Costa Rica is one of today’s most charming dream destinations in the world. It is a popular summer haven, a tropical paradise in the Central American region. There is more to discover about Costa Rica that will surprise you.
This country has a lot to offer both visitors and those who come to Costa Rica for more than just a vacation. Whether you’ve been to Costa Rica or just planning to go, we’ll give you more reasons to love this dreamy little country.
As if you need convincing, you might fall in love with Costa Rica even more after reading this. You’ll understand why many people come to Costa Rica only to end up never wanting to leave. Here are quick but thorough facts about the Rich Coast and the land of the Ticos, Costa Rica.
5 captivating reasons to visit Costa Rica
Let’s sum up the top reasons why the allure of Costa Rica is so universal and hard to resist. Most summer destinations are loved because of the beaches. But that’s not everything to love about Costa Rica. There is more to this country that creates its unique vibe that inspires a lot of tourists to live it up in Costa Rica.
Thousands of tourists from around the world flock to destinations in Latin America. Costa Rica is a favorite because it offers a diverse appeal to varying sorts of travelers. Find out the natural effortless beauty of Costa Rica and the Pura Vida life we all want a taste of.
1. National Parks and Rainforests
Costa Rica has 28 national parks. It has 58 wildlife, 12 wetland/mangroves, 11 forest, and 8 biological reserves. Additionally, it has 32 protected zones and 12 other conservation areas. They are protecting the different natural habitats in this country.
Here are some of the many National Parks all over Costa Rica. They speak a multitude about the natural beauty of this tropical paradise.
Tenorio Volcano National Park
This park is from the name of an inactive volcano, Volcán Tenorio. It is the highlight geographic feature of this place. However, the craters are protected and closed to the public.
The park is popular for its divine turquoise-colored Celeste River. The distinct color of the river covers 22 miles (35.41 km) of luminous beauty. Legends say that the gods were painting the sky when they dipped their paintbrushes into this river. The lagoon is surrounded by around 12 hectares of rainforest. The enchanting flora and fauna of Tenorio are a sight to see. It includes ferns, orchids, palms, bromeliads, puma, and howler monkeys.
Among the favorite tourist attractions in Tenorio is the natural hot springs. Also included are the Blue Lagoon and Celeste Waterfalls. More to enjoy are the trail hikes and bird watching. There are also some suspension bridges shared with the monkeys.
Arenal Volcano National Park
Another park is named after a picturesque active volcano. There has been a frequent activity of this volcano before. This uniquely shaped the landscape beneath its crater.
The eruptions also have done nature’s beautiful work sending the earth an abundant supply of nutrients. This is seen in the lush colors of the area’s rich flora and fauna. This makes a lovely place for hiking.
The park is also home to about 850 bird species. That makes it the favorite spot for birdwatchers. You can catch the big picture stunning view higher up the slopes. From there, you can see Lake Arenal in its full splendor.
The Arenal Volcano National Park isn’t the only volcano in the area. Chato Volcano is an inactive volcano in the same area. It has been inactive for so long that its crater collapsed. It formed another nature masterpiece, a perfect and picturesque lagoon.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
If you travel to see nature and its beauty around the world, this place is a must-see. This tiny region is a huge chunk of the world’s biodiversity. You can find 2.5% of the entire earth’s biodiversity in this small region. 10% of the plants here can’t be seen elsewhere.
Another astonishing attraction here is the Continental Divide. This is the place to be when you want to be two places at the same time. In Monteverde, you can have one foot on the Caribbean and one on the Pacific.
Here is another important reason to visit Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. 100% of the proceeds and entrance fees of this place are donated. It goes to education and research programs. You don’t only get an amazing wildlife and nature experience here. You also get to help preserve the forests and educate people about them.
Cahuita National Park
The Southern Caribbean Coast cradles a terrestrial marine park. The Parque Nacional Cahuita is in the Limon province. It was declared as a National Monument in 1970 protecting the coral reefs in the Caribbean Coast. It was then converted into a National Park.
There is only one beach here where people can go for a swim. The majority of the area is undeveloped and protected for marine life to thrive. The beach serves as a nesting ground for sea turtles.
