What makes Costa Rica so special? “Ticos” (as Costarian people call themselves), nature and atmosphere. People are very friendly and open. And maybe, it has to do something with their culture. I don’t feel like this when I go to Prague. How are people in your country? Are you a peach or a coconut? Ticos are definitely peaches with their warm attitude and friendly approach to people who they’ve just met. The Czechs, on the other hand, are like coconuts – hard on the outside but soft inside. And while it does not make one better than the other, I like that whoever I meet makes me feel welcomed. Especially as I don’t speak Spanish.
1. Beaches in Esterillos Este
Surfers riding the waves, neverending beach, soft sand and pristine nature. Esterillos Este is unforgettable. You’ll feel like a millionaire when you have the beach for yourself.
2. Zarcero Park
If you have some spare time and want to see something unique, visit these beautiful topiary gardens in Zarcero city (Alajuela province). It is nearly a two-hour drive from San José, depending on traffic, and definitely worth it.
3. Arts and Crafts Workshops in Sarchí
The best place to find local art and craft. We got coaster, cutting boards, bowls, and much more for home and as gifts for our friends.
4. Manuel Antonio National Park
One of the best decisions (even if a pricey one) was hiring a certified guide for our visit to Manuel Antonio National Park. I did not want to invest in a guide last year when we visited Arenal Volcano National Park and now I think it was a mistake. This year, we saw numerous sloths, reptiles, and frogs. They’re easy to spot for the guide but we would miss them. Even if the 3,5-hour tour cost 84$, it was worth every penny.
5. La Paz Waterfall
The waterfall is less than half-an-hour away from the Gardens. It is a medium-difficulty walk, but easier and shorter than hiking to La Fortuna Waterfall. The waterfall is impressive, half-size of Fortuna waterfall that we visited last year.
Every time I look at Costa Rica map, I realize how little we saw. There is still so much to be discovered: the Caribbean side, the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, Monteverde and other national parks. We plan to see some of those next year. And as Chloe-Sofia will be three years old, and entitled to her own seat on the plane, the 12-hour flight will be more supportable.