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Top 10 things to do in Costa Rica

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By Dillon Wallace

“Pura vida!” All day, everyday.


In the beautiful Central American country of Costa Rica, the locals have a saying, “Pura Vida.” It means the good life and when you visit (because you’ll want to after reading this), you’ll quickly understand why this mantra applies to the people and everything they do.


So start living the good life with these top 10 things to do when you visit Costa Rica.

Tree line zip lining

If you’ve never zip lined, you need to try it … unless you’re deathly afraid of heights. There are few better places to make it your first time zip lining than Costa Rica. With half-a-day’s worth of zip lining posts to hit, the thrill of careening through the rainforest as you spot amazing waterfalls and wildlife doesn’t get any better. Oh wait, yes it does. Costa Rica is also home to one of the longest zip lines in Latin America, reaching over 1 kilometer in a single shoot.


White water rafting adventures

Adventure awaits you in Costa Rica and hitting the rapids with your closest friends and family is an amazing way to see the natural beauty of the country. Enjoy a little action, some breathtaking sights and a fresh pineapple break in the middle of your rafting venture – rafting elsewhere will never quite compare.


Sloth sightings

How often do you get to see one of nature’s hidden gems? Sloths are equal parts slow, funny-looking and adorable – all at the same time. And while it’s tough to see one in motion … they are one of the laziest creatures after all, a visit to Costa Rica will give you the opportunity to spot this furry slacker chillaxing high up in the trees doing what it does best – nothing at all.


Eat all the rice, beans and pineapple

One of the best parts about traveling to a foreign country is taking part in tasting their culture, including their cuisine. For Costa Rica, that cuisine consists of plenty a helping of rice, beans and pineapple. Breakfast, lunch, dinner – doesn’t matter. They’ll pair all three with any meal of the day. And trust me, you’ve never tasted pineapple like fresh, juicy Costa Rican pineapple.


Arenal volcano hike

A walking hike of an active, resting volcano? So long as the movie Dante’s Peak isn’t reenacted, then yes please! But even without Pierce Brosnan around to protect you, Arenal volcano hikes let you get close but not too close for comfort to the majestic volcano. Visitors can walk the various trails, including the lava trail that leads first down toward the Los Tucanes and then offers a tougher trek back to the lodge. You can even take a guided hike to learn more about the volcano, including it’s huge 1968 eruption.


Nocturnal nature tour

Ever seen some of the rainforests most exotic creatures up close and personal? Well, in Costa Rica you can and you should. From blue jean tree and red-eyed tree frogs to sloths – even anteaters, Costa Rica is home to some of the most breathtaking wildlife on the planet. And with a guided nocturnal nature tour, you’re armed with a guide and a flashlight to learn about all the incredible indigenous creatures that lurk about. Don’t worry, it’s totally safe … practically, totally safe.


Beach it up

After a few days of adventurous excursions, you’re probably ready for a little R&R time. That’s where a relaxing stay on Jaco Beach, Tamarindo or Playa Grande becomes the perfect lazy itinerary destination. Shack up at an all-inclusive resort and enjoy all the strawberry daiquiris, pina coladas and Spanish beer your heart desires. Or, if you’re still primed for adventure, hit the water for some surfing, snorkeling and scuba diving action. Costa Rica is your oyster for fun and relaxation.


Sizzle in the hot springs

Thanks to all the volcanic formations and activity, Costa Rica reaps the benefit of many natural hot springs around its breathtaking country. And after a few days of adventuring your way through the country, your body could use a nice warm soak. If so, check out the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort and bathe in a nice and warm 77-122 degree Fahrenheit pool to soothe all your ailments and wash your worries away.


Ecotourist friendly

Imagine doing all the activities on the list above and know that you’re doing them in the poster child country for ecotourism. Costa Rica’s ecotourism’s big draw is from its vast array of national parks and protected areas that offer amazing biodiversity and an immense ecosystem for tourists to enjoy. By taking advantage of this growing demand of eco-friendly tourism, Costa Rica can exchange use of it’s unforgettable landscape for country profit. Everyone involved – tourists, locals and nature alike – all seem to win.


Speak with the locals

We’ve all heard about southern hospitality in North America, but it’s got nothing on the hospitality even further south down in Central America’s Costa Rica. Because the country is one of the leaders in ecotourism, the locals aren’t angry by the amount of visitors that flood their country. In fact, ecotourism is one of Costa Rica’s leading generators of profit, so they love having foreigners visit and partake in their landscape and culture. Whether it’s going out to eat, preparing for a guided tour or booking a stay at one of the country’s top resorts, Costa Rica is full of friendly and accommodating people, making it just that much more amazing than it already is.


So the next time you’re in the market for a much needed vacation getaway, book a flight to Costa Rica. Just make sure you take your camera with you to snap evidence of all the awesomeness that’s sure to ensue. And speaking of pictures, if you’ve got any old childhood vacation photos or videotapes laying around the house, send them in to us to get them digitized. Vacation memories are the best; it’s important that you preserve them!
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