The best view to experience the well-kept treasures of this place is by going underwater. Snorkeling and scuba diving is a worthwhile experience in this area. There are 35 species of coral and a hundred species of fish that can be seen here. There are many local inhabitants of the stunning coral reefs. There are also manta rays and 3 species of sharks that can be found here.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park has everything Costa Rica is proud of. It is hailed as the most popular park in the country. This park is on the Central Pacific side and one of the country’s most prized gems. It’s a small park but has an astonishing combination of rainforests, wildlife, and beaches. Additional to that are the coral reefs and tranquil landscapes. There are also a lot of fun activities all in one place.
The park is perfect for field trips, kids, and guided tours. You can explore the enchanting rainforest in various ways. You can hike or go on a horseback ride. Canopy zipline is also available. Venture through the untouched wilderness through white water rafting.
There are more activities in the crystal clear waters like kayaking and canoeing. There is fun for everyone. Even for those who are simply looking for a serene spot to relax, this place got it all.
This place has been one of the most beautiful places in the world. It showcases the diverse and hypnotic beauty of this tropical country.
Carara National Park
Here’s another popular spot due to its proximity to the capital San Jose. But not solely because of that. Another one from the Pacific Coast side has its unique treasures.
The Carara National park is situated south of Rio Tarcoles and north of Jaco. With the latter famous for surfing and nightlife.
Carara National Park got its name from the indigenous language. It means “river of lizards” or crocodile. You’ll understand the significance of the name if you know what the Tarcoles River is known for. Rio Tarcoles borders the park as it flows to the Pacific. It is home to a big population of American crocodiles.
The park is also a favorite of birdwatchers. If you want to see scarlet macaws along with a huge number of bird species, you will enjoy bird watching here.
Carara National Park is a significant ecological transition zone. It is where Amazonian and Mesoamerican ecosystems converge. This means that this park has both the Pacific and the South Coast climate. The Pacific is dry while the South Coast is humid.
2. Wildlife and biodiversity
There is no more need to prove the abundance of natural and wildlife treasures that this country has. Costa Rica is one of the worlds’ most biodiverse countries. This small country is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
Biodiversity refers to all kinds of life found in one region. This includes all that exist in nature. The different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms are all part of biodiversity. There are bird species that you can’t find easily elsewhere in the world in Costa Rica.
Expect to find the following flora and fauna in their natural habitat here.
- Scarlet macaws
- Resplendent quetzals
- Hawksbill turtles
- Olive Ridley turtles
- Green sea turtles
- Leatherback turtle
- West Indian manatee
- Fer-de-lance vipers
- Howler monkeys
- Canopy trees
- 9000 species of flowering plants
- And more…
Teeming with biodiversity, this beautiful tropical country is known worldwide for its beaches. Even if you’re a frequent visitor or a local, there would be enough to keep you wondering where to go next.
The country has two magnificent coastlines, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Whichever side of the coast you choose, you’ll have a wonderful time. Each offers a different experience.
On the Pacific Coast, there are a good number of touristy spots and beaches to choose from. But where the Caribbean side lacks in quantity, it makes up for the quality of beaches you can find there.
There are plenty to choose from. So, here is some important knowledge about Costa Rican beaches that you should know.
Caribbean North (Tortuguero)
Caribbean South (Puerto Viejo)
Tortuguero – the Little Amazon
Travel Duration: Approximately 1 day
This side of the Caribbean is the home of Tortuguero National Park. The main features of this park are the canals and the nesting ground of turtles in the area.
Experience the untouched natural beauty of the Little Amazon. Only then you’ll understand why this place is worth the effort to visit. But expect to take a day to get there. It is a very remote place with an immaculate jungle one rarely gets to see in a lifetime. You can enjoy a few nights’ stays at Tortuguero. Just to make sure you savor the moment being one with nature and its magnificent work.
Travel Duration: 5-6 Hours
The south destination into the Caribbean part of this country takes a shorter trip than up north. The south is a more touristy destination with its main town in Puerto Viejo. It takes roughly 5-6 hours to get there by land. You can drive to the town or take the bus or shuttle.
