Five Reasons to Love Costa Rica

Here are my top 5 Reasons To Love Costa Rica:

Perpetual sunshine and warmth — yes, there is a rainy season but so far, we have had only a couple of days with prolonged rain.  Most of the rain has fallen during the evening while we sleep — the occasional daytime rain can be quickly averted by darting into a restaurant for a refreshing drink or quick meal.  All is dry by the time we leave.  Even overcast days are warm and the water always inviting.

Tropical beach

And this is the "rainy" season!!

The beauty of the tropics from the fauna to the birds to the houses and restaurants decorated with bright Caribbean colors.  Color is everywhere!  The tropical woods used in homes are incredibly beautiful!  Outside walkways, bathrooms, and kitchens often are displays of artistic mosaic work, sporting bright colors.

Colorful red-eyed frog

The ever colorful red-eyed frog.

Music!  Reggae & calypso are  the typical sounds from restaurants and bars in Puerto Viejo.  Live bands make it even more exciting.  I won’t even mention the “free drinks for women” at some of the places here.

Mariah dancing with a local

Pura vida is the local expression meaning “love life” and it is reflected in the friendliness of the  people and their life choices.  Work is only a small portion of their life — when you desire less and need less, you are left with time to actually enjoy your life!

Man holding young baby wearing sunglasses.

Enrique & his young son enjoying time spent together.

Exercise and good health has never been easier or more desirable.  Puerto Viejo is a small town that is easily accessible by bike or foot.  Busses and taxis are available for those trips to outlying areas but for the every day stuff, a car is definitely not necessary.  Riding or walking also assures you will have every opportunity to interact with locals and expats, and helps you adapt to the laid back attitude of their culture.  Alternative medicine, yoga, massage, and acupuncture abound, as well as, fresh tropical fruits and vegetables for healthy eating.

A woman is massaging a person's feet.

Kayla receiving acupuncture treatment/massage with essential oils from Dr. Helen.

I’d like to say it’s also cheaper than the states but that’s not necessarily true.  There are many items, both food and non-edible items, that are not easily available here.  Importing makes them ultra-expensive so eating and buying local items is preferable in keeping costs down.  Most folks have tropical fruits growing in their yards– fresh, delicious and free!  Remember too, folks here in the Caribbean don’t need winter clothes, nor do they need to heat their houses.  There are no telemarketers or bulk mailings, fancy stores, or the compulsion to “keep up with the Jones'” enticing you to spend your money.  Does that sound as inviting to you, as it does to me?

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About dbdaze

Currently spending much of my time contemplating the remainder of my life ... realizing the importance of dreams that are fulfilled, support of those closest to you, and the value in downsizing and living with less.
This entry was posted in Life, travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Five Reasons to Love Costa Rica

  1. Nadia Quest says:

    I like your title…it matches my name! I would love to go to Costa Rica on my travels. Thanks for the personal insight and great tips…free drinks, holistic lifestyle, local foods, walking-friendy, sounds great. Check out my blog at http://nadiaquest.wordpress.com to see my tips on the best, free accommodations everywhere in the world. Seems like it could be right up your alley, and it’s practically the only way I travel these days!
    Keep up the good work! Mahalo!

    • dbdaze says:

      I love the idea of house swaps — perfect! Unfortunately, we are in the process of downsizing and selling our home. We’d like to rent only in the future leaving our commitments to a bare minimum so we could move from place to place on a whim. We may look into house sitting — another great option.

  2. agrass9 says:

    Another personal travel suggestion to take on all that Coasta Rica has to offer is to bring moisture wicking clothing, because it is very versatile. This is very important if you are unsure about climate or if you are visiting several different places with different climates. Moisture wicking clothing will keep you warm or cool, allowing you to cut down on the amount of clothing you have to bring with you. To find great, durable, and affordable moisture wicking clothing check out http://www.wickers.com. They carry a variety of colors and styles for men, women, and children, all of which are easy to fit in your suitcase or backpack.

    Happy Traveling!

