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Travel Guide: Costa Rica

Written by ViewTraveling

Want a vacation where you can watch sunsets on gorgeous beaches, hike through cloud forests and climb active volcanoes? Pack your bags and head to Costa Rica, a prime Eco Tourism destination in Central America. Go surfing, snorkeling or sea kayaking along 800 miles of shoreline on the Caribbean and the Pacific. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for exotic wildlife while you’re in the lap of nature in Costa Rica.

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Stay

Costa Rica offers a wide array of options for accommodation. Stay anywhere like eco-lodges, luxury spas and resorts, yoga retreats, cabinas, forest lodges, beach bungalows or even treehouses, depending on your budget and interests. Stay at Finca Rosa Blanca Country Inn that gives hiking tours of its farm. If you want to take a hike along lava trails stay at the Arenal Observatory Lodge located only 1.7 miles away from an active volcano of Costa Rica.

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Get Around

Private and shared shuttles are a good way to travel around the city. Flag a cab from Juan Santamaria International Airport to get to San Jose. If you’re staying in Guanacaste or Nicoya Peninsula, get a taxi from Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport. Public transportation is a breeze and the bus system consists of both private coach operators and the local public bus. Trains are almost non-existent, so just hop onto a bus and take a tour of cities. Driving by yourself isn’t highly recommended as navigating some roads are tricky.

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Cities

  • San Jose: Costa Rica’s capital will be your central base of operations for exploring the beaches and rainforests. Visit Jade Museum and Pre-Columbian Gold Museumto brush up on Central American history. Head to Escazu, 3.5 miles away for its sophisticated restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
  • Alajuela: Also known as the City of Mangoes, Alajuela is a cultural center and serves as a base for exotic locales close-by. Pay a visit to the Juan Santamaria Historical Museumand Zoo Ave in nearby La Garita or the Butterfly Farm in La Guacima. From Alajuela, head to Arenal Volcano (61 miles), Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve (87 miles) and Carara National Park.

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Activities

  • Pack your sunscreen and head to one of Costa Rica’s many beaches like Dominical, Corcovado, Montezuma or Jaco for some sun and surf.
  • Go white water rafting on the Sarapiquiand Toro
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, go scuba diving at Gulf de Papagayo and Cocos island.
  • Wind surf in Tilaran and take the world famous canopy tours using zip-lines.
  • Visit Tortuguero National Park at night to watch turtles laying their eggs on the beach.
  • Feel at one with nature at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
  • Observe wildlife at Monteverde, Tortuguero and Corcovado National Park.
  • Relax and forget your worries at the hippie backpacker town of Santa Theresa.

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Food & Drink

The most common Costa Rican dish is Casado, which has beans, rice, onions, plantain and a choice of meat between chicken, fish and pork. Don’t forget to try Ceviche and Gallo Pinto as well. Tamales, Empanadas and other Caribbean dishes are also widely available. Guaro is a popular local liquor made from sugarcane and Costa Rica’s rum, Ron Centenario can be found anywhere.

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