The beaches here are the top tourist spots to experience the splendor of the Caribbean Sea. It has the same vibe as the unspoiled and raw natural beauty of the Caribbean. The town has few developments. Just enough to be a perfect tourist spot while also keeping its uniquely rugged charm that we all love.
Further north of the town is another town. The town is known to have an awesome expat community along the Caribbean shores. The town of Cahuita has a National Park. It cradles marine wonders such as beautiful coral reefs. It’s a favorite of many foreigners to experience beach town living for good.
The Caribbean Coast is a perfect choice for you if:
- You love the laid-back beach town vibe.
- You’re no stranger to communing with nature or want to experience it.
- You plan to chill in a less crowded place.
Santa Teresa, Mal Pais, Montezuma, Paquera, Tambor, etc.
Travel Duration: Approximately 4-5 hours
Experience the Pacific on the more remote side. Take note of these places in the lovely Nicoya Peninsula. They are about a 4-5 hour drive from the airports. These airports are Liberia International Airport and San Jose International Airport. The peninsula is part Guanacaste Province and part Puntarenas Province.
There are only 5 blue zones in the world and Nicoya is one. Blue zones are places where people live longer and healthier than anywhere else.
It is home to calm secluded beach towns that are great for a peaceful and quiet lifestyle. It is widely known as one of the international wellness destinations.
Gulf of Papagayo and the Salinas Bay
Travel Duration: Approximately 25 minutes
The Gulf is a short trip from the Liberia International Airport. These areas are perfect for your favorite water activities. That includes fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.
The Gulf of Papagayo is known to host the largest luxury hotels in the country. It also has some dreamy golf courses to enjoy the tropical dry weather in Costa Rica.
The beaches here have naturally darker sand and the waters are calm. It’s a perfect place for families with kids to enjoy fun in the sun and the tranquil waters of the Pacific.
Tamarindo, Samara, and Nosara
Travel Duration: Approximately 1-2 hours
Tamarindo is also a crowd’s favorite spot for fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing. It is an hour drive from Liberia International Airport while Samara and Nosara is a 2-hour trip.
Tamarindo is one of the best beaches in the world, and we’ll talk more about it later. This part of the Pacific is where you can find all-inclusive beach towns. They have everything you can ask for for a vacation in a tropical paradise.
There are a lot of expat communities in Guanacaste, and we can’t blame them. This part of the world is where summer is forever. Or at least it feels like it. Experiencing a dry tropical paradise is a treat almost all year long. This region is a perfect summer haven for all beach lovers and nature lovers alike.
Jaco, Manuel Antonio
Travel Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours from San Jose.
The Central Pacific is where we find two of the most must-see beach towns in Costa Rica. And they are popular not just because of their proximity to the capital. There are many reasons why these places are the most popular vacation spots.
While Jaco is the country’s surfer mecca, Manuel Antonio is the ecotourism center of the country. Their beaches have the most tourist activities. They are energetic places for enjoying the crowd.
There are a lot of accommodations in the area, all different types. The beaches are accessible and convenient if you want most of what Costa Rica has to offer.
South Pacific and the Osa Peninsula
The South Pacific cradles Costa Ballena. Costa Ballena includes Dominical, Uvita, and Ojochal. The Osa Peninsula is home to the Corcovado National Park. This is a remote place where biodiversity thrives. These places are the least touristy areas. But just like other remote places in Costa Rica, they offer a unique experience to visitors.
They may not be for everyone. But remote areas in Costa Rica are the most majestic work of nature. They possess a truly enigmatic beauty that is not for everyone to see.
The Pacific Coast is perfect for you if:
- You want all-inclusive amenities
- You like easy access to many nearby attractions and activities
- You love the energetic party vibe especially at night and love the crowd
The best beaches in the world
Because there are too many beautiful beaches on the Rich Coast, we will feature the crowd favorites.
