A mantled howler monkey hanging from the branch of a tree as it tries to gather a bunch of seed pods in Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Costa Rica – Our Truths & Trivia

In Costa Rica, En-Route, Our Journeys, The Americas, Trip-Types, Truths & Trivia, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Just a little fun...

So this post is our light-hearted view of Costa Rica.

It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on the country.

Quick Links

Let’s start with the Truths about Costa Rica

And why it should be on your wish list

Location

The 3 C's

Continent

America (Central)

Country

Costa Rica

Capital

San José

Costa Rica is an intrepid traveller’s paradise. It offers a vast array of activities, and allows you the chance to see a huge amount of flora & fauna, beaches from the Pacific to the Caribbean and it allows you to get a perspective on the human’s place on the planet. Costa Ricans live by the maxim ‘pura vida’, it’s literal meaning is pure life, but it’s just about loving life – say hurrah to that.

Centre of the journey will be the International airport, just outside the capital San José.

 

National Flag

The flag of Costa Rica
 

It’s good to talk

What speaks?

Language

Spanish; English good in the tourist locations

International Dialling Code

+506

Currency

Costa Rican colón (CRC)
Also the US Dollar (USD) can be used but the exchange rate can suck.

What Time?

Timezone

Central Standard Time (CST)
No daylight saving

Difference from UTC

-6 hrs

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Travel Reading

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So what’s this Trivia then?

Or more reasons to visit Costa Rica

Did you know?

  • Costa Rica has no military force. Its Police are armed though, and it has a paramilitary force for Border Patrol.
  • By law, coffee producers in Costa Ricia can only grow the Arabica coffee variety. Considered the best by many in the know.
  • About 25% of the country is in protected national parks, or protected areas. The country contains around 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
  • Costa Rica has a tropical climate, with only 2 seasons the dry season, or summer that generally starts in December and runs through to April, when the wet season, or winter kicks in. Plan your trip carefully.

It's famous for...

Food and Drink

Coffee

100% Arabica – One of the best places to drink a coffee is on a plantation tour. The real meaning of from bean to cup.

Gallo Pinto

Rice and black beans stir fried together. We loved this at breakfast served with fried plantains & eggs

Imperial & Bavaria beers

Gary’s favourites back in 2007, although the new wave of microbrews would interest him today.

See and Do

Arenal active volcano

A real-life active volcano, which with the right conditions means you can actually see lava flowing from the earth’s core.

Zip-wire

Life’s too short. Enjoy the vistas as you zip through the air.

Tortuguero

Explore this fabulous region to wonder in it’s wildlife.

Rain & Cloud forests

Truly stunning flora & fauna as you wander through these natural parks.

Visit a coffee plantation

See the bright red berries on the bush, to the dried green beans, before they are roasted for our delight. From berry to cup.

Stroll on a beach

The beaches are to die for. Feel the sand between your toes in this tropical paradise.

Wildlife to See

Reptiles

Iguanas, Blue-jeans frog, crocodiles, caimans & the Jesus Christ lizards to name but a few.

Sloths

Look out for 2 & 3 toed varieties – amazing to watch. Almost like life in slow motion.

Birds

Far too many to mention, but one highlight would be to see humming birds at a feeding station.

Gary captured the experience and has shared those shots in ‘Birds, Bats & Monkeys of Costa Rica‘ , ‘Reptiles & Sloths of Costa Rica‘ & ‘Flora of Costa Rica

And our thoughts on Costa Rica?

(Would we return? Is it good value? And did we feel the love?)

Return-a-bility

or What are the chances of us revisiting?
70%
(0% - You'll have to drag us over hot coals to go back 100% - Why am I not there now?)

Notes:

I would love to head back, and Gary would like to meet up with old friends. Still plenty to see & do in this wonderful country.

 

Value for Money

Our value for money index. Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.
80%
(0% - How much? I wanted to buy a drink, not the bar 100% - How much? I'll take two.)

Notes:

Prices generally cheap, but a lot of the tourist activity is priced for the market, rather than actual cost. A few drinks with a friends in a bar won’t break the bank.

Behind the Wheel - The Driving Karma

What’s it like driving in the country.

Which side of the road do they drive on? They drive on the right.

85%

(0% - They’re suicidal – they’re out to kill us 100% - I’m in driving paradise.)

Notes:

Standards are pretty good, but the traffic in downtown San José can be a nightmare, especially at peak times. Some of the routes out to the popular destinations involve dirt roads. Generally not to bad but can be affected by heavy rain. Signposting could be better, so we’d advise opting for a GPS (Sat-Nav) if possible.

 

Our Gadgets

our travelling toolkit

  • 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station

  • Mini Dual USB Car Adapter

  • Portable Charger 2 USB Ports Power Bank

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve, Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • USB rechargeable LED Flashlight

  • Collapsible Water Bottle

Janis's Hi's & Lo's

Highlight

I loved the wildlife roaming freely in Costa Rica, particularly the Sloths. Tortuguero was equally amazing, meandering through the canals & waterways.

Lowlight

In 2007 you were unable to fly direct from London to San Jose, so that made the trip a bit arduous. But now all that has changed, from 2016 BA currently fly there.

 
 

Gary's Hi's & Lo's

Highlight

From our 2007 tour – so much, but it has to be Tortuguero, despite the rainfall & humidity – I think I’ve finally dried out now.
From the country; lots of good friends after working with a team daily for 7 years. Wonderful people, so friendly

Lowlight

Being stopped by a traffic patrol for ‘speeding’ when I really wasn’t. Taking sensible precautions, and understand the correct options saved the day though.

Our Gift ideas

A few ideas for a friend

  • Children's World Globe 3D Jigsaw Puzzle

  • Travel-Size Laundry Bag

  • Metallic World Globe

  • RFID Blocking Cards

  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.

Inspired to visit Costa Rica?

This beautifully biodiverse country offers a vast array of experiences, with the opportunity to visit both the Caribbean & Pacific oceans. What are you waiting for?

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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