The Brazilian football team may have beaten Costa Rica during last year’s memorable FIFA World Cup clash, but when it comes to holiday destinations we can’t help but think Costa Rica comes out on top. Often known as the ‘gateway to Central America’, Costa Rica is a country unlike any other in the world and is becoming a top destination with curious, adventurous and eco-minded travellers from all over the globe.
Here are just some of the reasons why Costa Rica is a better destination than Brazil:
Costa Rica is smaller and friendlier
When it comes to travelling solo, or with just one or two friends, exploring smaller countries is often much more appealing. That’s true if you’re travelling on a family vacation as well, since you’ll be able to pack much more into your itinerary and see more of the country you’re visiting. Costa Rica is a wonderfully intimate country to visit; the landmass measures only 51 thousand square kilometers with a population of 4.9 million, compared to Brazil’s huge 8.5 million square kilometers with a population of 209.3 million.
Something for everyone
Just because Costa Rica is small in comparison to Brazil, it doesn’t make it any less exciting or interesting to visit. Brazilian cities like Sao Paulo are often a favourite choice of destination with holidaymakers who want variety on vacation and whilst it’s true that there are many sides of the city to see and explore, Costa Rica has plenty of excitement and adventure available too.
There’s a surprising amount on offer in cities like Jaco, which is a big surfing hotspot and a renowned destination for partying when the sun goes down. Meanwhile, the mountaintop town of Monteverde is the perfect idyll if you just want to get away from it all and hang out with jaguars, ocelots and the quetzal in the famous Cloud Forest Reserve; whilst in La Fortuna you’ll find hot springs, an impressive waterfall and the most active volcano in the region – the Arenal Volcano.
Geography and Coastline
The famous beaches of Brazil are certainly a major attraction for tourists every year, but Costa Rica has plenty of gorgeous coastlines and unspoilt beaches to enjoy that easily compare. There are actually two different coastlines in Costa Rica, since the country is bordered both by the Caribbean Sea in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west. Beach bums and adrenaline junkies will love the white sandy beaches and rolling waves found on the western side of the country. Meanwhile, there’s a change of pace along the east coast; the gentler seashore is the natural habitat of four different species of turtle, including the green turtle, loggerhead and hawksbill, and the warm sea contains beautiful coral reef and many species of colorful fish.
Costa Rica’s location is situated in close proximity to other great Central American destinations, such as Panama and Nicaragua. So, if you do want to travel further afield on an extended vacation, you’re perfectly placed to do so with Costa Rica as your base.
The lush rainforests that can be found throughout Costa Rica make it a truly biodiverse and eco-friendly nation, which is home to many rare and exotic species of animals and flora and fauna – over 500,000 in total. Although the much larger Amazon rainforest, which stretches across Brazil, Peru, Colombia and other South American nations, is more famous than its Costa Rican counterparts, it’s much more difficult to explore. Here in Costa Rica, there are six different kinds of rainforests and numerous nature reserves and conservation projects, all of which have their own unique ecosystem.
In the Manuel Antonio National Park alone there are over 350 different species of bird; and native mammals in the country include spider monkeys, lemurs, five different species of sloth, capuchin monkeys, the tapir and endangered big cats such as the jaguar and ocelot. Costa Rica is one of only 20 countries in the world to still have so much living biodiversity within its borders, so it’s naturally a very popular destination for ecotourism.