Visiting Costa Rica in 2018? Here are some invaluable insider’s tips on what NOT to do when visiting this extraordinary, wild and totally unforgettable country.
1. Don’t Feed the Wildlife
One of the most enticing aspects of a Costa Rica vacation is undoubtedly the up, close and personal wildlife encounters which are guaranteed no matter where you go. Monkeys will swing on trees above your breakfast table at the eco-lodge, toucans will gawk and shadow your hikes and sloths will pose for your camera, totally unfazed by your presence. Yet as tempting as it may be to make your wildlife encounters even closer (you know, by handing over that piece of banana) know that you could be doing great damage to both the animal and, potentially, yourself. Wildlife is called that for a reason and their reaction to being handed food will always be unpredictable and potentially dangerous to you. Moreover, a human epicurean handout will detrimentally affect any animal’s self-reliance instincts, causing havoc to their hunting and/or gathering habits. In Costa Rica, feeding the wildlife is highly illegal anyway, so keep your food safely out of eye sight and grab of any wildlife – especially monkeys – you may come across.
2. Don’t Forget to Look Down (When You Walk)
Rain forest and volcano hikes are among the most rewarding activities to pursue in Costa Rica, with an array of animals (in the former) and sights (in the latter) providing a feast for the eyes. Most of the visual feasting, however, will tend to distract your gaze from your walking path and being mindful of this could potentially save you from grief. Snakes and frogs seem to have a knack for crossing walking paths right in front of visitors, which is of course marvelous, except when you’re not really paying attention because you’re too busy looking up at the tree tops trying to spot sloths. Likewise on volcano hikes, uneven ground on walking trails could potentially lead to a sprained ankle, so your attention downwards – to where you put your feet – is quite an important thing to keep in mind.
3. Don’t Put On Your Walking Boots Without Checking Them First
Those incredibly colorful spiders and frogs which inhabit Costa Rica’s incredible forests?
They love sneaking into shoes! No matter whether you leave your hiking boots and shoes outside or keep them inside your lodge room, it certainly pays to get into the habit of checking your shoes for uninvited guests before putting them on every morning.
4. Don’t Think You MUST Fly Into San Jose
The Costa Rican capital is quite a vibrant and fun city in which to spend a couple of nights yet if you’re headed here for a short vacation, and want to maximize your time, you should consider entering the country in Liberia International Airport, in the Guanacaste Province. Liberia is a better springboard for adventures in Punta Arenas, La Fortuna and the Nicoya Peninsula, and could potentially save you quite a few hours of travel time.
5. Don’t Ignore Local Warnings
Active volcanoes are one Costa Rica’s most enticing aspect and although the great majority are extinct, there are still a few highly active peaks which show daily signs of impending eruptions. A fuming volcano is a truly mesmerizing sight yet it can also bring danger, especially when people deliberately ignore local authority warnings to keep away. Don’t ever underestimate the power of Costa Rica’s mighty volcanoes and always follow local directives in case any emergency warnings are issued. Trust that your adventure tour company has your best interest and safety at heart, so rely on their advice.
6. Don’t Avoid the Rain Season
The first quarter of the year is high season in Costa Rica, a time when glorious sunny skies reign supreme. But if for some reason you can’t make it to Costa Rica right now, don’t be discouraged and don’t, whatever you do, avoid the rain season. From August to November Costa Rica enjoys a healthy dose of rain, yet most showers are concentrated only in a couple of afternoon hours, still leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your chosen activities. Prices decrease dramatically during the rainy season, crowds dissipate and, even if a few areas of the country suffer from flooding and are inaccessible, there are still plenty of forests to visit and volcanoes to climb nonetheless.
We’ll help you do, see and experience all the right things when you’re in Costa Rica, so check out our comprehensive array of adventure tours and come discover this exceptional country for yourself.