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Traveller ziplining in Montverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Ten Reasons to Fall in Love with Costa Rica

By Jessica Whyte

Last updated: 16th April 2014

1. Small is beautiful

Costa Rica is a compact country, but they say that the best things come in small packages and Costa Rica is proof in point. Bursting with stunning landscapes and natural beauty, Costa Rica is a sparkling Central American jewel waiting to be explored. You can drive from coast to coast in around 3 hours, but with so much to see en route you’ll be tempted to stop off around every corner!

2. Epic adventures

Costa Rica is known for its adventure activities and the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping. Bear Grylls’ recent TV show ‘Mission Survive’ was filmed in the incredible forests of Costa Rica, so the country even has the seal of approval from the ultimate adventure-seeker. From white water rafting to surfing, Costa Rica is bound to get your pulse racing – Ziplining in the cloud forests is an experience you’ll never forget!

3. Wildlife wow-factor

Costa Rica’s unspoilt natural landscape is a haven for a wealth of wonderful wildlife. Watch for the flash of colour as a toucan or macaw skims through the rainforest canopy, listen for the screech of a howler monkey, be mesmerised by beautiful butterflies, gaze at magical marine life or help protect the rare Sea Turtles who still nest on Costa Rica’s idyllic shores.

4. The great outdoors

Costa Rica is the perfect outdoor destination, bursting at the seams with natural beauty and amazing landscapes. With everything from mighty volcanoes to racing rivers, tumbling waterfalls to fertile forests and a staggering 20 National Parks in which to hike, including the spectacular Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica really is the ultimate outdoors-lover’s must-do destination.

5. Tropical treats

If you’re seeking sunshine in Central America, Costa Rica’s tropical climate makes this an ideal year-round destination. Maintaining a steady, warm temperature which rarely falls below 17°C, the best time to go is in the dry season which runs between December and April. Just imagine lying back with the sun on your skin…

6. Forest landscapes

Costa Rica is not only home to stunning rainforest regions, but it is known for its unusual cloud forests, whose unique ecosystems create habitats like no other on earth. The magical Monteverde Cloud Forest alone houses 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds, and 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles, including the astonishing quetzal bird. Bridge canopy walks and ziplining are just some of the awesome activities on offer in the cloud forests!

7. Beautiful beaches

Costa Rica’s beaches offer a slice of paradise, with gorgeous sands, swaying palm trees and crystal-clear waters. Boasting beaches on both the Caribbean Coast and along the shores of the Pacific, there are so many idyllic getaways to choose from you could beach-hop all year and still not see it all! Surfing is one of Costa Rica’s most popular pastimes, or you can snorkel and spot marine life or keep an eye out for Sea Turtles on hidden, unspoilt beaches – bliss

8. Eco-friendly heaven

As the only country in the world which meets all five environmental sustainability criteria, so far this year Costa Rica has lived off 100% renewable energy sources, making it light years ahead of most of the rest of the world when it comes to eco-friendly destinations. Costa Rica promotes sustainable tourism so you don’t even have to feel guilty about having a good time!

9. Spanish culture

Costa Rica’s Spanish colonial past makes for a fascinating cultural legacy, which can be traced in the colonial buildings of the capital city San José or the tasty Spanish-influenced cuisine. It’s a great location in which to learn Spanish and soak up some culture in the museums and galleries. Olé!

10. Get happy

A recent poll found that Costa Rica was one of the world’s happiest countries, and judging from the above list, it’s not hard to see why! With the highest quality living standards in Central America, friendly people and a country so peaceful it doesn’t even need armed forces, this is one laid-back place which gives off some seriously happy vibes. You’ll often hear Costa Ricans say ‘Pura Vida’, which means ‘pure life’ or ‘good life’, reflecting the country’s upbeat philosophy. If you want some of that happiness to rub off, Costa Rica will soon put a smile on your face!

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