Costa Rica has been called the happiest place on earth, and it’s not hard to see why. The country has everything incredibly diverse wildlife, a perfect climate and a history of peace, to not to mention the Costa Rica’s picturesque rainforest, stunning beaches and breathtaking mountains.
If you’re planning a vacation to this paradise on earth, here are five tips for planning your trip to Costa Rica, so you can make the most of your time in this Eden.
Pack according to your itinerary
Yes, Costa Rica is a tropical paradise. It’s also a mountainous country, where volcanoes peek above the tree line, and it is entirely possible to get cold here. Keep in mind that when you travel across this lovely country, you could be visiting every kind of climate, from hot and humid jungle, to breezy beaches or chilly mountain slopes.
Review your itinerary, and determine which areas you’ll be visiting. You’ll probably be spending time in tropical temperatures, but will you be visiting the mountains too? Once you know your plans, figure out the best travel clothes to take, and pack accordingly. Of course you’ll want a swimsuit or two, but what about a sweater? And don’t forget to throw in a rain jacket, because rainforests are so-named for a good reason!
Make it an active vacation
Whether you learn to surf at Salsa Brava or plan a two-day hike through the Arenal Volcano National Park, this is a country that is best enjoyed outside. If you’re a seasoned adventurer, plan to shoot the white water rapids on Rio Turralba or try a zip line through the jungle canopy. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, take a nice gentle walk through one of the national parks, or learn how to snorkel at Playa Conchal and float among the colorful fish.
Bring a book about birds
Costa Rica may be a small country, but it has an incredible number of beautiful and colorful birds. There have been nearly 900 species spotted in this county, which is more than all the species of birds recorded in the United States and Canada combined. Bring along a bird guide and challenge yourself to see how many you can spot.
And don’t forget your binoculars! You’ll get a much better view of birds, monkeys, and other wildlife if you have some binoculars handy.
Stay in an Eco-Lodge
Costa Rica practically invented eco-tourism, and has the world’s best reputation for protecting its delicate resources. While there is no shortage of five star resorts and world class hotels here, the real Costa Rica experience is found at one of the country’s spectacular eco-lodges deep in the forest. Falling asleep to the gentle sound of rain falling on leaves, croaking frogs and distant bird calls is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should not be missed.
By the way, just because it is eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean roughing it, if you don’t want to. Eco-lodges here range from the very basic to the ultra-luxurious, so there’s guaranteed to be one to suit your taste.
Experience one of nature’s true wonders
If you are planning to be in Costa Rica in July or August, you should spend the night on the beach in Tortuguero. For thousands of years, sea turtles have returned home to this region to lay their eggs.
You can watch in wonder as baby green turtles, baby giant leatherbacks, baby hawksbills and baby loggerhead turtles emerge from their sandy nests and make their way out into the surf for the very first time. It’s an experience of a lifetime!