Updated: Jul 12
The term "Pura Vida" has been present in Costa Rica's vocabulary for over 50 years. It's English translation means "pure life" or "simple life", however it's more than just a phrase - it is a way of life.
I just finished completing a week-long destination training with the Costa Rica Tourism Board and learned so much about this fantastic destination. My top highlights from the trip are definitely the adventure experiences, wildlife, and food!
Adventure in Costa Rica
I was able to experience so many things in Costa Rica in just the short time I was there. Highlights included zip-lining, canyon tubing, rainforest hikes, and natural hot springs. An important thing to note about Costa Rica is always to work with adventure companies that are licensed and insured. You want to be using top-quality equipment with trained and licensed guides. As a travel advisor, we only work with companies that meet these high standards for tourism safety.
Most places in the world and in Costa Rica, you are only zip lining through a tree canopy. At Hacienda Guachipelin, you can zip line through a slot canyon, which was unique experience. I loved every second of it and this has been my favorite zip line experience I have done before!
There are a variety of hanging bridges throughout Costa Rica to experience. You can find hanging bridges on jungle walks throughout the country. Hanging bridges give you a birds eye view above the trees and a chance to spot wildlife. Such a cool experience!
Costa Rica is a land of volcanos and as a result a country with plenty of chances to experience natural hot springs. We really liked this one because it was not a sulfur-smelling spring, so the mud did not stink. The springs were so relaxing and made our skin feel brand new!
Without a guide and a good driver, I would not have seen most of these animals! Our Costa Rican guide had such trained eyes, that he was able to spot wildlife that we would have otherwise walked right past. We also had a great driver who would stop if he spotted wildlife while we were driving. For example, the sloth was on the highway in the middle of nowhere and he pulled over really quickly so we could all get out and see the sloth. It makes a difference and makes your Costa Rica so much better to have a great guide and driver!! Most drivers would drive past wildlife without stopping. And when doing a walk through the jungle without the assistance of a guides eyes, you would be miss seeing allot of animals!
In the sunny Guanacaste region of Costa Rica, we enjoyed a day at the beach. Close by in Jaco, you can experience some great surfing. Because of Costa Rica's many volcanos, all of the beaches have blackish sand. The water was comfortable to swim in.
Hacienda Sunrise Experience - Milking Cows
Another experience you can have is that of a Sabaneros. Sabaneros are Costa Rican cowboys. At Hacienda Guachipelin, you can have a "Sabaneros Morning" and wake up at dawn to milk the cows on site! This was a really fun and unique experience for people of all ages. Afterwards, you get a chance to drink the milk. Saying hi to the cute baby cows is a fun way to start your day!
Food in Costa Rica
I was nervous about eating in a foreign country at first, but the food in Costa Rica was amazing. I loved stopping at local grocery stores to try different types of potato and plantain chips. Everywhere we stayed had a variety of different options to pick from - ranging from authentic Costa Rican cuisine to international dishes. Costa Rica is known for their fish and beef, so I definitely recommend ordering that at least once when you visit.
A traditional Costa Rican breakfast consists of beans and rice, plantains, and eggs. You are suggested to put Lizano Salsa on top of your rice. It does not taste like salsa, but it is similar to A1 Sauce and delicious!
The local beer in Costa Rica is Imperial beer and you can find it everywhere.
Costa Rica has a drink that is unique and similar to a Bloody Mary. You drink it as a shot. This New Orleans girl definitely recommend trying it out!
Costa Rica Accommodations
Because of the various regions in Costa Rica and different things you can do in each region, I recommend going to multiple places during your visit. There are a range of accommodations styles and interest specific places to stay. Reach out to me and after a consultation, we can make sure to match your interests to be best itinerary!
There was still a ton of experiences to be had in Costa Rica that I did not have time for this trip, so I cannot wait to return to this amazing country. Through the Costa Rica Tourism Board, I have made a ton of great contacts and relationships with properties, tour operators, and driving companies. Contact me to plan your Costa Rica Vacation and experience Pura Vida!
Travel By Bailey