How to Spend Your Time in Costa Rica – 5 Exciting Ways

how to spend your time in Costa Rica
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5 Exciting Ways to Spend Your Time in Costa Rica

Nestled peacefully in Central America (which, according to nationsOnline.org, is considered part of North America), is the beautiful and raw natural wonder of Costa Rica. Blessed with its many lush green rainforests and verdant natural beauty, Costa Rica is a country replete with some of the most stunning coastlines of the Caribbean and Pacific. It’s, in fact, endowed with miles and miles of soft and pristine sandy beaches. But that’s just not it – there’s beauty of every kind, and adventures of a wide variety. So that’s why this blog post exists. Inside all the beauty that is this place, we want to give you five exciting ways to spend your time in Costa Rica.

Why Visit Costa Rica?

why visit Costa Rica?
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There are quite a few reasons for you to visit Costa Rica.

Firstly, Costa Rica is known to be a tropical paradise that offers all visitors a deep sense of calmness and escape to connect with the many breathtakingly beautiful natural wonders of the region.

Those looking to explore the wild and adventurous outdoors with their friends, significant others or families find Costa Rica to be an ideal spot to run into the vast and wondrous jungles and protected areas which are brimming with rich biodiversity.

Play with cheeky spider monkeys and listen to the caroling cacophonies of numerous wild birds flying from branch to branch — Costa Rica has everything one would want to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday turmoil and settle into the placid and calm aura — strengthening their connection with the natural world. It’s also home to numerous volcanic sites which attract hordes of tourists from within the country and abroad, looking to marvel at the wondrous sight of dormant volcanoes and the might they possess.

Like someplace right out of a fairytale, the paradise waters and verdant green jungles of Costa Rica are a sight for anyone who visits this part of Central America. The perfect vacation destination, Costa Rica is blessed with flowing wonderful waterfalls and soft sandy beaches to spend the best time with family and loved ones.

If you are someone looking for a rich cultural experience, Costa Rica, specifically its capital city of San Jose, is home to some of the richest and diverse cultural wonders. You can see it in the Gold Museum which presents some of the most stunning artifacts and dynamic cultural offerings.

Those looking for the more touristy spots can get a taste of the rich and diverse Latin American culture as Costa Rica is like a melting pot waiting to be explored! A popular destination among backpackers and travelers, a trip to Costa Rica is bound to make you form some great and lovely friendships on the trail.

Dance to the beats of Reggae music on nightclub speakers or get a taste of the scrumptious and authentic (not to forget, super-cheap) street food, in Costa Rica you are bound to have the warmest and welcoming time. Travelers to Costa Rica can spend time in several water sports, surfing and letting their wild spirit loose, or just calmly spending an evening sunbathing and exercising in some peaceful yoga retreat for a good taste of the country’s natural wonders.

So whether it’s the thrill of kayaking in blue waters or discovering some isolated waterfall or the experience of discovering a rich and living Latin American culture, Costa Rica has something for everyone looking for a memorable and moving experience.

While Costa Rica is teeming with ways to let loose and have the time of your life, to inspire your next trip to this gem of land, we have put together a list of five of the most exciting ways to spend your time in Costa Rica. But before that, a quick section on when to visit and what to take along.

When to visit Costa Rica

time in Costa Rica
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Costa Rica’s tropical climate means there is a rainy season and dry season, however, the temperature is relatively warm all year round. Rains spatter the country from May to November, almost every day and therefore, visitors must be packed with the proper rainproof coats and clothes. Visitors to Costa Rica during the rainy season though will find most touristy popular spots empty and calm for some solo spirited time.

The dry season in Costa Rica runs from December through April, although it may still pour on some days. On sunny days, humidity levels fall and the weather is ideal for anyone looking to head out to the beach and take part in one of the many beach activities including kayaking, rafting, and exploring waterfalls. However, since most tourists frequent Costa Rica during these months, prices are at peak and hotel resorts are more expensive than usual. 

What to Bring with you to Costa Rica

Since Costa Rica is blessed with the glorious sun and heat most of the year, due to being a tropical country, sunscreen is a must to fight against the intense heat and sunlight here. While wide-brimmed hats and caps can work to minimize the effect of the sun on visitors, sunburns can best be prevented by a proper sunscreen for all those looking to explore the wild outdoors and beach areas of this tropical paradise. Since most travelers frequent the wild and rugged outdoors, rainforests, and rapids on mountainous terrains, It’s also essential to carry a set of insect repellants to fight against the bites of mosquitos and other bugs and insects. Since Zika is pretty common in these regions of the world, It’s important to carry repellants and always be aware of these obnoxious bites that can ruin your fun-filled trip.

