So many people are looking to travel right now, and we invite you to consider traveling to Costa Rica. Here is why.
One year ago, the entire world was choked, getting locked down for the first time in history.
Most countries closed their borders due to the pandemic. People have been forced to wear a face mask. The most antinomic expression of Social Distancing has been created and is now ruling the world.
This creates critical isolation of humans which has and will continue to reveal dramatic consequences. Among them, “social rejection, growing impersonality and individualism, and the loss of a sense of community”.
Besides, it has been a devastating year for the tourism industry of countries whose it represents a high percentage of GDP. This is the case for Costa Rica, for which tourism contributes to approximately 8% of the annual GDP and almost 7% of total employment.
Wouldn’t it be time to continue to stop the Pause button we pushed one year ago and start again with our lives flow?
What about dusting off our hiking shoes and jumping on a plane for some vacations and start exploring this paradise country, abandoned by tourists?
What about joining the 4th best country in Latin America to work remotely from?
Are you curious to know what to expect when traveling in 2021 in Costa Rica? I will reveal in this article everything you need to know!
Traveling during covid-19: 3 true facts vs 3 common biases
When we dare to go beyond our fears and start to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, we surprisingly discover three important facts.
First, despite a few exceptions of countries with borders that are closed, this IS still possible to travel, despite a common belief that this is not. Personally, I kept on traveling since the end of lockdown measures in June 2020 and found that many people actually thought it was not possible.
Second, that traveling during covid-19 times is a lot easier than what we imagine. The trip to reach your destination can be longer because of the reduced number of flights for connecting flights. But apart from that, this is really not more complicated than it was back to covid-free ages.
Especially in Costa Rica where tourists are welcome with a 3 months VISA without having to undergo a covid test.
Last but not least, you will discover that NOW is the best time ever to travel!
Every single person that I have met traveling in Costa Rica feels the absolute privilege it is to be traveling right now.
Think about how you would feel being able to enjoy pristine waters and infinite white sand beaches. Enjoying Costa Rica without the hassle of a massive number of tourists, but with the very warm welcome of happy locals instead.
I am going to reveal why this is especially wonderful to travel to Costa Rica.
Traveling in Costa Rica: 4 insights why you will feel like you landed in paradise
#1 – A nation of … opened-heart people
First of all, you may not expect that first thing when you think about Costa Rica. But Costa Rica has the kindest people I ever met. And I have traveled literally all over the world!
Ticos (Costa Rican locals nickname) always have a smile. It isn’t surprising that the world “happiness index” actually ranks Costa Rica at the top of the competition ranking 15th in the world in 2020!
Ticos are extremely polite and they are always ready to help you the best way they can. And guess what, when they ask you “how are you today?”, they are really interested in listening to you and getting to know the answer. I am not just making it, I am quoting a chef cook on that when we were talking about Ticos culture.
Ticos also have an excellent sense of service. In the hospitality industry, they are 100% committed to giving you the best experience possible. They are also really happy to serve you. Which can be quite different from what we experience in faster-paced countries.
Ticos will truly make your stay unforgettable. Doesn’t it sound already amazing?
#2 – A country of extreme beauty: nature lovers’ paradise!
Costa Rica is a country so colorful, so green, so full of life, with 28% of its territory made of parks and reserves!
From the life force driven by the ocean to the thousands of birds and animals living in the jungle, life is everywhere here. It is maybe why by staying here for a while, one feels closer to mother nature and more alive than ever?
If you have the soul of an explorer, hiking in one of the 13 recommended national parks of Costa Rica will make you feel you are back to Noah’s ark times.
Make your way with your binoculars through the primary or secondary jungle in the discovery of the most diverse fauna: national emblem sloths, tropical birds like scarlet macaws and toucans; spider or howler monkeys; tapirs, giant termite nests, colonies of grasscutter ants, iguanas, giant crabs, spiders, etc. and… jaguars.
The list is endless, indeed Costa Rica accounts for 0.03% of the earth’s surface, but contains almost 6% of the world’s biodiversity!
The beauty of this preserved untouched nature is incredible. Nature lovers welcome!
You can also expect to be amazed by the incredible diversity of flora. An explosion of smell and colors. Everywhere, you will enjoy the sight of colorful flowers of all kinds: infinite quantities of hibiscus, the intoxicating smell of refined ylang-ylang trees’ yellow flowers, the pretty red lipstick bamboos, etc.
