Costa Rica

Costa Rica

During my two weeks off at Easter in 2016 I travelled to Costa Rica with my husband and another couple. Costa Rica quickly became one of my favourite holiday destinations and I’ll explain why.

Sign painted by volunteers

The decision to come to Costa Rica was an easy one. As the ecotourism capital of the world it has everything I look for in a trip away; hot climate, rainforest, beaches, volcanoes and most importantly lots and lots of wildlife. It is considered one of the most bio-diverse regions on Earth (5% of the entire planet’s biodiversity is found here) and as someone who takes more comfort in the company of wildlife than human beings it was an ideal destination to choose. Obviously, as a Spanish speaking country it means a lot of tourists will have some knowledge of the language (mine was very limited!!) or will pick up key words very quickly.

Sloth

The country is probably most famous for it’s sloths, which I think is the one thing any visitor to the country wants to see! I was lucky enough not only to volunteer in a sanctuary with these lovely creatures but to also see them in the wild. However, I also worked with/saw various types of monkeys, toucans and much much more. I found the people of Costa Rica to be kind and warm which goes some way to explaining why they have no official military and are working hard towards improving their conservation efforts in their own country.

Prices vary depending on how you travel and we used mostly Airbnb, one flat we rented in San Jose was amazing value for money and lovely and modern inside. It worked out as £66 per person (based on 4 people) for 6 nights and was only a short taxi/bus ride from the main city centre. Our host, Dariel, was extremely hospitable and gave us lots of advice on how to get around.

We spent the first week volunteering at Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center where accommodation and food was provided in our fee. The center was only a temporary site (see blog post for more info) and they have now moved to a fantastic new site up the road with a lot more space for their rescue animals. Read more about what we got up to here.

Tortuguero Beach

In the second week we became more like traditional tourists and visited key areas of interest including Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a 2 day trip to Tortuguero National Park and finally Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs (click on links for further info on these trips). It was a busy week and wouldn’t suit everyone but if you want to see a lot of the key sights in only a week it can be done. I also did it all with food poisoning so it is definitely possible for able bodied tourists!

I fell in love with Costa Rica, it is a dream destination for any animal lover or conservationist and would recommend it whole heartedly to anyone. I believe you can now fly direct to the country from the UK which cuts down a lot of travel time and would save a stop over in the US too.

Blogs on each trip:

Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre

Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Tortuguero National Park

Arenal Volcano and Tabacon Hot Springs

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