beaches. Once you get tired of lounging by the pool, you can switch to chilling on the beach. Costa Rica is pretty much paradise for people who love pampering themselves with luxury vacations.
Beaches from Heaven
Costa Rica has a coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It's around 800 miles long, so it's fair to say that there are quite a few beaches. Many of them are your famous postcard-perfect beaches, with white and golden sand and palm trees.
However, due to the diversity of the ecosystems, there are beaches with grey and even black volcanic sand. The water is warm year-round, which makes it perfect for a winter vacation. Also, if you get bored with swimming and lounging on the beach, don't fret. Many beaches get waves ideal for surfing. However, the waves sometimes get pretty large, so being careful is a must here.
Costa Rica is overall a very positive and welcoming country with amazing people. This makes it perfect for a trip where you want to give yourself extra love and care and turn to optimism. Each year, Costa Rica keeps ranking high in the list of the happiest countries in the world, and there are quite a few reasons for that.
It has an excellent health system, access to free education, and pleasant weather all year round. A famous Costa Rican motto is 'Pura Vida', which literally translates to 'Pure Life'. Many Costa Ricans take this very seriously and try to ingrain it in every segment of their lives. It is also a very safe country, so your trip can be completely carefree.
For many people, overseas vacations are usually reserved for summer holidays. However, considering a tropical destination such as Costa Rica for a winter vacation is also a great idea.
There's hardly anyone who would refuse to exchange the cold and grey American winter for a piece of tropical paradise. The fantastic nature, the weather, and the people are just some of the reasons to visit Costa Rica. However you choose to plan your vacation there, you won't regret it.
Lydia Morris is a travel blogger whose mission is always to keep moving and exploring. Throughout her career and all the relocations, she's worked with many moving companies, such as U. Santini Moving and Storage Brooklyn, New York. Her favorite destinations to write about are tropical countries and islands, and she's always eager to come back to them.