While I got to do so many incredible things while in C.R., there were lots of things I did not get to do as well. Being my first trip to Central America, I had to of course do all of the cliché adventure things that are expected of someone traveling there: zip lining, white water rafting, hiking, and visiting the volcano. But there are many other things to do in Costa Rica that I wish I would’ve had the time to do, and I think are definitely worth checking out for anyone interested in an “off-the-beaten path” tour of the infamous Pura Vida everyone talks about. (Pura Vida = pure life, free from worry and stress)
1. Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is a small national park in the heart of Costa Rica that is full of wildlife. I’ve heard so many stories of monkeys, multi colored frogs, crabs, you name it. They have over 109 species of mammals, and 184 species of birds. You have the best chance of seeing this type of wildlife here. Not to mention the incredible beach, and sunset that make you feel completely at home. This is one of the more popular tourist destinations, but that is because it is simply one of the best. Forbes rated the park as one of the top 12 world’s most beautiful parks.
Montezuma was awarded the Traveler’s Choice 2012 award from TripAdvisor. Located in the province of Puntarenas, Montezuma Falls is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in the region. It does require a bit of hiking, but if you’re up for the adventure, you won’t be disappointed. You can find beaches, and other exciting activities at Montezuma as well.
3. Puerto Viejo
I was incredibly jealous when all of my friends got to visit this beach located on the Caribbean side of the country. My host family described to me how beautiful the caribbean coast of Costa Rica was, but I never got the chance to go. Puerto Viejo has a lot of Jamaican influences, and beautiful white sand beaches. If you were to choose any beach to go to while visiting Costa Rica, I would definitely recommend this one.
Lastly, dominical is one of the places I desperately wish I could have explored. Another beach, similar to Montezuma with a gorgeous waterfall. Again, you have to do a little adventuring into the forest to find this gem, but it will take your breath away. Don’t be afraid to go snorkeling, or rent yourself a hammock and soak up the pura vida that surrounds you.
Because I never got to these things while I was there, together they become my top four reasons why I have to go back to Costa Rica. Want to come? 😉