Costa Rica Information
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Costa Rica Overview
Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. Meaning “rich coast” in Spanish, the coasts of Costa Rica are beautiful and popular with beach lovers, but what makes the country truly unique is its nature sites. From its rain forests and volcanoes to its valleys and small towns, Costa Rica offers plenty to be explored and admired. Twenty national parks and eight nature reserves are filled with amazing plant and animal species that give outdoorsy types plenty of adventure and great photo ops. Costa Ricans live and breathe in the simplicity of nature every day, and have a special saying for it: pura vida. A trip to Costa Rica will leave you feeling lucky for the experience and alive with the same sunny disposition of living pure life, pura vida.
Other Destinations in Costa-Rica
Mapping Out Costa Rica
Eco-friendly explorers enjoy the Arenal Volcano/Monteverde area for its hiking tours, thermally heated rivers, and amazing forest views. On the other hand, beach lovers are at home in the Guanacaste Beach region, which offers gorgeous turquoise water and powdery white sand for an experience in paradise. The Gulf of Nicoya region is made up of fun-loving beach towns with surfers and adventure seekers breaking waves, exploring the forest, and partying on the beach. And San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, is home to the country’s cultural dedications, offering authentic shops and the coolest of the country’s youth.
How Costa Rica is Saving the Planet
Costa Rica may welcome two million international travelers each year, but it's dedicated to sustaining its natural resources.
Many of the resorts, like the Holiday Inn San Jose, proudly boast their Certification for Sustainable Tourism. The Cala Luna Boutique Hotel near Langosta Beach in Guanacaste offers a wine list that is completely organic and biodynamic. And likewise, resorts like the Barcelo Tambor Beach have earned Blue Flag honors for maintaining clean and safe beaches.
And even though they’re two of the most popular vacation spots in Costa Rica, Manuel Antonio (a preserved national park) and the Monteverde cloud forest offer the richest variety of nature. Go green!
Volcanoes Booming with Beauty
Who doesn't like volcanoes? Their fiery explosions, impressive stature, and magic-like existence are pretty darn cool. Well among Costa Rica's most mesmerizing physical wonders are its volcanoes. Visit the popular Arenal Volcano's 5,437-foot structure to see the volcanic residue up close. The sight of the massive volcano begs for a photo op and the hike is exhilarating and scenic. Closer to the capital, the active Poas Volcano creates explosions as high as 800 feet in the air. The 8,885-foot-tall beast is definitely worth a day trip from San Jose. Competing with Poas in the central valley area is the country's tallest volcano, Irazu, at a colossal 11,259 feet above sea level. From the highest point of its national park, you can see both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. What a dreamy sight! And if your stay keeps you on the west coast, choose from Rincon de la Vieja Volcano's mud springs and Miravalles Volcano's hot springs. Both are in Guanacaste, home to the best beach resorts in the country.
Adrenaline junkies find the motherland of adventure in Costa Rica. No matter what part of the country you're in, there is opportunity for adventure every place you look. All across its 20,000 square miles, thrill seekers can hike, bike, surf, ride, drive, raft, kayak, or fly.
Surf towns like Santa Teresa and Mal Pais offer the gnarliest of surf for wave worshippers. If life under the sea is more your style, then dive into the water in Guanacaste, where you can snorkel and scuba dive with the ocean's most colorful creatures. Grab a raft and head toward the Pacuare River for the wildest white water rafting experience for the more advanced adventurers around. And what would a trip to Costa Rica be without zip lining through the rain forest? There are plenty of mountains and volcanoes to hike up before swinging back down for an adrenaline high.
Catch a Wave in Costa Rica
Costa Rica's the perfect place to hit the surf while on vacation. The breaks are consistent, the water is warm, and the sights are heavenly. What's even better is that no matter where you plant your board, you're sure to catch some waves on almost any shore.
Waves off Playa Grande in Guanacaste are reliable, moderate, and constant; perfect for someone who wants to learn how to surf. Playa Hermosa is a national favorite and like a lot of other surf towns, hosts tournaments every year.
Jacó, the closest beach town to the capital, is known for its surf and party atmosphere. But because it’s so fun, you’re sure to find a crowd. No worries though; there are plenty of beaches along the Puntarenas coast to please every surfer in sight.
Find the Pura Vida Way of Life
When you're traveling to a foreign country, you get the chance to share in the beauty that the country has to offer. In Costa Rica, you get to see majestic volcanoes, enchanting landscapes, and calming coastlines. And lucky for you, Costa Rica also has a lot of inner beauty to offer.
On a trip there, you’ll likely hear the phrase “pura vida” and wonder what it means. It translates to “pure life”, but it’s best described as a way of life. The Costa Rican people’s passion for the phrase shows their gracious outlook on life. “Pura vida” is an announcement that you are happy to be alive and enjoying the magic of the journey.
In Costa Rica, they take each day as an opportunity, and that could be why it seems like the happiest place on the planet! Do the same while you're there and we bet some of that sunny disposition rubs off on you, too!
Costa Rica Quick Facts
The Colon. U.S. dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
The outlets are 110 V, with standard U.S. two-prong plugs.
A valid passport is mandatory to enter Costa Rica.
The water is potable, but bottled water is recommended in areas surrounding the coast.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT - 6 hours)
Dry Season, December - May