Me in a bright orange dress

Costa Rica

Albino FrogI loved the diversity of Costa Rica when I traveled there.  In just two weeks I got to have so many different kinds of experiences and see so many different types of things.  I  got to relax on a deserted beach that was on the edge of a rainforest.  Truly there was nothing like lying on the beach and having scarlet macaws fly over and monkeys playing in the trees behind me.  Hiking through the rainforest was breathtaking with its huge blue butterflies flying by, poison dart frogs, bats, anteaters, sloths, and the unusual coati, which was an animal I didn’t even know existed before my Costa Rican trip.  The Caribbean side was a completely different feeling with a very slow vibe.  Helping a sloth cross the road was one of the highlights here along with long bicycle trips to explore the different beaches.  Arenal with its volcano was also a great place to visit.  The hot springs in the area were a perfect way to unwind from the long hiking trips.  I also enjoyed the city of San Jose with its many different styles of architecture. It was also a great people watching city with its many outdoor parks and activities going on.
The main thing to realize when planning your trip is that even though Costa Rica looks like a small country, it does take much longer than you will think to get from place to place.  The roads are very bad.  On my trip, I decided I didn’t want to deal with driving, so I took either the public bus or Interbus, the shared transfer system, and was very glad not to have to deal with the other drivers on the road.
The food of Costa Rica wasn’t my favorite, as I found much of it bland and unexciting.  There were a few good restaurants to recommend though, and you can find these on the Food section of this site.  Pura Vida!

For more about other destinations in Costa Rica check out my guide to the Osa Peninsula, my guide to Puerto Viejo, and my guide to Arenal and La Fortuna.