We have lost our hearts to the natural paradise of Costa Rica. Follow our wheel tracks on a road trip to our four favorite places in the tropical paradise.
The guide has been published in the Danish Fashion Magazine IN, December 2015
The last rays of the sun are squeezing in between the few open slots of the dense tropical forest hanging like a huge green backdrop. On the horizonthe Pacific Ocean is glowing and the alluring view makes everything stand still – almost.
Because if you let your eyes drift on the landscape you will discover the colorful life of exotic animals of whom you are sharing the view with: toucans, hummingbirds and red macaw parrots flying around. Curious Capuchin Monkeys jumping from branch to branch and in the top of a tree a drowsy sloth is surely hanging.
Its as if Mother Nature has been particularly generous in Costa Rica. Although the country is not much larger than Denmark many believe that it has the highest concentration of biodiversity worldwide. It has a rare abundance of flora and fauna, which the Costa Ricans are proud of and world famous for taking care of. And as pioneer in ecotourism the country is one of the few places in the world where the development of the holiday paradise takes place in harmony with nature.
PEACE, LOVE & PURA VIDA
Costa Rica is in many ways an oasis of peace. After the civil war in 1948 the country dissolved their army and instead used the money at a peace university that educates academics from around the world to prevent conflicts. And the mentality of the Ticos – as the Costaricans call themselves – are characterized by a laid back kindness:
They are the embodiment of epicures. Their motto is “Pura Vida”, which can be translated into ‘pure life’ and is used in many daily contexts. As a greeting, as a thank you and as a way to remember each other that life is good. That life should be enjoyed.
And it’s not hard to enjoy Costa Rica. Although it is 500 years ago since Christoffer Columbus named the country with the Spanish term for ‘rich coast’ it still fits today. 1200 kilometers of coastline stretches along the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. To many Costa Rica is synonymous with turquoise blue water and swaying palms that complete the dream of a paradise beach. Adding to this – a billowing landscape of mountains with steaming volcanoes rises majestically over the lush land with coffee fields and orchards.
The best way to experience Costa Rica is therefore behind the wheel of a 4×4 car, with the freedom to decide the pace and content of your journey. And please remember – an essential part of visiting the land of the Tico’s is about embracing their motto Pura Vida. Slow down and enjoy the good life.
GUIDE: OUR 4 FAVORITE PLACES
The little peaceful country in Central America is rich in unspoilt nature and a friendly population that makes it one of the world’s most beautiful places. We went on a road trip through lush landscapes along the edge of the Pacific, high up in the clouds and towards the top of a volcano. Here we have collected our best tips for our 4 favorite places in Costa Rica:
PRACTICAL: THE JOURNEY TO COSTA RICA
Lufthansa and United Airlines fly through New York to Costa Rica’s main position San José for approx. 1.000 USD in high season.
What Costa Rica has in beauty it lacks in infrastructure. The main highways and cities are asphalted, but driving in the rest of the country takes place on rough dirt roads. With a four-wheel drive car you can easily cross the large holes, steep slopes, narrow passages and hairpin curves on an uneven surface. In addition you are likely to meet cattle on the road and get stuck behind heavy duty vehicles in an involuntary Sunday-tempo. So despite Costa Rica’s size you can expect to spend more time than normally estimated for relatively short distances. Slow down and enjoy the nature paradise.
Find your way
In Costa Rica it is usually only the roads in the cities and the major highways that have official names. Often the small roads cannot be found on either the map or the GPS, and the amount of street signs may be inadequate to help you. The Locals are often navigating by using location-specific things. This means that you will often experience address descriptions such as ‘250 meters west of the bank’ or ‘opposite the red house’. Therefore, always make sure to arrive at new places in daylight.
Best time to visit
Costa Rica has a comfortable tropical climate year round but the best travel time is from December to March, as it is outside the rainy season, where several roads close due to rain. However, you can travel to Costa Rica out of high season, where prices are drastically reduced and the landscape is incredibly green. Temperatures vary throughout the year, depending on whether you are hiking in the mountains or swimming by the coast so bring clothes for both.
Costa Rica is a peaceful country and a safe destination. Armed with common sense you should able to travel in all regions without problems. The locals speak Spanish, but in the tourist areas English is also common. If you plan to drive to remote areas, it would be an advantage to fresh up on your Spanish words.
- Costa Rica official tourist office
- Tico Times – National website with travel guides to Costa Rica
- Travel agency in Costa Rica with great travel guides
- Wiki-travel about Costa Rica with useful facts and tips
- Huffinton Post Travel Guide to Costa Rica
Read more about our experiences in Costa Rica on our travel blog