  3. Pingback: Five Reasons NOT To Love Costa Rica | My Quest

  4. gaycarboys says:

    As if you needed any more reasons to love costa rica:) I’ll get there one day by hook or by crook. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Translation Digest says:

    Great stuff….shall look forward to reading your ‘5 reasons not to love Costa Rica’ and whey out the good and bad….I do however believe the good will outwhey the bad.

    Please feel free to view my blog: http://translationdigest.wordpress.com/ and feel free to leave feedback. Looking forward to your future blog posts.

  6. Ashlee Craft says:

    Costa Rica sounds like a really cool place!

  7. Mary U. says:

    Wonderful post! I have a friend that will be traveling to Costa Rica in September, and I forwarded your post to her! One of my good friends have family in Costa Rica, and they love the recreational adventures! Happy travels : )

  8. Kendra says:

    I’ve been to Panama and Belize, but I haven’t made it to Costa Rica yet and I hear that one is the best!

  9. Katie says:

    All your pictures reminded me of my trip to Costa Rica many years ago! Thank you for bringing back those memories! 🙂

  10. I just moved to Costa Rica four days ago, and I love it! My whole family came with me – kids, dogs, in-laws, and my pregnant wife.

    I would add a sixth reason: there is internet in tropical paradise!

    When you work as a web designer, and you can work from anywhere in the world, Costa Rica is the place to be.

    Pura Vida!

    http://www.PuraVidaMultiMedia.com

    • dbdaze says:

      Four days ago!!! Lucky, lucky you and yours — hopefully we’ll be following in your footsteps soon. And, I agree, isn’t it wonderful that you can get internet even in the jungle? Some pretty nice perks come with being a web designer! 🙂 Pura Vida

  11. thebakerbee says:

    Love this. My Hubby and I spent a summer in Costa 5 years ago when we poor college students and loved every second of it… the raw beauty of living there is like nothing you will ever see in the states. We spent some time in Puerto Viejo and really enjoyed ourselves there.

  12. I’ve been in Tamarindo for two weeks (language course Spanish) and I absolutely loved it. Free drinks for ladies indeed haha. Haven’t seen much from the country but I definitely want to go back! It has a really nice atmosphere 🙂

  13. fashionbeauty4you says:

    Great blog….someday I hope to go there.

  14. fashionbeauty4you says:

    I love their rainforest and your blog is lovely 🙂

  15. Nice photos and write-up! Seems you enjoy the entire travel. Really hope to visit that place also someday, though.

    • dbdaze says:

      Thank you. I feel quite fortunate that our travels brought us to this wonderful and beautiful land. Hope you’re able to see it for yourself someday.

  16. Dee says:

    My parents rant and rave about costa rica! They have gone the last two years!! I wish they would invite me to come, ha ha

    • dbdaze says:

      Maybe you CAN get your parents to include you. Last summer, we rented two houses in the jungle and then invited all our family members (we have 9 kids) to join us if they could. Six of them came, along with 2 grandchildren and 6 friends!!! Seems as if everyone wanted to take advantage of our free housing offer. LOL Very, very fun and great memories!

  17. Jodi says:

    I’ve visited a few years back, and loved their rain forests. I may return some day!

  18. Slamdunk says:

    Great images. My friend who has made several trips to Costa Rica, just loves it.

  19. bmplefour says:

    Η Costa Rica έχει διατηρήσει το φυσικό περιβάλλον. Αυτό σημαίνει φυσικά περισσότερο τουρισμό.
    Όσο περισσότερο διατηρείτε το φυσικό περιβάλλον, τόσο το καλύτερο για σας και για μας.
    Τουρισμός σημαίνει καλό περιβάλλον και καλές υπηρεσίες.

  20. primoseto says:

    nice, wish i could be there someday. by the way, i live in lombok island Indonesia, there are plenty of beautiful pristine beach here..

  21. luaydpk says:

    That beach is nice for relaxing…goood

  22. Pura Vida actually means “Pure Life” in spanish. But yes, the country is absolutely amazing. A great way to see the rainforest is to zipline through it (if you haven’t yet.)