Thousands of palm trees, naked Indian trees, giant tri-centenary ceiba trees, amazing banana trees with their purple flowers, pineapple plants growing in gardens, and so on. Rather incredible.
Did you always dream about taking off on a surfboard?
Get ready to surf perfect waves in world-renowned beach breaks such as Santa Teresa. Enjoy a turquoise ocean with infinite miles of white sand beaches.
Any time of the day, the perfect tubes are there waiting for you to take on the challenge. And the true magic is that the Pacific Ocean also welcomes beginners!
After your session, take a Yoga Class on the beach to stretch your stiff muscles. Finish the day by watching the most amazing sunset.
Are you an underwater addict?
If yes, make your way to the protected reserve around Isla del Caño to enjoy snorkeling o scuba-diving. You will be delighted to swim with colorful tropical fishes of all sizes, turtles, manta rays, and reef sharks!
If you are lucky and there during the right season, you will navigate playing with dolphins and watching whales exhaling in the distance.
Whatever passion you have, or whether you just like to relax in front of stunning scenery, you are going to love Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is a true invitation to travel. In the poem “Invitation au voyage” written in 1857 by the French poet Baudelaire, you can experience a taste of it. Enjoy an extract as follow:
“My child, my sister,
Think how sweet
To journey there and live together!
To love as we please,
To love and die
In the land that is like you!
The watery suns
Of those hazy skies
Hold for my spirit
The same mysterious charms
As your treacherous eyes
Shining through their tears.
There – nothing but order and beauty dwell,
Abundance, calm, and sensuous delight.”
What a beautiful and promising invitation isn’t it?
#3 – Feel safe + develop your sense of freedom and adventure while traveling in Costa Rica
What is the best way to travel in Costa Rica you may ask? Hiring a four-wheel drive and hitting straight the road once you landed in the airport!
Indeed, Costa Rica is a very small country (smaller than the US state West Virginia), so it is quite fast to drive from South to North and East to West.
Besides, it is very easy to drive through the whole country. Most of the time, there is only one main road following the coastline, or getting inland to San Jose capital. From San Jose, you can then cross the country from west to east and vice-versa.
You won’t even need a detailed map with ongoing roaming data. You can have an offline mobile with Google Maps on, or a pre-downloaded map on Maps.me to be able to drive easily to your destination. And since you are on holiday, you can relax about your accurate Estimated Time of Arrival!
Although we are in the high season, the country is not undergoing a massive influx of tourists. Thus, you can find some great deals of accommodations available at the very last minute, using main online booking websites.
Feel free to come to Costa Rica without a clear plan of your itinerary, and enjoy the freedom to improvise. Being free to stop and stay along the way where and when you feel like it, without stress.
However, as you may already have guessed, it is better to not be in a rush when driving in Costa Rica.
First, having only one road results in rather intense traffic, with trucks and cars mostly sharing the same road.
Second, the speed is limited to 80km/hour maximum on most highways, and 40km/hour in residential areas and cities.
Thus, you may wonder why I recommended a 4 wheel drive previously.
Well, you will find quite a few unpaved and bumpy roads along your journey across Costa Rica!
You may have to drive among stunning jungle roads and cross rivers. Be ready to ascend steep slopes to access amazing but remote accommodations. Somehow paradise has to be earned!
But don’t worry, except if you travel during the rainy season, it is totally OK. Besides, it makes your journey really fun and special!
Rental car companies are used to people returning cars as dusty as they would have done the Paris-Dakar rally!
If eventually, your tire goes flat, you will find many “llanteras” workshops along the road. Locals can repair your tire for 5 dollars in 15 minutes.
The most dangerous for your car will be the fall of coconuts from the trees. So make sure you never park underneath a coconut tree!
This leads us to the next fourth insight about Costa Rican cuisine where coconuts do have a prominent place.
#4 – Costa Rican exquisite culinary offering, a pleasure for the most delicate palace
I am a French girl, so I am quite demanding with food, especially when it comes to eating affordable, fresh, healthy, and tasty food. Well, one more time: I give a 10/10 to Costa Rica’s cuisine!
Whatever you choose, local food specialty, Western, Asian or European cuisine, expect to enjoy delicious food.
