After visiting Costa Rica the first time, I knew it would not be my last trip. A little over a year later, we took another vacation to a different part of Costa Rica and I only fell more in love with this wonderful country. Their motto is”Pura Vida”, which means pure life. The people truly live this motto and you can not help but feel it. There are many reasons I love Costa Rica, these just sum up what truly won my heart.
Depending on where you stay will determine, to a degree, how much monkeys will play a part in your trip to Costa Rica. We have visited twice, each time staying in different areas. The first trip we stayed in Tamarindo, Arenal and San Jose. The only time we encountered monkeys on that trip was while exploring the Arenal Hanging Bridges, which is located in the canopy of the rainforest. The monkeys seen this trip were Howler Monkeys. We saw quite a few, including a mom carrying a baby, but had to look carefully into the trees to see them. Hearing these guys is a completely different story. You can not miss the howl/barking sound that they make.
Howler Monkey Mom carrying baby in Arenal
Our second trip was much different. We stayed in Manuel Antonio, much higher into the trees in an open concept style house. Our house was a playground for monkeys. On the roof, on the balcony rail, in the trees, on our couch, in the living room, the monkeys were in no way afraid of us. We saw Howler Monkeys this trip, but mostly we saw Squirrel Monkeys and Spider Monkeys.
Spider Monkey came into our living room and was checking out the scene.
Hey! That’s my beer!
Squirrel Monkey chillin’ in the trees
baby Squirrel Monkey hitching a ride with mom
More than 800 species of birds call Costa Rica home. The vibrant colors of some of these birds are truly incredible. After seeing so many beautiful varieties while visiting, many other amazing birds have now made my “must see” list. Getting photos was not easy, but I managed to catch a few shots.
Whitewater rafting, ATVs, hiking, surfing, zip lines, rappelling, hanging bridges, kayaks, there are endless opportunities for adventure in Costa Rica and options for all ages. My entire family aged 3 to 63 did a zip line tour in Manuel Antonio and everyone had a blast. My father even tried out surfing for the first time (at age 63) and decided that he is too old for surfing and that he can officially check that off his bucket list.
zip line in Manuel Antonio
zip line at age 3
checking out the sunset while on ATV at a beach near Tamarindo
Arenal Hanging Bridges – Alajuela, Costa Rica
It’s the details that can really make or break a place. In Costa Rica, the details are plentiful. Flowers are bright, trees hold bananas and mangos, monkeys greet you for breakfast, Red Eyed Tree Frogs lurk in the trees and when you least expect it, you may see a Toucan flying across your path.
Flowers in Arenal – Anyone know the name of these?
Red Eyed Tree Frog on rainforest night tour
Whether you are lying on the beach or swinging through the jungle, incredible views are to be enjoyed all over Costa Rica. Sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the views and sounds might be one of the best parts of this country.
sunset on Playa Langosta – Tamarindo
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Have you been to Costa Rica? I would love to hear your thoughts and what you did or did not like about it. It’s a matter of time before I make my way back to this fascinating country.