19 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Costa Rica

Here’s an insight into what to know about Costa Rica before you go.

must sees in Costa Rica

Don’t you think Costa Rica is one of those ‘ultimate’ travel destinations, one that people dream of going to long before they actually do? Well that was me any way. I’d wanted to go since my friend did in his gap year once school finished. And so, when I was invited to come for a week courtesy of Visit Costa Rica, I obviously said a hell yeah.

Having spent a week in Costa Rica I learnt a few things about the country that I thought might help anyone planning a trip there, or at least inspire you to visit Costa Rica some time very soon.

Do you know that this country is an eco-tourism hub? Indeed, it’s one of the world’s most bio-diverse countries. From active volcanoes to breathtaking beaches, it’s a land of natural treasures. 

Costa Rica attracts millions of nature-lovers each year. Indeed, it’s an adventurer’s paradise for people of all ages with tropical beaches, active volcanoes, and dense rainforests. Once you start exploring, you’ll fall in love with the laid-back, relaxing environment and cool Bohemian vibes, guaranteed.

1. You’re going to love the peace and tranquility of the rainforests

Costa Rica has incredibly dense rainforests. While exploring, you can find over a hundred varieties of unique tree species and monkeys. You can also spot copious birds and other animal species in the rainforests. It makes up one of the world’s most productive bio-diversified ecosystems.

yoga in costa rica

Topping the list is Corcovado National Park, and Piedras Blancas National Park. Also, visit Manuel Antonio National Park, Cahuita National Park, and Carara National Park. Enjoy nature and participate in jungle adventure activities. 

2. The waterfalls are stunning, and you can swim in them

There’s no doubt that you’ve stepped into a country full of natural treasures. Of course, you’ll enjoy hiking amidst the breathtaking greenery. Enjoy a cool dip into the pool beneath the falls. The La Fortuna Waterfall, Rio Celeste Waterfall, Bajos del Toro Waterfall, and Nauyaca Waterfalls are some of the most popular waterfalls in Costa Rica.

Things to know about Costa Rica

3. La Cahuita Beach at sunset is a definite yes

How can you leave Costa Rica without enjoying its beaches? Of course, not! There are over 300 pristine beaches. Indeed, one of the major attractions is to enjoy the gorgeous sunset at La Cahuita Beach. It’s in the Cahuita National Park, one of the country’s finest national parks. So, you get to explore this rainforest and its stunning beaches too. 

LA Cahuita Beach

4. Snakes looks like vines

You’ll be delighted to see the plethora of wildlife inside the lush jungles in Costa Rica. One of the most distinguishable is the snakes. You can find over 200 varieties of snake species hidden around these dense rainforests. While you’re trekking or hiking in Costa Rica, you’ll meet a few of these reptiles.

Top tip: don’t disturb them and keep walking along the well-trodden paths. 

things to know about costa rica

5. The turtles’ plight is incredible to see, go on a night tour

The pristine Costa Rica beaches are not only a place to enjoy natural beauty, they’re also the nesting place of some of the beautiful turtle species. The leatherback, green, hawksbill, and olive ridley are a few of the most popular varieties of turtles that you can see.

Must dos in Costa Rica

6. There are lots of empty beaches for you to yoga at sunrise

When visiting any beach destinations, tourists flock around the hot-spot beaches. But, in Costa Rica, you’ll get endless options to explore the hidden and empty beaches. The Playa Hermosa, Playa Los Suecos, Playa Calzon de Pobre, and Playa Quesera are few such beaches. It’s an excellent option to relax on these remote beaches away from crowds. 

Costa Rica beaches and things to know

7. Incredible natural hot springs are a must see

One of the top reasons for falling in love with Costa Rica is the natural hot water springs. Over 200 volcanic formations spread around the country, generating underground thermal activities and producing abundant natural hot springs. One of the most relaxing activities to do in Costa Rica is to bathe in and enjoy these incredible natural hot springs for yourself. 

know about costa rica

8. Make sure to get up high for incredible views

What to know about Costa Rica

Costa Rica is full of stunning natural settings – you’ll enjoy picturesque views everywhere. Incredible views of the volcanoes, beaches, and surrounding greenery are in abundance.

9. The Arenal Volcano is a Costa Rica icon

Know about Costa Rica

If you’re exploring Costa Rica, you need to spend a day exploring the volcanoes. Indeed, the famous Arenal Volcano excursion tops the list. For the past 43 years, it’s been one of the most active volcanoes in the country. It has a history of many eruptions, but now it’s sleeping. It’s around 1700 meters tall and symmetrical in shape.

10. Chocolate is a huge industry here – here’s a cacao bean

know about costa rica

Did you know chocolate is a massive industry in Costa Rica?

Get yourself ready for a sweet chocolate tour while you’re in Costa Rica. Cacao, the main ingredient used to make chocolates, is the country’s leading export product. There are thriving cacao plantations all over Costa Rica, and so an abundant supply of cacao beans. Moreover, it’s the central ingredient to produce unique, melt-in-mouth tasty chocolates. So don’t forget to try them out! 

11. Zip lining is one of the most popular things to do in Costa Rica

things to know about costa rica

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, a zip lining adventure in Costa Rica should definitely be on your to-do list. You’ll be flying off into the clouds, covering a distance of around 3km with breathtaking lush green natural settings at the backdrop. Of course, you’ll find experienced guides to help you zip.

12. You can actually see the wildlife in the trees

To know about costa rica

There’s a plethora of diversified wildlife that you can spot while exploring the rainforests in Costa Rica. However, the most spotted are the beautiful toucans in the trees, the adorable sloths, and sometimes the notorious monkeys. So, hey, keep your camera ready, and don’t stop taking pictures! 

Things to see in Costa Rica

13. There are some great festivals in Costa Rica

You can check out the full list of Costa Rican festivals here!

must sees in costa rica

14. You can boat the waterway separating Nicaragua and Costa Rica

Costa Rica canal boat tour

There’s a small waterway that separates Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Do you know you can boat the watercourse? It’s the beautiful San Juan River, where you’ll enjoy a nice ride to experience the surrounding nature.

15. Stay at Pachira Lodge in Tortuguero for a lux experience

Well, there’s a plethora of options to stay in Costa Rica. However, the Pachira Lodge in Tortuguero is where I’d recommend. It’s in a fantastic location near the central lagoon. Also, you’ve excellent accessibility from the National Tortuguero Park. You can also book an adventure package to make your stay even more memorable. 

Costa Rica living

What you need to know about Costa Rica

Exploring Costa Rica

I made a vlog a day in Costa Rica… check them out!


  1. I was all like “YES YES YES” and then I read the bit about the snakes looking like vines and now I’m slightly “Nope”. But I still really want to go to Costa Rica, it seems like the most idyllic spot for wildlife! x

    1. Everywhere you look it’s beautiful and lush isn’t it? I think I really need to go back and travel independently to see more 🙂

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