There’s no better time to visit Costa Rica than during the World Cup!

The ticos’ qualification means an extra enticement for those who arrive in the country during november and december of 2022. 

As the final whistle blew to finalize the game between Costa Rica’s football national team and New Zealand’s, the whole Central American nation felt a powerful roar of happiness and excitement. Once again, the ticos will be a part of soccer’s biggest tournament, qualifying to the edition of the World Cup that’ll be played in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th. 

Naturally, this fills the hearts of most Costa Rican citizens with joy and pride, as their soccer team has steadily become a constant fixture in the tournament ever since the early 2000s. But qualifying to a World Cup also means a huge boost for a country’s economy and social life. Restaurants see important rises in attendance while the games are on, usually promoting thematic offerings linked with the tournament, while retailers see a huge increase in TV and audio equipment sales; everybody wants to experience the thrills of the World Cup in the best way possible! 

As in most Latin American countries, soccer in Costa Rica is lived intensely, and in recent years the ticos’ celebrations have been well-documented internationally. Since the national team’s improbable success at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they advanced to the quarter finals until eventually losing in penalties to the Netherlands, congregations around San Pedro’s La Fuente de la Hispanidad have been a given whenever the Costa Rican squad reaches an important landmark. 

If you’re thinking of traveling to Costa Rica during winter in the northern hemisphere, you might also get the unforgivable experience of seeing a country fully synced to a sporting event, and the moving displays of passion that come from it. 

The US Travel Alert for Costa Rica goes back to a pre-pandemic level

The country’s stabilization in terms of Covid-19 means more tourism is soon to be expected from the country’s biggest market. 

The initial waves of the Covid-19 pandemic shook by storm the tourism and services industry. In the blink of an eye, staying inside and avoiding travel became a sanitary need, and the whole world was put on hold for a couple of months. With a better grasp of how the virus behaves, and the widespread accessibility of tools for its detection and avoidance, most industries have slowly come back to where they once were, and in some cases, the new trends that came with the pandemic actually helped establish a more effervescent growth. 

Such is the case for travel in Costa Rica, which with the advent of digital nomads and the newfound excitement for international travel has come back with historic numbers. Just recently, The U.S. Department of State has brought even more good news for the service industry. 

During the worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic, this governmental organ instated a travel advisory of level 4 alert for most countries where the virus was running rampant. That meant the highest degree of caution was recommended, and travel was not encouraged. For many years, the United States has represented the most important market for tourism in Costa Rica, and even if things were stabilizing in recent months, that level of prevention meant a hiccup for an economy seeking reactivation after some harsh years. But things are changing for the better. 

The U.S. Department of State has just reinstated Costa Rica’s level to 2 out of 4, meaning it’s now back to the level the country was before the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to data for the first quarter of the year that was disclosed by the tourism sector, in which nearly 80% of the visitation numbers from pre-pandemic times were achieved, things look encouraging for Costa Rica’s main economic activity. 

Experience the highlights of nature documentaries in real life

For many years now, Costa Rica has been one of the preferred locations for scientists, filmmakers and TV producers that focus on biodiversity and natural history. 

Be it the legendary voice of British natural historian and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, or the iconic baritone of former United States President Barack Obama, Costa Rica’s natural wonders have been praised and examined in an almost immeasurable amount of ways over the years, and perhaps the most engrossing of all of these have been nature documentaries. 

From a vast back catalog of Natural Geographic specials fully devoted to some of Costa Rica’s most impressive biodiversity hotspots, to the new advent of the format via streaming services, this Central American nation has fully cemented itself as one of the most visually and aurally enthralling corners of the globe for some time now. And as technology in video recording advances, the country’s wide array of motions and textures have never been better depicted. 

In the BBC-Netflix joint production of Life in Color, cameras with revolutionary color-capturing technology were created specifically for the project, in order to depict some of the colors invisible to the human eye and how they play a vital part in rich ecosystems such as Costa Rica’s rainforest. 

Netflix’s Our Great National Parks plays with slow motion and breathtaking drone shots to contrast the beautiful and vast landscapes of the natural world with some of its stunning inner secrets, such as the infamous habitat that is the Costa Rican sloth’s fur. 

The locations and species featured on these works have become so popular that many of the country’s tourist offers have incorporated them into their repertory. From night tours to live first hand the miraculous turtle nesting, to fun trips to sloth reserves, the great thing is that Costa Rica’s natural attractions are so vast and varied that there’ll always be something new to discover. 

