Costa Rica is a country in a jungle. Just a [volcanic] stone throw from Colombia, Costa Rica is far quieter and with a better reputation than Colombia. The often unspoiled natural environment is reason enough to visit the country and the liberal and relaxed atmosphere makes it even more appealing to tourists.
For some reason prices are almost at par with US and Canada, and while the country has no regular army, the reputation as one of the safest Latin American country still stands. Apart from the usual petty crimes targeting the unprepared.
A coffee plantation visit is a must and so is buying local souvenirs as well as using mosquito repellant. A lot of it. If mosquitos like you in your home country, they will declare eternal love to you when in Costa Rica. The beaches are stunningly beautiful and natural and mesmerizing ocean waves will bring the calm and relaxation many travellers need. There are feral dogs on the beaches and they’re always looking for a friend…The Costa Ricans are famous for their laid back attitude and easy going towards everything and the Pura Vida (pure life) expression is generously used with the meaning of “life’s good”.
There is a fairly large community of American, Canadian and European expats, hence “gringo food” is widely available, meaning overpriced and maybe not the freshest. Stick to local food and drinks and learn some Spanish words other than “dos cervezas por favor”.
OVERRATED (Be warned!): -Costa Rica is far more expensive than expected -Big cities including the capital do have a fair amount of crime although rarely aimed at tourists. -For better or for worse some beaches are rarely maintained -Restaurants and bars have prices at par with US and Canada so be prepared to pay some $25 for a lunch -There is a fair amount of poverty -Bugs. Mosquitoes are definitely a problem for tourists but not for locals…
UNDERRATED (Cool unknown facts): -The nature is beyond stunning. Animals and plants that are exotic for North Americans and Europeans can be seen in their natural habitats -The coffee and the rum. -Organized day trips to the jungle -Costa Ricans are very friendly and helpful -The beaches are of unspoiled beauty
What did you realize it’s overrated about Costa Rica after you visited? Leave a comment and if so inclined. a picture!