Ever since we began travelling, we’ve been on the hunt for lush jungles, eco-lodges, beautiful beaches, pristine coral reefs, friendly people and delicious food; and from what we’ve heard, Costa Rica has all of that in spades! However, we’ve also heard mixed reviews about Latin America’s green nation and while we’re excited to visit, we do have our reservations.

A good friend of ours recently travelled to Costa Rica and though he did speed through it pretty quickly, he told us that it was very costly and the people were rather cold. We’ve since dubbed it “Costly Rica” in anticipation of the travel expenses, but we hope to have better people experiences than our friend.

Despite some mixed reviews about the country, we are still very excited to go there and find out for ourselves!

Here are 5 reasons why we are excited to visit Costa Rica

1. The Jungles & Rainforests:

You simply cannot visit Costa Rica without diving deep into the tropical rain forests. We love jungle hikes and we would definitely love to head out into the Costa Rican jungle and spot some of the flora and fauna that makes this country so unique.

beaches in grenada

2. Eco Lodges

Our friends Dan and Casey over at have told us all about the incredible Cristalino Lodge in the middle of the Amazon Jungle. In their review of the accommodation they said that this lodge was “the perfect combination of eco and luxury in the Amazon“.

Since reading their article, we’ve wanted to visit this incredible Eden and see for ourselves. The lodge also offers tower lookouts, jungle treks and night-time campfires. We can’t wait to visit some of Costa Rica’s many eco-lodges!

3. Volcanoes

We haven’t climbed a steamy, geothermal mountain bomb since we were in Indonesia back in 2009 and it still remains one of the highlights of our first trip through Southeast Asia. One thing we didn’t manage to see was live lava, bubbling in molten pools. This is something that is definitely on my bucket list and the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica is famous for spouting off glowing volcanic liquid from time to time. While we don’t need to get too close, we both want to climb Arenal and get a good look at its molten core.

10 Islands Not To Miss In Southeast Asia
Conquering A Volcano In Kintanami, Bali

4. The Beaches

Who doesn’t love a beautiful beach? According to CNN, Costa Rica’s Dominical Beach is one of the top 100 nicest beaches in the world! But this nation’s coastline isn’t just for swimming. Dariece and I are dying to give surfing another try and Playa Cocles is meant to be an excellent place for beginners. We first attempted to ride waves in Lombok, Indonesia and ever since we’ve been waiting to get back on the board and give it another go.

5. Diving

If you read this blog regularly, then you know that I am a scuba diving addict. Everywhere I go I like to get under the sea and explore the reefs and Costa Rica will be no different. Even though it’s a relatively new dive destination, there are many great sites around Osa Peninsula and Caño Island. So far the only dives I’ve done in the region have been in Tulum, Mexico, Isla Mujeres, Mexico and Ambergris Caye, Belize, but I’ve yet to dive on the Pacific Coast. The Osa Peninsula is on the West side of the country so it will be the perfect opportunity for me to try out new waters.

Diving Belize

When Will We Go?

We still haven’t decided exactly when we will be visiting Costa Rica, but we figure it will be sometime in the next 5 months. My friend Jeff over at Middle Class Dad has some great suggestions in Guanacaste, Costa Rica that I’ll be checking out.

We’re currently (slowly) making our way south through Mexico and into Guatemala (eventually) and we figure that we may be in CR by July of this year. But (as you know if you follow us) plans always change and we’re not fully sure when we’ll be there. One thing is for sure though, we’ll be spending about a month in the country and seeing as much of it as we can, while still travelling slow and soaking it all in.

Do you have any recommendations for us in Costa Rica? We love finding new places based on our readers ideas. Was our friend right about the high prices and cold people? Please share with us in the comments below!

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5 Reasons Why We're Excited To Visit Costa Rica

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Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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15 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why We’re Excited To Visit Costa Rica

  1. We just visited and found the people anything but cold (Caribbean coast, near Punta Uva)! We had a wonderful time, though it was certainly not “cheap”…(lol’d at Costly Rica). If you head over to Punta Uva, Manzanillo is definitely worth a hike as well for wildlife (and snakes!).

  2. Thank-you so much for the recommendations that’s awesome! We never fully believe travellers when they say how the people are because people experiences are so personal and sometimes you can just have a bad few days 🙂

    How were the beaches in Punta Uva? Did you do any diving?

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Guys you’ll love it! Kelli and I adore CR. So much beauty, so much wildlife.

    Thanks for the share guys!


  4. Ooh if you guys come you’ll have to let us know!! We’d love to take you to some of our favorite spots on the coast. Also just fyi, Arenal Volcano stopped spouting lava a few years ago, it’s still active but just lets off steam now instead of spewing lava. But it’s still magnificent! Also as long as you smile and say “hola habla ingles?” to the locals they are more than happy to help. Many visitors don’t even bother and just start talking very loud in English (I see this with my own eyes all the time). If you want the best diving experience in CR, look into Cocos Island. Anywhoo, I can go on and on but I’m excited for you guys, you will love Costa Rica!

  5. Thanks Ryan! We’re stoked to go – although I’m only looking forward to seeing some of the animals! I could do without the snakes 😉


  6. Hey Samantha!

    Thanks for sharing. We would definitely want to meet up with you guys, that would be so much fun 🙂 It’s too bad that many English speaking tourists don’t even attempt to speak Spanish – we’re only at level 1, but we try!


  7. So exciting to hear that you guys are planning a trip to CR! I have just come back from my first time there and really loved it! I didn’t do nearly enough touristy stuff, my fiance actually grew up in Costa Rica so we spent most of our time bumming around and living the local life, but what we did explore (Monteverde and some beaches in Guanacaste), I really loved. It is pricier than I expected, but if you eat local, travel local, and stay away from the touristy hot spots you’ll be just fine. I’ll be going back to Costa Rica later this year too, we are getting married there at the end of the year, so that maybe tells you how much I enjoyed the place 🙂
    Will be sure to follow your adventures!

  8. Hi Oksana!

    Thank you for sharing your experience in Costa Rica 🙂 That’s great that you were able to live like a local and not so much as a tourist. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! What a place for a ceremony.

    All the best!

  9. Costa Rica is great especially for nature lovers. The concentration of different species there is insane. I think it’s something like 30% of the world’s species live in the jungles there. Looking forward to hearing about how you guys like it! Cheers, Ross

  10. Those are amazing reasons to visit CR and equally tempting for someone who’s never been there – the I can’t wait to hear all the stories you guys bring back once you have visited it in person! Happy Travelling!

  11. That’s so crazy! Can’t wait to see all of the wildlife – except for the snakes!

    Thanks for the comment 🙂

  12. Costa Rica is just beautiful! I went in 2008 for my mums wedding on the beach…such an aamzing place! And we found the poeple to be very friendly so you might be surprised! 🙂

  13. Glad to hear it Ella 🙂 Where was the wedding, which city? We’re can’t wait to go!

  14. Costa Rica is well worth visiting. The incredible nature, unparalleled anywhere else, captivated me there. San Isidro El General was my first stop in Costa Rica. The location is near beautiful mountains. The sound of toucans woke me up every morning.

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