So if you’re a fan of nature documentaries, there’s no better time to create your bucket list, search for a comfortable rental option, and see for yourself what has enamored scientists, filmmakers and TV producers for decades. 

Costa Rica reclaims its throne as Central America’s concert hotspot

During the 2010s Costa Rica became Central America’s hotspot for international shows. Its well-recorded sociopolitical stability, cultural affinity to US culture, and status as one of the globe’s main sustainability ambassadors, made the country the best suited destination to represent the region in the biggest pop stars’ world tours. It all started with hard rock luminaries Iron Maiden and Metallica, but soon Gen-X favorites like Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters and Green Day followed suit, and by the mid-decade classic rock legends like Elton John, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters,  and young effervescent stars like Bruno Mars, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, where all part of Costa Rica’s healthy roster of year-long mega-spectacles. 

Naturally, all that stopped in 2020 with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and its heavy toll on the concert industry. Slowly but steadily, local venues began to open again, and by March the concert agenda finally started to get crowded once again. Just in these first couple weeks of 2022 big name artists like Bad Bunny, Coldplay, Ex-One Direction Louis Tomlinson and Karol G have all confirmed dates, and the expectation is for many more to be announced in the coming months.

Costa Rica’s modern Estadio Nacional is one of Central America’s best concert venues.

One of the main advantages Costa Rica has in the booking department is how easy the pitch is to lure international stars. Coldplay, the band that’ll kickstart the country’s comeback as Central America’s concert hotspot, decided to open their tour here, and that gave them extra time to relax and explore many of the nation’s breathtaking natural attractions. The reason that this iconic British band decided on such a small nation to start off their world tour isn’t just a random occurrence either, as the country’s renewable electric network and 99% clean renewable energy percentage mirrored Coldplay’s well-documented environmental activism. 

It was reported that lead singer Chris Martin arrived a whopping full two-weeks before the concert dates, giving himself plenty of time to immerse himself in Costa Rica’s many allures, and that has been the case before with other world-class stars who take the opportunity to sneak for a quick beach getaway or mountain adventure. Some, like Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Enrique Iglesias (who have both played multiple times in the country) even go a step further, and end up buying property for their tropical hideaway after a long tour. 

If you’re a passionate music lover who also has a penchant for tropical lifestyle, you might want to follow the steps of the artists and begin planning your concert escapade around a nice, relaxing vacation. 

25 Reasons a Trip to Costa Rica Could Actually Change your Life

The country is divided into two sides – the Pacific side, known for its stunning beaches, and the Caribbean side, known more for its low-key rainforest vibe — and I’ve been to both. In fact, I love Costa Rica so much that I actually lived there for a month last year, back when my job was remote. So here are 25 reasons you should definitely go to Costa Rica – at which point you’ll become slightly obsessed, just like me.

1. It has some of the most beautiful beaches ever.

That blue water is not enhanced. Swear on my life. Neither is the sand. That’s just how the beaches are in Costa Rica. This particular beach is called Playa Conchal, because the sand is actually made of conch shells (!). And there are many, many others that are just as sweet.

2. And it also has beautiful cloud forests …

One of Costa Rica’s biggest attractions is Monteverde, the cloud forest. The main difference between a cloud forest and a rainforest is that cloud forests are located at higher elevations — which makes them cooler and also creates a foggy, misty atmosphere. Whatever the science behind it, though, the fact is that cloud forests are super magical and definitely worth a visit.

3. … and rainforests, too.

While there are rainforests in Monteverde, there are also many on the Caribbean side. When I went the first time, I stayed in Monteverde and then moved on to Manzanillo, a super chill little rainforest town. I actually liked Manzanillo better because it was super remote and I’m into that, but I still recommend hitting up Monteverde for the experience.

4. Its motto, ”pura vida,” which is Spanish for ”pure life,” will speak to your soul.

It certainly spoke to mine. The locals are so friendly, the vibe is so chill, and there is a lightness in the air that makes you feel like you’re living in happy land, where all is joyful and wonderful. (I’m sober right now, btw. It’s just that peaceful there.)

5. Especially because the locals — called Ticos — truly embrace the pura vida lifestyle.

Of course there are tourism businesses that capitalize on the ”pura vida” motto, selling tacky ”pura vida” t-shirts, and offering ”pura vida” yoga classes that are commercialized to the max. Ugh, it pains me to think of them! But steer clear of those touristy zones, and you’ll find that the ”pura vida” lifestyle truly is ingrained in the soul of its people, who seem to appreciate life’s best simplicities, and will undoubtedly assure you that everything actually is pretty chill.

