There are two sides to Costa Rica with very different cultures. I want to tell you a little bit about a few stops along the Pacific Coast. Cold water haters listen up: I visited in July and August and the water was spectacular! I could literally walk right in without a wetsuit–much warmer than the Pacific that surrounds California. Secondly I discovered magical beaches with black sand.

We’ve all heard about the rain forest, but what about the cloud forest? This is the THE place to see it! After spending several days drenched in sticky humidity at sea level, I took a taxi, then a boat, and then another taxi to reach the “green hill,” Monteverde.

UPDATE: Cloudbridge Sold October 2014
High up in the mountains of Costa Rica is a place that will take your breath away—a place where you literally breath in the clouds. I had one last day in the country and wanted to get out of the “tourist loop.” The drive from the Pacific Ocean is spectacular. The main road winds through small towns up the mountains, overlooking rivers, forests, and villages.

I went to Costa Rica for eco-tourism and this is definitely the place to do it! If you aren’t there during the peak tourist season (mid-December-April), which is also the dry season, you don’t necessarily have to book in advance. I decided to set-up one or two things that I really wanted to do and then just winged it.

If this is your first international trip, I know it can be scary, but this is a great place to try it out. For starters if you are traveling from the United States, the flights tend to be pretty cheap (considering). I picked my destination based on the flight price. Second when you book, keep in mind the seasons may be opposite of yours. Summer in the U.S. is June-September. In Costa Rica it’s not cold, but wet.