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Costa Rica: A Different Kind of Holiday

Costa Rica Travel News – When I told people I was planning to go to Costa Rica, the response varied from ‘Huh?’ to ‘What part of Spain is that?’ It just goes to show how little people know about the relatively unknown Latin American paradise. It has only just started to be noticed by the tourism industry in the past few years which is surprising as it has some of the most beautiful scenery on the Pacific Coast.

La-Fortuna-waterfallMy trip was part of a tour with fifteen other people, lasting for sixteen days. We flew into San Josè, the busy capital, and stayed there for a day. You could tell how much American influence it had from the lines of different fast food chain restaurants up and down each street and, apart from some traditional Costa Rican markets, that was about as deep as it got. There was not a lot to do and we were only there for a few hours but Costa Rica is not known for it’s busy lifestyle.

Our next stop was Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean Coast. With a bucket load of Jamaican influence, it was laid back, with an infinite number of places to get a proper cocktail (sorry Wetherspoons’ 2 for £12), it was one of my favourite places to visit. There were a lot of activities to do there, including rafting, swimming on both beaches and waterfalls and you can find all the animals you want in the national park or the Jaguar Reserve.

One of the better places for weather in Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo has everything you need for a relaxing holiday. It was similar to the last place we visited, Quepos in Manuel Antonio, which had stunning beaches and a busy nightlife that was perfect for the younger people on the tour.

Another stand out place on the holiday was La Fortuna in the province of Alajuela, immediately next Arenal, the active volcano. With hot springs, waterfalls and plenty of rainforest, La Fortuna is one of the prettiest places in the centre of Costa Rica. And it has a number of amazing activities too; zip-lining, canyoneering down waterfalls up to 75m long (which was by far one of the best activities we did on the tour), hiking the volcano and relaxing in hot rivers by candlelight which was another big highlight.

Costa Rica was pretty much anything you could ask for in a holiday, except for a few things. The weather; Costa Rica is very prone to sudden heavy rain showers in all areas and as a result, the humidity can be overwhelming at times, so be prepared if you ever do visit. Another issue are the mosquitoes. Tortuguero, on the border of Nicaragua, has a massive overpopulation of mosquitoes. We were only there two days and myself and my sister accumulated over 200 bites between us. Costa Rica is also a malaria area so those bites can be dangerous.

So if you’re looking for an action packed holiday to keep you entertained between terms, or need a place to de-stress and detox after too many nights, Costa Rica ticks every box.

BY SASHA MORRIS, www.galleonnews.com

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