Where the joy for life never ends
Nestled between the rugged coastline of the Pacific Ocean and the relaxed, laid back atmosphere of the Caribbean sea, Costa Rica combines the best of both worlds. This Central American country is a promised land for everyone. Whether you’re a restless adventure seeker or are just looking for a place to relax and enjoy life, you’ve come to the right place. The country’s breathtaking scenery is purely magical. The Caribbean part is a bit rough around the edges but stunningly beautiful. It’s not as expensive as the Pacific part, so it’s great for backpackers and all who love raw, untamed wildlife. The coasts of the Pacific Ocean are diverse and a tad more touristy. What they both have in common is an abundance of raw, untouched nature. From the lush, pristine rainforests, national parks to the wonderful beaches, this country will have you crave for more of its “pura vida”. Costa Rica is also extremely eco-friendly and progressive when it comes to protecting its biggest treasure – its iconic wildlife and incredible fauna. The following comprehensive guide will reveal you some of the must see and do things and help you experience the Costa Rican “pure life” to the fullest.
What to see and do in Costa Rica
Enjoy the wilderness
..of the virgin rainforests and national parks. Costa Rica’s nature is so rich and diverse it will keep you busy for days! From the Tortuguero National Park, you can reach only by water or air to the Manuel Antonio National Park, Marino Ballena National Park on the South Pacific Coast and the unique Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica’s home to many wonderful parks.
Get your coffee fix
The country is known for its distinctive, top-quality coffee. That’s why all the coffee addicts should visit one of the many plantations and learn all about the process of making coffee (and sample it). You can buy it at lower prices and take the delicious brew back home with you.
..and experience the beauty of the land beneath you with canopies, zip-lines, and a stroll over The Rainmaker Aerial Walkway. Or go underground and visit Venado Caves. It’s located only an hour from La Fortuna and features spectacular scenes of the limestones.
Surfing Costa Rica
Some of the best waves hit the coast of Costa Rica so why not take this opportunity and learn how to ride them? There are many places offering classes- Puerto Viejo, Cahuita, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Santa Theresa, or Tamarindo being one of them.
Help the animals & the planet
Since the country is so devoted to ecotourism, why not join one of the many sanctuaries and lend a helping hand? You’ll get to work with beautiful and diverse Costa Rican wildlife and help protect it.
Staying in a hostel dorm room isn’t expensive. You can get it from 10- 18$ per night. Not only that a lot of hostels also serve free breakfast and provide you free internet access. If you prefer a hotel stay, you can find good value hotels from 30$ per night for a double room. From here, the sky is the limit. Costa Rica is full of high-end, luxurious resorts where you will be pampered 24/7, but this, of course, comes with a price.
Another option is Airbnb. Sharing the apartment costs roughly 27$ per night. If you want to the entire accommodation for yourself, expect to pay approximately 45$ per night. If you prefer to sleep underneath the stars, camping is a budget-friendly alternative, with prices starting around 10$ per night, but can double if you choose to stay in national parks.
Food and drinks
Food is ridiculously cheap at local restaurants, and a meal will cost you anywhere between 1 and 3$, especially if you choose to eat at sodas, small, family restaurants. Eating at tourist-oriented places will naturally cost more, but still, shouldn’t break your budget. Prices at such restaurants begin at 7$, and you can enjoy a lovely meal in a touristy area for around 16$. Quick snacks can cost as low as 0,50$. Fast food meals cost around 8$.
While most locals don’t have any problems drinking the tap water, some tourists and visitors can have a different experience. Still, generally, the water should be perfectly safe to drink. If have any concerns, stick to bottled water or ask to make sure. An average price for bottled water is around 2$. A cappuccino costs around 2,40$ and sodas cost roughly 1.50$. You can enjoy a cup of domestic beer for around 2$, and around 3,20$ for the imported. Alcohol is quite expensive in general. Alcohol is quite expensive in general. If you feel you can’t survive without your shot of tequila, you better buy up at the duty-free shops where you can get alcohol for half the price.
Traveling around the country won’t cost you much as the public transportation is inexpensive. A short trip with bus costs less than 4$, while you’ll pay around 10$ for a longer trip. You can also choose one of the many private coach operators who will take you directly from one city to another, stopping at the landmarks. Naturally, you’ll have to reach deeper into your pocket if this is your preferred means of transport. Flights tend to eat well into the budget, although you can find some good deals sometimes. Don’t count on traveling by train as there aren’t many.
How much money you’ll spend on sights and activities, depends on what you choose to see and do. An average price for the national park’s fee is around 10$. Different day tours and trips begin at 42$. You can learn how to surf for 20$ per hour, and go diving for 57-95$. If you’re still in college, don’t forget to bring your student ID as you’ll get a discount.