A personal account from Costa Rica
As a graduate of physical geography, the opportunity to visit Costa Rica was a dream come true. Mother Nature at its best with tropical rainforests, volcanoes to explore and wildlife at your fingertips. Costa Rica did not disappoint, in fact it exceeded all expectations and truly is a unique destination that must be explored!
It does not take long to see why Costa Rica was recently voted the happiest nation in the world; a tropical paradise with an abundance of natural beauty, iconic wildlife, arguably home to some of the best coffee in the world and delicious chocolate!
During the day be fully immersed in the exotic landscape of the rainforest whilst gently floating through the vine laden Tortuguero Canals, a network of scenic mystical waterways which can be likened to those found in the Amazon. At night in the comfort of your lodge, enjoy the enchanting sounds of the rainforest surrounding you.
Let the guides amaze you with their telescopic vision spotting wildlife from afar. After some guidance on where to look, let your eyes focus on the truly mesmerising creatures that this tropical landscape has to offer; including the amazing Sloths, Iguanas that resemble pre-historic creatures, colourful frogs and one of the world’s most dangerous snakes, the Eyelash Viper. At the start of my journey of Costa Rica I did not have a particular interest in birdwatching; however, you cannot help but get caught up in the excitement of spotting one of the rarest or most beautiful birds. We were lucky enough to spot a wide variety of birdlife throughout our journey including the Blue Crowned Mot Mot, Keel-billed and Emerald Toucan as well as the Common Potoo to name a few.
The flawless silhouette of Arenal Volcano is a sight not to be missed by any visitor. I spent most of the journey travelling in anticipation, eager to catch the first sight of the iconic volcano. So in awe of the beauty of the volcano that could be seen in the distance and not being able to wait until we were any closer, we stopped at the roadside to take pictures. We were lucky enough to be greeted by a spectacular sunset as we approached which just added to the dramatic view of the volcano.
Experience walking through the clouds on suspended bridges hanging high up in the tree tops of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Embrace the mist that shrouds the forest, explore the abundance of flora and fauna and encounter a variety of wildlife as you set upon your adventure of this unique environment.
Tourism is important in Costa Rica however they do not lose sight of the fact that there would be no tourism if the very thing that people travel 1000’s of miles to see is not protected. Eco tourism is therefore a key concept for the many tourists visiting Costa Rica to be conscious of. Costa Rica hosts five per cent of the world’s biodiversity even though it makes up just 0.03 per cent of the planet which really highlights how fragile and important the environment you are visiting is, not just to Costa Rica but worldwide.
Whilst on your travels of Costa Rica you will frequently hear the phrase Pura Vida, translating as pure life; a very appropriate expression in this unique country.
Breathtaking beauty, rich biodiversity, fascinating wildlife and some of the happiest people on the planet, Costa Rica is a destination that has something to offer everyone and is just waiting to be explored.