HomeEuropeTraveling to Costa Rica: A First-Timer’s Guide to the Must-See Destinations
Traveling to Costa Rica: A First-Timer’s Guide to the Must-See Destinations
Traveling to Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a rugged rain-forested and volcanic country found in Central America. This great destination is known for its lush biodiversity, jaw-dropping scenery, friendly people, and no standing military. The country has coastlines on both the Caribbean and pacific, which is why it’s also known for its beaches.
San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica is home to cultural institutions, although most tourists visit for the natural environment. Roughly, a quarter of Costa Rica is made up of protected jungle teeming with incredible wildlife. This includes the spider monkeys and quetzal birds.
Note that when on vacation, the element of surprise and having new experiences are what make the best memories. That’s not something that happens in cases where you know what exactly you’re getting into. It is, however, important that you have some basic knowledge about your destination before visiting.
A First Timer’s Guide to the Must-See Destinations in Costa Rica
If you plan to travel to Costa Rica, note that there are only two seasons in the year. There is the dry and rainy season, meaning that you don’t have to worry about too hot summers or very cold winters. The rainy season begins in May and continues until mid-November. If you don’t like the wet weather, the best time to travel to Costa Rica is between mid-November and April, which is a dry season.
The rainy season in this case doesn’t mean less sun. It means an almost daily rain that starts early every afternoon. And no matter your destination, Costa Rica is well-known for its microclimate and unpredictable changes in weather conditions. Thus, you’ll need to be ready for the hot and humid environments, sunburns, and cold nights. Let’s now take a look into some of the best destinations for first-timers in Costa Rica.
1. Manuel Antonio
This is one of the best places to visit if you’re in search of an epic national park and a pristine beach in Costa Rica. The Manuel Antonio National Park is known for some of the best beaches in Costa Rica. It’s also heralded as being beyond breathtaking.
Lush rainforests, towering volcanoes, and beautiful beaches all combine to make it a unique destination. Enjoy a day hike in search of wildlife, snorkel with neon-colored reef fish, and take a kayak tour around the mangroves for a tranquil experience like no other. Plan to watch the sunset at Playa Espadilla from atop the hill and savor a meal at a local food truck for a taste of Costa Rican culture.
2. Santa Teresa
Near the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, you will find the small and trendy town of Santa Teresa. The town is fast becoming a hot spot for surfers, backpackers, and free-spirited ex-pats. However, the place is still relatively undeveloped and remote.
It’s one of the best places to visit for those who enjoy vacations in Costa Rica. The town is also ideal if you’re looking for a laid-back bohemian town that’s similar to Montezuma. If that’s the case, then you’ll certainly enjoy Santa Teresa.
With golden beaches stretching for miles and lush, tropical forests surrounding you, it’s easy to see why Santa Teresa is one of the top locations for travelers and holiday-makers. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or an exciting adventure, there’s plenty to do in this vibrant locale.
This small town also has some of the most fantastic eateries, shared workplaces, and a really “lost in the jungle” feel to life. It’s also a great spot for those who love watching the sunset.
You will notice crowds gathering on the beach at around 5 pm to watch the sun go down. During the weekends, people like holding small beach parties which brings a sense of community.
There is also a tiny laidback town of Montezuma on the other side of the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s the best destination for first-timers looking for a boho, off-the-beaten-track romantic destination. With a mix of backpackers and young families, Montezuma attracts a nice crowd and it’s a great place to kick back and relax.
Its beaches and hippie vibe are what attract people to this destination. It also has some of the nicest beaches to explore with the help of a Costa Rica travel agency, especially, for first-timers. You’ll also find a lot of wildlife in the thick forest that surrounds Montezuma. Additionally, there are loads of wildlife trails to discover, waterfalls, rivers, and mountains.
Jaco is one of the most visited spots in this North American country. This destination is popular with tourists who love a party scene and it’s also known for its 2.5-mile beach.
This is an amazing destination for those who want to learn how to surf with fantastic waves for beginners. Although it’s not white sanded like other beaches in Costa Rica, it’s also an amazing beach. It’s quite dark but lined with palm trees and super soft. For those who prefer somewhere with a lot of energy and great nightlife, Jaco is the best with its countless activities.
This destination is home to the Monteverde Biological Reserve, making it one of the great destinations in Costa Rica. This is especially for first-timers as you’ll be able to reconnect with the nature of Costa Rica in one of the world’s premier cloud forests. It’s the one place that’s usually on everyone’s bucket list and attracts many tourists.
The national park is known for its diverse flora and fauna, with a lot of people flocking there to see the rare quetzal bird. And in case you don’t get a chance to see the quetzal bird, the amount of wildlife that you’ll see is unreal.
You must, however, note that the weather at Monteverde is unpredictable. It can get very wet and windy with cooler temperatures. Thus, you must be sure to come with raincoats and warmer layers.
You might be planning your first international trip abroad and settling on a vacation in Costa Rica. Or maybe this is not your first international trip but it’s the first one in Central America. Whatever the case, keep in mind that Costa Rica has all the makings of an amazing vacation.
From the nutrient-rich waters of the Pacific to the wild jungles of the Caribbean, Costa Rica offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for adventure or a nature lover wanting to explore the rainforests, a first-time trip to Costa Rica is sure to be unforgettable. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and embark on an exciting journey of discovery in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.