Travel Duration: Approximately 1 hour from Liberia National Airport
- Public beach
- Awarded the Blue Flag
- White sand beach
- Warm blue water
- Great for families
- All-inclusive amenities
- Good food and music
- International gourmet restaurants
- Multicultural hotspot
- Most accessible in the northern Pacific
- Pleasant sunny weather with little humidity
- Scuba diving
- World-class sport-fishing
- In-shore fishing
- Catamaran sailing
- Canopy tours
- Horseback riding
- Nightlife and festivals
Travel Duration: Approximately 20 minutes from the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia.
- Best maintained beach in the country
- Crystal blue waters
- Relax tranquil setting
- Not crowded
- Calm ocean water
- Great for families
- Good selection of restaurants
- Great vacation rentals and condos
- Day tours
- Horseback riding
- Catamaran tours
- Party at Playas del Coco
- Day trips (waterfalls, mud baths, hot springs, wildlife)
Location: North Puntarenas
Travel Duration: approximately 1.5 hours from Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO)
- Closest major beach to the country’s capital
- Most developed beach town in Costa Rica
- Great all-inclusive vacation destination
- Lots of restaurants and bars to choose from
- Local vibe but touristy town
- Palm trees tropical backdrop
- Carefree party atmosphere
- Close to many activities
- Close to Manuel Antonio National Park and others
- Medium to high-rise condo complex, luxury estate, and beachfront villas
- Horseback riding
- deep-sea fishing
- Boat rides
- Waterfall rappelling
- Catamaran tour
- World-class golf
- Nightlife and party scene
Costa Rica is classified as a tropical country. It is geographically located close to the equator. But there are some things unique to the Costa Rican climate. These are unlike other tropical countries.
The country has different climate zones. The climate zones also create more microclimates.
There are two distinct seasons in Costa Rica, the high (dry) season and the green (rainy) season.
The sunlight is 12 hours a day. You’ll get the same amount of sunlight every day for the entire year. Changes in the rainfall however can be drastic. Heavy rainfall is expected from May to November. September and October experience the heaviest rainfall.
The best time for a vacation in Costa Rica is during the dry season. That is from December to May. It’s an interesting time to visit as well in June and July. For when rainfall pauses briefly, it creates perfect greenery in the forests. With that said, if you don’t mind the rain, it is less expensive to visit during the green season or rainy months.
It is important to remember that the weather is different depending on the region. Some places have a high level of humidity all year round. And there are regions with low levels of humidity, which can be hot during dry months.
Warm People and great culture
Ticos (men) and Ticas (women) are generally warm and friendly people. Tico came from the word hermantico which means little brother. With that said, the locals have a deeply rooted culture of togetherness as a family and a community. They are naturally welcoming people.
A shared love for soccer
We’d like to believe that the reason why Ticos have an inherent liking to soccer is that the ball can be shared. And many shares the one love for soccer that it is almost like a religion in this country.
If you want to play soccer, you won’t miss it. There is no scarcity of soccer fields in the country. Almost every town has one. Casual soccer games are usually done with friends during lunch break and after work. Costa Rica’s National Team is named “Le Sele”. There are also professional soccer teams that play within Costa Rica. Every time there’s a match, people watch the games together in bars while drinking beer. This sport is so well-loved that it has become one of the traditions and way of life among the Ticos. Watching and playing soccer together is a part of their identity.
Costa Rica is a great place to do business
Business-friendly even to foreigners
Are you considering Costa Rica beyond your occasional travels and vacations? If you are an entrepreneur or want to start a business, Costa Rica is a great place to start. Even if you are not a local, expats are welcome to be business owners in Costa Rica.
Putting up a business here is unlike other countries. It’s pretty relaxed and there aren’t any restrictions for foreign ownership. You can start processing your startup with a 90-day tourist visa. It is not required to be a resident.
Tourism plays a major role in the economy, especially in the livelihood of the locals. The Costa Rican government designed government policies to welcome foreign investors as well. Thus, establishing the country’s Green Park Free Zone and the free zone regime.
Under the free-zone regime, foreign businesses can expand in the Green Park Zone. This with many incentives to encourage bringing their business to Costa Rica. This provides residents more employment opportunities.
It is great working with people in Costa Rica. There are a lot of English speakers here. The various business activities include manufacturing, customer service firms, research, and many others.
