Destination Bucket List: Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s strikingly diverse terrain – lush forests, wildlife reserves and tropical beaches – offers a little something for every traveler.

Beach lovers staying along the Pacific Coast should head to the palm-fringed coastline for sun and surf. Nature-seekers should pay a visit to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca before venturing inland to zip line above Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and hike Arenal Volcano.

Whether you seek sun, nature or adventure, there’s much to discover in this paradise.


What to discover

1. BEACHES

The coasts of Costa Rica are just full of gorgeous, diverse beaches. You can find beaches of all characteristics — white sand, dark sand, turquoise waters, clear waters and more.

So when you’re at the coast, you must visit different beaches.

2. TORTUGA ISLAND

Isla Tortuga is a top destination in Costa Rica, located only an hour and a half boat ride from shore of the Nicoya Peninsula.

This beautiful destination is ideal for day trips and small family excursions. The Turtle Island boasts a perfect sandy beach with palm trees and clear waters.

You can relax at the beach, hike, take a canopy tour or go snorkeling / scuba diving.

3. RAINFOREST TRAM

There are a few trams in Costa Rica that take you through the forest up to stunning views. For those who aren’t big hikers or can’t do a lot of strenuous movements, the tram is the best way to experience the tropical jungle.

4. COFFEE TOUR

Costa Rica grows some of the best coffee in the world — hands down.

So, if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll want to take a tour of a coffee plantation to find out why it’s so darn good!

5. HIKING

With 30% of the land area protected by national parks, wildlife refuges, and preserves, Costa Rica hiking reveals a variety of well-marked trails for the adventurer. Hike through rainforests, amble along beaches, and pull yourself up the side of a mountain — Costa Rica is a destination both for those who wish to push themselves and those who prefer to take their time.


What to eat

1. GALLO PINTO

Gallo pinto is an indulgent dish of rice, beans, onions, red peppers and cilantro. Typically, gallo pinto is served with eggs, fried cheese, sweet plantains and homemade corn tortillas.

Warning: you’re probably going to want this for breakfast every single day.

2. TAMALES

The authentic Costa Rican tamales include meat, rice, beans and potatoes served on banana leaf. They’re so simple, but so good.

3. CASADO

This lunch/dinner favorite is essentially a mixed platter of beef, chicken or fish with rice, beans, cabbage salad, tortillas and sweet fried plantains.

Casado literally means “married man.” It refers to the days when men working in the fields brought mixed lunches prepared by their wives, conveniently wrapped in a banana leaf.

4. PATACONES

These fried, mashed green plantains are super popular throughout Central America and the Caribbean. They’re amazing with bean dip and guacamole.


How to play

1. WHITE WATER RAFTING

Join a six-person raft to navigate down Tenorio River on a powerful Costa Rica white water rafting adventure.

These exciting rapids will leave you soaked and smiling at the end of your ride! For a more relaxed experience, you can choose a peaceful glide on the Corobici River, also included in this rafting experience.

2. ARENAL VOLCANO AND RAINFOREST WALK

You’ve probably heard about Costa Rica’s stunning landscape filled with miles upon miles of tropical rainforests, rivers and mountains.

Now, it’s your chance to discover this paradise for yourself with an Arenal Volcano and rainforest tour.. This full-day excursion also includes lunch at the luckily charming town of La Fortuna.

3. MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE

Imagine winding through a misty oasis; strikingly tall trees wrap you in a sea of green. Add to that more than 100 mammals, 400 types of birds and 2,500 plant species, and you have Monteverde’s lush 25,700-acre reserve.

We recommend taking a Sky Walk (hanging bridges) or Sky Trek (zip lining) tour to avoid the crowds and see the reserve from an aerial view.

4. ZIPLINING

The best places to go ziplining in Costa Rica are Monteverde, La Fortuna and Guanacaste. Then there are adventure parks with ziplines scattered throughout the country.

or the thrill seeker, they will love the extreme ziplining at 100% Aventura in Monteverde, Sky Adventures Monteverde and Arenal and Selvatura Park in Monteverde and Arenal Mundo Aventura in La Fortuna. 

5. CANYONING

Canyoning (rappelling down waterfalls) is an incredible adventure activity in Costa Rica. It might be a bit too much for the ones with acrophobia but the surge of adrenaline flowing through your body takes over and all sense of fear is lost.

So, ready to head out on your trip?Reach out to your BeachMaster with any pre-trip questions.

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