Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the ultimate playground for world travelers. A safe and breathtakingly beautiful country, there’s no wonder it’s on every traveler’s bucket list. Whether you’re an experienced explorer or looking to make your first family trip abroad, Costa Rica should be the first place on your list. The reasons why are endless, but here are my top 10.

What’s so special about Costa Rica?

Reason #1 – The Biodiversity

Costa Rica is a biodiversity hotspot. From end to end, Costa Rica is only about as big as West Virginia. But despite its small size, this tiny country contains 6% of the world’s biodiversity! This largely has to do with the diverse terrains found in Costa Rica–mountains, rainforests, wetlands, arid plains, and beaches.

Costa Rica has all the best makings for a perfect destination, especially if you’re an animal lover or traveling with kids. The kinds of animals we only ever get a glimpse at in the zoo, live free in the oceans, rivers, and rainforests of Costa Rica. In just one trip I spotted toucans, a pair of macaws, sloths, hummingbirds, butterflies, a variety of monkeys, and crocodiles… all in their natural habitats!

If you aren’t lucky enough to see these animals in their natural habitat, there are plenty of opportunities to see these animals in the animal sanctuaries scattered throughout Costa Rica. And the very best part? Since these places take in animals that couldn’t have survived in the wild, you don’t need to go against your ethics to experience all the biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer.

Reason #2 – Costa Rica’s Historical Achievements

What draws most people to Costa Rica is the white sand beaches, active volcanoes and turquoise rivers, but it also has a lot of history that makes it unique!

  • Long-standing democracy – Costa Rica has one of the longest standing democracies in Latin America. It first established its democracy in 1869. Today, Costa Rica is still free of the dictatorships and corruption that plague many other countries in Latin America. It is a independent and liberated country, devoted to its citizen’s happiness and its tourists’ safety.
  • Green leader of the world – Costa Rica also is a global leader in sustainable living and the green revolution. 93% of the electricity in CR comes from renewable resources. In fact, in 2017 it broke its own record of running entirely on renewable energy for 300 days straight! It is a world leader in sustainable traveling, with 25% of its land devoted to protected by the National System of Conservation Areas.
  • No military – Costa Rica will be celebrating 72 years without an army this year. It is one of the only democracies that does not have its own military. Costa Rica opts for its people’s social and educational growth over building its military presence in the world. 

Costa Rica is continuing to make history today!

REASON #3 – the Authentic Culture

When you think about Latin America, Costa Rica might not be one of the first countries that come to mind. It has evaded so many of the political and economical struggles that have affected so many Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America. But in reality, Costa Rica is an authentic Latin American country!

In just one country you can experience the authentic Latin America culture, the vivacious colors and strength of Central America, and the easy-going charm of the Caribbean!

If you’ve every been interested in taking Latin dance classes, Costa Rica is the perfect destination. What better place to learn bachata, merengue, cumbia, and salsa?

Why is Costa Rica a good place to visit?

Reason #4 – Costa Rica’s Friendly and Safe Environment

Although it’s always necessary to take certain precautions when traveling, Costa Rica is a great destination for family vacations and group travel. If you are looking to backpack alone, there are plenty of awesome hostels that serve as the perfect spot to meet spontaneous travel buddies.

In recent years, however, Costa Rica has experienced more crime. But since this is a country that relies heavily on tourism, the government is continuously working to ensure traveler’s safety and wellbeing, especially in the most frequented tourist locations. In fact, Costa Rica actually has its own police force devoted to keeping tourists safe.

As far as the Costa Rican locals, ticos are also known for their friendliness. Generally, Costa Ricans are eager to help and form relationships. In my own personal experiences, I’ve always felt safe, secure, and welcomed in Costa Rica.

Reason #5 – How easy it is to travel!

Some of my favorite photos are the ones I’ve taken from a bus window. The schedules are easy to follow and the rides are relaxing, letting me sit back and enjoy the landscapes of this country.

In addition to the fact that Costa Rica is just a 90 minute flight from Florida, the small size of Costa Rica is a huge advantage for travelers. All of this country’s amazing diversity is packed in one easy-to-travel country!

