Monthly Archives: February 2018

Adventure Travel in Costa Rica

She pops up for the first time, shouts whooohooo, turns around to the instructor, and falls off the surf board. Your daughter is stoked! She is starting to get the hang of this surfing thing after thirty minutes of falling down a lot.

Mom, dad, and the two brothers are gradually getting up, and getting their balance too. Your professional instructor is encouraging and genuinely excited for you all. By the end of the morning, you will all be able to pop up capably and feel a great sense of accomplishment.

Every morning can be like this while on vacation in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Opportunities for adventure abound for the active family. This can truly be a healthy, invigorating, family bonding vacation.

For a family that loves the outdoors, and is open to foreign travel, Costa Rica makes for the perfect destination. It is close to the U.S. and Canada, and there are direct flights to San Jose from several big city airports in North America. Costa Rica’s tourism infrastructure is well-developed, making it easy to get around, and safe to travel.

Costa Rica is a small country with various micro-climates, mountain zones, beautiful beach areas, tropical rain forests, deserts, volcanoes, and remarkable national parks, all within six hours of the capital. Santa Teresa, at the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula, is a wonderful place where you can do it all.

Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast, boasts award-winning beaches, with jungle that comes straight down from the hills all the way to the beach. There are a ton of exciting activities in Santa Teresa Costa Rica that await the adventurous family. Canopy tours, snorkeling, fishing, horseback riding, yoga, kayaking, boogie boarding, and surfing will keep the family busy for a week or more.

Surfing is the big attraction for most visitors to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. There are several renowned surf schools, as well as independent instructors, and dozens of surf shops that provide board rentals and lessons. Learning to surf together is a fantastic family bonding exercise!

For families in which one person is already an expert and wants to surf a lot, and others want to enjoy a variety of activities, the Santa Teresa area is perfect. Kayak tours to the Rio Bongo to see myriad wildlife, or fishing from Mal Pais, snorkeling tours to Isla Tortuga, a thrilling canopy tour above the jungle, hiking in Cabo Blanco Nature Preserve, horseback riding on the beach, and ATV excursions are all in the realm of possibilities and make for a memorable family vacation.

There are scores of neat places to stay in Santa Teresa too. For families, a vacation rental by the beach is the best way to go. Picture yourselves surrounded by banana trees, shaded by palms and big trees, with hammocks around for lounging in the afternoons. A vacation rental villa gives you ample space and privacy, a central location near all the activities, and you can enjoy family meals, and playing games at night.

Why Travel to Costa Rica

Of all the places one could think about, why do we have to go on a Costa Rica vacation? What’s really so important that of all the places, one would go all the way to this tiny country in Central America?

Checking out Costa Rica vacation reviews may not be a bad idea to start with. At least you’ll find out about first hand information from travelers or people who already went on this route. This may or may not build the confidence you need to make a final decision but I know this will surely help you a lot. Learning through other people’s experience is another way of making the right decision.

Anyways, going back to why this article even exists, Costa Rica simply means Paradise that’s why many tourists or travelers prefer to visit this country instead of someplace else. This country is definitely a dream come true to those who just love to go on an exciting nature or wildlife excursion or for those who seek adrenaline rushing adventures like bungee jumping and zip lining.

If you’re interested in spending just a quiet and subtle vacation with your loved ones then you can experience a hot sultry vacation laying down on its spectacular beaches and resorts. This is simply a good place to strengthen your bond while you enjoy its laid back lifestyle and friendly people. Some of the best beaches and resorts in the world are found in this paradise, so there’s no reason why anyone wouldn’t want to travel to this place.

There are gazillions of beaches so it’s up to you which one suits your fancy. Most of its famous and magnificent beaches are located in the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. There are even various sand colors to choose from. From white sand beaches to golden and even black sand beaches which are amazingly breathtaking.

Many travel agencies in Costa Rica offer all sorts of packages so you’ll have more options to choose from. Most of the developed beaches are found along the Guanacaste coast. However, for those who want to experience the night lights in this country then you can visit the beaches along the Caribbean coast because of its “Rasta” or Jamaican influence and lush vegetation. Widely known beaches in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio, Playa Dominica, Montezuma, Playa Tamarindo, Corcovado, Tambor, Jaco among others.

Visiting this country also means going on an overseas adventure travel since there are many fun things to do in Costa Rica. For those sports enthusiasts you can select between water sports activities or nature sports activities. Popular water activities include swimming, surfing, deep sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, yachting and many more.

Famous Costa Rica tours allow you to visit famous tourist destinations other than the country’s beaches. This country also gained worldwide popularity because of its magnificent rain forests and national parks where outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, butterfly watching, bird watching and other wildlife tours, canyoning or waterfalls rappelling, canopy tours and volcano watching are mostly done. Really famous parks include the Arenal National Park where the popular perfectly shaped cone volcano, the Arenal volcano can also be viewed. Others include the Corcovado National Park, Guanacaste National Park, Irazu Volcano National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Poas Volcano National Park and Tortuguero National Park. Famous rainforests reserves including the Monteverde Costa Rica Cloud Forest, Arenal Rainforest Reserve, Cabo Blanco Absolute National Reserve, Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge and are another tourist favorite.

Adventure Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country yet best for vacations and overseas adventure travel due its rich wildlife reserves and forest as well as Pacific and Caribbean beaches. If you can’t decide where to spend a really great and memorable vacation then traveling to this exotic country is your best destination yet and I’ll tell you why.

