Travel Tricks

Why Your Next Vacation Should Be In Costa Rica

Costa Rica Sunset Surfer

I just returned from 4 weeks in Costa Rica. I visited last January as well and loved it so much that I decided to go back, albeit to a different part of the country. While it’s already a popular tourist destination, I’m actually surprised it’s not more of a mainstream vacation spot, particularly for those people living in the States. According to Today.com, Costa Rica is not nearly as popular as other tropical destinations such as Montego Bay, Punta Cana, San Juan, and the Bahamas. While those are also great places to visit, below is my argument for why Costa Rica should be your choice for your next vacation destination.

Nature

Costa Ricans are proud to brag about the biodiversity in their homeland. According to their embassy website, Costa Rica contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity despite only accounting for .03% of the earth’s surface. It’s quite a remarkable statistic but after visiting for a day or two, you’ll believe it!

Costa Rica Scenery
Lush green landscapes and sometimes a calf pops in to your picture unexpectedly!

It’s really a trifecta of nature with plants, animals, and stunning scenery. And there’s always a place close by to see all three. The colors are just a little more vibrant down there!

Costa Rica Flowers
Flowers! Everywhere! It’s not quite the same in Philly.

Adventure

Surfing, standup paddle boarding, ATVing, and ziplining are just some of the activities offered in virtually all towns with even a small tourist presence. Even if you’re staying inland for a few days, a daytrip out to the beaches for watersports is never too difficult. If you do a 5- to 7-day trip down there, it’s easy to do 2-3 days of something more action-packed and still have plenty of time for the beach.

Costa Rica Hanging Bridges
There are great hikes in the rainforests that include these cool hanging bridges. A bit scary… but very cool!

Pura Vida

Pura Vida is the Costa Rican version of the Hawaiian “Aloha.” It’s both a greeting and a way of life and it’s completely enchanting. Costa Ricans are so easy-going and it’s the perfect mentality for a short vacation. People are happy, relaxed, and have great appreciation for their beautiful surroundings. This tourist website calls Pura Vida “an expression of eternal optimism” which is really a good lesson for all of us as we frequently get caught up in our day-to-day problems. I found that the Costa Rican way of life easy to adopt and I think I’m better for it.

Beaches

While people may gravitate towards more well-known tropical beach locations, I’d put the Costa Rican beaches up against any of them. The waves are great for surfers and the water warm for swimmers. On the Pacific Ocean side of the country, not only are the beaches pristine, but you’re shown gorgeous sunsets every night. Even the locals flock to the beach an hour or so before sundown just to get a glimpse… and every sunset is a little different than the one before it.

Costa Rica Sunset
This is my favorite of the many sunset pictures I posted to Instagram during my trip.

Just Do It!

While I certainly understand that some people just want to head to the beach for their vacations, I feel like Costa Rica offers world-class beaches plus a whole bunch of other things to do. You could easily do some morning activity like ziplining or taking an ATV tour and you’d still have hours of high-quality beach time in the afternoon. I’ve now been twice in the last two years and given that it’s fairly easy to get to (less than a 6-hour flight from the Northeast), I’m quite sure it’s not the last time I’ll go. So, if you’re planning your next trip and you are torn between a relaxing beach vacation and something a little more adventurous, choose Costa Rica, where you get the best of both worlds!

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