If the Garden of Eden was discovered today, we’d call it Costa Rica 

Costa Rica

If the Garden of Eden was discovered today, we’d call it Costa Rica

It’s amazing how much can be packed into one small Central American country.  Costa Rica is roughly the size of Switzerland and straddles the land link between North and South America. To the East are the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean and to the West you’ll find the cooler Pacific Ocean.  These two masses of water have a profound effect on this small country and the diversity of wildlife to be found there.

If the Garden of Eden was discovered today, we’d probably call it Costa Rica! However, if we’d discovered it in the 1980’s then we’d have found a much different garden, one where deforestation and the destruction of the natural world were considered acceptable in the drive to building a modern country. By 1987 it was apparent the scales had tipped too far, which led to government introducing initiatives that stopped and have now reversed this decline, making Costa Rica one of the ‘must go to places in the world to visit’.

Costa Rica now draws people from all over the world who want to visit the countries 28 national parks, 3 of which are classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites. This is a land of volcanoes, thermal springs, amazing wildlife, jungles, stunning beaches, and friendly people.  First impressions of the capital, San Jose, can feel like an anti-climax but this feeling is always short lived as within a few hours’ drive you’ll find yourselves immersing yourselves is dense jungles, straining your eyes for a first glimpse of the country’s diverse wildlife.

On a recent visit we travelled East to Tortuguero in search of sloth, caiman, nesting turtles and colourful toucans. There is of course more to Costa Rica than its flora and fauna, this is also a land of exciting activities. From Tortuguero we headed to Rio Pacuare for 3 days of river rafting and jungle hikes.  With 28 national parks to potentially visit, we decided to focus on the central region of Arenal and Monte Verde.  The active volcano of Arenal rises majestically from the surrounding forests and recent eruption sites call out to be explored.  Monte Verde on the other hand is often shrouded in mist and cloud, which creates a cool, ethereal sense of mysteries waiting to unfold.

In many respects, it’s almost an irrelevance where you focus your time as the whole country offers so many natural world highlights.  However, if your time isn’t limited, then plan for 3 weeks and travel slowly, as the best wildlife experiences involve a little patience. If you have that extra time, then do consider spending 3 or 4 nights in Corcovado. Nestled in on the remote Osa Peninsula, at the southwestern end of the country, it’s regarded as one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world.

Why do we offer Costa Rica? It’s true that Costa Rica isn’t an archipelago, although there are many islands along its coast. In 2018, we set out to offer a few more destinations with the idea of bringing some new experiences to the Archipelago family.  In all honesty, we didn’t know which ones would inspire the most interest (or any interest at all). We chose them based on where we’d previously explored.  As it turns out Costa Rica has captured people’s imagination.

To find out more check out: www.archipelagochoice.com/costa-rica/