Why You Should Visit Costa Rica in the Summer

Finally, the summer season is here, and people have already started planning their long-journeyed trips and vacations. No doubt, you need to have that long holiday to relieve yourself from the stresses of work.

So, you choose to head to the beautiful land of Costa Rica to rest your mind and have the time of your life. Well, luckily you have come to the right place. This article will give you some important guidelines about your visit to Costa Rica and why you should visit the country in the summer.

Costa Rican weather

For one, Costa Rica has some of the best weather and climatic conditions, especially during the summer. The tropical beach just fits perfectly for this season and for the visitors who are looking to enjoy some good sun and surf conditions.

Picture this; you have warm and beautiful days where you can go out and have fun on the beach or in the city. Then you have the inland rivers of Costa Rica which also offer some of the best waterfall rappelling and rafting conditions during this time. You will not run short of fun things to do during this time. The evening rains cool things off and green up the tropical foliage. It is simply the perfect balance of weather conditions.

Planning ahead and reservations

If you haven’t noticed yet, the green season is gaining more popularity, especially in Costa Rica. The summer period has this great country packed with visitors and tourists from all over the world who are looking to share in on the fun that the summer season comes with. So, if you are looking to have a piece of the pie too, it is advisable that you make early reservations and bookings.

Costs and availability for travel

The summer season in Costa Rica is one of the best seasons of travel into the country. And this is also the time you find Ocean Ranch offering some great prices for adventures. Airfare is fairly cheaper when purchased well in advance. You can set your notifications a couple of months in advance to watch the fare prices for travels to the country. Take advantage of the fairly low prices and awesome discounts when planning to travel to Costa Rica for the summer.

Aquatic wildlife

Get a chance to see the great fish plus much more mesmerizing aquatic wildlife in Costa Rica in the summer season. It’s no doubt that even the aquatic wildlife is looking to share in on the warm summer waters of Golfo Dulce. You will also see olive ridley, green, and leatherback turtles. This is the time for the quetzal nesting which is a pretty amazing scene.

Do you have a question about visiting Costa Rica in the summer? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

Fish Species in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the few countries in the world that has some of the best fishing spots. If you time the season and time of day just right, you can end up catching some of the most beautiful fish you have ever seen. Here is a list of some of the fish species that you can find in Costa Rica.

Yellowfin Tuna

You can say that the yellowfin tuna is the king of all tuna by its metallic blue-black color, yellow sides and silver and white belly, which is oblique with 20 vertical broken lines. You will notice its large dorsal and anal fins which are fairly close together.This fish is typically located in the open ocean along current lines and temperature changes.

El Dorado

The El Dorado fish can be found in the offshores of Costa Rican waters. They can easily be recognized by their unique shapes and bright colors. El Dorado has a compact body and a long concave anal fin with a single dorsal fin found along its length. You will also not fail to notice its long pectoral fins which are larger than half the length of its head. The male Dorados are larger and a lot heavier than the females.This fish type can be found in the open oceans around flotsams, logs, weed lines, around buoys, and in the warm currents.

Skipjack Tuna

This fish species are perfect if you are looking for good sport as they are pretty large bait and are light to tackle as well. The skipjack tuna is mostly characterized by its dark blue back appearance and silver color on its belly and flank. It has a series of about six horizontal and diagonally-shaped stripes on the top parts of their sides. You will have more luck finding this fish species along current lines, in open oceans, and deep reefs. You only need to bait them using other small fish.

Roosterfish

This fish species is another most sought-after fish in Costa Rica. They are silver in color and exhibit a wide range of sizes. This fish species weighs an average of about 15 to 20 pounds. The roosterfish can be distinguished by its cockscomb long spines located at its dorsal fin. These spines are what makes this type of fish unique and stand out from the rest.

They feed mostly on other small fish such as sardines. You stand a higher chance at finding these fish in hot waters with temperatures of about 80°F and depths of about 100 feet. They usually travel in schools at considerable distances chasing after shoals of small bait. You will also find them behind surf lines and outcroppings of volcanic rocks.

