Which Coast to Visit?

by Daved Brosche on October 15, 2008

by Daved Brosche | October 15th, 2008  

One of the common questions people ask themselves before visiting Costa Rica is which coast to go to. For backpackers, this is an easy questions to answer: both. However, for those honeymooning, going on a family vacation, short on time, or seeking a fixed local to spend a relaxing week this is an important question. The east and west coasts of Costa Rica vary from one extreme to the other. Many tourists to the country have a specific idea in mind of how they want to spend their vacation and what they are looking for. The first question to ask yourself isn’t where to go, but what you want to achieve. Here is Costa Rica coast to coast broken down for all of you asking yourself these things.

West Coast – Pacific Ocean

What it’s Like
The west coast his built up and luxurious. A majority of the cities and provinces bordering the Pacific have a large European and N. American expat population. Because of this, the natives have thrived on the tourism rates and built concrete villages. This side of the country has less culture and more luxury comforts than the east coast. Here you can find common chain restaurants and fast food joints, concrete sidewalks, and upscale resorts and shopping. Because the west coast is a popular destination for most travelers the beaches tend to be a bit more crowded and hotels fill up quickly.

Who Should Visit
The west coast is perfect for those who seek a vacation that is family friendly and comforting. If you are traveling on business or on a honeymoon, you may prefer the west coast. Business travelers will find that required amenities for work will be easier to find here. Honeymooner’s can relax in lush beds, spacious bathrooms, and spas. Those with families will appreciate the access to more family actives and amenities.

East Coast – Caribbean Ocean

What it’s Like
The east coast is very quaint and minimal. While luxury does lurk in corners here and there, this side of the country is built itself on eco-tourism. The cities here are more like villages where everybody knows everybody and the Costa Rican way of life is still in tact. Culture and minimalism without comforts of home can be found on the east coast. Dirt roads are lined by open air typical restaurants, hostels, and homes. The east coast is where people surf, relax, run from bugs, and hang their clothes on a line.

Who Should Visit
Those who seek to truly immerse themselves in the culture of the Costa Rican people. Anyone who wants to stay on beautiful, quiet beaches and ride a bike everywhere. Backpackers, environmentally conscious individuals, and those who truly want to get away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives will feel at east on the east coast.

Remember though, as a tourist anywhere, especially Costa Rica safety and caution should always be on your mind. Because the coasts of Costa Rica have such high tourism rates, danger lurks everywhere.

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