Costa Rica Travel Highlight – One of the biggest items to remember when you are thinking about traveling again is how you can minimize any risks while you are away. There are lots of ways that this can be done; book private transfers when you book any package vacations, wipe down all the surfaces at your seat when you get on the airplane, wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer as needed, wear a mask in common areas of resorts and stay at least two metres away from anyone not in your household. Also, make sure that you or your travel professional are checking for any restrictions in the destination you are headed.
Last month, we looked at Japan and the second destination that we are going to look at is Costa Rica. Not only is Costa Rica known for its beautiful landscapes it also has one of the lowest COVID-19 fatality rates in the world. Currently, the border is open to all travelers but everyone entering the country must have medical insurance that will cover them if they get sick while they are on vacation.
Costa Rica is the perfect place to visit if you are looking for more isolated spaces and outdoor activities. Typically, travelers fly into the city of San Jose and then head out from there. The many small villages with local hotels will give you numerous opportunities to experience the beauty of the country and the wildlife right outside your window, as well as provide great hubs for the many day trips that are available.
The country has a plethora of adventure activities. The white-water rafting in Costa Rica is something that you will not want to miss. The warm water, beautiful scenery, and wild animals everywhere will make the adventure one you will always remember. There are also many locations where you can go zip-lining. Costa Rica has the longest zip-line in Latin America at about two kilometers long. That is a long time to be soaring above the trees of the forest canopy, through clouds, with a view for miles. My favorite was the Tarzan Swing – a jump off a 45-meter platform, a free-fall, and then a gentle swing back and forth. I also signed up for waterfall rappelling where you are suited up with a harness and you rappel down numerous waterfalls through the rainforest. If you are looking for something a little less strenuous, you can always try out one or more of the 92 moderate trails available to hike or enjoy one of the hot springs resorts (Tabacon was the one we enjoyed one evening).
Tabacon Hot Springs
There are also numerous exotic sights to see. If you travel to Tortuguero National Park in April or May, you will be able to see the Leatherback turtles nesting. You can also go wildlife seeking by boat among the extensive network of lagoons. This is not a beach destination unless you are going to see the turtles. Another activity on the Caribbean side of the country is fishing. This can’t be done in the park but outside of the park, you will find some of the best angling experiences.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest
It is a Costa Rica Travel Highlight for every year, is a unique occurrence of hazy mist and foliage wet with the condensation from the clouds. Essentially, the sky comes all the way down to the forest. The moisture from the clouds creates a biodiverse environment for all kinds of plant life and the animal life that follows. This cloud forest is one of the last places on earth where you can find all six species of the cat family, as well as the endangered quetzal bird.
The town of La Fortuna is also a fascinating place to visit in Costa Rica. La Fortuna is the gateway to Arenal Volcano Park as it is only about 20 kilometers from the entrance. The town has over 100 restaurants and many shops to browse through. The Arenal Volcano itself is less than ten kilometers from the town. In 1968 the volcano unexpectedly erupted and took out three nearby towns. As of 2010 the volcano has been dormant but is still a beautiful view on the horizon.
Text by Heidi Lawrie, B-Side Travel
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