Although beachgoers don’t forget to pack a pair of flip flops for the beach travelers and backpackers must not forget to carry proper sturdy footwear for exploring the rugged terrain of mountains and rainforests. Pairs of rugged-soled running shoes can be enough to wade through the swampy rainforests and marshes. 

With that being said, let’s look at our top 5 most exciting ways to spend your time in Costa Rica.

1.     Visit the Stunning Beaches of Costa Rica’s Coastline

beaches around Costa Rica
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The coastline of Costa Rica is flourishing with beautiful wildlife and stunning pristine beaches that are bound to make anyone want to stop and marvel at the glorious sunsets and sunrises it offers. The Caribbean coast is particularly known to be the best place to soak in the sun and enjoy the fun and thrill of snorkeling underwater, exploring the beautiful underwater realm teeming with rich biodiversity.

One of the finest spots to visit the Tortuguero National Park. It’s one of the most stunning spots where you can marvel at the natural wonders of Costa Rica and witness wondrous wildlife from monkeys and manatees to exotic birds and different species of turtles on the beach sands and beautiful mangroves and swamps lining the coastline.

Embrace the calming and cool beach vibes as you lay on the soft sand of the beach, lounging away your troubles and relaxing on the pristine carpet. Rest and relax in a picturesque setting which is full of numerous thrilling water sports for the more adventurous of travelers and backpackers and miles of soft sand and clear aquamarine waters to dive right into.

The Manzanillo Beach on the southern Caribbean coast is particularly famed for its stunning water sports from thrilling kayaking to fun-filled snorkeling teams. Costa Rica’s pacific coast is also notorious for being a home-spot for humpback whales who frequent the waters for 6 months every year from July to November and December to March.

Costa Rican beaches
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Sightings for whales are common and are a whole amazing experience for anyone looking for some thrill. Bottlenose and spotted dolphins are also common and greet visitors in the southern coastal area of Costa Rica. Surf the wild waves and take in the full experience of this tropical paradise as you let loose and fight the summer heat. Surfers and swimmers are warned though, It’s advisable to check the weather before visiting and whether the swimming conditions are welcoming or not. Fans of wildlife and marine life will find Costa Rica’s coastline to be a paradise of its own. The continental shelf of this country is laden with marine reserves that are dotted with rich birds and mammals, fish, and amphibians that are native only to these regions. For affordable prices, one can rent diving gear and equipment and take part in diving and snorkeling from numerous sites in the bay area.

beaches of Costa Rica
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Lavish resorts line diving sites and one can indulge in whatever luxury they yearn for. Newbies and novice divers can also partake in a course for certification which is present at most local resorts and diving sites. 

2.     Take Zipline Rides Through the Forests of Costa Rica 

Costa Rica Ziplining
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Costa Rica is also blessed with miles of stunning forest cover and fun-filled zip-line rides and activities are offered to all visitors to fully connect with the wildlife and rich biodiversity of the region.

The place has hundreds of aerial conveyances and zipline rides that offer inimitable views of the rainforests. These attractions include thrilling, fast zip-lines that reach up to 40 miles per hour and stretch miles like a natural amusement park ride. These are also complemented by ground-based zip-rails which spread across the rugged forests and allow visitors to explore the vast and verdant green landscape.

Costa Rica Zipline fun
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For those looking for an up-close and personal view of Costa Rican forests and topography, there are slower tree-to-tree ziplines that allow people to explore the many rich flora and fauna that the country has to offer. While costs vary from ride to ride, one of the most popular options Sky Trek costs $77 per adult (at the time of this writing).

Go Ziplining in Costa Rica
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Costa Rica’s highlands are also blessed with a swathe of Cloud Forests which are rich verdant lands that are dotted with hanging clouds in a dream-like setting. One of the most famous cloud forests, Monteverde Rainforest is endowed with various rich and diverse flora and fauna.

Take part in hiking with groups of adventurous travelers looking to experience the raw and untamed beauty of rainforests or take part in thrilling mile-long zipline rides through branches and tree covers. There are also numerous lodges near forest areas for all those looking for some peaceful and quiet break between the unfettered thrill of forest rides and views. Get the feeling of a soaring bird as you fly through the trees on the back of mechanical zip-lines. 

3.     Explore the Rich Culture of San Jose

the culture of Costa Rica
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Perhaps the one place where one can get the complete rich experience of the Costa Rican culture and lifestyle is the capital city of Costa Rica: San Jose. An easily accessible and conveniently located spot, San Jose is a rich amalgam of cultural museums, art spots, beautiful Latin architecture, and delicious cuisine.

