Seek the Heat
"COSTA RICA - THE RICH COAST - OFFERS CULTURAL RICHES"
You’ll hear the phrase everywhere when you visit Costa Rica and it sums up the country nicely - Pura Vida. “It applies to all things great about Costa Rica,” says Ellison Travel and Tours advisor Karina Thompson. It translates as pure life but Thompson says it’s more than a slogan; it’s a way of being. “It’s love, life, simple things. There’s something for everyone.”
The Central American country continues to be on the bucket list of many for its thrilling ziplining, wild whitewater rafting, jungles, volcanos, eco activities and beauty. “It's more than just a beach destination. It's about getting out of the all-inclusive resort and exploring nature and culture,” says London travel specialist Michelle Whelan, with Uniglobe Premier.
If you like golf, there’s a local connection at the Buenas Golf Resort, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Osa Peninsula. “It's a resort developed by a Canadian team that builds quality condos for purchase and rental along with the golf resort,” Whelan says. “I've been involved in meetings with the team, including team members who are directly from London, as to how Canadians can purchase or rent a condo in that area and have access to other amenities.”
Costa Rica is a great destination for both families and couples. Thompson says kids will love the animals and the many different species of birds. Couples can relax at beautiful fivestar resorts as well as take excursions, enjoying both romance and adventure on their trip.
For those who want to experience more of the countryside, Thompson says many people backpack through Costa Rica. There are lots of hiking trails and hostels for people who want to get a little closer to nature, she says. Whelan recommends a guided tour on the trails so that you can take in all there is to see in the lush landscape. “There are local experts and they may also be trained expeditionists or zoologists. Often a local guide will spot animals that you can’t and help you get up close and personal,” Whelan says. From camping in the jungle to boutique hotels to renting a villa with a private chef, there’s an accommodation for everyone, she says.
Thompson suggests experiencing both the coffee and the chocolate in Costa Rica – and probably bringing some back home with you. Tours of chocolate farms and coffee plantations are highly recommended. Costa Rican coffee beans are considered among the best in the world due to the ideal coffee growing climate. The temperature only varies about 10 degrees throughout the year – which is good for the beans and the tourists.
While most people crave the heat during our cold Canadian winters, that is also when the cost to travel to Costa Rica is highest. The local rainy season is between April and November. Thompson says she travelled to the country in September and was pleasantly surprised when it only rained at night. “The bonus of the rainy season is that everything is very green and lush, but it can also cause flooding in some areas.”