Swordfish

These are large predatory fish that are highly migratory. They are usually characterized by their long and flat bills. This is another one of the sought-after sporting fish in the Costa Rican waters. They have an elongated and round body with lose teeth and scales that are more visible in adulthood. They can reach a maximum of 540 pounds and grow as long as 14 feet. They are nocturnal, which means that you stand a higher chance of spotting and catching one at night

They are distributed throughout the world and prefer the tropical and subtropical waters. They also inhabit mixed waters where temperatures are above 59°F.

Do you have a question about fish species in Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

 

7 Tips to Know Before Ziplining for the First Time in Costa Rica

Ziplining is a great way to enjoy some good memories with friends and family members. For those unfamiliar with the mechanics of this activity, it is basically a pulley which is suspended on a cable that is made of stainless steel and mounted on a slope. The user then straps him/herself on the pulley and is then pulled by gravity from the top to the bottom end of the slope using the freely moving pulley. This is what you need to be prepared for before heading to Costa Rica. With the right preparations and safety precautions, friends, family members, and any other adventurers in your midst, what could go wrong?

But even so, you still need to have these tips and tricks in mind and at your fingertips if this is the first time you are going to get on a zipline.

1. Dress the part

Before you leave your hotel room to head for the zipline, it is vital to ensure that you have the right attire on. Most people go for the lighter clothes. But your pants need to be long enough to cover and protect your legs from the straps which can irritate your skin. One rule about ziplines is that no one wearing a skirt is allowed on them. So, the women will have to put on pants for his occasion. Closed-toed shoes are also recommended to protect your feet at all times while using the zipline. All jewelry should also be removed and if you have long hair, it is recommended that you carefully pull it back in a ponytail.

2. Safety first

People can get hurt from doing almost any activity. It doesn’t matter whether it is horseback riding or even driving an ATV, injuries can occur for any reason. This is why the maintenance crew of the ziplines regularly check, maintain, and replace any lines that show signs of breaking in order to protect their guests. All guests are given helmets and other safety harnesses to ensure that they are safe throughout the ride.

3. Listen to the guide

It is the guide’s job to ensure that all first-time zipliners have a safe and enjoyable experience using the ziplines. It is vital that you pay close attention to the guides as they explain how to handle the ziplines and ensure that you stay safe throughout the entire time that you will be using it. Pay attention to everything you are being told. This is for your own safety.

4. Make time in your schedule

Ziplining can take between 30 minutes to several hours depending on the traffic of the ziplines and the number of guests. These tours can also be selected in accordance with your schedule. So, you need to ensure that you have plenty of time to prepare, head toward your zipline and have the time of your life without any stress.

5. Consider added adventures

Ziplining can’t be the only activity you engage in even if it is the first time you are actually trying it out. We have other adventures such as to find some other awesome activities that you can try out like horseback riding, bird watching, waterfall rappelling and more. Check out and participate in these other adventure tours as well.

Do you have a question about ziplining in Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

 

6 Traditional Costa Rican Foods You Have to Try

 

Apart from just visiting new places, many people see traveling as also diving into another culture. People cannot wait to experience food from a different place as it is one of the defining parts of the place they visit. Costa Rican food is something new, fresh, and not what is usually eaten at home. This country some traditional flavors that can deliciously linger on your taste buds.

Check out these Costa Rican traditional foods prepared for you below.

1. Tamales

Masa, a corn-based filling, is used to make tamales in Costa Rica. The tamales contain small pieces of meat and vegetables. A banana leaf is used to fold the filling after it is steamed or cooked in boiling water. This may be a hard dish for you to find since it is a seasonal treat. You might be able to find it during the holidays, especially on Christmas, but not at all times.

2. Casados

In Costa Rica, this is the top lunch staple. It is a mixture of food rich in protein such as fish and pork, red beans, white rice, red or black beans, a piece of plantain that has been fried and a variety of different side salads. You will know that you have found a good casados restaurant if you find the place packed with locals. Casados go for about five to six dollars and sometimes includes a fruit drink.

3. Pescado Entero

This name translates to “whole fried fish.” The fish is usually a medium-sized Pargo, red snapper and is cooked fresh. Even though it may seem bland at first, the fish has a moist texture and flavorful taste. It will definitely make your mouth water.

