Costa Rica, a country where the nature is stunning
Highs & Lows
Fauna and flora
Costa Rica is a magical country for nature lovers! It is a country where animals, plants, and people live together harmoniously. However, humans adapt to nature, not the other way around.
There is a stark contrast between the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. It is essential to visit both sides to experience two completely different atmospheres.
With a friend, we were able to explore both sides and appreciate the incredible differences between cities, even in terms of temperature. This is why Costa Rica is a country full of discovery and surprises!
The food is mainly based on rice, bananas, chicken, and red beans. The typical dish is the Casado, which is inexpensive and widely available.
The roads can sometimes be impassable, but this is part of the country's authenticity. The nature is lush and teeming with wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, whales, dolphins, many species of birds, butterflies, and frogs.
Costa Rica is a country that has made the decision to preserve its flora and fauna by protecting and conserving the natural biosphere. However, there are still some challenges, such as the use of pesticides for mass production of certain export products, such as bananas and palm oil.
Puerto Viejo is a small fishing village on the Caribbean coast. There is a very pronounced Jamaican atmosphere: reggae, Jamaican food and surf.
We chose to spend the week in a youth hostel which gave directly on the beach! What a pleasure to wake up and have breakfast by the sea.
Everything is concentrated in the small city center: restaurants, local stores. A lot of jewels for sale by individuals on the beach!
A part with white sand then just next to another black sand beach! Incredible!
The food is tasty: many "panaderias" where you can find delicious French pastries like the croissant or the chocolate bread. Many inexpensive restaurants where you can taste casados, typical dishes. Chickens cooked in the Caribbean style. There are also many vegetarian places and typical Jamaican restaurants.
The village being small, we could do everything by foot. The ideal is to rent a kind of electric two wheels to be able to walk further along the coast.
Two main activities: surfing and snorkeling! We were able to observe many fish and beautiful corals.
We spent a short week in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, an incredibly green place with no shortage of white-sand beaches. We stayed in a great youth hostel in Bahía, not far from Manuel Antonio town. Bahía is a great place for whale watching, and you can find different companies offering kayak and boat tours at the same price.
Unfortunately, we only saw dolphins because the whales migrate south in October. But a few days later, we had a huge surprise: while relaxing on a beach in Manuel Antonio, we saw a whale and its calf! It was an incredible stroke of luck, and it was free!
Manuel Antonio is a lively town with many restaurants, bars, and surf spots. On Fridays, there is a large market in the center of town where you can find a variety of fruits and vegetables. We tried a local specialty: a delicious fish soup with milk!
It is advisable to have a car to get around Manuel Antonio, especially if you want to explore the surrounding area.
The must-see attraction in Manuel Antonio is the national park. Be sure to get up early, as many tourists visit the park at dawn to observe the diversity of Costa Rican fauna and flora, including howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, hummingbirds, and frogs. The park is huge, so you can easily spend the whole day there. It is located on the beach, so bring your swimsuit if you want to relax and swim. You are not required to hire a guide, but it is helpful if you want to be able to identify all of the different animal species. We were lucky enough to see a boa constrictor one day, which is very rare and highly sought-after by the local guides.
Manuel Antonio is a must-see destination on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It is a wonderful place to discover the country's diverse fauna and flora.
Q & A
What would you have changed?Nothing-all went well.
Tips you would give a friend?Rent a 4x4 because the roads are very difficult.
Any surprises?The use of pesticides throughout the country! An unfortunate surprise.