In Picturesque Costa Rica, Combine Adventure and Leisure in a Tropical Paradise
Travel| | By Brad Kallet
The Spanish phrase, which translates to “pure life” in English, is what the locals say in Costa Rica when greeting someone, wishing someone farewell, … or just whenever they feel like it! The saying has become entrenched in the Central American country’s culture, and it’s a daily reminder that life is good, and it should be lived and celebrated to its fullest.
Costa Ricans aren’t the only ones who are saying Pura Vida these days, though. With its beautiful scenery, broad range of wildlife, proximity to exotic bodies of water, and high-quality accommodations, the rugged nation is bringing in tons of tourists from all corners of the globe.
If you’re looking for a combination of relaxation under the sun and exploration-filled adventures in a tropical climate, Costa Rica should be high on your travel list when considering your next vacation.
We recommend starting your trip in Guanacaste, a province in the northwestern part of the country. You can live like a king — stay in the Riu Palace or Secrets Papagayo, both four-star resorts, at a reasonable rate — and take advantage of the many beaches that straddle the Pacific Ocean. You can jet ski, snorkel, scuba dive, and dive in the warm waters off Playa Blanca, Playa Hermosa, Playa Tamarindo, Playa Naranjo, and Playa Negra, among countless others. Back on land, you’re sure to find capuchin monkeys, all kinds of colorful birds, turtles, and iguanas.
Love to surf? Get out the board and take on the waves at famous Witch’s Rock.
The Costa Rican landscape will leave your jaw dropping. The Cordillera de Guanacaste mountain range is breathtaking, and the Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park — there is no shortage of volcanoes — is truly a sight to behold.
Don’t forget to go on some excursions in Guanacaste’s dry tropical forest. (The rainforest, also a must-see, is a couple of hours away.) Zip line, pretend you’re Indiana Jones on the hanging bridges, fly down the 1,400-foot Buena Vista Water Slide — it’s both exhilarating and terrifying — go horseback riding, and then hop in the natural hot springs after dousing yourself in mud. (It feels amazing. Trust us.)
Tired of the outdoors and miss city life? Make the transition a gradual one by taking a 20-minute water taxi from the Riu Palace to Playas del Coco. This lovely little town right on the water is lined with souvenir shops, restaurants, and bars, and will give you an authentic feel of the Costa Rican culture and way of life. Need something bigger and livelier? Head to Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste, or make the four-hour trek to San José, the country’s capital and largest city.
Feeling even more adventurous? Nicaragua is just a three-hour drive north from the Riu Palace. But with all that Costa Rica has to offer, why would you want to leave?
Here are some more scintillating photos of Guanacaste that are sure to whet your appetite even more.
Have you been to Costa Rica? If so, let us know what your experience was like! If you’ve never been, we suggest carving out a week in the near future and planning the trip of a lifetime. Don’t forget to SHARE this post with all of your friends who love to travel!