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Costa Rica with its Central American location offers something truly special with its National parks and protected regions covering almost a quarter of its land, the coastline ranging from the crystal clear warmth of the Caribbean Sea to the east to the wild beauty of the Pacific Ocean to the west; this is a land of ecological diversity, from rainforests and volcanoes to the high mountains that sweep down to the mysterious marshes there is something special to gaze at wherever you find yourself.
More than this though Costa Rica is a place where the welcome is as special as the terrain, from the capital of San Jose to the rural villages set amongst the beauty of the landscape this is a country to lose yourself in, to free yourself and to enjoy the adventure and experience that here more than anywhere else truly match up to your expectations.
Costa Rica has the lot, from stunning eco-lodges to luxury hotels and simple tents under the stars, how far you go depends on your sense of adventure, camping in the rainforest or soaking up the opulence of a five star hotel it’s all there for the taking in this land of experiences that are like nothing anywhere else on earth.If you are looking to stay in the San Jose region then Posada El Quijote offers access to the city but with a beautiful hillside location, traditional Spanish styling overlooking the Central Valley makes this a stand out hotel; if you desire something even more special then Hotel Arenal Lodge still has the very best in luxury but in a rainforest setting, offering the most spectacular views of Volcano Arenal across Costa Rica.
The food in Costa Rica is usually simple but filled with amazing flavour and the freshest of produce, Casado the national lunch dish can be eaten to give a real sense of satisfaction, rice, beans, and local meats or fish are served with salad and plantain and often cost little more than a few dollars with fresh fruit juices included; the perfect way to eat well on even the most modest of budgets.For Caribbean style cuisine it has to be Maxi’s restaurant, serving the very freshest of fish and seafood, whilst those that prefer something a little meatier will love La Esquita de Beunos Aires in San Jose, the perfect place to enjoy a perfectly cooked steak and a glass of Argentinean Malbec; totally eclectic but none the less amazing is Don Rufino, the bar and grill outdoor dining experience that manages to put both gorgonzola sauce and Bengali chicken on the menu and for neither to seem out of place.
Costa Rica is literally teeming with wildlife, the tropical forests filled with monkeys, sloths, tapirs, and wildcats, and the further away from the beaten track you travel the more diverse and unexpected the flora and fauna becomes; with over 800 species of bird throughout this small country one of the greatest ways to spend time is bird watching, the unusual species with their impossibly coloured plumage filling the plentiful National Parks.Water plays a huge part in the attraction of Costa Rica with fantastic beaches, amazing river rafting, fishing for game fish along the coastline and some renowned scuba diving spots; if seeing the rainforests from a different angle appeals then why not take a zip line tour, travelling through and above the forest canopy, or for those preferring something a little less arduous the aerial trams take similar routes without the effort.
Central Valley is the most densely populated region and enjoys fabulous spring like conditions throughout the year, whilst the coastal areas are much hotter, and more humid conditions are experienced; the rainy season (May until December) does vary across the areas of Costa Rica but June and July are consistently the wettest months right across the country. If you are in Costa Rica to see majestic Volcano Arenal April and May is your best opportunity to catch a break in the clouds.There are many local festivals and events taking place throughout the year in Costa Rica, with a great carnival feel to be experienced whenever you visit, especially amongst the larger settlements, most notable are the Day of the Annexation of Guanacaste during July with bullfights, cattle shows and much merriment, and October’s Limon Carnival, Columbus day celebrated in the way that only the Caribbean can truly celebrate.