by Jake Alexander,
Flying into Juan Santa maria International Airport of the quaint Spanish enclave known as Costa Rica, you will immediately catch a glimpse of why the Rich Coast is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Costa Rica vacations introduce you to a very hospitable culture of Spanish-speaking, German, Italian, Chinese, French and English-speaking natives and transplants in an often rainy, extremely green paradise. The busiest time of year just happens to be during the North American winter, allowing you some respite from the cold at home if you’re from the States.
Costa Rica Natural Attractions
Living up to the English transliteration of its name, the Rich Coast is lush, green and golden; with lovely white sand beaches and inland fishing available. Being right in the vicinity of the world-renowned rain forests of Central America, Costa Rica lays claim to the gorgeous green Caribbean to the east and the blue majesty of the Pacific Ocean anchoring its western horizon. It is during the months between early December and April that the rain subsides, allowing you to see the unique fauna and dazzling coloration of this naturally beautiful land:
- the strikingly yellow poison dart frog in Costa Rica’s rain forests
- an impressively muscled big jungle cat – the jaguar
- in one of the many wildlife refuges, crocodiles and amphibians
This is just a smattering of the kinds of animals you’ll encounter on Costa Rica vacations; however, if wildlife is better seen from a distance for you, then you might fare better at a beach side restaurant, taking in the countryside, or signing up for a few of the many treks to one of the Costa Rican mountains, world-renowned (dormant) volcanoes, and sweeping valleys. There are coffee farms – just imagine the incredibly lush smell of coffee in its original rich, bean form. You can round out your outdoorsy adventure by engaging in one of the many conservation acts on the beach, such as tagging sea turtles.
Art and Culture of Costa Rica
If you’re more an indoor type, you can spend your days languishing in one of the many resort hotels, going for a swim, or visiting art houses with revered painted works from such luminaries as Santiago Paramo and Ibo Bonilla. There are also numerous concerts in the very temperate and comfortable outdoors, playing Soca, Merengue, Salsa, music from Trinidad and of course the best of American Rock ‘n Roll.
For an even more diverse taste, take a trip to Puerto Viejo or Cahuita – which are small Costa Rican towns – and experience more from the transplanted Caribbean sounds, which melt seamlessly into Chinese and African influences the further along you travel. You’ll meet American surfers and Chinese settlers in the metropolis and countryside, and can trek to the forestland surrounding Manzanillo Refuge and back, taking pictures and video of the memorable Central American journey.
Many travelers return from their Costa Rican vacations with tales of an almost hidden land, many parts of which were only recently rendered accessible by development, and so still bear the hallmarks of the full scope of nature’s beauty. As a tourist spot, Costa Rica is truly like few others.