As one of the top Latin American destinations for 2023, Costa Rica is in no way a secret. In fact, this lush country was also recently crowned the 2022 leading destination for Central America.
Costa Rica is an ideal destination for all types of travelers, and it is definitely a country that should not be missed.
While traveling in Costa Rica, you will likely meet many travelers from North America, as the proximity, little to no time difference, and increase in flight options from both Canada and the U.S. make this such an attractive option for a holiday.
Where else can those from Canada and America escape to a tropical rainforest and be surrounded by wild animals, all within an easy and relatively inexpensive flight away?
While Spanish is, of course, the country’s official language, most locals who work in the tourism industry have a good level of English. And, when interacting with taxi drivers, shop owners, etc., a little Spanish really does go a long way. Just attempting some simple phrases and smiling will get you a much warmer reply from almost anyone.
Recently a surge of crime in and around the main city of San Jose has led to a U.S. travel advisory, so it’s best to stay on top of the current news in regards to this if planning a trip anytime soon.
Those who travel to Costa Rica will likely not spend any time in the city of San Jose, and the country is known to be a very safe destination, but do make sure to be aware of the current situation here.
There are tourist hotspots all over Costa Rica that fit everyone’s interests, and the wealth of information on where to go is vast. This article is here to tell you why you should go, no matter what kind of traveler you are.
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Here’s Why Costa Rica Is Perfect For Every Type Of Traveler:
There is a reason Costa Rica is sometimes referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Central America’, and it’s not because of snow-capped mountains. Costa Rica is known to be an expensive destination, especially so when compared to its neighbors in the Latin America region.
While in no way considered a budget destination, there are ways to save while traveling to this beautiful country. Booking ahead is important, as the budget accommodations do tend to fill up quickly. Budget accommodations will more often than not have a shared kitchen, so those on a strict budget can prepare their own meals and cut costs.
Many will tell you to save money by eating at the local restaurant,s or Sodas, but I have found that if you are in or around the tourist towns, these can still run you around $20 for two lunches. While this price tag is fine for many, the true-budget backpacker might find this too expensive, so having a kitchen (or even a hotplate) will help out a lot in this department.
Traveling the country via the local ‘chicken’ busses also cuts down on costs dramatically, not to mention the experience of riding through the countryside with locals on an old American school bus really can’t be missed.
Also, while many of the popular attractions do cost money to enter, there are free options in each town worth exploring. All it takes is a little homework (for example, the free hot springs in La Fortuna is a popular budget option).
The Solo Traveler
As it’s such a popular tourist destination, Costa Rica has a pretty well-established tourist route (sometimes referred to as the ‘gringo trail’). This, coupled with the general friendliness towards foreigners from the locals, makes this country a great choice for solo travel.
While some other central American countries might seem a bit more intimidating, Costa Rica is a well-known, tried and true country for travelers, and therefore there is no end of information for those looking to plan a trip.
No solo traveler will head to Costa Rica without having scoured the internet for all the tips and tricks, and resources such as Facebook groups are helpful here to connect with others as well.
Speaking of connection, the hotspots you will want to visit in Costa Rica are found in every corner of the country, and shuttles that connect these places are easy and convenient, helping the solo traveler connect with others and avoid any public transportation headaches.
The Lux Seekers
Those who are looking for a luxurious vacation are spoiled for choice in Costa Rica, as the country has a variety of the biggest and best resort chains in Central America.
The most popular area for high-end travel is the country’s Pacific Coast, with the largest concentration of upmarket properties centralized around Guanacaste province and especially in the Papagayo Peninsula. With everything from round-the-clock butlers to private infinity pools overlooking the rainforest, if you are coming here with money to spend, then you are in the right place.
One advantage of having an unlimited budget means private guides and after-hours access to popular attractions. While many places can get crowded during the daytime, oftentimes, having your own guide allows you unparalleled access and the ability to avoid the masses.
The Digital Nomad
Offering a somewhat simple digital nomad visa (DNV), Costa Rica attracts many who are seeking to work from their hammocks perched in the forest. Pro-tip: an airplane pillow (stuffed with clothes to save space) works well as a hammock headrest and makes laptop living much more comfortable!
Digital nomads love Costa Rica for many reasons, ranging from the stunning scenery to the overall high internet speeds around the county’s more popular areas. A local SIM card is an inexpensive option to make sure you always have a backup, and a portable battery pack is a good idea as the country is prone to frequent (yet brief) power outages.
One hint, if you are taking a “hush trip” or planning on working from Costa Rica secretly, you might want to prepare yourself for the howler monkeys to blow your cover with their insanely loud noises in the morning. (it’s a risk worth taking, though!)
The Family Travelers
Costa Rica is the perfect location for those traveling with children of all ages, for both the safety aspect as well as the sheer amount of activities to keep them busy.
From night walks looking for tarantulas to zip-lining through the tree canopies, any kid who goes on vacation here is sure to be the envy of their classmates when they return to the real world.
Most resorts have children’s programs, and almost every guide and tour is extremely child friendly.
Not to mention many Airbnb’s here are run by local families, offering your child the chance to interact with locals and see the trip as a learning experience and possibly a mini Spanish immersion camp!
Costa Rica is a destination that is diverse, beautiful, and welcoming. It really should be seen to be believed, and almost anyone who visits will find themselves richer for the experience.
In addition to the groups mentioned above, nature and adventure lovers will find themselves with unlimited things to do and see here.
Another group that is loving Costa Rica at the moment is Millennials. Finding that the country offers them the cultural and personal travel experiences that they seek, all with good WiFi coverage, of course.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com