You may hear the term Pura Vida often on your travels around this amazing country filled with fascinating Afro-Caribbean culture. Translated to English, it means pure life or life’s good. And so, life is, here in this magical Central American country. It shares many borders including the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Ecuador, to the south, Panama, to the southeast and Nicaragua to the north. Hence why the Spanish name Costa Rica means ‘rich coast’.
From its vibrant and fun-filled party capital, San José, there are sandy beaches suited for everyone from singles to romantic couples and families, to its inland of rainforest teeming with wildlife and adrenaline-pumping adventure activities. Costa Rica is a country to place high on your list.
Registered as one of the world's most biodiverse countries, with a recorded half a million species from insects to the giant anteaters– it also protects one-quarter of its wild-lands through law. It’s the home to keel-billed toucans and scarlet macaws who boisterously announces their arrival pre and post-flight. Howler monkeys are often seen along with the pretty blue morpho butterflies. Offshore there are dolphins, whales, rays and colourful tropical fish – snorkelling and diving in the uncrowded waters are unforgettable.
Hike to a waterfall-fed pool, visit the remote indigenous territories such as Bribrí and Kéköldi and tantalise your taste buds with Caribbean cooking and join the locals and sway to the reggaetón music in cool bars as the sunsets. Cahuita, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and Manzanillo, are all villages worthy of visiting for an authentic indigenous experience.
There are rainforest hikes, diving, surfing, white-water rafting and thrilling zip-lines to add to the adrenaline and adventure. For the less adventurous, enjoy a massage on the beach, try the local coffee and dine at a local restaurant with their fresh seafood and delightful mix of cuisines.
Any time of year is perfect; however, Costa Rica has two tropical seasons the Green and Dry. December through April is the dry season and peak tourist time. There is less rain, and the skies are generally clear – perfect for hiking.
May through November is the Green season with more storms and the countryside conjures up emerald green hills and valleys. There can be some good perks for travelling in the Green season including discounted prices on tours and accommodation plus there are fewer crowds, and the wildlife is more active.