6. In the less-touristy towns, it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Smaller towns like Dominical, Uvita, and Nosara will take you back to the way things were. There aren’t really any big commercialized chains, people smile at you as you’re walking down the sunny street, and life is golden.

7. There is a sloth sanctuary. Yes, a sloth sanctuary.

Aptly titled ”Sloth Sanctuary,” the staff has been rescuing sloths — a very common animal in Costa Rica — since 1992. They’ll even take you on a sloth tour!

8. And there are howler monkeys!

They’re everywhere! They chill in the trees, just like that, and they howl. Could they be any cuter?

9. The roads, though full of borderline dangerous twists and turns, are stunning.

If you’re going on a road trip, be very careful: The driving can get tricky. People tend to pass you if you’re going slower in front of them, even if there’s a sharp turn ahead of you and it looks like things could get tight. It can get mildly terrifying, to be honest. But as long as you’re careful, it’s worth it, if only because you get to cruise along and see gorgeous local back roads like these.

10. The sunsets are unreal.

There are sunsets, and then there are sunsets. Costa Rican beauties fall under the latter category, namely because of the STRONG pinks and purples and oranges. They’re just killer.

11. I repeat: unreal.

People sit on the beach every night to watch the sunset (myself included), and why wouldn’t you? It’s a daily show, it’s free, and it’s epic 99.99999% of the time. Documented evidence above.

12. And the sunrises, if you can actually wake up for them, are #worthit, too.

I took this one on a morning run in Tamarindo. The best part is that if you wake up for sunrise, you usually have the beach to yourself, which is the perfect time to clear your mind and let those heady thoughts roll in.

13. There are beautiful bogenvelia bushes everywhere you look.

Take it in, take it in.

14. And there’s some other seriously cool flora, too.

Heliconia, pink ginger, and golden trumpet, respectively.

15. The local food hits the spot, especially the plantains.

In my opinion, the best food is served at sodas, which are the outdoor casual roadside restaurants — NOT the touristy ones. The most common Costa Rican meal is called a ”casado,” which is: beans, rice with finely-chopped onions and peppers, a cabbage salad, fried plantains, and some sort of meat (chicken, steak, fish, pork, whatever) with fried onions. The plantains are my favorite — they are buttery and carby and fried and perfect.

16. And their most well-known beer, Imperial, tastes great at the beach.

Let me be clear: This is no artisanal IPA. It’s a lager, meaning you can drink a bunch of them at sunset without getting tanked — which is exactly what a tropical beer is meant for. And it’s cheap, too! One costs about 600 colones (about $1 a beer).

17. The surfing is incredible, both for beginners and for people with more experience.

There are tons of surfing schools and surfing camps all around Costa Rica, making it the ideal spot to learn how to get out there on the waves. But there are also different beaches with stronger waves, for super legit surfers. I hung out with some local pro surfers while I was there, and they raved about Playa Grande in Guanacaste.

18. And yoga is all over the place.

Who needs a studio when you have the beach? (Though if you want a studio, they definitely have them. Nosara is especially well-known for their yoga retreats and studios.)

19. The volcano situation in Costa Rica is on point.

There are six active ones — the most famous is Arenal, above — and another 61 dormant or extinct ones.

20. And the hot springs around Arenal are some of the most soothing in the world.

Thanks to Arenal’s geothermal activity, there are tons of hot springs all around that contain healing minerals (and they’re pretty low in sulfur, so they don’t have that weird smell).

If you want to go, stay in La Fortuna, the town near Arenal. The most famous hot springs around the volcano are Tabacon Hot Springs, Baldi Hot Springs, Ecotermales Hot Springs, and the Springs Resort Hot Springs. I went to Tabacon on a day trip and loved it and highly recommend it, but I’m sure the other ones are great, too.

21. Ziplining will change your perspective forever.

Most people go ziplining in Arenal or Monteverde, but you can also go in other places around the country. I went in Monteverde, and it was amazing! I’m really scared of heights (and, fine, pretty much all scary things), so this was big for me — but I ended up loving the ride, probably because I was going too fast to think.

22. You can bike pretty much anywhere you want.

Including, but not limited to, the beach!

23. There’s also tons of hiking, for those who are so inclined.

Forest hiking, beach hiking, you name it. It’s there.

24. The waterfalls are magical.

This one is in Uvita, though they really are everywhere.

25. But perhaps most of all, Costa Rica is a great place to chill out, breathe deep, get in with nature, and let yourself totally, completely decompress from the stresses of daily life.

Pura vida, man. Pura vida.