Here is my favorite menu for a deliciously healthy day:
Enjoy a breakfast made with a tropical fruit plate of mango, papaya, watermelon, and pineapple to start the day with the most exotic flavors. Later on, refresh savoring a “pipa fria”, a fresh coconut brimming with nutritious and delicious water. Some locals sell them everywhere for as cheap as one dollar.
Stop in a Tico “Soda” for lunch, the name given to typical locals restaurants, and ask for the traditional dish “Casado”. A healthy plate made of rice, raw or cooked vegetables, tasty black beans, with the option to add a portion of grilled white fish or chicken. Simply delicious, and affordable, counting approximately 5 dollars for the dish.
6.30 pm: Dinner time is approaching, you may want to dine in one of the many appealing restaurants you will find in every town, with a match for all the wallets.
One of my other classics favorites is “Ceviche”, a cold recipe perfect for the warm nights, inspired by Peru’s national specialty. You will find it served everywhere. It is made with finely chopped cilantro leaves and red onion, and fresh shrimps marinated in lime juice. Most of the time they will serve it with patacones, fried plantains. An affordable option that is full of flavors and fresh.
However, if you prefer to cook on your own, you will find out that most accommodations in Costa Rica include the use of a shared or private kitchen. And even in the smallest town, you will find a supermarket selling all you need to be your own cook.
So does Costa Rica sound like a place where you would find peace and happiness, whether to work remotely or to take a vacation?
If at this stage you are maybe already convinced to book a flight ticket and enjoy airline great deals of the moment? Or you are almost there and you need an extra little push? Let me reveal the first instant benefit you will experience when treading the Costa Rican ground…
The very first benefit you will experience when you land in Costa Rica.
There is a very relieving and soothing feeling to be able to disconnect from all of the news.
Well, here people are acting safely, but are not obsessed with the pandemic… Let’s say that this is not a national topic present on everyone’s lips at all.
Creating space for goodness and trust in the future
This permanent bombing of negative inflow left behind will allow you to create mental space for the rebirth of your own inner voice.
You will gradually start to reconnect with Mother Nature, letting yourself be carried away by the beauty of Costa Rica’s landscapes.
You will be able to nurture your mind with positive thoughts and reconnect with your intuition. Your heart will be filled with love, bliss, and hope.
Every day you will be able to nourish your body with tropical fruits and delicious local cuisine prepared by the kindest locals. You will have plenty of space to exercise and reconnect with your body. Why not starting step by step to put in place a healthy morning routine?
« Mens sana in corpore sano ». This Latin saying for “A sound mind in a healthy body”, is all we need to face the present and future with equanimity.
Invitation to a Visualisation Practice
So let’s do a mental visualization exercise for a few moments if you wish.
Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a few long and deep breaths in and out through the nose. Fill your lungs and your belly as the air flows in and out through your nose.
Visualize you standing on the shore of a secluded jungle beach. You just woke up. The sun is rising in front of you. You hear the birds chirping, the loud monkeys howling, the waves crashing on the shore.
Continue to breathe through your belly.
How do you feel? What is the first word or feeling that comes to mind?
Gently open your eyes.
Can you imagine experiencing this feeling of wellness every day? Well, this could be really a dream coming true.
What your schedule in Costa Rica could look like
Watching the sun rising every morning.
Living among the jungle in a cozy room in a beautiful Spa Resort, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Starting your day with a healthy breakfast such as a delicious Gallo Pinto, Tico’s national breakfast. It is made of a tasty mix of rice and black beans, served with scrambled eggs and melting-fried plantains.
Option 1: Continuing on your holiday hopping on a day tour. Plenty of options here: hiking to spot some wildlife in a National Park, exploring stunning waterfalls, taking some surf classes, or the first yoga class of your Yoga Retreat.
Option 2: Working remotely with your laptop from the terrace of your hotel overlooking the ocean. Or, giving a try to one of the stunning western-style coffee & eating places that Costa Rica has to offer.
Ending the afternoon with a class of yoga, or a meditative walk on the beach, just in time for sunset.
Finishing with a mouth-watering dinner with farm-to-table food.
Sleep, rinse and repeat!
Well, you are just one ticket away from experiencing this paradise, every day…
But before you book your flight, let me give you some insights about how it is to travel in Costa Rica regarding Covid-19.
