Ah, Costa Rica… This place has everything, diving, beaches, lush forests, coffee and lots of activities for the bubble deprived (i.e. non-divers). When Oceanic Ventures was young we ran eight adventures in five years to Costa Rica. At that time it was a little off the beaten path and things were a little challenging, especially for me since my Spanish is functional “border Spanish” and I have a vocabulary of a two year-old. But we had a great time!
It was during those early trips that we met Bill and Nadine Beard. Bill brought diving to Costa Rica and Nadine kept an eye on Bill and ran the marketing arm of their operation and acted as a Dive Master too. They helped us put together some truly unique adventures for our travelers including white water rafting, tours into the rain forest and hikes up to an active Volcano (you can’t get that close to it anymore – it is a safety thing you know).
All of these years later, we are still leading trips off the sidewalk and Costa Rica has so much to offer. Picture yourself on a quiet beach with a gentle surf breaking or on a beach where big waves break with surfers riding them to the beach. Or maybe peeking over a ridge and watching large bull sharks swim by is more to your liking. The fun thing about Costa Rica is you can do both in the same day! You can be diving in the morning and flying through trees in the afternoon.
And if you want to experience the true beauty of sharks, the Cocos Islands should be on your “must do” list. In this remote island chain, there are schools of hammerheads swimming through cleaning stations and small sharks feeding on the rocky reefs. And let’s not forget the tiger sharks always present in the distance and sometimes up close.
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without coffee. Touring a coffee plantation is a fun way to understand this important part of the country. And, you get to sample coffee made with different beans and different toasts while looking at the lush forest surrounding these plantations.
As with all of my adventures you have to sample the local cuisine and nothing says Costa Rica like Gallo Pinto which is served with breakfast or lunch. A combination of black beans, rich and spices makes this truly a Costa Rican dish. But you will find beautiful fish dishes and fresh vegetables abound throughout the country.
So as we all think about getting back to diving, imagine lush forests, soft sand beaches and pinnacles alive with fish and you can almost be there…