When traveling, I almost exclusively use public transportation. Buses are easy to navigate and widespread, with multiple bus stations all over the capital city of San José. Renting a car and driving in Costa Rica is also fairly simple. Americans will find that their driving experience translates much better to Costa Rican roads than it might in Europe or other countries in different parts of the world.

If you do rent a car, Cost Rica is small enough that you can see the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean and then catch the sunset over the Caribbean. That experience is still on my bucket list!

Reason #6 – The Nature of Costa Rica

As mentioned above, Costa Rica is about the size of the state of West Virginia. But this tiny country is a nature-rich wonderland! It is home to 6 active volcanoes, a plethora of pristine beaches, breathtaking national parks, and over 500,000 different species of animals. 

These national parks are frequented by Costa Rica natives and world travelers alike. A quarter of Costa Rica’s territory is devoted to these reserves, which allow you to explore and interact with this country’s many natural wonders for a small fee.

Whether you’re looking to veg on the beach, zip-line between two mountains, or peek into the mouth of a volcano, Costa Rica has something for everyone.

Why should you travel to Costa Rica?

Reason #7 – Costa Rica is one of the BEST places to learn Spanish

If you are looking to learn Spanish, an extended stay Costa Rica should be at the top of your wishlist. 

Costa Rican Spanish is one of the easiest dialects to understand. Unlike many Latin American countries, there are no odd pronunciation flukes. It is said that Costa Rican Spanish is one of the truest forms of Spanish.

Costa Rica is also noted as one of the best places to learn Spanish because of the diverse study abroad programs in Costa Rican universities. There are numerous language schools scattered across the country that specialize in teaching at your specific language level. As you might expect with the carefree and happy culture of Costa Rica, ticos are generally eager to help, which means that you will meet plenty of local language buddies. Being such a safe and friendly country, it’s easy to go out and practice the language with the locals.

Reason #8 – The Costa Rican Cuisine

Credit to Como En Mi Casa Artcafe of Puerto Viejo in Limón, Costa Rica

Costa Rican cuisine is its entirely own. It’s a common misconception that cuisine is spicy, like we would find in Mexico. Instead its known for being fairly mild, with a dedication to freshness.

Homegrown Costa Rican coffee, fried plantains, and rice and beans are staples in the Costa Rican cuisine. Although these foods might strike you as plain at first read, don’t knock it until you try it! The diverse flavors found in this country are incorporated into every Costa Rican dish.

Fresh fruit is also incredibly important to the Costa Rican diet. There are fruits of every shape, size, and color that would never make it to our supermarkets. Each time I visit I make a point to try at least five new fruits!

Reason #9 – Luxury & Adventure—Costa Rica has the best of both worlds

Costa Rica is one of the only destinations that is equally sought out by adventure seekers and luxury resort goers.

If you’re looking for some thrill on your trip abroad, look no further! There are plenty of outdoor adventures to be had in the land of pura vida. Whitewater rafting, tubing, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, surfing, and even zip-lining between two mountains are just a few of the activities that you can cross off your bucket list while in Costa Rica. There are also plenty of awesome spots to go swimming and hiking. If you’re into mountain biking, this sport is becoming extremely popular all over Costa Rica and the trails are endless.

But don’t let the ruggedness of these activities scare you away if a luxurious spa getaway is more your speed. The exquisite beaches, lush rainforests, and natural hot springs of Costa Rica create the perfect backdrop for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Beach resorts can be found all over the country, offering first-class accommodations and quick access to the pristine beaches. The towns surrounding Volcán Arenal are also home to a smattering of luxury resorts and spas.

Reason #10 – To experience the pura vida lifestyle for yourself.

“Pura vida” is synonymous with hello, goodbye, life is good, cool, perfect… It is the only phrase I’ve heard of that can be used in just about any conversation. It also has a truly beautiful depth to it. Just these two words are meant to remind us that life is a gift and that each moment should be treasured.

Costa Rica invented this phrase and it has since become its mantra. No wonder Costa Rica continuously ranks as one of the happiest countries on Earth!

The last and lovliest reason to travel to Costa Rica is to experience the pura vida culture for yourself. This sweet, newfound appreciation for life will go far beyond your trip, refreshing your outlook and love of life.

Ready to book your flight to Costa Rica but not sure where to go?

Check out the top 10 places to visit in Costa Rica.

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