As you may know, I just returned from a 9-day trip to spectacular Costa Rica. I was there for what’s called a “FAM” in the travel industry. This is short for “familiarization tour” in which travel agents visit a number of properties to learn more about the destinations they sell. During my time there, I took extensive tours of 24 properties around the country. They ranged from luxurious 5-star resorts right on the beach to rustic mountain lodges where you can see wildlife outside your window. Costa Rica truly offers something for every type of traveler.
I took literally hundreds of photos of all of the properties I toured. More importantly, I got a sense of what they are actually like, something you can’t get from reading a review on the Internet. I was also able to take part in several activities such as zip-lining, hiking in the cloud forest, soaking in natural hot springs, and visiting a coffee plantation and a butterfly farm—fun things that I can arrange for you to do too!
In the coming weeks I’ll be writing more about my experiences in Costa Rica, but in the meantime, here are my top 5 reasons why Costa Rica is the perfect vacation hotspot:
One of the best reasons to visit Costa Rica is the great value for the dollar that you’ll receive. Even top end, 5-star properties are much less expensive than what they’d cost elsewhere in the world. You can actually stay right on the beach for around $130/night!
Costa Rica is a frontrunner in eco-tourism; that is, responsible travel that promotes the conservation of the environment and the well-being of the local people. At every hotel property you’ll notice that they proudly display their “green” accomplishments. This is not to say that the accommodations are basic, far from it. The décor at all of the properties I visited or stayed in was very chic, stylish, and comfortable.
Costa Rica is famous for adventure sports. You can zip-line high above the jungle canopy, go white-water rafting, float down a river, hike on the side of an active volcano, go horseback riding, and much more. I can even arrange tours and day trips that will conveniently pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel.
Relax at the Beach
Costa Rica has some of the best beaches in Central America, if not the world. With its drier climate, the northern province of Guanacaste is one of the most popular places in the country for sun worshipping. One of the things that differentiate the beaches in Costa Rica from the ones in places like Hawaii, Cancun, or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is that the resorts in Costa Rica are all pretty remote and private. You won’t see broad stretches of shoreline with hotels stacked up side-by-side. Did I mention that the water is warm? Since Costa Rica is located between 8° – 12° north of the equator, the water is amazingly clear and warm year-round. Surrounded by dense tropical foliage, you can discover volcanic, black sand beaches or ones made of tiny crushed shells. It really is paradise!
Costa Rica is a small country, roughly the size of West Virginia or Denmark, yet it boasts 5% of the world’s biodiversity. You can explore rainforests, cloud forests, volcanic mountain ranges, beaches where sea turtles nest, and fertile plains where sugarcane, pineapple and papaya grow. On my visit I saw exotic birds like toucans, parrots, and scarlet macaws, but if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the elusive, resplendent quetzal. Wildlife like howler monkeys, coatis, olingos, and even armadillos live in the higher elevations and can be viewed, especially at dusk. Costa Rica is crisscrossed with hiking trails and the mountains are laced with “hanging bridges” where you can walk through the canopy to feel at one with nature.
“Pura Vida” is the national slogan of Costa Rica. It translates to “pure life,” but it’s used in many ways in conversation. It can be a greeting, a farewell, or even a response when someone asks you how you’re doing. It epitomizes the laid-back, relaxed way of life throughout the country. Once you visit Costa Rica you’ll find out what it means to you, too.
If you’re interested in a trip to Costa Rica, email me at michael(at)struxtravel.com and I can discuss some of the great hotel and resort options there. The personalized service I offer is something that you definitely won’t get on sites like Orbitz or Travelocity. Plus, I don’t charge for my services. I am paid commission by the resorts I book, so there’s no extra cost to you. Through my connections with leading suppliers, I can find amazing deals that you won’t find anywhere else. I had an amazing time in Costa Rica and can’t wait to go back someday soon.
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author