  23. One of my favorite places….haven’t been back since 2004, but have the best memories and for some of the same reasons. Gotta love red eyed tree frogs and all of the iguanas roaming the beaches!

  24. rtcrita says:

    Looks beautiful and so relaxing! I need a beautiful and relaxing place to go someday soon. “Sigh…” Who knows what the future holds?!

    I’ve seen one of those HGTV shows where this couple was looking for a home to buy in Costa Rico. The choices were gorgeous, as were the surroundings. I certainly would have been happy to live in any one of the three homes they showcased! Thanks for sharing your lovely time there.

  25. Pingback: Five Reasons to Love Costa Rica « Vinhchan

  26. Eng says:

    Great stuff — another good post to read.

  27. Damn, I could sure use a vacation right now and Lord knows I need one!!!

    Check out my post on “Watch The Throne’ and daily posts on other topics at Wan’s 2 Cents @ ku1cornelius.wordpress.com

  28. Costa Rica is fantastic. I love the South Pacific and the best way is flying there, avoid driving. The Osa Peninsula is the “Amazon of Central America”.

  29. Debbie great post…I am a big fan of Costa Rica and I lived in the capital for 4 months and was a contributor for one of the English newspapers called Inside Costa Rica. It’s a great country and you’ve done a great job explaining why. If you haven’t been to playa samara yet I would definitely suggest a visit, it is a great beach town on the west coast and is smaller, less touristy than others. Also I saw your from Washington State? I’m from Bainbridge and graduated from Whitman College. Enjoy the travels and pura vida.

    • dbdaze says:

      Well, hello fellow Washingtonian! I take suggestions very seriously so thank you so much! We are all about the less populated, non-touristy areas.

  30. Excellent post today. I really enjoyed it very much. Thanks again for posting this.

  31. giuliano0423 says:

    Your have designed a very good blog. Makes me stick around it. Your idea and content is

    good. Good work keep posting. May god bless you in all your future projects.
    i hope you can take some time to visit my blog. thank u

  32. Oh yes, Costa Rica is one of my favorite places. My dream is to retire to a Costa Rican mountain and raise goats.

  33. ron abbass says:

    Hiya dbdaze! Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed”. Your excellent commentary sure painted a warm, laid-back and inviting picture of Costa Rica! “Perpetual sunshine and warmth”, that definitely appeals to me. Maybe, just maybe, that will be a destination of mine __thanks to you, db!” 🙂 Peace and Blessings to you and yours.

  34. Yeal! Costa Rica looks fantastic.

  35. f-stop mama says:

    Wow! So glad I found your blog. My boyfriend and I are looking at moving to Panama in 3 years after my son graduates from high school. I was so intrigued to find your blog. I am anxious to read more. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • dbdaze says:

      My husband and I have an interest in visiting Panama also — hopefully this next year. Good luck with your plans — like you, it’s so wonderful to find like-minded folks via the net from which to glean info from.

  36. Joshua says:

    Great post! I could not agree more – I lived in CR for about 9 months; 5 in San Pedro and 4 in San Gerardo de Rivas in Chirripo National Park. Can’t wait to go back. I would also recommend to see Volcano Arenal if possible, it’s truly a spectacle, and the Nicoya Peninsula. Otherwise, wherever you go, I recommend staying at Costa Rica Backpacker (which is an awesome chain of hostels) to save a little cash. Puravida

  37. Christina says:

    Great post Debbie! Planning my Central America trip for next year and will continue to follow along if you have tips on other places.

  38. ficklefolly says:

    I’m a big fan of Latin America and I speak Spanish so Costa Rica is on my list of places to see. I have heard wonderful things about it…although I will be reading the top 5 reasons NOT to love it next! Jaja! Thanks for sharing the thoughts and pics!!

    • dbdaze says:

      There is no “perfect” place and with that said, I think it’s always good to get a balanced look at a possible destination BEFORE you go! So, keep watch, that next list will be up soon. LOL

  39. Sound beautiful! Would love to go to Cosat Rica one day!

  40. abichica says:

    wooowww… really cool.. i wanna go there..:-D

  41. Janis says:

    I enjoyed looking at your pictures and it made me miss home, Philippines. Same weather and same friendly faces.

