Why Costa Rica is on my Bucket List
When I set out to travel 5 years ago I wanted to explore the whole world. I fell in love with India and Asia but still dream of traveling Latin America and Costa Rica is high up on my bucket list.
The beautiful tropical country is a place well worth having on any list of must visit destinations. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, one can only imagine the endless array of possibilities that Costa Rica has to offer.
Its diverse culture, amazing biodiversity, magnificent landscapes and stunning beaches, combined with its numerous adventure activities attract nearly 3 million visitors each year.
Here are 4 reasons why Costa Rica is on my bucket list:
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1. The pristine beaches
There are close to 300 beaches along Costa Rica’s 1,290 kilometres of coastline, each of which has something spectacular to offer. There are white, black and brown sandy beaches, with crystal blue water to match.
In Costa Rica you can find beachfront accommodation to suit all budgets, from basic backpacker beach huts and hostels to stunning luxury Costa Rica beachfront rental villas.
One of the best of the bunch is Mal Pais, which, along with neighbouring Santa Teresa, has often been voted as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. It is where the rich and the famous own homes and where A-listers tend to holiday.
Jacó is known to be the party beach and for its fantastic amateur surfing. It is home to numerous surfing schools, as well a large selection of bars. But it’s the black sand that is most fascinating about this beach, and why it is at the top of my list of beaches to visit in Costa Rica. Then there is the tranquil Playa Blanca that is known for its beauty. It is a small beach that boasts soft, white sand and a clear blue sea.
2. The amazing nature, wildlife and biodiversity
Costa Rica is a place of extraordinary biodiversity and was even named as the winner of the Future Policy award in a global biodiversity summit in Nagoya, Japan. In fact, Costa Rica is home to 5 per cent of the earth’s biodiversity. The country has 29 national parks, 19 wildlife refuges, 8 biological reserves and numerous other magnificent protected areas. There are around 13,000 plant species, 1,200 butterfly species, 8,000 species of moths, 1,600 species of fish, over 850 types of birds and at least 200 types of reptiles all living together in different habitats, not to mention the plethora of mammals and insects.
There are so many different amazing landscapes to see and life living within each of them. A few musts on my list are the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas for its giant leatherback sea turtles, La Amistad International Park for its big cats and amazing amount of birds, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for the plethora of plants and wildlife that call the reserve home. Ecotourism is massive here, and there are plenty of tour companies that can organise a day or two enjoying all of its diversity. As well, the more luxury hotels offer customised, private tours that are well worth splurging for.
3. The tranquil yoga retreats
If, like me, you dream of doing yoga in a tropical paradise complete with all of the luxuries you can ever imagine, then you will know why Costa Rica is on my bucket list. There are luxurious yoga retreats on the beach, on hillsides and in the mountains, all of which create a tranquil environment to not only practice yoga, but also to be truly pampered.
One of the top yoga retreats in the country is Anamaya Yoga Retreat, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the town of Montezuma. Anamaya, which in Sanskrit means good health, features a large yoga platform with magnificent views and often brings in big name yoga teachers from around the world. There is also the Blue Osa Retreat & Spa Beach Resort that sits just 50 metres away from the beach. They offer numerous yoga retreat packages, including one that includes daily yoga and a daily spa treatment. There are also plenty more to choose from.
4. The adventure activities
There are so many different activities to enjoy in Costa Rica that the adventure could possibly never end. Rafting is just one of these things, which seems to be endless given that the country has more rivers per square kilometre than anywhere else on the planet!
The Arenal Volcano area is one of the most popular spots, as is the Guanacaste area. Surfing is also massive in Costa Rica, with some main hot spots being Montezuma, Dominical and Tamarindo.
The adventurist that would prefer to get their adrenaline pumping on land should not miss the chance to go on a volcano tour. Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park is one of the top spots for this, what with its hot springs, canopy tours, mud baths and volcanoes.
Costa Rica also has some great surf spots, as the water is warm all year round Costa Rica is famous as a destination for surfers. Some of the best places to surf in Costa Rica include, Playa Avellana (also known as ‘little Hawaii.) Playa Negra and the small fishing town of Tamarindo. Costa Rica is heaven for expereinced surfers who can find incredible offshore waves that can reach up to 18 feet!
There are also a few superb golf courses, particularly in the Guanacaste region, and you can also go rock-climbing, horseback riding and zip lining. The possibilities really are endless. This is why I can’t wait to visit Costa Rica.