Costa Rica’s geographical location is not only best for tourism but also for business. Costa Rica has both ports in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. It is also close to the Panama Canal. Here are the major ports in the country.
- Port of Limón
- Port of Caldera
- Port Puntarenas
Discover more of Costa Rica and find a new home
Many people who have gone to Costa Rica have fallen in love with the place. As you get to know Costa Rica more, you will discover more reasons to love staying. And when vacations aren’t long enough, why not live the life of your dreams? But is it possible to stay for good in Costa Rica?
There is surely a lot to consider when you are thinking of starting over somewhere. But the new possibilities are enough for visitors to call Costa Rica their new home. And yes, it is indeed possible to move to Costa Rica or at least own a place you can always come home to. Owning a home in Costa Rica can be easy.
Costa Rica is a top choice for expats, especially from the United States. It is not too far, and it has all the things you wanted your dream country to have. Now, at the least, we can choose where to spend the rest of our lives.
If you are at the best time in your life to consider relocating, Costa Rica is worth considering for these things.
Pura Vida! Pure Life
Pura Vida is a common phrase in the Rich Coast that means simple life or pure life. Ticos take it further than just a saying. It is their way of life.
Pura Vida is also commonly used to greet people and bid goodbye. Ticos also use this phrase to say that everything is awesome.
Focusing on more important things in life and simple living is what it’s like living in Costa Rica. There is less stress about everything else. That is why Costa Rica has been named one of the happiest countries in the world.
Healthy living and life expectancy
This small country provides one of the best healthcare systems in the world. And it costs less than most countries. The cost is half the price of the same health care that North American countries offer. It is also a renowned place for medical tourism, cosmetic surgery, and dentistry.
Most expats find Costa Rica as their retirement country for the above reasons. Costa Rica is also known for its residents reaching a long life expectancy. This was recognized by the World Health Organization.
The healthy selection of food available is a major factor for long life expectancy in Costa Rica.
Their typical meal is Casado which literally means “married man”. The meal contains white rice, beans, cooked vegetables, salad, choice of protein or meat, and plantain. Casado is a usual lunchtime meal. It is called such because it is a great example of a home-cooked meal.
Fresh fruits are also abundant such as pineapples, papaya, and avocado. And of course, one of the best drinks this country has to offer is the agua de pipa or coconut water. There is also an abundant supply of fresh seafood.
100% green energy
It is great to have your body nourished with good food. And with that energized by the Pura Vida attitude towards life. This country is also energized by green energy. Almost 100% of its power coming from renewable energy sources.
High standard of living for less the cost
All of these are typically less expensive than living in the United States. Your money will stretch far in this country. A luxury lifestyle is available here. Although it is not the cheapest place to live in Latin America, the level of life is comparable to that of the United States and Europe.
Costa Rican lifestyle
What contributes most to the chill lifestyle here are the people. They are generally warm, welcoming, and helpful. It is typical to hear people greeting each other in the street.
All establishments such as restaurants have a very relaxed atmosphere. The speed of service is also relaxed. So, just enjoy and calm down, bask in all the things to admire while waiting. Pura Vida is for everything that matters more.
You can get an affordable house close to the beach in Costa Rica. Especially when you move away from the buzzing city and live in a cozy and more relaxing location.
Jaco is a perfect place near everything the city can offer. Homes here have this perfect beach atmosphere that you would dream of waking up to every day. It’s a good location for families.
Tamarindo is also a top choice for the serene home life at the beach. In both locations, there are many types of properties to choose from.
Many locations in the country offer you a unique atmosphere to live a healthier full life. We can help you find your dream home and build your dream life.
Costa Rica is the best place to be if you need Pura Vida in your life
We hope you know more about Costa Rica after reading this. There is more to know about this tropical paradise. We’d love to give you generous information about this dreamy little country.
You should visit Costa Rica at least once in your life. And if you decide to stay here, the possibilities are endless. We’ll be glad to guide you on your search for your new home.
If you need some Pura Vida in your life right now, check the current entry requirements to Costa Rica.
Go live a pure life and experience what the world has to offer. And always choose the sunny side of life. Pura Vida!v