Why You Should Ditch San Jose And Explore Costa Rica

Beaches usher waves that crash against picturesque shores, while tourists and locals alike peruse the shops that line the boardwalk. Peaceful rainforests, vibrant wildlife, and the essence of “pura vida” make Costa Rica a paradise on earth. San Jose may be a beautiful, bustling city, but Costa Rica has so many sights and activities to offer away from the capital city.

  • Rainforests Everywhere

The main attraction for many tourists to Costa Rica is the sense of adventure associated with the country’s terrain. From beaches, to mountains, to rainforests, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. One of the most popular attractions to Costa Rica’s biodiversity is easily the rainforests found all over the country.  Rainforests house exotic animals and beautiful fauna that draw so many people to visit. Nothing is quite as magical as spotting a sloth hanging out in a tree or a rainbow-colored bird flap its wings right above your head.

  • Adrenaline Sights Galore

Not only do rainforests have beautiful sights, but they are also a must-go for adrenaline junkies. Companies all over the country offer ziplining adventures that take people through the tree tops of the rainforests. Others offer tours of the rainforest in the clouds. One such adventure is at the cloud forest reserve in Monteverde!

  • Plant and Animal Reserves

Another attraction that Costa Rica boasts is its nature and animal reserves. In these places, beautiful animals and plants are not only highlighted, but protected. Costa Rica is huge on nature preservation and offers many opportunities for tourists to become educated about such matters and participate in the ecotourism that saves the country’s expansive biodiversity. There are tons of programs dedicated to volunteering in sustainability and nature initiatives in Costa Rica.

  • Beach Life

Costa Rica is probably best known for its beaches. Tons of cities on its coasts are havens for surfers and beach bums! One of the coolest cities in all of Costa Rica is probably Jaco. Located on the Pacific Coast, Jaco has beautiful birds, beautiful scenery, a beautiful beach, and screams “pura vida.” In fact, Costa Rica is full of small, tourist-friendly towns! These towns offer all kinds of nature sights, adorable shops and restaurants, tons of activities, oh, and dogs everywhere.

When you first step foot on Costa Rican soil, you will immediately understand the meaning of “pura vida,” which translates to “pure life.” In Costa Rica, the adventure is outside of the major metropolitan cities, like San Jose. Instead, adventure finds you in the mountains, beaches, and forests abundant outside the capital.


Have you been to Costa Rica? What were your favorite sites and cities outside San Jose. Let us know in the comments below!

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Allyson is a junior at the University of Akron in Ohio, USA. She is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in media production with a minor in anthropology. Allyson kicked off her dream of traveling around the world with Semester at Sea during the Fall 2016 Voyage. She visited 11 countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Latin America. Some of her life goals include road-tripping the entire length of the Pan-American Highway and living on a kibbutz in Israel. Her dream career is to travel around the world making documentaries. To her, the best parts of traveling are learning new things from other people, and constantly hunting for the best cup of coffee in the entire world.

One comment

  1. Hi! I have been in Costa Rica last month! It’s a great country! It’s difficult to say what is my favorite place, but if I have to choose I would choose Playa Santa Teresa. A little surf village and just relax and enjoy the nature and the beach! pura vida!

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