Pura Vida! /// Pure Life!
It has been a while y'all, I know...
My three summer trips were everything I expected them to be. Lots of sun, beach, good food and good people, and while I enjoyed all of them, my first two have been majorly overshadowed by the life-changing experience that was COSTA RICA.
I certainly have been sleeping on Central America, but I’m writing this piece to help make sure y'all don’t fall into my same slumber. If you would have asked me in the past three years what my most recommended country was my answer would have definitely been Thailand.
my amazing trip to Thailand!
But, not anymore…
My short week and a half in Costa Rica was long enough to get me to switch up my perspective and to boot Thailand out the number one spot. Costa Rica should be your next trip, whether is your very first international trip, your next group trip or a solo trip! Costa Rica wasn’t a solo trip for me, but because it’s my most asked about the type of travel, we're going to looking at through a solo traveler's lens....
So here are 5 reasons why Costa Rica should be your first solo trip!
Costa Rica is close to the United States
Costa Rica is easy to navigate
Costa Rica’s largest industry is tourism. Over 2.6 million people visit the country every year. (Bahia) Because of this, their transportation industry is well developed and easy to navigate. Easy navigation is super important for first-time solo traveling destinations. There are public buses and shuttles to help you get around from city to city. I was most impressed with the fact that you could get a shared shuttle from your hotel to your next hotel for a really affordable price. There are multiple companies that have many routes that somewhat resembles a train or bus map (pictured below) but in the comfort of a van. I used Interbus Costa Rica and I would definitely recommend them!
Costa Rica has so much to do
Saying, "Costa Rica has a lot to do," is a total understatement. Each area of Costa Rica is unique and has so much to offer. You’d have to be there for months to even come close to doing everything. There is an endless amount of jungle you can trek through, rainforest you can zip line over and volcanoes that you can hike. This area also has tons of hot springs, waterfalls and rivers that you can raft through that I hear is an exhilarating experience. The coast has many beautiful beaches. You can take a day cruise to a secluded island, go snorkeling, scuba diving and other water sports. Neighboring counties are also super easy to visit. Panama and Nicaragua are only four hours away from major Costa Rican cities. So hopping over for a day or two is totally an option! We had a long layover in Panama before arriving to our final destination.
Costa Ricans are super nice and welcoming
I have been to five Latin American countries and Costa Ricans have by far been the nicest about my horrible attempt at speaking Spanish. I felt comfortable and welcomed in every space and even had some nice conversations with our local drivers. While traveling solo, it's immensely important to feel comfortable enough to enjoy your trip.
Costa Rican wildlife and nature is super diverse
I am always fascinated with nature and wildlife in every place I visit but Costa Rica was something unique and special. Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet's surface (Bahia). We got to see sloths, monkeys, flocks of colorful parrots, iguanas that can run on water, butterflies as big as my fist and a host of other insects and bugs that I have never seen before. There are about 750,000 species of insects that live in Costa Rica, including about 20,000 different types of spiders! In addition, more than 10% of the world's butterflies live here (CR News). I mentioned activities earlier and part of the reason why there are so many is Costa Rica's vast landscapes and scenery. There are many volcanoes, rivers, lakes, expansive national parks, lush rainforests, and beautiful cloud forests. I can’t wait to go back to explore and learn more about this beautiful, diverse country!
I hope I have convinced you to consider Costa Rica for you next solo travel destination. It is truly a magical place and I will hopefully be planning a group trip there some time soon! Thanks for reading!
I have always wanted to travel and after years of aspiring, I am finally able to see the world! Join me as I explore, learn, discover and most importantly, LIVE!