Beautiful culture of Costa Rica
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Walk down the hub of the city, Central Avenue and you will be enveloped in the sheer excitement of the colorful crowds and street music. Take in the breezy warm summer air mixed with the scent of street-side food stalls as you hop on a rich cultural trip around the city, trailing shops, restaurants, bars, and museums teeming with color and culture.

beautiful culture
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Visit the stunning National Theater, the Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, or the Jade Museum, each one is blessed with a trove of treasures you can spend hours sifting through with your family and loved ones on a learning trip. The unique artifacts which are located in these museums as well as stunning art and architecture make San Jose the perfect spot for history and culture buffs.

Great experiences from your time in Costa Rica
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Those who are looking for some sightseeing and touristy adventures will have the time of their life as they hop through the city squares on food tours and day trips for exploration. If you are lucky enough, you might even be able to catch a local cultural festival which is complete with the best music, lighting, and fun-filled crowds roaring in the mix. 

Epic culture in Costa Rica
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4.     Soak in Hot Springs Around the Arenal Volcano Area

Arenal Volcano
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Resting in the northern regions of Costa Rica, the Arenal Volcano is one of the country’s most popular landmarks which stands tall at 1,633 meters and has been dormant since only 2010. The Arenal Volcano is accompanied by rich and natural beauty teeming with stunning flora and several fun-filled activities.

The town of La Fortuna nearby is also a popular spot for those looking to explore a charming church, central park and indulge in numerous food options before visiting the Arenal Volcano area. Another Costa Rican tourist attraction in the Arenal Volcano vicinity is the Venado Caves which are rife with beautiful limestone rock formations and tunnels that date back to 20 million years ago.

Best Arenal Volcano Hot Springs in Costa Rica
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The nearby Cano Negro National Wildlife Preserve is also replete with stunning swampy marshes and rivers that are full of wildlife and beautiful unique species. Due to the active volcanic area in Costa Rica, several hot springs are today one of the country’s most infamous attractions for tourists and locals alike. Tourists visiting the Arenal Volcano area can also take time to visit the hot natural springs that are around the La Fortuna area.

Arenal Volcano Hot Springs in Costa Rica
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One of the most famous springs includes the Tabacon Hot Springs which provide a stunning, warm escapade to all travelers and backpackers looking for some thrill and relaxation. Couples looking for some isolated spot can also frequent one of the many other springs in the area which are not crowded by tourists and locals. 

5.     Take Part in Wild Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica
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Costa Rica’s narrow mountainous terrain is blessed with numerous water springs and rivers. These wild rivers have given this tropical nation a reputation as a perfect spot for adventurous folk looking for some whitewater rafting and boating. Fans of water sports should frequent Costa Rica’s whitewater rivers immediately and fall in love with the stunning topography and thrilling adrenaline-inducing water sports.

Located near the beach area, Costa Rica’s exciting whitewater routes are also blessed with nearby spectacular springs and wonderful natural waterfalls. Those looking for a perfect experience must book a full-day or two-day tour that offers an immersive, fun-filled experience that ranges from $300 to $1500.

Fun Whitewater Rafting in Costa Rica
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Popular spots that are always swarming with tourists and locals looking to dive right into the fun include the Pacuare, Pejivalle, and Sarapiqui. Some numerous services and tours can be booked with top-notch guides escorting you to the river areas and provide gear and equipment.

Take part in the sheer thrill and adventure of Costa Rica’s white water rafting experiences. The stunning landscape of this tropical paradise is also brimming with beautiful waterfalls scattered across the mountains which are a marvel for anyone who visits. Couples, families, and friends can visit the isolated rapids and waterfalls and have the time of their life reconnecting with the natural landscape.

Pacuare Pejivalle Costa Rica Whitewater Rafting
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The Rio Celeste Waterfall and the Llanes De Cortes Waterfalls, both located in the Guanacaste region as well as the Central Pacific’s Bijagual Waterfall, and the Tacori Waterfalls are great spots for sightseers, adventurers, and swimmers looking for some calm spot. All waterfalls make for great day-trips. Visitors, however, are advised to take snacks from the local markets as these trips can be tiresome.

All in all, it’s safe to say showering and swimming in the cool and refreshing rapids, streams and waterfalls is an experience of a lifetime.

Conclusion

From a rich cultural hotpot capital city to miles and miles of soft sandy beaches replete with several thrilling water sports from surfing and snorkeling to canyoneering, Costa Rica is heaven perfect for all those looking for a break in life. Spend time exploring the rich rainforests or relax by the sandy beach and hot springs near an iconic active volcano, Costa Rica will not disappoint. So what are you waiting for? Pack your essentials and head out soon to have a vacation you will never forget.

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