Busy, busy, busy … why is everyone always trying to make you DO something? Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. Some places seem perfectly designed for … well, nothing. Costa Rica is such a place where the art of “being” rather than “being busy” takes on a whole new meaning. You might even discover another side of who you are. So hang your hammock, grab a pina colada, kick back and discover Costa Rica’s Pura Vida.
You’re probably thinking “But Costa Rica is a honeymoon destination; I can’t take my kids there!” You would be wrong. While Costa Rica does indeed offer romantic accommodations and activities for the most amorous of couples, it also offers activities for every member of the family. G Adventures proves this with their Costa Rica Family Adventure, a comfort-level tour which includes kayaking, mountain biking, and surf lessons for children and their parents. When you’ve had your fill of extreme sports, you can cruise the canals of Tortuguero, explore the Sarapiqui Rainforest and the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, tour sugar cane and coffee plantations, see natural hot springs, and visit a local school. G Adventures Chief Experience Officers, or CEOs, and local guides accompany each group to offer local insight and unique personal perspective. There are so many fun things to do your kids might even forget to complain.
Nothing can ruin a family vacation before it even starts quite like long and exhausting travel arrangements. You may assume that in order to reach exotic paradise locations, you must first endure hours upon hours of screaming children, sitting in front of a toddler suddenly discovering exactly how far his limbs will stretch, limited mobility, and cranky, moody, travel-worn kids at the end of it all. In fact, a flight to Costa Rica is only three to five hours or less from major gateways in the U.S. or Canada. You could leave your home after breakfast and be lounging on an exotic beach by lunch time.
Now you’re probably thinking “That’s great, but by the time I’ll have time to go, the season will be over!” Wrong again! While November through May is the peak season for Costa Rican vacations, the steady climate remains between 80 and 90 degrees year-round. The dry season is October through April. The wet season, May through September, also has its own advantages; it’s amazing how beautiful fog can be through exotic foliage and accompanied by the chatter of monkeys.
Costa Rica is green for more reasons than just its foliage. This Central American nation has been named one of the greenest countries in the world on several lists. Costa Rica has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2021. It has an established reputation as the poster child for ecotourism, or travelling with the objective of avoiding any environmental or social impact to the area or the global environment. In fact, 25% of its land is protected, which means lots of public national parks to explore. People are becoming more environmentally aware in recent years, and an ecological destination such as Costa Rica can be a guilt-free trip.
Costa Rica boasts an incredible variety of accommodations. Your personal experience can range from luxurious hotels to “roughing it” on the beach. On G Adventures’ Local Living Costa Rica: Caribbean Coast trip, you’ll stay in a house connected to a white sand beach in a wilderness region teeming with exotic animals, including nesting sea turtles. You’ll also share the house with a small group of other like-minded travelers, resulting in a combined experience and bonding with fellow travelers. Imagine the stories you’ll be able to tell all of your envious friends upon your dreaded return home.
Now, my dear reader, you may be thinking “All of this is amazing, but I simply can’t afford it.” You may be surprised. Many people assume they can’t afford their dream trip so they simply don’t try, and they miss out on an amazing experience in the process. G Adventures offers a nine-day Costa Rica Quest for only $999 (land only). This affordable package includes an eight night stay in a hotel, and public bus, boat, and van. It also features a visit to natural hot springs and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, guided tours of sugar cane and coffee plantations, and a local lunch, all accompanied by a Chief Experience Officer and local guides.
There is a saying among Ticos, as native Costa Ricans refer to themselves. As a matter of fact, it’s not a saying at all. Nor is it a motto, phrase, or any combination of words that the English language has a proper term for. It is Pura Vida, literally meaning “Pure Life” in Latin. Not only does it mean exactly that, but it is also said in place of “Hello,” “How are you,” “I’m fine,” “Good job,” and countless other daily conversational phrases. Pura vida is an all encompassing statement of how to live life. So now that I’ve dispelled all of your excuses, go! Live the pura vida!
Editor’s disclaimer: G Adventures is a paid advertiser on BudgetYourTrip.com.
Shannon is a community manager at Budget Your Trip. She can’t get enough of the world, and embraces every adventure with excitement and a rush of adrenaline.