4. Arroz con Pollo

This dish, loosely translating to rice with chicken, is also popular for lunch or dinner in Costa Rica. It consists of pan-fried rice loaded with a variety of seasonings, shredded chicken, and vegetables. French fries and a small side salad usually accompany this dish. It also comes in other variations where the chicken is replaced by shrimp, squid, or octopus. This gives you a variety to choose from depending on your liking.

5. Ceviche

Pescado (fish), mixto (mixed seafood), and camarones (shrimp) are some of the delicious types of ceviche to choose from. Ceviche is a raw dish, but the lime juice somewhat tenderizes and cooks the fish. Sweet peppers and finely chopped onions and cilantro can make the dish more appetizing. You can be assured of fresh seafood knowing that Costa Rica is surrounded by the Caribbean and the Pacific coastlines.

6. Chifrijo

This dish is most commonly known as bar food. It is a combination of fresh pico de gallo, rice, beans, and fried chunks of meat in a bowl. This is then topped with jalapeno peppers, some tortilla chips, and at times, sliced avocado. This dish is perfect for you if you are not looking for a big meal.

These are samples of culinary delights from Costa Rica that you may want to try out. This country is great and the food is to savor.

Do you have a question about Costa Rica traditional food and fun activities for your summer vacation? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

Best Rainforests in Costa Rica

The Costa Rican rainforests are home to over 100 species of trees. You can see many giant versions of orchids, sloths, copious birds, and monkeys as you explore its depths. You can visit the remote rainforests found on the Osa Peninsula or even go to the Manuel Antonio forests.

Costa Rica’s rainforests boast of some of the most productive and beautiful ecosystems in the world. We will talk about some of the most beautiful rainforests in Costa Rica that you may want to look into when you visit the country.

1. Corcovado National Park

This may be the most pristine and remote rainforest in Costa Rica. It well over 200 inches of rainfall annually. It is located on the remote and rugged Osa Peninsula. Here, you will have the best chance of spotting some of the most elusive and or endangered wildlife like tanagers, scarlet macaws, spider monkeys, tapirs, wild cats, and harpy eagles. These are only a few of the dwellers in this rainforest.

2. Piedras Blancas National Park

The Piedras Blancas National Park is a wild and untouched paradise which is set far off the normal path. This is one of the reasons why it is less frequently visited compared to Corcovado National Park. For the adventurous spirits who are looking to reconnect with nature and get off the grid for awhile, this is the place to go. This park is home to jaguars, pumas, Margay, jaguarondi, and an ocelot. You will also find the spider monkeys, sloths, anteaters, scarlet macaws, toucans, and coatis here.

3. Manuel Antonio National Park

This is another popular and easily accessible rainforest found in Costa Rica. It is a little rainforest rich in animals and people alike. You can find monkeys here as well. You will not fail to notice the stunning coastal view from the Manuel Antonio National Park plus the lush vegetation in the area. Everything about this environment is just perfect.

4. Cahuita National Park

This rainforest can be found on the Southern side of the Caribbean coast of the country. The park protects coral reefs, the beaches, and the lowland tropical rainforest as well the terrain behind it. You will find a train that runs behind the beach beside the seashore, which makes for the perfect hiking environment, wildlife exploration and views. This trail goes on for about 5.6 miles out to Puerto Vargas all the way to the Southern end of the park. This is pretty much the best rainforest to go to if you are one to snorkel.

5. Carara National Park

This park is considered northern rainforest found on the Pacific Coast. It is home to scarlet macaws and some tropical birds. You will also find the crocodile bridge here where you can walk over and have a peep at some of the wild crocodiles. Sloths are also found in this rain forest as well. It offers the best experience for a rainforest day trip adventure for travelers.

You don’t want to let this opportunity pass by whenever you have the chance to visit this beautiful country which is overflowing with both exotic animals and plants alike.

Do you have a question about rainforests in Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

Costa Rica’s 6 Most Beautiful Birds to Watch

Costa Rica is a country filled with a stunning array of wildlife. The country has some of the most conducive climatic conditions throughout its regions which have been the main cause that attracts all these beautiful creatures. This article aims to share with you some of the most beautiful birds to watch out for in Costa Rica.

