Costa Rica: a beginner’s guideSophie Barber - Travel Expert
Our Real Latin America Expert
Sophie Barber - Travel Expert
Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.
Peaceful and army-less, Costa Rica has a reputation as Latin America's Switzerland.
Top five attractions
- White-water rafting at Turrialba.
- The surfing scene on the Nicoya peninsula.
- Rincón de la Vieja national park for riding and volcanoes.
- Monteverde cloud forest.
- If you can visit around the time of a full moon, watching the arrival of the Olive Ridley sea turtles on the beaches of the Pacific Coast.
Not San José, one of Latin America’s least inspiring capitals. Try the cowboy town of Liberia, in Guanacaste province.
Souvenir to buy
Costa Rican coffee is among the best in the world.
Quirky Costa Rica
By way of greeting, Costa Ricans say “Pura vida” (pure life) or “Que tuanes”, which is of obscure provenance, but may be a corruption of the English “Get-to-our-knees” – in other words, I like you so much I am genuflecting.
‘Monkeys are Made of Chocolate’ by Jack Ewing (Pixyjack Press), a celebration of jungle life and man-and-nature symbioses by a resident with 30 years’ observations