As we prepare to go to London to compete against 9 other finalists for MyDestination’s Biggest, Baddest Bucket List competition, we’re blogging about the places we’d love to include on our bucket list. We’ll spend this month in constant count-down, researching MyDestination.com’s 65 featured destinations and highlighting our favorites. In no particular order, today’s post is on Costa Rica.
No two words could better sum up the life philosophy of Costa Rica’s friendly people, the Ticans. Literally, it means “pure life” but the English words barely approach the carefree mentality that comes with the land. To get it, you’d have to spend at least a week in the jungles and beaches of Costa Rica. Here’s a few ideas on how to do that.
First, we’d drive down the Osa peninsula to get to Pavones – a true surfers’ paradise, but also one of the most biologically intense places on the planet, per Nat Geo. It’s way down the Pacific coast near the Panamanian border, almost totally spared of development and widely considered Costa Rica’s last true paradise.
Despite some overdeveloped coastal areas, ecotourism is huge in Costa Rica. We’d get lost in this land of vast jungles, home to over 12,000 species of plants, 830 of birds, 1,200 of butterflies, 230 of mammals and 400 species of reptiles – even though it only takes up 0.3% of the world’s landmass. Over a quarter of the country is “protected” through 26 national parks and even more wildlife refuges and biological reserves.
The only thing cooler than a jungle is a jungle island – especially a former hang out of pirates. We’re talking about Coco Island, where they filmed Jurassic Park and where many treasure hunters have been drawn by rumors of lost gold – read the story here.
These days, Costa Rica’s gold comes from their #1 export – coffee. There are plenty of coffee plantations offering tours that explain how the rich volcanic soil has made Costa Rica’s coffee some of the best in the world.
But the best way to energize our trip would be not from coffee, but adventure activities like canopy tours, canyoning down waterfalls, bungee jumping or white water rafting. A number of rafting companies offer trips through tropical rivers – a bucket list experience that is hard to beat. There’s plenty more on the open sea – from deep sea fishing, to scuba diving, whale watching and snorkeling – plus yoga and spas to help you relax ashore.
Such is the daily routine in paradise: wake up to the sound of the ocean, eat a breakfast of gayo pinto and fresh, guanabana juice and world-class coffee. Surf till your arms fall off, walk down a jungle hemmed beach, or read a book in a hammock. Adventure in the jungle or siesta – your choice. Repeat until sunset, then dance the night away with Tic@s until it’s time to start again.
Costa Rica, we’re coming.
Comments? Advice? Disagreements? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.