1. Hummingbirds

These are very commonly seen birds in Costa Rica. They are widely spread across the country, and all you have to do is look out for any that come your way. You only need to know the right plants and flowers to look out for, and voila, you will have a hummingbird in sight. There are over 50 different species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica alone, which range in vibrant colors. Some of the hummingbird species to watch out for include long-billed hermit, coquette, fiery-throated hummingbird, copper-headed emerald, band-tailed barbthroat, and the black-crested hummingbirds. You can spot up to 20 different species in Vara Blanca alone.

2. Trogons

The name “trogon” is more attached to how these species of birds know their nests from the rotted plant wood. They are known to be most vocal during the spring and summer seasons, and you will find up to 10 different species in Costa Rica. Some of the Trogon bird species include the black-headed Trogon, the orange-bellied Trogon, the gartered Trogon, and the Slaty-tailed Trogon. You can view these bird species in Cerro de la Muerte.

3. White-Throated Magpie Jay

These are not the kind of birds to get shy. They usually travel in large groups and are loud. They are large birds and are mostly spotted on the Nicoya Peninsula. This species of birds are long-tailed and have great looks with the feathers on their heads looking to be slightly curved. The white-throated Magpie Jay don’t migrate and reside in forest areas and around various plantations throughout Costa Rica.

4. Scarlet Macaw

These are easily among the most vibrant birds you will notice in Costa Rica as well as the planet. They have bright red, yellow, green, and blue feathers that make them very attractive to see. These birds can grow up to 33 inches in length from their heads to the tips of their tails. You will find these birds in the Palo Verde National Park, Carara National Park, and Corcovado National Park.

5. Keel-billed Toucan

These are also easily recognizable birds by its long and colorful beaks and are sometimes even referred to as rainbow-billed toucans due to the progressive colored patterns on their beaks. They mainly eat berries and are found in places like Tortuguero National Park. They make sounds like that of crickets which you can listen to when trying to spot them.

6. Resplendent Quetzal

This bird species easily ranks among the most beautiful birds in Costa Rica with bright green backs, deep red bellies, and prominent feathers. They have small bodies with very long tails. Their population worldwide is not too large and can be found in places like Chirripo National Park, Poas Volcano National Park, and the Braulio Carrilo National Park.

Do you have a question about bird watching in Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

3 Reasons Why You Need to Experience a Crocodile Tour

You may have had some of the best adventures throughout your lifetime, but you will want to add this one to your to-do list – a tour with the local crocodiles in Costa Rica. Many people have different adventures where they can be at one with nature, like a mountain climbing adventure, or forest adventures, etc. Seeing these beautiful creatures close up is just breathtaking and creates an image that you will always want to have with you.

You can kick off your adventure with these crocodiles along the Tárcoles River, Costa Rica. Our experienced tour guides will accompany you. This is one of the safest ways that you can use to explore the life of these impressive creatures. And if you don’t get to see one, then the adventure and experience alone will be worth every effort you put into the quest. In Tárcoles River, there are approximately about 25 crocodiles per square kilometer. Below are some heads-up tips that you need to know before you embark on this quest.

About the crocodiles

Crocodiles rank among nature’s deadliest predators, and for this reason, their presence around you cannot be taken lightly. These predators have been around for millions of years with the average age of a croc being 80 years old. They can grow to 17 feet and only have about 24 teeth explicitly designed for crushing their prey.

The Tárcoles River

The Tárcoles river runs through the Nicoya Peninsula and ends its flow in the Pacific Ocean. It flows through the Carara National Park and also acts as the park’s northern border. Tárcoles River is also used to provide electricity in the region and is also an irrigation connection in the country. You will also notice the many different species of fish and birds in the region like the roseate spoonbills, egrets, and heron. You may even be lucky enough to catch birds flossing up some of the local croc’s teeth.

Crocodile excursion

Whether they are cooling off around the shores of the Tárcoles River or slithering through the river, these magnificent creatures boast of beauty and strength. There are also boat rides that you can take while visiting if you are one who prefers to have an even close up connection with these creatures in their natural environment. Don’t worry; you’re safe in the boat, your tour guides know what they’re doing. Take your entire family out to see the crocs. Your kids, for one, will never forget this experience.

