What To do

Costa Rica Canopy Tours

You name it; Costa Rica’s probably got it. Want adventure? Try hurtling through the tree canopy attached to a steel cable really high off the ground on a canopy zip-line tour, or bouncing down frothing rapids on a whitewater rafting trip, surfing world-class waves, scuba diving amongst vast schools of fish, galloping a horse down the beach or across countryside, or hiking very near an active volcano. You can also find paragliding, hot air ballooning, waterfall rappelling, canyoning, ATV tours, motorcycle tours, windsurfing, sports fishing, and the list goes on.

Like nature and wildlife? Costa Rica can boast that it is a country with one of the highest percentages (25%) of its territory designated as protected areas in national parks and private reserves. There are about 850 species of birds, 360 different kinds of reptiles and amphibians, 1,000 or so orchids, 2,000 types of trees, and around 200 types of mammals including the exotic jaguar.

Need relaxation? Lying in a hammock under swaying coconut palm trees in a balmy sea breeze sound good? Or how about soaking work-tense muscles in natural hot springs and volcanic mud baths, followed by an invigorating aromatherapy massage? From remote beaches or mountain areas entirely away from it all to first-rate spas, resorts and yoga retreat centers, you can find hundreds of ways to relax in Costa Rica.

How do I get there?

There are two international airports in Costa Rica: the Juan Santamaria International Airport in the capital city area of San Jose, and the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia in the northern Pacific area of Guanacaste. There are daily flights from most North American hub cities, daily flights within Central America, and more and more flights coming directly from Europe.

What language do they speak?

Costa Rica was once part of the Spanish Empire. Therefore the most widely spoken language in Costa Rica is Spanish (97% of the population); although there are other native languages used mostly within indigenous reserves. On the Caribbean Coast, many inhabitants descend from Jamaican origin thus speaking a kind Creole-English dialect. Most tourism businesses, and in the San Jose metropolitan area, have a high percentage of persons who also speak English (it is the primary foreign language taught in all Costa Rican schools) 80% of the habitats in Costa Rica speak English, mainly those that live in the tourist areas.

What’s the currency?

The Colon (¢1.00) is the national currency of Costa Rica. The exchange rate against the US dollar and Euro can vary day by day. It’s better to exchange money at a bank rather than at the airport. US dollars are accepted commonly in tourist areas, but you are subject to that business’ exchange rate, which may or may not be advantageous.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) can be easily found in most populated areas of Costa Rica and can give you either colonies or US dollars. Most international credit cards are accepted throughout the country: Visa, Master Card, and American Express.

What kind of food do they have?

Costa Rican cuisine is based on the Latin American staples of rice and beans (black beans). A typical meal, called a “Casado”, for lunch or dinner consists of white rice, black beans, fried plantains, small salad portion of lettuce and diced tomatoes, corn tortillas and either fish, chicken, pork or beef cooked in a variety of ways. Typical breakfast is “gallo pinto,” which is white rice and black beans mixed with diced white onion, red pepper, garlic, and cilantro; usually, this is served with eggs, fried plantains, corn tortillas, and maybe white farmer’s cheese. Costa Rican food is not spicy at all, unlike its northern neighbors of Guatemala and Mexico.

Given that Costa Rica is a coffee-producing country, strong coffee is the nation’s delicacy. Besides morning coffee, daily life stops around 3:00 pm for a “cafecito” (coffee break). Coffee here is always taken with a small snack, be it salty or sweet, and never drunk just on its own.