Costa Rica has varied experiences, awaiting every traveler. No matter what you enjoy, you can find something fitting. Most notably, natural adventurers enjoy the gorgeous hikes, towering mountains, endless rainforests, and beautiful beaches.
While many parts of Costa Rica are still rather secluded, this can be magical for a trip to retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Most people find themselves feeling rejuvenated after a trip to ‘the rich coast’. Ticos have built lives on the phrase ‘pura vida’, which means pure life. It also doubles as an expression to remind others to chill out, relax, let go, and release stress.
If you are going to be in the country for a couple of weeks, it is good idea to pick a couple of places to explore entirely. It can be difficult to make choices about where to go, but do not be tempted to make too many plans, since it takes longer than expected to travel by car, over mountains.
Arenal – Monteverde Cloud Forest
Arenal is a must see. With beautiful hot rivers and natural springs, this space is for pure relaxation. Soaking in mineral-filled hot waters, cascading from dormit Volcano Arenal, a person can enjoy a natural spa. Most people who want to get away, go here. It is near a larger city, La Fortuna, but many hotels and dwellings near the actual volcano and fresh-water lake are on secluded, winding roads. It gives you a chance to reenergize, reconnect, and rediscover yourself.
If you want to make it to hike the famous Cloud Forest in Monteverde, you can get there, by boat, from Arenal. Experience the hanging bridges and trek into the high elevation to get spectacular panorama views; this part of the country will be a bit more chilly than Arenal, as a traveler is high up! Make sure you pack accordingly, with layers. A drive would take at least 6 hours, which is far, while a boat taxi only takes two and half hours. Huge difference! We recommend you try to see both by utilizing this handy method of transportation, this local shortcut.
Caribbean vibes in Puerto Viejo
Many people chill on the west coast, but often times, the east gets unrightfully forgotten. Admittedly so, if you are only in country for a couple of weeks, making it to both coasts will not be the worth the time. With that being said, Puerto Viejo should be one of your stops if you plan to travel the Caribbean Coast.
Puerto is known for being a surf haven for European surfers and Costa Rican vagabonds alike. With a beautiful beach, the marine sports are popular; it is one of the reasons many young beach-dwellers come to visit. It is not unusual to see groovers moving to reggae beats on the coast. Although you are on the shore, you will not miss out on jungles as they back up to the city. The lush green meets turquoise and an undeniable, lovable caribbean beat.
The beaches on the west coast are breathtaking too. One of the most frequented surf spots in the entire Central American continent is Montezuma. With wicked waves, radiant sunshine, and white-sand beaches, it attracts humans from all over the world. Most people endearingly refer to this piece of Costa as a hippie haven. It exuberates the already-present ‘chill’ mentality carried in most of the country.
What to do here: surf, yoga, and chill.
Costa Rica’s highest peak, this is a beautiful, worth-while trek for the advanced hikers, with a tough heart. At the summit, on a clear day, one can see both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts; it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It is not easy, by any means; the summit is elevated to 12,600 feet, on a nearly straight incline.
The hike will take two days (one base camp is located in an optimal spot on the trail to stop for a night’s rest), and a traveler must get a permit in order to take the journey. Only about 10 passes are given out each day, so an eager traveler should get to the trailhead around 3-4am, in order to assure a spot. During the dry season, you might decide to show up even earlier.