There are several travel agencies in Costa Rica that offer the best deals and packages. Most people think that these Costa Rica tours are quite expensive to spend during summer and especially holidays; however, there are still plenty of travel agencies who offer promotions or more affordable packages and deals online. Some packages even include guided tours during your visit. It’ll never hurt to check and it’s always best to read their Costa Rica vacation reviews to gauge whether these travel agencies comply with your expectations and won’t create issues once you travel to your destination.

I can think of a million fun things to do in Costa Rica so you certainly won’t feel out of place or bored once you’ve reached its fabulous tourist attractions. Famous for its beautiful resorts and beaches, you will experience a really cool and exciting surfing experience with several of their unparalleled beaches that’s visited mostly by surfers like the Playa Dominical and the Playa Manzanillo. Costa Rica beaches are notably good places for other water activities like windsurfing, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, white water rafting, kayaking and etc. These beaches that lay on the Pacific and Caribbean vary from black to white sands and from isolated to crowded beaches. It’s up to you which of these beaches will suit your mood and style.

Costa Rica is also famous for bird watching. Most tourists visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to get a glimpse of the Quetzal which is a native bird that symbolizes freedom for Costa Ricans. The Quetzal fancies damp places and heavily deforested areas and is prevalent in other parks such as the Volcan Poas National Park, Chirripo National Park and Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Visiting its National Parks in also gives an interesting twist for tourists. The Irazu Volcano National Park, a definite tourist attraction, is the highest volcano in Costa Rica and remains to be active even until present. Watching its crater boil water and shoot steam geysers may catch your interest. Another volcano called the Poas Volcano is considered to have the second largest active crater in the World.

Lastly, there are several museums that tourists wouldn’t want to miss during their Costa Rica vacations that are located in, San Jose which is its largest and capital city. One is the National Theater which has 1000 stone seats and is where famous artists who visit the country usually perform. The Jade Museum houses the country’s century-old artifacts and perhaps the World’s largest collection of pre-Columbian Jade while the Gold Museum encompasses 2000 pre-Columbian gold artifacts. The Butterfly Farm in Alajuela is another tourist attraction considering that its Latin America’s first and largest exporter of farm-raised butterflies.

The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Into Costa Rica

As the host to a popular podcast about Costa Rica, I receive a lot of questions about getting to Costa Rica.  The following are the five most frequently asked questions about getting into Costa Rica.

1. What are the entry requirements?

If you’re visiting Costa Rica as a tourist you do not need to apply for a visa.  You will need a valid passport that will not expire for at least 30 days after arrival in Costa Rica and a round trip airline ticket.  Please note your passport should be in good condition.  Costa Rican immigration services will deny entry if your passport is damaged (torn, faded, etc.).  As a tourist you are allowed to stay in the country up to 90 days without a visa.  Staying beyond 90 days requires submitting an application for an extension with the office of Costa Rican immigration.  As a tourist it is unlikely your request for an extension beyond the 90 days would be granted.  However, each application is reviewed and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

2. Which Airlines fly to Costa Rica?

Most major airlines fly into Costa Rica’s San José International Airport (called Aeropuerto Juan Santamaria).  Here is a list of some of the major airlines (this list is not all inclusive):

  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Continental Airlines
  • Lacsa (Costa Rica’s official airline)
  • Delta Airlines
  • Mexicana de Aviación
  • Copa Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Martinair
  • Spirit Airlines
  • Taca
  • American West
  • US Airways

3. What is the average airfare to San José, Costa Rica?

It’s very difficult to provide an average airfare since there are so many external factors outside of our control.  For example airfare from Miami, Florida to Costa Rica will be cheaper versus flying out of Omaha, Nebraska.  Plus just cracking the mysterious airline pricing code is a difficult task to tackle.  Even in domestic flights the person next to you could have paid a lot more or less than you did for the same ticket.

But to give you an idea I’ll share my personal experience flying form the Midwest of the United States (Minneapolis, Minnesota) to Costa Rica.  The average airfare is about $500.  Anything under $500 is a great deal.  The most I have ever paid is around $650.

Airfare varies greatly depending on the dates you travel.  It will cost you a lot more to fly during the tourist high season which lasts from November through April.

Follow the same guidelines for buying airline tickets to any destination domestic or international to ensure you’re getting the best possible deal:

  • Flexibility in your travel dates equals better prices.
  • The rule of thumb is to book your flight at least two weeks before your trip.  For Costa Rica make that 3-4 weeks.
  • Fly mid-week if you can. There are many studies reporting that the best prices can be found by flying on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
  • Go online.  Check out Orbitz, Travelocity, Sidestep, PriceLine, and the local airline’s websites for the best prices.

4. What are the customs regulations?

Custom duties are not charged for personal luggage.  Costa Rican law required that baggage be examined and the travelers submit customs declaration forms.  The same process required by U.S. customs.  The custom lines in Costa Rica can be very long so be prepared to wait and be patient.

5. Departure tax

After having a great time visiting Costa Rica you will need to pay a Costa Rican departure tax at the airport.  So make sure you have cash or your credit card handy.  The cost is $26 (as of this writing-March 2008).  Make sure you pay the departure tax before you get in line to check in to your flight.  If you don’t have the necessary receipts you will be kicked out of the checking line to go pay your departure tax and then you will need to get in line again (at the end of the line) to check in for your flight.  When you walk into the San José International Airport, look to your left and right and you will see the booths to pay your departure tax.  They are located across from the flight check in counters.