Why Costa Rica?
If you haven’t already visited Costa Rica, then it’s a definite must-do for your bucket list. It’s a hidden oasis with an abundance of culture, colour, experience and wildlife. You can’t not fall in love. Covered in majestic volcanoes, misty cloud forests, stunning river valleys, and hundreds of beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, Costa Rica is more than a vacation destination; it’s an interactive sensory experience.
About Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located in Central America and is ranked as one of the most visited international destinations, which is really good for the country because tourism is its main source of income. It is a democratic and peaceful country, and has not had an army since the year 1949.
Regardless of the fact Costa Rica is small and covers only 0.03% of the surface of the globe, it proudly shelters 5% of the existing biodiversity in the entire world and 25.58% of the country is composed of conservation and natural protected territory.
Here are some things I did whilst in Costa Rica and that I think should definitely be on your ‘to-do list’ when you’re planning a visit!
White Water Rafting
If you dream about rafting on a wild tropical river with warm water, then the Pacuare is a dream come true! Rated one of the top rivers in the world, you’ll experience the intimate nature of the rainforest as you raft right through it on 19 miles of Class III-IV white water. The warm water, cascading waterfalls, and rich lush rainforest with its brilliantly colored plants, animals, and birds indulge your senses on every level.
Caribe Canyoning is a magical world! Rappel numerous waterfalls and multiple cliffs in Mother Nature’s tropical waterfall park, and keep your ears and eyes open as you might spot some on-lookers high above you in the trees in the form of tropical birds, monkeys and even a sloth or two! It will be an experience and an adrenaline rush like no other!
Visit the Sloth Sanctuary
The sanctuary rescue, rehabilitate and research sloths with the goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat. Those that cannot be released due to disability or lack of essential survival skills are provided with balanced nutrition, veterinary care, exercise, and socialization with other sloths. The sanctuary is 100% funded by proceeds from tours, the gift shop and generous donors around the world. You have the chance to meet the long-term residents that were rescued as orphans and who have grown up within the sanctuary. You can also meet the tiny newborns and experience a canoe around the sanctuary to see the sloths within their natural habitat.
Visit the Hot Springs
The Arenal Volcano was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, up until 2010 when it entered an indeterminate resting phase. Thanks to the Arenal Volcano’s geothermal activity, there is a number of natural hot springs throughout the area. These warm and soothing springs offer you a fantastic way of relaxing and winding down after a long day of exploring the country.
This well-run wildlife-rescue center in Playa Chiquita focuses mostly on raptors, sloths and monkeys. Founded by zoologist Encar and her partner Sandro, the center rehabilitates orphaned, injured and rescued animals for reintroduction into the wild whenever possible.
They also offer tours in 50 hectares of primary forest in the Gandoca-Manzanillo national wildlife refuge, where the rehabilitated animals are released.
The country is graced with an abundance of wildlife that you don’t have to go far too spot. Keep your eyes peeled and you’re guaranteed to see numerous species of both flora and fauna you’ve never encountered before.
River Twilight Safari
The transition from day to night in the tropical rainforest is a powerful shift and when most mammals become active. The Twilight Safari Float offers you a unique perspective as you meander along the Penas Blancas river accompanied by guides that help to identify the sounds and sights of the nocturnal rainforest. The view of the pitch-black night sky covered in stars, with absolutely no interruption from light pollution for miles is definitely a highlight. The guides will help you observe the habits of forest creatures such as Opossums, Sloths, Long-Nosed Bats, Howler Monkeys, Spectacled Owl, Caimens and birds such as the crowned-Night Heron. One of the most powerful things that you will encounter are the sounds that pulse all around you from the river banks to the tree tops above.
Zip Lining the Canopy
Zip-lining above the canopy is such an incredible way to view Costa Rica from above. It’s one of the country’s most popular and widespread activities. Composed of steel cables and platforms strung at various heights between trees in the rainforest, it offers a unique way of accessing beautiful and remote natural areas and views. As well as undoubtedly boosting your adrenaline, zip-lining also offers a way of educating you on ecology, botany, and reforestation practices and conservation.
Costa Rica is a trip like no other, and is certainly somewhere you must go at least once in your lifetime. If not only for discovering so much about the natural world and environment, it’s also an incredible place to relax on the long, remote golden sandy beaches and experience the buzzing and friendly atmosphere from the locals, who are incredibly welcoming and want you to experience their country and ways as much as you can.