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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. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Thomas Ryves

Thomas Ryves is Marketing Manager at Exsus Travel, a leading luxury tour operator, which gives him an opportunity to indulge in his love of travel all over the world – his recent trips range from Brazil to Thailand, and he has plenty more destinations on his wish list. Since 1998, Exsus Travel has specialised in creating the very best luxury tailor-made holidays, all over the world. Pioneering and passionate, our commitment is simple: to deliver first-class client service, every single time, to hunt down the very best hotels in compelling, hypnotic locations, and to plan unique and memorable personalised experiences along the way. The result? Extraordinary, immersive holidays. By combining our specialist knowledge of more than 80 countries on all seven continents with personal holiday wish lists, our team of experts will transform ideas into travel reality, and craft every detail of each trip to perfection. Whether it’s a relaxing beach break, an epic safari, an exhilarating adventure holiday, an idyllic honeymoon or the ultimate family getaway, we can make it happen. The name Exsus comes from the Latin ‘exsuscitare’: to awaken, to excite, to breathe life into.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. One of my big travel ambitions for 2019 was to get to Costa Rica for a decent length holiday. I aimed to spend some time on both coastlines, obviously with my wife too! I’m quite cross with myself that the year has all but slipped away without getting to Costa Rica. I thought I’d have another look at this piece just to renew my enthusiasm for travel sometime in 2020.

    To make me even more jealous one of my friends has just returned from Costa Rica with dozens of great photos. Anyway I’m rambling. What’s happening in Costa Rica in 2020. Any good new hotels opening? Any new attractions?

    1. Hi Rob,

      Costa Rica is one of our favourite destinations – it simply has everything, and we highly recommend that you get there in 2020! There are some lovely new lodges raising the bar in luxury accommodation in a destination where the bar is already set pretty high – while it remains one of the best and most accessible destinations for wildlife and birds – you can see exotic birds every day with very little effort!

  10. I had hoped to go to Costa Rica last year and am now left wondering whether I can this. Would there be any additions to your 2019 list or are the top reasons to visit pretty much the same, would you say? I’m not feeling that any of the suggestions are date-dependent. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jamie,

      Yes you are right, Costa Rica still comes very highly recommended, and it’s hard to narrow it down, but these reasons remain our top reasons to visit – plus some amazing places to stay too! Costa Rica really does have everything… And with eco-awareness even more prevalent now, it is an even more fantastic destination to visit!

  11. Tamarindo is definitely the place to go! I’ve been to Costa Rica a couple of years ago and stayed mostly there and in Santa Teresa, their surf, homey, chill vibe is enchanting. Besides, you get to appreciate the “Sunset moment of the day”, it’s almost a local event, when everyone at the beach stops and simply stare in silence at the sun getting lost over the ocean. Beautiful, highly recommend it.

    1. What a great tip Fatima! It really is such a fantastic destination, and you’re right, its vibe is simply irresistible. The sunsets really are magical too… We find that lots of people fall in love with Costa Rica and return for at least one more visit – and who can blame them!

  12. I went to visit once, twice, and by the third time, I stayed for good, it’s now been almost 5 years since I live here! And couldn’t be happier. Best decision I ever made. Pura vida!

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