Costa Rica is a country for nature lovers. It has beautiful beaches at the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean to offer next to forests, volcanoes and an impressive fauna. The country was one of many which we visited while doing our backpacking through Central America and I share with you our 10-day itinerary now.
We got to Costa Rica crossing the Panama border, leaving Bocas del Toro and arriving in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, a small very touristy beach town in the Caribbean. We spent two days in Puerto Viejo and then headed to the capital, San Jose. In San José we stayed longer than we wanted to but as you know, we have to travel and to work. But 2 days are more than enough to get to know the city.
Our next destination in Costa Rica was the Manuel Antonio National Park, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, according to Traveler’s Choice 2016, promoted by Tripadvisor. So that you have enough time to get to know the park and the nearby beaches, you should stay about 2 days as well.
To go from Quepos (the major city to get to the National Park) to Monteverde, which was our next destination, we had to make a 1-night stop in another beach town: Puntarenas. The ocean of Puntarenas doesn’t compete with the beaches of Manuel Antonio. But the waterfront is very charming with a lighthouse and in the late afternoon the sun is setting over the ocean which is very beautiful.
Very early the next morning, we left to get to Monteverde, a region of cloud forest (tropical). This is one of the most important tourist destinations in Costa Rica, due to the variety of flora and fauna and as it also offers several outdoor activities, including extreme sports.
Those of you who have more time in Costa Rica can also take advantage to include the city La Fortuna, where the Arenal Volcano is located.
Accommodation and Transportation
Costa Rica is the most developed country in Central America, both economically and socially. It’s a very organized country with good infrastructure and it is safe.
Traveling through the country is very easy and you can go to the main tourist destinations by bus which are modern and comfortable, compared to other Central American countries. However, you should be aware of the distances in-between one destination and another, because on the map it may seems close, but as the country has many mountain regions, the routes may take longer than it seems.
Costa Rica also offers good accommodation, both hostels and hotels. Some Pacific beaches offer more resort options and are pretty frequented by foreigners, especially Americans. That is the reason why in Costa Rica, the Pacific destinations are more expensive than those in the Caribbean.
The currency of the country is Costa-Rica Colon (CRC). Although 1 Euro is the equivalent of 665 CRC
(Brazil: R$ 1 = 174 CRC; November 2017), don’t take it wrong as living in Costa Rica is very high,
especially in comparison to the other countries in Central America.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the calculation of our average costs in Costa Rica. So that you have an
idea, I compared the cost of living in San José with the one in Bogotá (Colombia) with the help of the
website Expatistan, which pointed out that the capital of Costa Rica is on average 36 % more
expensive than Bogotá. Especially food is 71 % more expensive in San Jose than in Bogotá.
Another important detail is that, in most tourist establishments, including restaurants and national
parks, prices are charged in US dollars.