Ever since getting back from Costa Rica December 2015, I can't stop talking about the amazing experience I had there. There's a good mix of reasons of why I loved it so much and why the trip basically made my year, and a large portion of it was of course the mesmerizing country that is Costa Rica. If you aren't convinced yet, let me give you 15 reasons for why your next vacation should be to Costa Rica.
The country is incredibly diverse when it comes to nature and climate so you can have many different experiences. One day you are freezing in Monteverde in a night tour looking at vipers in the cloudforest and the next day you are sweating like in a sauna listening to reggae in Montezuma.
2. Climb a tree from the inside
Something that is great when you stay in hostels is the word of mouth of local spots or things to see that is not in a guidebook. The climbing of a huge tree from the inside was one of these things that were spread through word of mouth in my hostel in Monteverde. I asked my guide from the cloudforest to drop me off near the dirt road and then went left looking for the tree. There were quite a few trees and not a whole lot of signs and luckily I ran into some other backpackers that also were looking for the tree. You couldn't really miss it. It looked like tangled branches that reached from the ground and waaaay up in the sky and there were already some brave souls that were sitting at the top. The tree winds narrower and narrower as you climb towards the top and there isn't any HMS. The picture below is from inside the tree. Happy hunting!
This doesn't need any more explaining.
4. Small surfer villages
The picture below is from Santa Teresa town that has small artsy cafés and shops. There is sun, surf, shops with local artists' crafts, unique restaurants and cafés and just all over a colorful town. Santa Teresa is a real surfer village with a relaxed and chilled after-surf atmosphere.
This delicious Costa Rican sauce is put on everything and anything and it is delicious. Try it with your breakfast eggs. Don't forget to buy one at the airport to bring home with you - it isn't easy to find (at least not in Norway :( )
6. A sporty-relaxed combo
You can be super-active and adventurous or superlazy and relaxed in Costa Rica. Some cities have a lot to offer when it comes to hiking and sport activities and a lot of sights, and others are very chilled out and is more in tune with the slower pace of life. Some retreats even offer a combo so you can be sporty but relaxed with a yoga- and surfing camp.
7. Experience different types of forest such as rain forest, cloud forest and dry forest
When I hear tropical I think of rain forests, but Costa Rica is as I mentioned a very diverse country with different types of forests and animals. You can explore and go animal-watching in different types of forest such as rain forest, cloud forest and dry forest. Beware of poisonous snakes and frogs.
8. Pura Vida
In Costa Rica the philosophy "Pura Vida" means appreciating life's simplicity, a laidback lifestyle, and refusing to take things for granted. It is easy to forget about the philosophy when you get back to everyday life, but try to break free of the habit - starting envisioning the "Pura vida" you can have if you only put your mind to it.
9. Surf's up
There are many spots for surfing and many surf schools and surf camps to choose from - espcially on the pacific coast.
10. The hanging bridges of Monteverde Cloud Forest
If you don't know what a cloud forest is, well, neither did I. A cloud forest can be found in tropical areas where the forest appear to frequently be covered by clouds or fog. In Monteverde Cloud Forest you can walk among the birds high in the treetops on the hanging bridges. There are quite a few bridges to cross and many are quite high up from the ground. Sometimes you can feel the bridge swinging as you cross.
11. River rafting
If you like to feel your adrenaline pumping you should check out the white water rafting in Arenal. There are different levels of how rough the rivers are. The best part is at the end when you jump in to the river and drift down just floating in your life vest looking up and hearing the forest and birds around you.
12. Hidden waterfalls in Montezuma
There are beautiful hidden waterfalls in Montezuma. You should follow the locals through the forest and find the hidden waterfalls where you can jump like 15 meters down into a pool of water - or just look at the locals do it.
13. Humid Yoga
Many people go to Costa Rica to slow down and many retreats and hotels offer yoga classes or even yoga camps. What better way to practice yoga than in an outdoor studio in the warm tropical weather in Costa Rica?
14. You can practice your Spanish
I did freshen' up my Spanish before my trip, but I was also traveling solo. It came in handy a couple of times. There are many people that know English, but now and then you get the opportunity to use your Spanish, but body language usually works to a certain degree too..
15. Hot springs and volcanoes in Arenal
If you prefer to keep it hot you can go volcano trekking or bath in the hot springs in Arenal, or why not combine the two? It is great to sit down in the natural hot springs after a long day of trekking.
Now if you still aren't convinced - just take a look at this sunset.