If La Jolla is the jewel of California, then Costa Rica is the jewel of Central America. This tiny country nestled between Nicaragua and Panama boasts some of the finest coastline and most beautiful scenery on the planet. Costa Rica is Mother Earth at her absolute best!
If you’re a surf enthusiast, a nature lover, a beach bum, an adventurer, or even if you just want to chill out and soak up the atmosphere, Costa Rica is the perfect destination.
Despite its size, Costa Rica is geographically highly diverse. From beautiful beaches to dense lowland rainforest, from volcanoes to cloud forests, from tropical lakes and rivers to seasonal dry forests, Costa Rica has a lot to offer. Its geographical diversity and tropical climate also ensure it has a rich and prolific wildlife. It’s a paradise for anyone who wants to escape the city to join nature.
A haven of ecotourism, Costa Rica covers only 0.1% of the world’s land mass, but is home to 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It has more than 20 national parks and protected zones. It’s location between North and South America has enabled plants and animals from both continents to live there and its tropical climate and geographical make-up has allowed these species to flourish. Moreover, the nation’s environmental policies serve to strictly protect the natural habitat. We could all learn from Costa Rican’s enlightened attitude towards the environment!
Costa Rica is home to more than 9,000 species of plants including thousands of orchids. More than 850 species of birds and about 600 species of butterflies inhabit Costa Rica. There are also more than 200 species of mammals, including four types of indigenous monkey – the howler, spider, white-faced capuchin, and squirrel monkey. There are iguanas, amazing insects, frogs, squirrels, sloths and many more intriguing animals that have made their home there. It’s really not too difficult to get to see many of these creatures in their natural habitat too. Take a horseback ride, a canopy tour, go for a jungle walk or simply snooze in your hammock by the beach and you are pretty much surrounded by wildlife in this fascinating and beautiful country.
Costa Rica also has more than 100 volcanic formations. Seven of Costa Rica’s volcanoes are active. The most active volcano in Costa Rica is Volcan Arenal. Located in the Arenal National Park, the volcano has a perfect conical shape and offers a spectacular light show of ash and molten lava for those lucky enough to see it. The volcano is often shrouded in clouds, which contribute to the prolific wildlife of the nearby Monteverde Cloud Forest.
In 1968 Volcan Arenal exploded destroying the nearby settlements of Pueblo Nuevo and Tabacon. Today, the volcano is visited by hundreds of tourists who flock there year-round to see the magnificent sight and to sample some of the natural beauty of the nearby Monteverde Cloud Forest. A highlight of this area is visiting one of the natural spas or hot springs created by the heat of the volcano. Set in lush tropical jungle, the spas offer the perfect environment for rest, relaxation and invigoration. The spas occur naturally at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Rainwater is heated by the magma from the earth’s core and creates pools, streams and cascading waterfalls of warm mineral-rich water amongst the tropical canopy of the jungle.
"Pura Vida" or "Pure Life" is the best way to sum up everything that Costa Rica has to offer. You’ll hear everyone say it. Costa Rican’s embrace the idea of "Pura Vida" in the way they live their lives. It’s a simple phrase that seems to capture the essence of what to expect from a vacation in Costa Rica – friendly and welcoming people, an experience of nature in its purest form, peace and serenity, beautiful scenery and an ocean that just begs to be surfed.
The Surf Diva Costa Rica Surf Adventure is located in a small, traditional Tico village on the Nicoya Peninsula. The area is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets. The surf spot and hotel are located about 266 kilometers from the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. Because of the poor roads in this area, this piece of tropical paradise is off the beaten track for tourists, so it never gets too crowded. The area has a very low-key, laid-back feel. There are no huge hotels to spoil the peace and quiet. Most restaurants, bars and hotels are small, privately owned affairs with a real traditional Costa Rican feel.
The weather in this part of Costa Rica is also perfect. The dry season lasts from November to May, making this an excellent time to visit. During the rainy season, which is especially heavy in September, October and November, the heavy rains turn the area into a tropical rainforest, making this a great destination for sun worshippers and nature-lovers.
The beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula are equally breathtaking. The secret surf spot, where the Surf Diva Surf Adventure is located, is a 6km expanse of white sand. The surf is perfect for surfers of all levels, from beginners to more advanced wave riders with consistent waves and both left and right-hand breaks.
"I loved that it was a small town and so accessible by foot."