    Pura Vida, what a beautiful phrase to embrace. It’s funny that I’m reading this now because just a couple of weeks ago, I was discussing with friends how I am just about ready to retire and disappear in some small, rural town tucked away from and oblivious of the hustle and bustle of city living and the selfish influence of commercialism. I said I want to find a place where there’s sustainable living. I don’t care if it means making cheese, toiling the soil or macerating grapes for wine to trade in some local market. It’s the simplicity in life that we appreciate the blessings that we tend to overlook when we are distracted by shiny things and comparing how we fare with our facebook friends.

    Congratulations on becoming freshly pressed.

  42. BrianC says:

    Nice post! You give a glimpse of the Costa Rica I didn’t get to. I lived in San Jose for about 6 months with one month in Playa Samara in 2000 and brought in the millenium on the beach in Tamarindo. Given my homebase in San Jose I spent much of my time in the central and western parts of the country.
    I saw in one of your replies to another person that you had plans to go to Lake Arenal. A great place and the hot springs are amazing. Around there you can have a local guide take you on a little rainforest/light-spluncking hikes, horseback trips and hikes up Arenal itself and another up to some waterfalls. All for pretty cheap rates. I’m sure where ever you stay there’ll be someone who can put you contact with the guides.

    I also higly recommend a horseback trip through Monteverde Cloud Forest.

    Keep enjoying the country. Sounds like you’re having an amazing time.

  43. communicansvere says:

    Great reading! I spent about five months in Costa Rica almost 20 years ago, and still cherish some really fond memories of the country, the people and its nature. I have been busy traveling to other amazing places around the planet, but CR will always be on the Top 5 list.

    • dbdaze says:

      I wish I could count myself as a “world traveler” but, alas, I must be thankful for the minimal traveling I’ve had the good fortune to do. I’d love to know what the other 4 on your list of top 5 would be.

  44. Natalie says:

    love it!

  45. trialsinfood says:

    maybe it was the time of year (early dec) or areas we went to (Arenal and Alajuela), but it was rainy most of the time. we did love being around the volcano areas though and the beaches on the coast were nice. definitely not very cheap, but i agree the people are very friendly.

    • dbdaze says:

      Yes, it DOES rain but I do know the weather on the southern Caribbean coast is different than the rest of the country. Not sure I have the desire to visit the Pacific beach areas … too developed and touristy but I would like to visit Lake Arenal.

  46. I spent a month in Costa Rica a few years a go on a mission. I absolutely loved it (aside from the hawk-sized mosquitos 🙂 )! Your beautiful pictures and reasons to love Costa Rica make me want to go back so badly. It was a life-changing trip for me! I spent half of time there in the mountainous country. It was actually quite cool, even in July! Pura vida!

  47. I agree about This is best synopsis for why to love Costa Rica! It is an incredible country. Truly the Switzerland of Latin America!

    carpet cleaner

  48. Congra!
    A few months ago, I also made a summary of reasons to visit Cusco. Here is the link:
    http://peruenroute.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/reasons-to-visit-cusco/

  49. livinglearningeating says:

    5 Reasons to Love Germany:

    1) FOOD – From the best breads in the world, to all kinds of unique dairy creations, to melt-in-your mouth chocolate, decadent cakes, and tangy-tart Sauerkraut, what’s not to love?!
    2) FASHION – No camel toes and hot pants here!
    3) CULTURE – With buildings older than the USA, there’s no end to the stories you can uncover
    4) PACE OF LIFE – Shops still close on Sundays (even the grocery store and pharmacy!) and the work day ends around 4 or 5 pm. Plus, don’t forget the mid-afternoon coffee & cake break!
    5) AIR – Until you’ve breathed in deep in the rural German countryside, you have not tasted delicious air.

    Gee, thanks for this exercise! I’m *sososo* excited for my travels this weekend! 🙂

  50. Eva McCane says:

    i can name 1 reason with 5 words. A summary if you will. Good Times And Warm Sun.