Crocodile watching safety tips

All explorers in Costa Rica need to know some of the few safety tips that may end up saving your life while out with these creatures. Here are a few below:

  • Don’t smell like meat; you will not want the crocs to mistake you for a meal.
  • You don’t want to look like raw meat during your excursion; apply SPF sunscreen on all the exposed skin parts.
  • Don’t carry raw meat; this should be self-explanatory as crocs eat them, so be smart about what you bring on the excursion.
  • Carry binoculars; with these, you can watch the crocs from a safe distance.

Do you have a question about our crocodile tour? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

How to Talk Like a Costa Rican Local

If you have been studying Spanish throughout your life, then it would be safe to say that you have caught a couple of Spanish phrases down the line. With the little Spanish you know, you may be shocked at what you will realize when you visit Costa Rica. The Spanish there is slightly different from the Spanish you know or have learned from other Spanish-speaking countries.

There are a couple of phrases that you will identify Costa Rican people with; the phrases that make the Spanish Costa Rica special and stand out from the rest.

Below are a couple of words you can look into and practice when visiting.

Ticos

Tico simply means Costa Rican.

Postres

This word means sweet. It can relate to stuff like candies, cakes, cookies, McDonalds’s, etc. You will realize just how much Costa Ricans are addicted to all the sweet flavors. In Costa Rica, everybody loves sugar and that is why it was labeled “the happiest place on earth.”

Birra

This word means beer, just like in the Italian language. In Costa Rica, you will find that there are many amounts of well-crafted beers and the locals are very happy to share it with tourists. The cheap Birra is imperial, but you may want to try out the craft beers instead.

Vos

Instead of using the word tú as in Spain, the Ticos here use the word  “vos.” Vos simply means that you’re referring to the second person in your sentences.

Casado

This is another of Costa Rica’s national dishes, an unofficial dish of course. This dish is mostly served with different types of rice, tortilla, beans, certain types of mean, picadillo, and cheese.

Hora Tica

This is also translated as late. In Costa Rica, you can call someone who has been late for a meeting an “Hora Tica.” Say you booked an appointment, but ended up being approximately 20 minutes late. Here is where you can use the term la Hora Tica. You have to bear with the idea that timing means absolutely nothing in Costa Rica.

Chimichurri

Your friends who understand some bit of Spanish may refer to this term to mean something like pico de gallo. But you may soon come to realize that some of the Costa Ricans don’t agree with this and say it has got nothing to do with pico de gallo. All you need to know for now about this term is that it’s some small salad that is served mostly as a side dish.

Música plancha

This term translates to iron music and refers to the Latin American songs where the men were the evil traitors who abused women by deserting and even cheating on them. You can think of it as some type of song that a sad woman may sing.

Mae

In the common Spanish language, you would refer to this term as tio and in German as kumpel. In English, it would simply mean dude. In other words, it would mean friend. People may even use it when referring to strangers as a way of expressing surprise. So, you have to guess what the person that is saying it means.

Rojo

The term rojo means something that is cheap and worth less than two dollars.

Limón

This term is known as a fruit, but it’s also the name of some region in Costa Rica. You can also find the sloth animal sanctuaries in this place.

Cas

This is a kind of fruit that you can find anywhere in Costa Rica.

Arreglado

The word in Spanish means fixed, but in the Costa Rican language, it means a small sandwich type with beef, cheddar, lizano salsa, and lettuce.

Lapa

This is one of the Costa Rican iconic typical birds.

Perezoso

In Costa Rica, this term is used to refer to the sloths.

Do you have a question about Costa Rican slang? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!

Top 3 Best Road Trips in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, having to rent a car can be quite expensive and sometimes really dangerous if you not prepared in advance for what you can encounter. It also comes with ridiculously fun moments. Most of the least explored and exciting destinations are accessed only by vehicles. This is exclusive freedom for an adventurous traveler, and to them, there cannot be any substitute for this type of adventure.

The drive on its own and scenery on the way up is a highlight of the whole trip. It is inevitable that you will need a 4×4 for the trip if you want to drive and explore off the main roads and highway. If you have the desire to take a road trip, below are the three best road trips in Costa Rica.

