Central America, Costa Rica, Tips

How was my Costa Rica in almost 7 weeks?

10 Jun , 2015  

Long term travelling gives me lessons all the time. My Costa Rica trip is an excellent example. I initially planned to stay there 2-3 weeks. At the end I stayed almost 7 and it was very hard to leave. There are many pros and cons of this beautiful country. Here are mine.

Pros

  • Costa Rica is beautiful and extraordinary country and its touristic infrastructure is improving every year. Of course, this point itself has its own advantages and disadvantages but that’s for longer discussion.
  • There are many national parks and volcanos you can visit. In fact, there are so many of them that it will be very hard for you to decide which to skip.
  • Excellent surfing opportunities and surfing culture. Couple of cities like Jaco are not worth visiting but spots like Pavones, Santa Teresa, Tamarindo or Dominical provide world class surfing and many opportunities to meet other surfers and local people.
  • Pura Vida lifestyle is very addictive.

Cons

  • Costa Rica is quite expensive when comparing to Nicaragua or even Panama.
  • Lot of tourists in high season, be prepared for that.
  • Entrance fees to national parks and volcanos are sometimes unbelievable high. Not very good news for backpackers.
  • Very expensive food, even in supermarkets. I was always wondering how are local people capable of paying such a high prices.
  • Missing roads and infrastructure in places where you would expect it. Typical example is Nicoya Peninsula. You’re are pretty much doomed without car or ATV.

My highlights

  • Small surfing village called Pavones was my introduction to Costa Rica. Quite remote place with one of the longest waves in the world. And I am not even talking about those amazing people I met over there. Forget tourists, you won’t meet anyone there.
  • Dominical was my second surfing village, great waves, great people and waterfalls. Definitely recommended.
  • I decided to visit Turrialba to try the world class rafting on the river with the same name. Unfortunately, the mother nature didn’t help me much and nobody was rafting during my stay.
  • The capital San Jose is very controversial. Most of the people say don’t go there, there’s nothing to see. I stayed just one afternoon and unfortunately have to agree.
  • Uvita was probably my biggest mistake. The only thing worth to see is its waterfall.
  • As I already mentioned Jaco is the worst place to be. The closest surfing beach to San Jose, there are many drugs and prostitution. I went there only to buy my surfboard.
  • Bijagua is a small village from where you can visit Tenorio National Park with probably the most beautiful river in Costa Rica – Rio Celeste. Go there if you have a chance, it didn’t work out for me.
  • Santa Teresa was my temporary home for almost 3 weeks. Amazing waves, beaches and surfing vibes. I could easily live there for couple of months.
  • Montezuma is very slow village on Nicoya Peninsula but extremely touristic during high season. Spectacular beaches, national park but mainly triple waterfall. Must see.
  • Just 7 km from Montezuma is a small fishing village called Cabuya. The reasons to come here are its island and Cabo Blanco National Park.
  • Another touristic spot, this time in the mountains is called Monteverde. Unbelievable rain forests and the highest bungee jumping in Latin America.
  • Another quite touristic place Tamarindo surprised me a lot. I not only met there super cool people but mainly caught my best waves till now. Ideal conditions for beginners and advances surfers. Definitely visit Playa Langosta. I am sill dreaming about that place.

 

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