arenal lake is one of the reasons to love costa rica

Costa Rica, the small Latin American country known for its laidback “pura vida” lifestyle, has so much more to offer to travelers than meets the eye. Yes, the beaches and jungles are unsurprisingly gorgeous. But, after a recent week spent exploring the deeper side of this beautiful place, I’ve found a few unexpected reasons to love Costa Rica and visit again and again.

Please note…I was hosted as part of a press trip sponsored by Visit Costa Rica. All opinions remain my own.

3 Unexpected Reasons to Love Costa Rica


First up, sustainability. It’s no surprise that adherence to our values at home should translate to thoughtful travel abroad. So, it makes sense to support the tourism industry in countries that have hit the so-called green nail on the head. Costa Rica contains some of the most biodiverse terrain on earth and the people and the government take that gift seriously. Respecting nature is built into their way of life.

For example, roughly 98% of the country is fueled by clean energy. Most of that comes from hydroelectric power, while the rest consists of solar, geothermal, and wind energy sources. After the army was disbanded in the 1940s, Costa Rica re-purposed a lot of those funds for environmental purposes.

In addition, for tourists, Costa Rica offers actual eco-friendly lodging options. None of this green washing nonsense where hotels implement a towel program and that’s it. One such property is Rancho Margot, located near La Fortuna. Certified as carbon negative back in 2012, this unique farm-meets-guest-quarters hits all the right sustainable notes. The food is grown on site and the furniture is made there, too. Visitors can even enjoy workshops to produce their own natural soaps.

soap making is one of the reasons to love costa rice

Soap making at Rancho Margot in Costa Rica.

Rancho Margot is a leading example that a hotel can cater to tourists while also serving their community and being a responsible steward of nature. It’s a win-win-win.

Wellness Activities

Another reason to love Costa Rica is their wondrous wellness activities. Visitors can enjoy the gifts of nature on their way to exploring mindfulness, balance, and overall wellness. One way to do this is to visit Paradise Hot Springs, which is naturally heated by the nearby Arenal Volcano.

While many hot springs focus on a party and drinking atmosphere, Paradise embraces the relaxation aspect and does so beautifully. Visitors can enjoy various pools of differing temperatures either by day or night. Plant-based and healthy food is offered on site. One star standout is the menu of wellness smoothies. Be sure to sample one on your visit!

paradise hot springs is one of the reasons to love costa rica

Photo credit Paradise Hot Springs.

Costa Rica also offers numerous other wellness-focused activities like yoga, healthy cooking classes, sound therapy and healing, digital detox retreats, and so much more. For an escape from the draining pressures of modernity, consider a visit to this lush tropical paradise sure to soothe your soul.

Opportunity for Adventure

Another key factor when contemplating a vacation destination is the opportunity for adventure. Costa Rica checks this off in so many ways. I suggest working with the wonderful team at Desafio Adventure Company. I was lucky enough to experience their signature tour, Gravity Falls waterfall jumping and canyoning. Not only did it push me physically, it helped me to feel super accomplished through tackling my fear of heights. Plus, I bonded with the other group members as we cheered each other on through the challenging elements. It was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that was truly invigorating and uplifting.

gravity falls in costa rica

Gravity Falls Costa Rica. Photo credit Desafio.

The company invests in local communities, emphasizes safety, and offers a ton of other cool experiences. Some other winners include zip lining, white water rafting, and mountain biking. But, there are more laid back choices too, like a safari float or bird watching. Whatever you would like to do, Desafio is sure to deliver.

So overall, Costa Rica surprises with unexpected benefits for tourists. A country-wide focus on sustainability, wellness, and adventure add up to a life-affirming vacation. Visitors should consider a trip to this beautiful country that truly has so much to offer.

For more information, be sure to check out Visit Costa Rica!