  51. This is exactly the kind of vacation my husband would love! It is my mission to convince him to go somewhere a little more exotic, and Costa Rica is definitely high on my list!

    • dbdaze says:

      I’m going to share a little secret here. Our first trip to Costa Rica happened because after investigating and planning, I gave my husband tickets to Puerto Viejo for Christmas one year. I had the hotel booked and all arrangements made — all he had to do was come. Maybe that could work for you??

  52. Pura Vida for sure! I love Costa Rica. The climate, the people, the fresh fruit. I love the photo of the red-eyed frog. Post more pix! I was in CR in ’97 and really enjoyed visiting Manuel Antonio National Park. Seems like CR embraced conservation ahead of many places. Such a wonderful place.

    • dbdaze says:

      We definitely have more traveling to do in Costa Rica. I’m afraid Puerto Viejo just stole our hearts. We’ve made so many wonderful friends and acquaintances. We especially love Puerto Viejo because of it’s rusticness — full of culture and so far, untouched by big corporations. I could (and hope someday) to stay forever and just soak up all the beauty and wonderfulness.

  53. Hi Debbie! I LOVE Puerto Viejo…it’s my favorite place in Costa Rica. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guanacaste from 2006 – 2008. Although I can also give several reasons not to love Costa Rica as well, having lived there in very not-vacation-like conditions, I still agree that it’s a much simpler and calmer way of life than many places here in the U.S, and you point out many of the great qualities! My Gravatar picture is actually a painting I did of a boy walking along the water in Puerto Viejo carrying a fish and kicking a soccer ball. That’s the pace of life I enjoy! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    • dbdaze says:

      A kindred spirit!! Yes, there are challenges to living in Costa Rica and it’s definitely not for everyone, that’s for sure. I agree, your Gravatar says more than words. My current goal is to downsize to the extent that I am no longer owned by my possessions. I truly don’t think, for me at least, that I can live here in the states and not to continue to fall into the materialistic hole, hence my desire to move to a place such as Puerto Viejo some day soon. Pura Vida

  54. Sunshine, tropical scenery, good music…what more could a guy–or girl–ask for?

  55. mrodgers says:

    How does the poverty away from tourist areas compare to the rest of the Caribbean? I know the resort areas are amazing in many of these places, but the rest of the island is living in poverty. Well written post.

    • dbdaze says:

      When we visit a country, we choose to by-pass the tourist areas and in this case, our search took us to Puerto Viejo. There are no all-inclusive resorts, shopping malls or fancy marina — the locals do cater to the tourists/backpackers/travelers who pass through but life is very rustic. Poverty definitely exists but there is a strong sense of Pura Vida, as well. We always dedicate one suitcase to clothes and supplies for the indigenous kids, many of which live far in the jungle without even the basics.

    • jane says:

      I suggest that you check out ResponsibleTravel.org and its involvement with the Osa Peninsula…there are ways to keep our footprints light and our hearts full, even in the most fragile – and beautiful – of settings!

  56. fascinating!! great photos as well. Someday I would love to go to Costa Rica…it’s been added to my bucket list!

    http://howficklemyheart.wordpress.com

    • dbdaze says:

      And, I hope you do! BTW, I love your Be Nice list on your blog. I too believe that this world is a good place, filled with good people — and though I occasionally get stung because of my trusting nature, I wouldn’t change this part of me for the world.

  57. Sharifah says:

    Pura vida…great philosophy.

  58. Karen Wood says:

    Did you visit Tabacon while in Costa Rica? It’s located at the base of the active Arenal volcano. There are about 22 natural thermal hot springs in a lush jungle like setting. Tabacon was the highlight of my trip.

    • Debbie Day says:

      Karen, on our next trip to Costa Rica we plan to visit the Lake Arenal area. Can’t wait to experience the hot springs!!! I’ll definitely check out Tabacon. Thanks!!

