Everyone knows, you go to Costa Rica, you come back with coffee. It’s THE souvenir to bring home, for your family, friends and maybe even a few packs for yourself. The coffee in this country is outstanding, and for good reason, it has the perfect blend of conditions to grow the best beans. On our recent trip, we truly travelled with a local expert! Stephen, a Marine Biologist who’s done research for the likes of National Geographic, was our group tour guide, so to speak. Through his vast knowledge of the country, we learned the best coffee to buy is called Tarrazú, named after the region where it resides. The hidden valley its grown in provides the most optimal conditions for growing the perfect coffee: soil acidity, elevation and shade. The best part? It doesn’t cost any more than any other coffee you can buy in Costa Rica, but there’s definitely a difference if you’re a coffee lover.
Keep in mind your location when you step foot on this country. You are in the Pacific ring of fire. So, because of the active movements of the plates and the many active volcanoes (one of the most active regions on earth), you may feel minor tremors at odd times. Typically, there’s nothing to worry about (as verified by our Biologist Host).
3. Rainy Season
Welcome to the tropics. They don’t use the word loosely here, as in to simply refer to hot weather. Scientifically speaking, you are in the tropics. So you may want to keep rainy season in mind, or “green season” as they cleverly refer to it in Costa Rica. Green season, on the Pacific side, is from April through November. On the Caribbean side, the wettest month is typically December (pending climate change). What does rainy season mean? You will not be hotel bound. No sir! Not here! Planning a zip lining or rappelling adventure? All activities are usually a go, if there is no lightning. After all, if you’re travelling to Costa Rica you must enjoy nature which should reflect an appreciation of what rainfall means to the rainforests that thirst for it. However, all is not wet…every hour of the day. If you have an activity planned that you’d prefer enjoying dry, plan it for the morning. During “green season”, the mornings are typically sunny and hot, and the rain clouds don’t roll in until the early afternoon.
What should you expect for the most important meal of the day? A common staple in a typical Costa Rican breakfast is rice and black beans as well as plantains. Oh, and coffee of course!
5. Craft Beer
One word. Pilsen. While the most well-known beer in Costa Rica is Imperial, you’ll find this really light. If you’re looking for something a little more full-bodied, but not necessarily dominated by a bitterness brought on by a lot of hops, try their craft brew, Pilsen. Its zesty flavor was a clear favourite!