Backpacker College had the opportunity to interview one of our very own employees about their journey to Costa Rica! After a few connecting flights and a three-hour road trip Jack and his family arrived at a house just outside the Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica. They were able to get this incredible accommodation through VRBO, a partner of Backpacker College. There were many highlights to the trip; however, the following are the experiences that made his shortlist of things that one must see and do while in the country, and hopefully you’ll add them to your list too.
To start the list must be the zip lining! What better way to see the Costa Rica’s picturesque landscape than to fly over the canopies on a zip line, some of which can even stretch for more than a kilometer. Jack was lucky enough to experience this for himself while exploring the Manuel Antonio Nation Park. He can say with certainty that that it was an experience that he will never forget.
Costa Rica is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. All over the country you will find beaches with soft sand and warm tropical water. Just imagine laying out on the soft white sand, hearing the birds chirping in the trees while the clear blue water rolls gently onto the beach.
Another thing that you must do while in Costa Rica is surfing! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert surfer, Costa Rica is the place to go with different beaches that offer a variety of different conditions. The gentle rolling waves at one of the beaches along the coast Jack visited was perfect for him and his sister to learn how to surf. You are also able to secure lessons and rent out all of the equipment that you need, so there is no reason to shy away from trying out this cool sport.
If surfing isn’t really your style, there are plenty of other fun activities to try, one that many people enjoy is fishing. If you are lucky, you could get the chance to go out on a boat with a local fisherman. That is exactly how Jack and his father spent an entire day in Costa Rica. They caught all kinds of fish like tuna and snapper, some of which they were even able to take back to the house to make fresh fish tacos!
White Water Rafting
If you’re someone who wants the thrill of adventure and a maxed out adrenalin rush, Costa Rica also offers more thrilling activities, like white-water rafting. There are 14 major river systems in Costa Rica, all of which originate in volcanic mountain ranges with lots of waterfalls and rapids along the way. With the beautiful landscapes surrounding the river banks, the country offers a fantastic rafting experience for everyone.
With its rugged rainforest that cover’s much of the country, Costa Rica is also home to countless species of wildlife. In fact, while only covering 0.003% of the earth’s surface it is home to nearly 6% of the planet’s biodiversity. Some of the most notable animals that you can see and hear were howler monkeys, sloths and sea turtles.
Jack was truly astounded by the quality of the coffee here, “I don’t think I have ever had better coffee than when I was in Costa Rica.” Not only is this because the Costa Rican climate is ideal for growing the delicate plants that Arabica coffee beans come from, but the country also banned farmers from planting low quality beans in 1989.
The locals have a very relaxed way of life, which makes Costa Rica one of the happiest and friendliest places on the planet. A common expression that is used amongst Costa Ricans is “Pura Vida”, which when translated means “pure life” or “simple life”. While this phrase is typically used as a hello or goodbye, it also serves as a reminder to not stress about the little things.
It has a Blue Zone!
There are five Blue Zones scattered around the world, which are small areas that have a high concentration of people who live over a hundred years old! Visit Costa Rica’s Blue Zone, the Nicoya Peninsula and learn some secrets to living a long and healthy life.
Overall, Jack has had an amazing family vacation in Costa Rica and urges others, if they have the chance, to visit the stunning country. It is a once in a life time experience that you do not want to miss out on.