Measures against Covid-19 to expect when traveling to Costa Rica
Costa Rica has been accomplishing a wonderful job in flattening the curve during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and ever since. As a result, one year later, its citizens can live an almost-back-to-normal life. The country undergoes indeed much fewer restrictions than in other countries.
So, what measures can you expect to fulfill when traveling to Costa Rica?
First of all, Costa Rica doesn’t require a Covid test to enter the country anymore. Instead, tourists have to fulfill a few recommendations including a Health Pass to do 48h before traveling. This is basically a question form to answer that you have no symptoms of flu. They also check that you purchased travel insurance protecting you in case of contracting Covid-19 and have to quarantine.
Fortunately, you will find very affordable international companies offering to cover Costa Rica’s government requirements.
Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be passing in front of a Temperature Check Device, and you will then be welcomed by friendly customs officers. As simple as that.
Congratulations! You made it!
Welcome to Pura Vida land!
(Meaning Pure Life in English, an expression that once you step out from the airport, you can expect to hear every 5 minutes.)
Ticos love this saying and use it to respond to the typical question “How are you today?” and more surprisingly, to express their contentment when helping or serving you. How friendly! How nice it is to live by people expressing so much friendliness and true smiles. Especially if you lived the past months secluded on your own. This is really priceless.
OK, you are now ready for discovery and new adventures. You can be reassured, you will be able to do that safely.
Ticos have made a tremendous effort in facilitating the first essential hygiene measures to stop the propagation of the virus: hand-washing and hand-sanitizing. In front of most stores, bus stations, national parks, restaurants, and so on, you will be required to wash your hands in a temporary built sink station. Alternatively, you will be invited by the safety guard to use hand sanitizer.
Then, it is required to wear a facial mask, whether hand-made or surgical, in closed areas like shops and supermarkets, airports, buses, and taxis.
Once you check- in your hotel though, it will be at your own discretion whether you prefer to continue wearing a mask or not. The staff will wear one though, for your and their own safety.
What about going to hotels, bars, and restaurants you may ask?
Well first, here, for the greatest pleasure of tourists and locals, bars and restaurants are all open. A blessing for many tourists citizens of countries where restaurants and bars have been closed for more or less a year now.
You will obviously be required to wear a mask until you reach your table or your room.
Hospitality businesses use government-approved sanitary products to disinfect their premises.
In hotels, breakfast can be served in the bedroom at no extra charge, and you can choose if you want your room to be cleaned or not by the staff.
And that is pretty much it with covid-19 measures. Apart from these, life is nice and relaxed here.
The cherry on the cake, Costa Rica is a country of 5 million people. Half of the population lives in the capital San Jose and its surrounding metropolitan area. As a result, the density outside the capital feels very low. With 100 inhabitants/km2 in the whole country, Costa ranks in the 88th position in the world. Agoraphobic welcome!
Even in buses or supermarkets, you will never feel stifled.
So, if you always wanted to come to Costa Rica to experience a Yoga Retreat, a vacation on the Pacific surf beaches, the Caribbean afro vibes of Puerto Viejo, or some of the wonderful national parks, and you need a vacation right now, this could be the perfect timing.
Alternatively, you may have the possibility to work from home and always dreamt about working remotely in a tropical country? Enjoying a workday with your laptop and a freshly squeezed pineapple juice overlooking the jungle. Well, this is also the best time to give it a try.
You can’t be wrong with visiting Costa Rica in 2021, and I would truly recommend visiting it sooner than later, with the mass…
Got ya! Where to go then?
Among the offering of places to chose from, there is a peninsula named OSA, at the very southwest of Costa Rica, not far from the border with Nicaragua. The Osa peninsula hosts the most biodiverse national park of Costa Rica: Corcovado National Park.
This is a wild and remote part of the country where the stunning Yoga and Spa Resort Blue Osa stands, on the beautiful beach of Playa Tamales.
If you are looking for holidays during which you can relax on the beach, a chemical-free swimming pool, delicious farm-to-table food. In addition to the rhythm of daily meditation and yoga classes given from a breathtaking yoga studio, you may have found your safe haven!
If you are looking for a place to work from an exotic “home”, feel free to join us. You will have several options here: come for a week as a guest, or as a resident for a month or more, joining our Residential Program!
