Nature is always nearby in Costa Rica
Wildlife enthusiasts visiting Costa Rica may awaken to an alarm clock provided by Mother Nature.
Tourism guide Michel Aranda told a recent Toronto Costa Rica promotion that some Costa Ricans awaken to early morning calls by howler monkeys, famed for their far-reaching vocalizations.
And that he said underscores one of many interesting natural aspects to the country.
“Wherever you walk around, there’s greenery. Wherever you walk around, there’s forest. Wherever you walk around, there’s birds chirping,” he said of a country that has 6.3% of the world’s biological diversity and over 900 bird species, more than found in all of Europe.
Indeed, the country has 52 species of hummingbirds alone, he added.
Under the sea
Those snorkelling off Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast may suddenly see whales leap up, Aranda added.
Marine life enthusiasts may also be able to spot some of the five species of sea turtles found in Costa Rican waters.
Aranda said nature is always nearby when people are outdoors, with river rafters able to spot the likes of monkeys and toucans. “The rafting becomes secondary.”
Costa Rican hot springs don’t “smell like a rotten egg,” Aranda continued.
Aranda cited a host of other attractions that can be found in the Central American nation, among them active volcanoes and 12 climate zones.
Much of the country’s tourism trade now revolves around the northwestern region of Guanacaste, home to large all-inclusive resorts.
But Aranda noted the Caribbean coast is also welcoming tourists, some drawn by nature preserves, while the community of Puerto Viejo is popular with young tourists, some drawn by surfing opportunities to a town home to reggae bars, thanks to many of its residents being descended from people from Caribbean islands.
Learning to live
Wellness enthusiasts vacationing in Costa Rica can practice yoga in retreats that have what Aranda called “idyllic views.”
Much of Costa Rica has been set aside from development, and Aranda said Costa Ricans are “learning how to live with the forest without destroying it.”
Belgium native Hilde Cloet, now general manager of Costa Rican resort Tango Mar, said she relocated to the Central American nation after realizing that “Costa Rica is the most beautiful country I’ve ever seen.”
The audience was also told that those travelling from Toronto to Costa Rica with Aeromexico can leave Toronto at night and arrive in San Jose just before noon, enabling them to enjoy the afternoon in Costa Rica. Free Mexico City stopovers are offered those travellers, as well.
The airline’s network has over 60 Latin American destinations.