1. Cerro Chirripó

The narrow graveled roads that connect the various scattered mountain town in southern Costa Rica leads the visitors to what may seem like the destination. This is not the end of the road, but rather the start of a track to Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica. Visitors have to gang up along the concrete slab remnants just for them to get to the entrance of the park. It is advisable to fill up the car with gas in San Isidro de El General, a close by city, beforehand.

Apart from summiting for 12,533-foot Chirripo, there are a variety of other reasons as to why you should brave upon the paths of the scenic mountain. This includes a 700-acre reserve base that is privately owned, next to the Chirripo, Cloudbridge. The reserve has plenty of exotic plant gardens and a big waterfall. International and local painters are welcome to stay at the Monte Azul, a nearby luxury, and art hotel, for work and comfortable stay with an excellent view of the lush gardens. Hummingbirds zip around the gardens too through the tropical foliage, and the twisted abounds of the jungle.

2 .The Monkey Trail

This curvy mountain pass is commonly known for devouring cars and referred jokingly as the shortcut between Flamingo and Playas del Coco. It is narrow and has plunging corridors that make it not suitable during rainy seasons or any other ride that is not a four-wheel drive. But the once you cross over to the other side of the Monkey Trail, no pasture in Costa Rica is greener.

It is possible that you will feel this to be more of a hiking trail and not a road because of the bumpy ride down on the rocks, across large streams and through jungles. You will also pass through the Congo Trail Canopy Tour. This destination is an idyllic beach town, Playa Potrero.

3. San Gerardo de Dota

Cerro de la Muerte could be the least famous road in Costa Rica. It is commonly known as the ‘Mountain of Death.’ Each year, a lot of cars plunge on the sides of its twisty and foggy mountain during heavy rains. The most efficient way to use this road is by taking your trip in the early mornings.

4 Ways to Give Back in Costa Rica

A cloud forest that is colored bright green combined with the white sandy peaceful beaches is just a few of nature’s beautiful biodiversity that makes Costa Rica one of the most beautiful and exciting holiday destinations in the world. The people from Rica are also the friendliest to the tourists visiting their country. This beautiful country is located in Central America and is well known for the Pura Vida and the bright spring and summer flowers. If you are a tourist visiting Costa Rica and want to make your holiday or trip memorable, then you should consider volunteering.  

Volunteering offers one of the best holiday experiences for tourists in Costa Rica. The country has many opportunities for volunteers that range from medical services to literacy classes. Apart from making your holiday a life-changing experience, volunteering will help in fostering the local communities in Costa Rica. There are conservation and other eco-minded organizations that will help you in making sure you give your best to the community.  

What many tourists visiting Costa Rica don’t know is that Costa Rica happens to be the leading country when it comes to volunteerism. Many tourists who want to enjoy their holidays while bringing positive change to the world, tend to find it as their first choice for a holiday destination. The country offers a wide variety of volunteering programs: if you are a lover of animals, then you will enjoy helping baby turtles to scamper to the tranquil waters.

Below are some of the most common volunteering opportunities that tourists can consider taking when they visit Costa Rica.

1. Teaching English literacy classes to the local community

The most substantial part of the population in Costa Rica is not very fluent in English. If you are a native of an English speaking country, then you can use your mother tongue and gain valuable experience while teaching the local community in Costa Rica how to communicate in English. This is the purest form of volunteering that has the potential of changing someone’s life. Organizations like Sustainable Horizon and Amerispan Unlimited have volunteer teaching programs for those tourists who would be interested in teaching English.   

2. Saving the turtles

Lovers of wildlife can have some time at the beach with baby turtles. These creatures are adorable. You get to see them as they hatch if you are lucky,. The sad part is that they are becoming an endangered species as days go by. You can help the baby turtles by giving them an opportunity to see the next day by helping them to get to the sea. Pretoma offers such volunteer programs for tourists.

3. Protecting the forest

In case you happen to be a forest lover, then you can enjoy your enjoy in Costa Rica while saving the forest. There are always available volunteering opportunities with the Children’s Eternal Forest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños) organization.

Do you have a question about volunteering in Costa Rica? Click here to contact Ocean Ranch Park today!