As any intrepid, adventure hungry traveler will know, we’re all working our way through that never ending bucket list of global wonders. I know the feeling, as soon as you seem someone else’s travel diaries and photographs, you immediately feel the urge to book your next flight.
My question is this, where does Costa Rica place on your list? Whether it’s the mysterious history, diverse culture, climate, extensive flora, and fauna or even just the need to have a taste of the famous coffee, there will be something drawing you there. And hey, when you’re abroad you still have to eat right?
Have we tempted you yet?
(Photograph – Max Templar)
Every nation has their dishes that they’re proud of; Spanish paella, French patisserie, the American Thanksgiving Turkey and of course the iconic British Fish and Chips – naturally Costa Rica is no different. I’ve already mentioned one of them, coffee. Coffee is one of Costa Rica’s biggest exports, so clearly it is a must. Costa Rica’s best is said to be grown in the Central Valley, so head on over and experience the ‘snow’ for yourself. When in bloom the flowers appear white and fluffy, reminiscent of the Western world’s country white Christmas’s, quite the spectacle. You can always taste the produce while you’re there.
Maybe you are putting that gap year to good use, or you’re doing your bit like a project volunteer in Costa Rica, in which case, you’re going to be trying to keep the budget to a minimum. Therein lies your problem, eating cheap is not easy. Any produce that has been branded, packed up or processed in any way is going to push the number of dollars or local ‘Colones’ up, and due to transportation even some of the local foodstuffs can be pricey. So my advice, try the soda! No, not drink… Costa Rican sodas are cheap and cheerful restaurants offering plates full of offerings such as chicken, rice, beans and salad at a low cost. Tastes fantastic heartily fills the belly and keeps the purse strings happy.
For those of us who are willing to splash the cash a little bit, then restaurants such as the ‘Restaurante Emperador’ or ‘Benedictus Steakhouse’ both situated in the famous Arenal Volcano National Park. Enjoy incredible food and exceptional views in the lap of luxury. The park should bump its way to the top of any traveler’s wish list (including ours). Take a tour of the park and marvel at the history of the area, keep your camera handy to catch yourself a perfect picture of the peak, or grab your binoculars for a closer look at the native wildlife.
But don’t let your visit end there. Pick up your surfboard and beachwear, and head on over to the little seaside town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Sample the best the street vendors have to offer or rest and relax in one of the many cafes and restaurants. Take your pick whether you want to satisfy your urge to try something exotic, or have something to remind you of home. It’s all there.
We hope that some of these hotspots have got your taste buds watering, and your feet itching to hop on the next available plane. We’re certainly ready to join you!