10 Reasons I Love Costa Rica

I’ve compiled a list of ten reasons why you should want to visit Costa Rica.  Let me share them with you.

  1. If you’ve got AAdvantage miles it will only cost you 30,000 per person if you choose the Mile SAAver option.  This is totally reasonable to find flights on this option as long as you plan far enough in advance.  I know that my most recent trip to Costa Rica only cost me 20,000 AAdvantage miles, but you can read more about that in a post from the past. This is great because it only costs you 5,000 more than taking a trip inside the US.  Lets be honest; I have a world wanderlust, not so much as US wanderlust.
  2. The Food:  Gallo pinto for breakfast is an amazing option.

    Gallo Pinto with Scrambled Eggs

    Somehow they cook rice and beans together mixed with the Costa Rican favorite Salsa Lizano.  This blend of flavors is accompanied by fried eggs, or other side dishes as well.  One plate of this stuff will have you coming back for more.  Try having home made pizza with fresh cut pineapple.  Going to Pizza Hut will never be the same when you order a Hawaiian pizza.  My wife couldn’t resist eating the

    Casado with Tilapia

    pizza.  Everywhere we went she was trying to get me to order the pizza and share it with her.  It was great.  The Casado is the Costa Rican staple for breakfast and dinner.  It is your choice of beef, chicken, pork, or fish accompanied with rice, beans, salad, and fried plantains (really good).  You can get these in any restaurant.

  3. Fresh Fruit: Everywhere you go in Costa Rica you can see people growing all types of fruits.  My wife and I love fresh fruit, and Costa Rica is the destination that will satisfy your taste buds.  On our most recent trip we bought strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, oranges, and bananas.  The Mangoes were absolutely amazing.  Luckily the man selling them on the side of the road instructed us on how to cut them.  We had been buying them for a couple of years, but never knowing how to eat them.  I’ll have to do a drawing sometime to show everyone the secret.
  4. Low Costs:  Costa Rica is a very affordable destination.  Keep it mind that it isn’t the cheapest place that I’ve ever gone, but it isn’t too expensive either.  I usually spend about $4-5 per plate at a meal.  That is great especially considering that the food is prepared for you and is much healthier than McD’s.  Our hotels were all very affordable as well.  They have very large ranges, but you can usually get a hotel room that has air conditioning for under $60.  Sometimes you might only pay $20.  Just look around.
  5. The Beach:  The whole Pacific coast is amazing.  I know that lots of tourists use these beach towns for prostitution and other bad things, but if you get out of the towns and see some of the more secluded beaches you can see some amazing places.  Manuel Antonio is a national park and it is absolutely beautiful, but it isn’t the only beautiful beach in the country.  Ask around and we would be more than happy to share some amazing spots with you.
  6. The Volcanoes– Volcan Poas, Volcan Arenal, and many more are not too far from San Jose, and they are absolutely amazing.  I believe that both of the volcanoes are active and you can actually see lava coming out of Arenal during most months out of the year.  When you are lucky enough to have the clouds move from the top you might be able to see the smoke billowing out of the top.  I know that my parents were staying at a hotel at the base of the hotel and when my mom awoke in the middle of the night they saw orange lava pouring down the side of the mountain.  They snapped a sweet photo for a good memory.
  7. The Mountains:  The country albeit small, is filled with volcanoes and mountains.  Driving and seeing the countryside is breathtaking.  You drive from the high  mountains, to the low valleys time and time again.  They are working hard to upgrade their mediocre roads to some serious highways.  There are advantages to both, so I recommend both.  Driving from La Fortuna down to San Ramon had some amazing miradores (lookout points).  It also takes you over some cool bridges and through some small towns.
  8. The People:  One thing that I loved about Costa Rica, which was totally different than the Caribbean is the people.  I feel like they are a very friendly people, who really want you to have a good time visiting their country.  The people in the Caribbean seem to just want your money.  I also felt like the Costa Ricans were really industrious.  They were growing fruits and plants in the mountains and on the plains.  They cultivate all types of fruits and vegetables, and totally take care of their land.  Pura Vida is a very common saying down there, which translates to “Pure Life.”  After any transaction or walking in the street people will say “Pura Vida.”
  9. Waterfalls:Almost Paradise.  There are many waterfalls all across the country.  The two favorite ones that I’ve visited are the Nauyaca waterfall and the La

    La Fortuna

    Fortuna waterfall.  Both of them allow you to swim in the water right below the waterfall, which is really recommended.  The fresh water feels rather cool and refreshing after spending most of your day in the sun.  They both also require  quite a hike to arrive, so the water feels even better once you’ve achieved your destination.  They charge you a couple of bucks to see each of them, but the Colones are well spent.  I know that they have other waterfalls too, but these are the two that I’m most familiar with.  I recommend both of them to anyone.

  10. Wildlife:  This place is stocked with all types of wildlife.  We visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and it felt like you were at a zoo, but at the animals’ natural habitat.  Seeing a Jaguar in the jungle is different than seeing one at your local zoo. They have an aviary, butterfly garden, monkey, snakes, jaguars, frogs, hummingbirds, and tons of other animals too.  They even let me feed a Tucan some fresh fruit from my own hand.  Many people visit Costa Rica just to do birdwatching.  I commend these people and I’m sure that they see some amazing birds, but I just pay a few bucks to see them in an aviary instead.

I’ve been to 24 countries and there are very few that I have visited more than once.  Usually my thoughts tell me that I shouldn’t be going to the same place more than once until I’ve traveled a great percentage of the world.  Sometimes I give in to my world wanderlust and I visit a country more than once.  Costa Rica is one of the countries that I’ve visited twice, and I’d even consider traveling there again.

Wanderlust in Costa Rica with us.

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