With no national army to speak of, and a prolonged era of peace and political stability, Costa Rica is genuinely a safe and friendly place to travel to for a relaxed holiday.
Saskia, Original Traveller
Costa Rica is a picture-perfect and pocket-sized country with two beautiful coastlines separated by a spine of extremely active volcanoes.
Why we think you’ll love it
- About 25% of the country is blanketed by national parks or biological reserves, which helps to preserve its staggering diversity - Costa Rica is home to 10,000 species of plants and trees, 580 species of (migrant and indigenous) birds, and 205 species of mammals
- Thrill seekers won't be disappointed - rappelling down waterfalls, exploring rainforest canyons, rafting along rapids and flying through the jungle canopy are amongst our favourite activities
- With both a Caribbean and Pacific coast, Costa Rica's beaches are a strong pull for many travellers. Nature reserves populate much of the Caribbean coast, though the Pacific coast is undoubtedly more wild. It's arguably also more beautiful
From the gallery
Luxury Costa Rica Holidays: The Detail
Costa Rica is the teacher's pet of the ecotourism class, and this small Central American nation regularly gets straight A's on issues green. A cast of thousands of eco-lodges and projects fly the green flag and a staggering 25 per cent of the country is set aside in National parks - the highest percentage of any nation on the planet. Call us cynical, but while some destinations pedal repackaged product as eco-friendly in order to the move with the times, Costa Rica has been walking the walk for years. Responsible tourism is embedded as the fundamental principle of the country's tourism mantra - even the Tourist Board's strapline is 'No Articificial Ingredients'. Now that makes for a truly original luxury holiday.
Did you know
- Over 24% of Costa Rica's land is protected in National Parks
- Costa Rica divides into seven provinces
- There are more than 212 volcano formations in Costa Rica, seven of which are active volcanoes
- Costa Rica means 'rich coast'. In the 16th century an explorer mistakenly thought the country was rich in gold
- In Costa Rica they eat 'Gallo Pinto' for breakfast, which is a mixture of rice and beans
- Costa Rica has over 20,000 species of spiders
Impressive, we see you nod, but only to be expected from a country that abolished its own armed forces in 1948 preferring (in the aftermath of a bloody civil war) to spend millions on improving the day-to-day lot of its citizens rather than rearming to the teeth in the face of an improbable invasion from the pacifist Panamanian neighbours.
In fact, the only cross-border incursions in recent years have been those by hordes of Hawaiian-shirt-wearing American tourists. That in turn may mean the cuisine on offer rarely soars to heights much beyond super-sized burgers and shakes (although there are exceptions), but gringos from States demand - and receive - a level of service that Europeans holidaying in their own continent can often only dream of. That Ticos (as Costa Ricans refer to themselves) make such naturally warm hosts only makes the experience of a luxury holiday here all the more pleasurable.
So what to expect from a luxury Costa Rica holiday? As mentioned, this is a pocket rocket of a country, and for all but the most backpacker-budgeted travellers, access to the furthest-flung corners is by light aircraft, which offers a wonderful perspective on the varying and distinct ecosystems that make this such a fascinating destination. The wetlands of Tortuguero and the Caribbean Coast give way to the jungle, interspersed with the massive banana plantations that provide so much of the country's income. Next come the volcanoes and cloud forests of the interior and Central Valley, and then it's down to the tropical rainforest reserves and surf beaches of the Nicoya and Osa Peninsulas of the Pacific coastline, all within an hour's flight.
The team at Original Travel are passionate about Central America, and Costa Rica is the icing on this very special cake. We revisit on a regular basis to check out the best new ecolodges and surf the best breaks, and we are here to talk you through what is an incredibly special luxury holiday destination.