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Costa Rica Volcano photo via CC license by dotpitch via flickrLet’s face it, holidays to Costa Rica aren’t the most convenient in the world if you’re travelling from the UK.

You can’t fly direct, so the only way to get there is to travel via Spain or the USA, which is a notoriously frustrating place to transit through, thanks to its over-zealous security officials and lengthy queues.

Therefore, you need a few compelling reasons to book a trip there online  and then travel practically halfway around the world to begin your getaway. Well, here are five of them for you:

 1. To stand in the shadow of a volcano

While the UK might be able to boast some impressive mountains, one thing it can’t offer is volcanoes – something Costa Rica has in abundance. One of the most spectacular is Arenal, which is located within its very own national park.

This perfectly shaped conical giant stretches some 5,500 ft into the sky, and is a breathtaking sight from whatever angle you look. It’s also the main source of entertainment in the region, whether you are walking across its solidified lava flows, riding across its slopes on horseback or bathing in its hot springs.

2. To leave footprints on a palm-fringed beach

Although Bournemouth has a few palm trees, its beach isn’t exactly tranquil and certainly not tropical.

Costa Rica, on the other hand, has some simply stunning strips of sand, backed by palm trees and lush rainforests and lapped by water that’s practically bath temperature.

You’ll find many of the finest beaches in Manuel Antonio National Park on the Pacific coast. I forgot to mention Costa Rica has not one but two coastlines, the other being on the Caribbean no less.

3. To see the world’s most beautiful bird

Granted, there is some wonderful birdlife in the UK: kingfishers, puffins and golden eagles can captivate any twitcher.

However, no bird comes close to Costa Rica’s resplendent quetzal in terms of sheer beauty. With its huge, flowing tail feathers, iridescent green and red body, and spiky mohawk haircut, this bird looks ready for the catwalk.

And as if the quetzal wasn’t enough, Costa Rica is also home to the keel-billed toucan and the blue-crowned motmot – just two more of many stunningly colourful birds living in the cloud forests of Monteverde.

4. To zipline above the rainforest

If the sight of toucans and the like soaring over the treetops makes you wish you could sprout a pair of wings, Costa Rica has the next best thing: ziplining.

Climb into your harness, clip in and hang on as you fly above the canopy at speeds of up to 50mph as high as 300ft in the air. Exhilarating, breathtaking and fun-filled, ziplining will be one of the highlights of your trip.

5. To surf without a wetsuit

Along with ziplining, one of Costa Rica’s most popular activities is surfing. And no wonder.

With conditions to suit all abilities, from rolling breakers that are perfect for learners to overhead barrels for the pros; stunning scenery (as mentioned above); and water that’s as warm as a bath (no need for a wetsuit here), there’s so many reasons to paddle out in Costa Rica.

It’s easy to see why the national catchphrase is pura vida – the pure life.

 

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