Taking vacations in Costa Rica, being a guest or resident in Blue Osa Yoga Retreat Center, here is what your daily program could look like:
5.30 am: Waking up by the sound of howler monkeys, and walking one minute to the beach to watch the sun rising!
6 am: Starting your day with a meditation class or a meditative walk.
6:30 am: Experiencing our Morning Silence practice until 7.30 am. Take some time for introspection and reflection wandering around the beach or Blue Osa magnificent gardens. And flow slowly into your day.
7:20 am: Enjoying the sounds of Himalayan Mantras (Indian prayers) resonating in the whole center for 10 minutes before breakfast.
7:30 am: Let’s meet at the beautiful open-air dining area where you will be served a delicious breakfast along with the communal table. Enjoy a Costa Rican coffee with a spoon of fresh coconut milk or a cup of Blue Osa organic verbena, Tumeric, or ginger tea.
Continue with a tropical fruit bowl and a choice of homemade granola, pancakes with pineapple marmalade, and/or your style of farmed eggs; or a traditional Gallo Pinto, depending on the chef’s inspiration.
Everything is freshly cooked and 100% homemade with love and care by the kindest staff ever.
8:30 am: Time for a swim in the sea located one minute away, or if the tide is too high/low, for jumping in the stunning chemical-free swimming pool.
12:30 pm: Lunch break! Enjoy one of the healthy Blue Osa weekly farm-to-table mouth-watering dishes. For example, a delightful plate with a bowl of lentils curry soup, vegetarian spring rolls with sweet chili sauce, and yucca chips with garlic mayonnaise. Yummy!
13:30pm: Continue on your daily program. Keep on relaxing… or enjoy one of the tours to explore the surroundings. Go kayaking in mangroves, hiking to waterfalls, doing a canopy tour, visit a conservation center, surf on Pan Dulce beach, etc.
16 pm: Time for some movement! You are welcome to join a Yoga class in our stunning open-air Yoga Shala, enjoying a nice sea breeze, overlooking the ocean and the tropical garden.
5 pm: Treat yourself to a delicious homemade and organic pineapple smoothie.
6:30 pm: Savour a well-deserved farm-to-table diner served after a common Prayer to bless the food that was prepared with love.
8 pm: Enjoy a night’s swim. Be amazed by your potential first experience with bioluminescence. Sing kirtan around firewood on the beach, admire the stars, and the milky way…
9 pm: Enjoy a good night’s sleep in your beautiful room… and start all over again!
Working remotely: 4 Ultimate Reasons Why Blue Osa Yoga & Spa Resort could be the best fit for you
First of all, Costa Rica has been ranked 4th best country in Latin America for digital nomads.
Secondly, you will be able to work in a very peaceful, quiet, inspiring, and safe environment.
Thirdly, despite being in the jungle and close to a remote beach, you will be able to rely on a very good wifi connection. Enough to allow you to set up video conference calls and so on.
Also, Blue Osa is a place where it is easy to combine a busy day of work with short breaks now and then. Refresh by taking a swim in the pool or in the ocean, or enjoying a walk along the beach.
Lastly, you will certainly not be the only weary soul seeking refuge. You will be able to share your experience with other people joining the resident program for a month, or more.
You will be able to join a wonderful community of like-minded remote workers to share with your pause from the momentum of life.
Blue Osa is the perfect paradise escape, a safe haven whatever kind of break you actually need.
Click here to join the Blue Osa Residential Program and join us in paradise! We look forward to seeing you!
The Bio of the author:
Curious by nature, Gaëlle Faure has been a globe trotter since her young age.
Exploring the world has always been her passion. First personally, then during her studies, and finally through her work as an International Sales Manager. She experienced living in Unbelievable India, in laid-back Australia, in lively Spain. And of course, in France where she is originally from.
Her career was on a good track until the pandemic hit the world. She then realized that it was time for a complete career shift. She quitted her job and fulfilled her dream: becoming a Yoga Teacher before eventually opening her own Yoga Retreat Centre with her partner in Germany in 2021.
She fell in love with Costa Rica when visiting us in January 2020. So Gaëlle decided to extend her stay for a few months to continue on her yoga and spiritual journey, and enjoy the Pura Vida lifestyle!