*This is a sponsored post
I never took a gap year to travel before I went to university. I don’t regret that, but it does mean that are lots of parts of the world that I’ve never seen. Hubby and I love to travel and we used to travel abroad at least twice a year. Most of our holiday destinations were in Europe, though, with the exception of a trip to my favourite city, New York, and our honeymoon, which was split between Dubai and Mauritius.
Since Little M came along, we haven’t left the country and I doubt that will change any time soon with a new baby on the way. We’re not that brave! The lack of travel has been getting to me, though, so I’ve been dreaming of far-flung destinations that I would have visited, had I taken that gap year! One of those places is Costa Rica.
So, I’ve been doing a bit of research and chatting to some fellow bloggers who have actually been, to highlight some of the things you might like to consider if you’re planning to visit Costa Rica.
There are some stunning Costa Rica beach rentals available – the thought of staying right on the sand seems absolutely idyllic. I think part of the reason I avoided a travel gap year is because I hate the idea of staying in a hostel. I must admit, I do have expensive tastes and properties like the Casa Oceano are right up my street! I’m not sure how child-friendly they are though, so we might have to save this trip for when we can go sans children!
In terms of where to stay geographically, I definitely thing that Costa Rica is a country that needs time to be explored. It’s vast, with beautiful national parks and amazing experiences to be had. This does mean that major points of interest are rather spread out, so I don’t think it’s somewhere where you could experience everything it has to offer in a week or two.
The high season in Costa Rica is between December and April, so it could make a perfect Christmas getaway or Easter break. Of course, if you’re not a teacher, or married to one, then you could make it a New Year excursion – what better way to kick off the new year than with an adventure? Despite this being the ‘dry’ season, though, it can’t be guaranteed to be free from rain – and of course being the high season it means that accommodation will be busier and more expensive.
I think I’d probably avoid travelling to Costa Rica in the summer holidays, as August-October sees rainfall at its highest and roads can become completely impassable – not ideal if you’re wanting to see the country at its best! If you’re a surfer, though, this could be the ideal time to go – according to Lonely Planet it’s when the surf is at its peak.
From speaking to other bloggers who have visited Costa Rica, there are some incredible things to do there. From zip lining through cloud forests to exploring a sloth sanctuary in a canoe, there’s something for everyone, from the adventurous to the sedate. Here are some of the places they recommend to visit:
Manuel Antonio National Park is beautiful and filled with wildlife. On the walk to enter the park you see squirrel monkeys playing on the electricity cables. In the park itself you may not see a thing if you don’t have a tour guide as everything is so well hidden! You walk on a path that takes you through the forest and here you can see are howler monkeys, tiny bats, lizards and crabs. When you are at the beach you can see white faced capuchin monkeys and racoons trying to steal food and sunglasses from unsuspecting tourists. A sloth even came down to visit us too and I am sure that he was just posing for photos! – Louise, A Strong Coffee To Go
It was a wonderful trip but the highlight was probably zip wiring over a cloud forest… I’m no adrenaline junkie so never thought I would do that! I did it in Monteverde where we stayed in a treehouse for a few nights, but they do zip wiring in lots of other places too. – Heledd, Yummy Blogger.
We went to the sloth sanctuary near Limon. It was absolutely amazing I would particularly recommend their canoe ride! We were on a cruise so was an organised excursion. They had a sloth retreat with sloths that were disabled or couldn’t be in the wild. There was also sloth a nursery with baby sloths to see (but not touch). You then went on a canoe ride through the rainforest to see them in the trees and a forest walk too. The lunch was all fresh fruit and a lovely big sloth slept on a hammock whilst you ate. – Clare, Mumsy Midwife
From reading these experiences, you can certainly see why I’ve added Costa Rica to my list of dream holiday destinations! It’s definitely somewhere I’ll be looking to visit once the children are a bit older and we’re back in the swing of travelling again!
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post