Pura vida, mae! This means “Hello mate” and is a good start to make friends in Costa Rica. This beautiful place in Central America, where you can watch a blue butterfly flying from one leaf to another, discover a dark violet orchid and enjoy the funny monkeys jumping among the trees. Costa Rica’s colourful world will leave you speechless and it is a favourite travel destination for ecotourism and adventure. More than 1/3 of the country is considered as natural reserve. So if you are an animal, wildlife and tropic fruit lover, like I, then you should add this destination to your bucket list.
I had to share this movie (source: National Geographic):
WHAT TO DO – WHERE TO STAY – WHAT TO EAT IN COSTA RICA?
1. NATIONAL PARKS
Depending on your time, you can visit one of the 5 beautiful national parks and get fascinated by nature, offering you waterfalls, wild animals, especially monkeys and bats, but also all the colourful birds and flowers, that you will meet on your way. One of the best locations for nature discoveries is Monteverde, coined by ferns, bromeliads and moss beards.
2. BEACH LIFE
Costa Rica has probably one of the most beautiful beaches you can imagine – vast, white sand landscapes are surrounded by the turquoise blue ocean. It feels like a little Carribean Reggae here and therefore Costa Rica is a perfect spot for your first surfing lesson (during the whole year). Best time to travel: December till April is good and you will avoid the rainy season but the best surfing conditions require swells in the Pacific, which is August -till October.
My personal travel recommendation is Playa Avellana, which is considered to be one of the prettiest of all beaches in Costa Rica, but not too touristic at the same time. This place is 15 minutes driving from Tamarindo and it is just so relaxing there. That place has long, wide sandy beaches and is becoming more and more popular among locals and tourists. Sometimes you might be lucky to be the only guest there, and sometimes you will meet a small group of sunbathers or surfers. Some travellers are so fascinated by the beauty of this place, that they come here every year for vacation or buy a house here. For surfing, Playa Avellana has 5 beach breaks to offer and is great for beginners and advanced. If you not a big fan of water sports, you can take yoga classes, go biking, discover romantic beaches, take a horse ride or try zip lines.
3. ACCOMMODATION – HOLYTREE AVELLANA
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Next to the best Costa Rica`s beach, there is this wonderful private accommodation with 2 private houses Holytree Avellana. It is a very modern object, away from overcrowded hotel accommodation, but has an own swimming pool, an outstanding interior design – Magda, one of the owners, has studied interior design in the past and gave the houses a unique touch of comfort, nature and luxury. I love the fact that the owners- Magda and Dani, were so friendly and welcomed us very warmly with a basket full of fresh fruits and aromatic chilli habanero. It seems that people here in Costa Rica are very nice and positive in general. This place has even a private green area with biological fruit garden – sweet papayas, limes, cashew fruits, watermelons and herbs.
4. VOLCAN ARENAL AND HOT SPRINGS
Another dream destination to discover! The active volcano located in the North of Costa Rica is currently sleeping and not brighten up the night with lava. It is a popular destination for hiking lovers – most of all because of the Cerro Chato Hill. You can relax in the neighbourhood in many of the hot springs.
5. DISCOVER COFFEE PLANTATIONS
If you are a coffee addict like I, then it is worth finding out how your morning coffee is growing. Here in Costa Rica, you have a great opportunity to participate in one of the many guided coffee plantation tours. It is worth it!
Food is one of my favourite hobbies on any trip. Therefore Costa Rica is my dream food destination, with fresh fruits, rice and beans – a real paradise for vegans and vegetarians, like I. But all meat lovers will definitely fall in love with gallo pinto – fry-up rice and beans with eggs, cheese and natilla (sour cream). Most restaurants offer a casado – it’s a meal of the day including meat, rice, beans and salad. Seafood is widely popular as well – try Ceviche – raw fish or shrimp with lime juice.
I hope you find this short article useful in case you are planning your next holiday trip. Costa Rica will give you unforgettable moments, close to sandy beaches and wild flora and fauna. With the additional promotion code “traveldegree” you can additionally save 10% on your accomodation at the wonderful Holytree Avellana.
Let me know if you found this article useful. Thank you!