Costa Rica vacations popularity raise one question: Why has this Central America country become so trendy? Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Costa Rica entices visitors with uncrowded white sand beaches, exotic rainforests, unique wildlife, and friendly, welcoming inhabitants.
Relatively undiscovered just ten years ago, Costa Rica, today, is a popular and affordable destination for tourists from all over the world. Costa Rica offers something for every taste: the adventure traveler, the beach lover, families, and those who just want to kick back and relax. The climate is tropical, but varies considerably depending on where in the country you are. The inland jungle offers a unique look at the wildlife and lush beauty of the tropics. The beaches are plentiful and, often, uncrowded. Sports lovers will find outstanding surfing, windsurfing, fishing, golf, and scuba.
People like Costa Rica vacations because they remain affordable. Nonstop flights connect Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago to Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose. In addition, connecting service is available to hundreds of U.S. and Canadian cities. Cruise ships call periodically at the Gulf ports of Costa Rica and offer daytrips to the country’s interior. Reliable and inexpensive transportation connect the major tourist areas and car rentals can be reserved for around $30 to $50 per day.
Accommodations vary from large, deluxe, chain hotels to intimate, luxurious hideaways, from active, all-inclusive resorts to quiet, modest beachside getaways. Large chain hotels dot the beaches, mostly along the central Pacific coast, as well as the cosmopolitan city of San Jose. Smaller bungalow-style hotels, some of which are quite luxurious, are popular inland, set amidst the lush landscape. Costa Rican hotels are generally much less expensive than a comparable Caribbean resort and offer the same level of friendly and efficient service. Many of the larger, coastal hotels offer small in-house casino. The games differ somewhat from both Las Vegas-style and European casinos. The dress code is generally casual and the minimums are low.
Eco-tourism is popular in Costa Rica. Self-contained, environmentally friendly cottage villages and lodges are a responsible and relaxed way to spend your vacation. In addition, many houses and cottages are offered for rent here, sometimes at very reasonable rates.
Diverse Natural Beauty
Costa Rica is well ahead of its neighbors in preserving its natural beauty. Approximately 12 percent of the country is protected in national parks, ranging from the beachfront, Manuel Antonio National Park to the spectacular rainforests. In addition, no Costa Rica vacations would be complete without a visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Located about 120 miles from the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, the Cloud Forest is one of the country’s most popular destinations, and rightly so. The park features over 400 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, and 2500 species of plant life located within the lush vegetation. Mosses, ferns, and flowers grow thickly on most every tree, encouraged by the nearly 100 percent humidity there. The star of the Cloud Forest is the elusive Quetzal, arguably the most beautiful bird in the world.
Lots of Adventure
Active travelers will find lots to do on their Costa Rica vacations. Take a hike through the dense, tropical rainforest. Surf on some of the most challenging waves in Central America, or pilot a raft along pristine streams that turn into roaring rapids as they cut through the lush jungle. Fishermen will be impressed by the world-class sportsfishing in the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea and the fly-fishing along remote mountain rivers and lakes. Watersports enthusiasts, too, will enjoy Costa Rica. Scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and sailing all entice visitors. Scenic and challenging golf courses, such as the Cariari Country Club Course, designed by George Fazio and considered to be the best course in Central America, allow golfers to test their skills amidst lush and beautiful surroundings.
Costa Rica has a lot to offer travelers. It’s affordable, diverse, close-to-home, scenic, and loaded with activities for everyone in the family. What’s more: it’s clean, colorful, safe, and friendly. No wonder Costa Rica vacations are among the favorites in the hemisphere.
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