In 2007, I
took my first international trip to Costa Rica and fell in love, not
only with the country, but the adventure of traveling itself. I started
C'est La Vie a few months after that trip so it was never documented on
this blog, but I've always wanted to share the attractiveness of the
country as it still sits as one of my Top 5 Countries. Lucky enough,
Devon DeMars of There D Goes, just came back from the land of "Pura Vida" and I couldn't agree more with her list of things to do. Enjoy!
Planning for (or daydreaming about) a trip to Costa Rica?
It’s a popular destination for those looking for adventure and leisure alike,
but there are some definite “must-do’s” when going to this Central American
1) Go ziplining
You’ve probably heard about this before, as
it is a popular activity in Costa Rica. There are several different zipline
companies in different areas of the country, but one fun place to do it is in
Monteverde where you will be able to glide down several different ziplines over
the lush cloud forest. One zipline company I recommend is Costa Rica Sky
Snapped a picture of my mom’s nervous smile
before our first zipline!
2) Grab some coconut water
Costa Rica can be warm and humid, and
you’ll want to stay hydrated, so do it with one of the freshest and healthiest
drinks available – a coconut! They are inexpensive and easy to find, generally at
a stand on the side of the road, where the merchant will machete chop it open
for you then and there. So refreshing!
3) Explore the cloud forest
The Costa Rican cloud forest is famous for
its numerous flora & fauna species. It’s best to explore with a guide who
can point out all the interesting plant and animal life that you might not have
noticed without a trained eye. (Trust me on this.) You can often find monkeys,
sloths, bats, lizards, birds and butterflies in their natural habitat and snap
4) Visit the Arenal Volcano
The Arenal Volcano and surrounding town of
La Fortuna is a highlight of many tourists’ trips. With a lush tropical
climate, the scenery is beautiful and the imposing view of volcano is
impressive. La Fortuna is a small town with several restaurant choices, shops,
and things to do.
5) Dip in the natural hot springs
While you’re near the Arenal Volcano, stop
by a natural hot spring! Most of these hot springs have been turned into
beautiful pools, where guests can relax and test out the different temperatures
of the pools before enjoying a traditional Costa Rican dinner.
6) Take a “Tico Tour”
A “Tico Tour” is a day trip to a small,
local village where you can explore the lifestyle of small-town Costa Rica.
Many Tico Tours include a guided nature walk, a traditional “campesino” style
meal, swimming and/or fishing, horseback riding, and information about the town
and local way of life. Check out the Santa Juana
Mountain Adventure tour if this type of day trip sounds right up your
After all the day’s activities of hiking,
swimming, horseback riding and fishing, this meal and view were the perfect way
to end the tour
7) Learn about local farming and agriculture
Costa Rica has several coffee and vanilla
or chocolate plantations that are interesting to tourists. Visit one to learn
how coffee, vanilla, chocolate or other items are harvested and get a new
appreciation for your cup of joe!
owner of Villa Vanilla, explains how chocolate is created from cocoa beans
8) Sit back and relax
When visiting a beach town, take some time
to relax and soak up the sun by the pool or ocean. Costa Rica is a beautiful
place to kick back, but don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! The country is
very close to the equator, and the sun’s rays are likely much stronger then
what you are used to.
9) Rent a moped
Many small tourist towns can be explored on
foot or by cab, but another way is by moped! If you are an adventurous soul,
you can rent a moped for the day or week and use it to get around town. You’ll
feel like a local and make memories as you won’t forget zipping around town.
Tamarindo Bay and other areas of Costa Rica
are famous surf spots that you won’t want to miss if you love water sports.
There are several places to rent surf or boogie boards. If you don’t want to
surf, you can’t go wrong with just exploring the habitat along the beaches and
enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Devon DeMars is a
lifestyle blogger at There D Goes writing
about fitness, beauty and travel adventures. When she’s not blogging you’ll
find her always on-the-go exploring her town of San Diego, day dreaming about
her next adventure, training for her first marathon, finding a new favorite
wine, or visiting her friends and family across the country. You can see what
she’s up to on her lifestyle blog or on Twitter at @ThereDGoes.