Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries among travelers in Central America. Mainly because of the large number of national parks and reserves where travelers are able to get close to nature. This is also a country filled with friendly people that boast a colorful culture that you can learn a lot from. It is also filled with gorgeous hotels.
With just a little bit of research you will be able to find tons of things to do in the country but in this article, I included a few of my favorite. They can guarantee a fun vacation.
4 Things to Do in Costa Rica
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Hit the Hiking Trails
Over 25% of Costa Rica’s territory is protected. For a small fee, you can access its national parks and natural reserves and explore the trails in them. Most of them are well maintained.
There is something for everyone, in those parks, you will find options for experienced hikers and some other for those who aren’t used to getting up close and personal with nature. After living in the country for a few years I had the chance to visit lots of its parks and hiked a few of its trails. This allowed me to find a few of the best. They are:
- Arenal Volcano National Park
- Corcovado National Park
- Rio Celeste Waterfall & Tenorio Volcano
- Manuel Antonio National Park
- Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
To find more information about the above-mentioned hiking trails check out this article.
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Visit its Historical Monuments
One of the most enriching experiences that you can have while traveling is learning about the history and culture of people from different places that you visit. This has allowed me to understand our world much better and to open my mind to new ideas. My favorite way to learn about local history is to go on guided tours (whenever available) of the most important or popular sites and monuments.
I was also able to visit several of the historical places in Costa Rica that can give you a great insight to the local culture and history. Following is a list of my favorite sites and monuments in the country:
- Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
- Templo de la Musica
- Atlantic Railroad Station - The Museum of Shapes, Spaces, and Sounds
- National Park of Costa Rica
- Cartago City
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Experience its Festivals
Festivals happen all of the time in the different towns all over Costa Rica. There are a few each month. Each town has a special day when they celebrate their patron saint (it is still predominantly a Catholic country). And let me tell you, locals know how to party.
However, there are a couple that are celebrated all over the country or that are more popular. Plus not all of them have to do with religious reasons. There are festivals of all kinds such as: bullfights, carnivals, games, fireworks and horse parades. A few of the best ones are:
- Holi Week
- Dia de los Boyeros
- Fiesta Palmares
- Fiesta Santa Cruz
- Carnival and Festival del Mar
- Independence Day
To read about these and a few other festivals of Costa Rica click here.
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Donate Your TimeThrough Volunteering
I always believed that volunteering is one of the most rewarding things you can do while traveling. It is something you can do to learn, to share what you know, to immerse in a different culture and to make friends while being helpful to the local community.
In Costa Rica. you will find tons of organizations aiming to improve the quality of life of its people or trying to preserve and endangered animal species. Some others focus their efforts on reforestation and wildlife research. There are tons of options to choose from.
A few of my favorite organizations that offer volunteering opportunities are:
- Costa Rica Sanctuary
- Eco Sanctuary
- El Puente – The Bridge
- Gaia Vista
- La Tortuga Feliz
For more information about each of the organizations mentioned above check out this article.