There are many reasons why You’ll want to visit Costa Rica. First of all, for the Pura Vida, the philosophy of light and carefree living that has made the ticos one of the happiest people in the world.
Another important factor is certainly the attention to the environment and the profound respect for Nature that characterizes this corner of the world surrounded by greenery.
There is also a reason closely related to the trip: although relatively small, this nation is very rich in diversity. Its coasts are bathed by two oceans.
There are different climatic zones and you go from volcanoes to jungle, from endless beaches on the Pacific to coves on the Caribbean coast, from murals and crowded neighborhoods of the capital to mountain towns.
Costa Rica is a very wild country and for some experiences it is almost impossible not to join a tour. The problem is that many of these are really expensive. Where and how to book them, then? We recommend people found the best rates by searching on the net.
It is very convenient because you can book the ticket for your excursions directly online, at the best price, but you are still entrusted to a local guide, thus favoring the local economy.
We also recommend to the Airbnb places, this experience is perfect for living authentic experiences with the locals such as cooking classes to discover all the secrets of a perfect cascades or a gallo pinto . So, you can discover the perfect cooking of plantain, a banana-like fruit that, once cooked, becomes irresistible.
Well, but Let’s start with some stops you must do:
1st stop: Tamarindo
The first stop you shoud do is in Tamarindo. It will take you more than five hours to get there from Santa Teresa, if you choosing not to travel along the coast precisely because the road is at the limit of impracticability especially when it rains.
To be able to drive on the asphalt it is necessary to go towards the hinterland of the Nicoya peninsula, until you reach Puntarenas. From here you go up towards Pueblo Viejo di Nicoya, where you take the road that leads back to the coast and then to Tamarindo.
It is a very touristic place but some travelers say it has about breathtaking sunsets. Both are true: Tamarindo is full of people who come to Costa Rica just to relax and there is very little authentic left in this area. It feels like being in a small Cancun.
However, at the same time, it makes sense to visit it if you are a lover of fiery sunsets, because the beach offers truly unforgettable views. It is also a great spot for surfing and diving enthusiasts. And parties too.
2nd stop: Monteverde
Stopping in Tamarindo at least a couple of nights, then explore a very fascinating area of Costa Rica: The Arenal. It is an area in the heart of the country, consisting of a volcano and a lake bearing the same name. There are several interesting locations in this area, one of which is certainly Monteverde
It is a mountain village more very high, where you can put your flip flops back in your backpack and take out your hiking shoes.
To get there from Tamarindo you have to drive if you have a rental car for about five hours, making the last leg completely uphill. It is a spectacular road, which offers extraordinary views across the valley.
Monteverde seems to have ended up in another country: dense thicket and many views completely dominated by Nature. Monteverde is famous for trekking and for its nature reserves, where it is possible to admire protected flora and fauna.
For those looking for a free activity, there is a beautiful fig tree reachable via a side road that starts from the Cloud Forest Lodge car park, whose roots have created some truly spectacular plots.
You can climb through the cracks inside the trunk, and it is an experience that reconnects you deeply with Nature.
Those who want to get away from the heat of the beaches and take long walks in the midst of the greenery and cool of the mountains, cannot miss a visit to Monteverde.
3rd stage: La Fortuna
After Monteverde you must go towards La Fortuna. To get there, you go down the mountain and drive along part of the perimeter of Lake Arenal, another place that does not seem to belong to “postcard” Costa Rica given the presence of German chalets and pastry shops.
In this place you will enjoy a very quiet atmosphere, ideal for those who love camping in the silence of Nature.
La Fortuna is known for the Arenal Volcano. There is a beautiful legend that several local people explain: apparently the name derives from the last time there was a strong eruption.
It is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Costa Rica. There is a magical atmosphere and there are unique vibes. Not only because waking up to the sight of this wonderful volcano leaves you speechless, but also because from here it is possible to leave for a series of truly exciting treks.
I certainly recommend taking a walking tour to visit the waterfall immersed in the jungle (impressive, really worth a visit) and the suspension bridge in the heart of the vegetation.
Another important recommendation is using any Costa Rica Tourist Guide or you can also use some tourism site to find the right tour, because here are the cheapest prices and tons of experiences to choose from. There is also a trek directly to the volcano.
La Fortuna is also known for its thermal waters. There are numerous luxury resorts that have spas on their property but there are also free spas. It is something very rare in Costa Rica, and in fact they are not exactly free.
4th stop: Puerto Viejo
After La Fortuna it is time to reach the other coast of Costa Rica. And it is Puerto Viejo, it is a place where you can see the sea and feel asleep listening to the sound of the waves.
Costa Rica has a huge Jamaican and for that reason it has a pleasant effect on both the live music such as reggae cultural phenomenon and the cuisine, the main ingredient of which is coconut milk.
In addition to visiting the restaurants and craft shops, we certainly recommend renting a bike and going beach hunting.
If you’re continuing north you’ll reach Punta Uva, it is a beach where you can surf but also swim without running the risk of being overwhelmed by the waves.
This place is the ideal to have a beer and meet new people. For those looking for a more peaceful and Caribbean atmosphere, I recommend Playa Cloches, with the blue sea and without surfers.
Very scenic Playa Negra, a wild beach with black sand located just before entering the center of Puerto Viejo. Well, we’re sure you’re gonna love the trip because Costa Rica is absolutely an amazing country to visit.