Costa Rica makes for one of the best holiday destinations in the world right now, and if you’re planning a getaway trip anywhere, there are plenty of great reasons why you should consider making it Costa Rica. It’s one of the most culturally diverse places in the world, and if you’re looking for a place to experience a range of excellent food, great music and wonderful people you should book your trip.
Here’s more about why you should be choosing Costa Rica – and a few added tips to make your travel experience even better.
Why Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is one of the most culturally diverse places to live – and it’s one of the best places you can visit if you want a great and comprehensive experience. If you want a busy, bustling visit then you can go in the height of tourist season, but if you want something quiet, there are plenty of areas here you can have a more laid-back stay.
It’s a melting pot of great food, great music and great people – and it doesn’t have to cost you half of your life savings to go there if you have your trip planned out the right way. The tips in this article are designed to help you do exactly this!
While it’s tempting to get around with private taxi services when you’re on holiday, this can be pretty expensive even if you’re only staying on the area for a few days: Instead, learn to travel with the locals – it’s cheaper, easier and you won’t get screwed by being charged double just because you look like a tourist.
The bus is usually the cheapest, easiest and fastest way to travel around – and there are a lot of local taxis driving around Costa Rica, but make sure that you find out where the local stop is, just how much it’s going to cost you and where the taxi will be heading before you get on one. Make sure that you’re using only registered taxi services for your own safety.
Things to Eat
When you’re travelling in Costa Rica, you could go to any restaurant in town – or you could go to a chain restaurant that you know; but if you’re looking for the actual travel experience, why would you do that? The real Costa Rican food is served at what’s called sodas, small cafe’s rather than established restaurants, and you’re bound to find the best local and traditional food here – and it’s known for being affordable, too, since it’s the most popular choice for locals.
One of the most popular meals available at most sodas is simple rice and beans – this is traditionally eaten for breakfast, and it’s one of the meals that you have to experience several versions of while you’re in Costa Rica. Sometimes meat is added to this dish. Other great traditional Costa Rican meals includes tortillas and fried eggs – usually separately, but nobody will judge if you add the two together!
There are a thousand different spins on gallo pinto (traditional beans and rice) with some being vegetarian, and some being spicier than others – and if you’re visiting, it’s the one essential meal you’ll be tempted to try at several restaurants.
Beans also happen to be a base for many other meals you’ll find in the area, including bean soup – and again, everyone has a traditional recipe for theirs.
6 Top Travel Tips for Costa Rica
Want to make your experience even better? Here are some vital top travel tips for visiting Costa Rica that you should know before you plan your trip that will help to ensure it’s a great travel experience even if you’ve never been to Costa Rica before in your life.
- Book a travel package with all-inclusive resorts.
When travelling, it’s almost always easier and cheaper to book your entire trip through a travel agency instead of trying to do all of it yourself. Booking through a travel agency means that they’ve thought of all the important things, and many packages include your stay, your basic travel and a few meals all as part of the same package.
If you need an adjustment to your budget, all that you usually have to do is ask for an adjustment to your package – or choose another one that suits your needs better.
- Connect with your local embassy.
If you’re travelling in a foreign country, prepare for it – especially if you’ve never been there before. Some of this preparation involves checking out the sites that you’ll be going to on Google Earth or Street View – yes, it can save you a lot of time and keep you from getting lost. You’ll also want to check in with your local embassy: They can sometimes recommend where you can find your nearest tourism office.
- Prepare on social media.
You can also prepare for your stay in Costa Rica on social media. This doesn’t mean that you should tell everyone where you will be going, but it does mean that you should check out some of the local hangouts, hotels and attractions that you plan on visiting through social media before you plan your trip. Local social media groups can often go a long way towards helping you get to know an area and its best spots.
- Remember secondary batteries.
Taking photos? Need to stay in touch with anyone? You’ll probably be using a smart device of some sort for this: Make sure you always carry a few fully-charged, backup batteries for the trip. It can save you a whole lot of time when you don’t have to drive around town to find a suitable charge point or battery if you were to have an emergency.
- Spanish, anyone?
Spanish is the most common language you’ll read and hear in Costa Rica – and yes, while most people speak English, knowing the basics of Spanish can be a big help, and it’ll save you the trouble of having to ask everyone what this sign or that menu item means. Online translators or apps can be a help when you don’t have the time to pick up a new language.