Why Costa Rica should be on your travel list

I can’t remember when I first decided to travel to Costa Rica. It must have been sometime during the pandemic, when I heard about others escaping there. After many travels to Southeast Asia I was ready to explore a country in another part of the world. Saying goodbye to the many restrictions in Vienna was an added incentive. After staying in San José for three days I was a bit fazed that maybe I had made a wrong choice. As it turned out though, I had made exactly the right decision in coming to Costa Rica.

My trip included a three nights stay in Tortuguero, a national park for its turtles. Even without seeing a single one, coming here was the beginning of a beautiful journey. The adventure already began on the way to the National Park. Arriving by boat during rain made for an interesting experience.

on the way to Tortuguero @Costa Rica

After Tortuguero I decided to stay on the Caribbean side and headed down to Cahuita. The initial plan was to explore Puerto Viejo for a couple of days. But people I met on the boat to Tortuguero told me about Cahuita and its more relaxed style. Since I am all for taking it easy, I booked three nights in Cahuita and loved every minute of it.

walking through the national park of Cahuita @Costa Rica

All these beaches on the Caribeean side made me yearn for some mountains. So my next stop was La Fortuna and the volcano Arenal. I stayed again for three nights in light of all the amazing tours that can be booked from La Fortuna.

the volcano Arenal on a clear day @La Fortuna

More mountains or rather the cloud forest of Monteverde were my next stop. Too bad that the weather here was truly beautiful, so I never so the forest shrouded in mist. But one afternoon it rained and within minutes all of Monteverde was plunged in a deep fog. I had to turn around exploring the village because I didn’t want to become roadkill.

sudden fog in Monteverde @Costa Rica

After the refreshing mountain air of Monteverde I was ready for some beach again. This time on the Pacific side. I had set my sights on a little beach destination called Montezuma. And no, the former King of the Aztecs didn’t bring down his wrath on me (at least not here). I thoroughly enjoyed the endless, empty beaches on the Nicoya Penninsula.

empty beach around Montezuma @Costa Rica

My final stop in Costa Rica was the town of Tamarindo. Full of American tourists, it has all the amenities you expect of a beach vacation spot. Lots of tourists, sun loungers for rent, many bars and restaurants. Personally, I found it a bit of an overkill after almost three weeks of rather quiet traveling. Still, I did what every tourist is after, I watched the sunset on the beach.

sunset on the beach @Tamarindo

Costa Rica has so many different sides. Every place I saw enchanted me from a new perspective. Honestly, three weeks were not enough. On the other hand, this is not a cheap country. After traveling extensively in Asia for years, maybe I am a bit spoiled. Despite staying in hostels and eating mostly in sodas, I spent a lot of money. Still, it was worth every cent and I would love to return to Costa Rica some time in the near future. Yours, Pollybert

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