  59. I love Costa Rica and the whole “Pura Vida” thing! Will have to go again someday. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  60. I love this post! I would have to agree with all the things you have said…

    I especially love the phrase “pura vida”. I have been traveling up and down Cali by RV for the past 5 months, and the difference between “wants” & “needs” have become much more obvious in that time… We live more simple, we are frugal w/ our money, we actually eat ALL the food in our fridge, we spend less time cleaning (RV is only 32 feet), and we spend more time doing healthy fun things, like walks on the beach, hanging out at the pool, taking hikes, etc. Life is more simple and less stressful when you enjoy life’s simple pleasures and weed out the unnecessary. My fiance` and I have also lost weight!

    Its so great to see someone enjoying their experience as it appears you are. It looks like you are having a lot of fun!

    • Debbie Day says:

      So glad to hear of your “downsizing” experience and the positive effects it has had your life! Health-willing we are headed in the same direction! Pura Vida, my friend

  61. Harold says:

    Wish I could get there! These days I am full of wishes, oh well. Congrats on being FP!

  62. bercton says:

    Really nice stuffs! great post. Thanks for sharing!

  63. It does indeed sound inviting!!! With the impeding fall upon us and the uncertainty of London riots and nothing but bad news on the news… a little island getaway is exactly what the dr. ordered! I can vicarioulsy live through you! Fab blog!

    • Debbie Day says:

      Oh man, I hear you. Sometimes I have to battle off the world’s depressing news or I can easily be sucked into a spiral of depression. Finding a culture that lives in the ‘here and now’ and experiencing the beauty of simplicity, was just what I needed. Hope I’ll be reading about your travel experiences in the near future! Here’s my word of advice: Make it happen!

  64. Renee says:

    Looks like a beautiful place to kick back and relax. I will just kick back and relax in my office chair while re-reading this post. Congrats on being FP!

  65. Alexa says:

    Always wanted to go here…great post!

  66. These seem like amazing reasons — pura vida is reason alone! 🙂

  67. Peacock_Eye_R.I says:

    Next stop Costa Rica!
    Lovely review and pictures… It would definitely be a vation worth remembering

  68. mthoffman says:

    Lovin’ that adorable photo of the frog 😀

  69. hottabb says:

    sounds like an amazing place to visit, I love the tropics

  70. vallaura says:

    come visit Indonesia with its Bali, Lombok and other islands… you will love them all 🙂

  71. vivevivir says:

    This is best synopsis for why to love Costa Rica! It is an incredible country. Truly the Switzerland of Latin America!

  72. Pingback: Five Reasons to Love Costa Rica (via My Quest) « It's impossible to be unhappy on a skateboard.

  73. baligins says:

    Great pictures! I’d love to visit Costa Rica!

  74. Lapa Rios off the Osa Pennisula is by far one of the most beautiful eco resorts in the world. I fell in love with the people, the country and the life. I would love to ditch it all and live there…http://www.laparios.com/

  75. natasiarose says:

    Great pics! I can’t imagine any reasons not to love Costa Rica! Unless that frog is poisonous or something…

  76. I want to go there right now! Meanwhile I’ll just read this again and pretend I am there 0.0

  77. this looks fantastic i would love to go !

    • Debbie Day says:

      Hope you do!! A few years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea that I would actually spend 2 months in Costa Rica! Just wouldn’t have thought it possible and here, I’ve been three times!!! Make it happen!

  78. 48colorrainbow says:

    I would love to visit Costa Rica sometime.

  79. rhebus says:

    Great post Debbie! You have summarized this perfectly as far as I am concerned. It was wonderful to meet you the other night – hopefully we will see you again soon!
    Jana

  80. Judith says:

    Ooh Debbie – how do I get there?
    Judith

    • dbdaze says:

      You might want to wait to read my top 5 Reasons NOT to Love Costa Rica! LOL

      • gr8
        it wil b intresting to read its counter part
        eagerly w8tng fot dat
        hehehe

        bdw gr8 post

      • dbdaze says:

        Lots of people think Costa Rica is “paradise” but, in all honesty, there is no true “paradise” — there’s good and bad everywhere. I love Costa Rica but it’s not for everyone. So, in all fairness, I shall post a follow up “Five Reasons Why You May NOT Love Costa Rica”. Look for it soon! Thanks for reading my blog.

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