Top 5 reasons to visit Costa Rica in 2019


Costa Rica, one of the world’s most biodiverse countries is a popular destination among lovers of wildlife and nature – but that’s not all there is to it.  It is expected to be one of the top destinations for travellers in 2019, offering adventure, culture and even some useful insight into living a happy life.

It’s the happiest country in the world

According to The Happy Planet Index Report, published by the New Economics Foundation, Costa Ricans – or Ticos as they like to be known – value something above money: happiness. This is down to their ‘Pura Vida’ philosophy – a phrase which translates as ‘the simple life’ and encapsulates Costa Ricans’ ability to appreciate the little things. Combine this with the abundance of wildlife, lush rainforests and pristine beaches and Costa Rica is a place that is hard to pull yourself away from.

You can try thrilling activities like volcano trekking

As well as zip-lining in Monteverde – where it was invented – white-water rafting and whale watching, one of the most exhilarating experiences to try in Costa Rica is volcano trekking around the Arenal Volcano – the most active volcano in Costa Rica.  Hike through old lava flows with a guide and be sure to take in the natural gems of the national park, which is alive with an abundance of wildlife. While you’re at the Arenal Volcano National Park, be sure to snap a photo next to the Cerro Chato Volcano which has a fantastic green-coloured lagoon within a collapsed crater.

It has a plethora of ecosystems

Although it is one of the smallest countries in Central America, Costa Rica has a variety of ecosystems including tropical lowland rainforests, cloud forests and coral reef. Strewn with alluring flowers and other vegetation, the cloud forests in high-altitude places like Monteverde and Bralio Carillo provide water to ecosystems beneath them. There is also highland mountain rainforests, with evergreen trees stretching as far as the eye can see in contrast to the arid Paramo ecosystem in the Talamanca Mountains, where you’ll find lizards, snakes and hardy plants. The ethereal mangrove forests and wetlands are best explored by boat – watch out for caimans, crocodiles and birds of paradise.

The beaches are unique and diverse

Sitting between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is blessed with pristine beaches, all unique in their own way. One of the most popular beach is Manuel Antonio, which sits shrouded in a blanket of trees in the national park of the same name. The Costa Ballena get its name from its sandbar which is shaped like a whale’s tail and coincidentally, is a major destination for spotting humpback whales from August to October and December to April. For a relaxed, surfing vibe, head to Tamarindo on the northwest coast.

Costa Rica is home to an abundance of wildlife

There are more than 500,000 animal and plant species in Costa Rica, making it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. With more than thirty national parks, it is easy to encounter the many fascinating species living there, including native ones like tapirs, coatis, ocelots and capuchin moneys – however you don’t see them solely in national parks and reserves but also when walking or driving around in towns and villages. So keep your eyes peeled for a loitering three-toed sloth, awesome rhinoceros beetles and colourful birds like the scarlet macaw.

Thomas Ryves is Marketing Director at Exsus Travel. Exsus Travel specialises in creating the very best luxury tailor-made holidays, honeymoons and family adventures in over 80 destinations worldwide.

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Comments (9)

  1. Ben says:

    I’ve got a feeling that Costa Rica is going to be one of the destinations of 2019, it is certainly top of my list. It’s got both Pacific and Caribbean shorelines with fantastic beaches, a huge variety of wildlife (no need to mention the 137 snakes, especially not the green viper), easy roads and plenty of luxurious hotels. What’s not to like?

  2. Kate says:

    I’ve heard that sometimes you can get a red algae out at sea on the Pacific Coast. How can you avoid this? I like swimming in the sea so are there any areas that stay free of it? I would expect that the algae gets dispersed by rain and winds – so when would be the best time to visit the Pacific Coast?

  3. Yoo Hee says:

    From your post Costa Rica could be a serious destination for many people. The variety of activities and places to see are quite amazing. I especially love the rainforests because I believe in keeping nature untouched by civilization.

  4. Kevin Dakin says:

    This could well be Costa Rica’s year. Us Brits are getting very nervous about travelling to Europe if it’s a pear-shaped no-deal Brexit. I know that a lot of my friends are thinking that this is the time to look at new destinations. I get the impression that the Far East is going to do well too.

  5. Gerald says:

    It’s inevitable that somebody, somewhere has created a Best for Travel League table. I’m sure that there is a statistician who has weighted in climate, diversity of wildlife, friendliness of people and percentage of sandy beaches along the shoreline.

    It would be no surprise to me to find Costa Rica topping such a table. It is a country with many natural advantages and a welcoming enterprising people eager to make the most of the bounty that God has given them.

  6. Diana Presley says:

    Yeah!!! Ticked off Costa Rica a couple of years ago. Brill hotel on the Pacific Coast. Would definitely go again.

  7. Tami Kennedy says:

    Costa Rica is just magical! I so loved it 2 years ago and I cannot wait to visit it again.

  8. Margaret says:

    I feel a bit dense not even knowing what a cloud forest is, but I do love the idea of an adventure through all the different ecosystems in the rainforests and around the mountains. It would be an excellent opportunity to both unplug and connect with nature, but to take lots of photos of the beautiful scenery and diverse species along the way. There’s something quite enchanting just thinking about Costa Rica, and this has given me a whole new view of the place.

  9. Thomas Ryves says:

    Costa Rica is one of our favourite places, as it simply has everything – no wonder it’s the happiest country in the world! Margaret – a cloud forest is named for its high elevation and low-lying clouds, and one of the best places to stay in the heart of the forest is ORIGINS Lodge, a luxury retreat which sits on a mountainside in northern Costa Rica, with beautiful views over the forest, the lush valley and volcanoes.

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