Planning a trip to the Caribbean is always a delight, as you’ll find exotic landscapes, gorgeous beaches in Costa Rica, and friendly people who’ll make you fell like staying on forever. But when it comes to deciding which Caribbean destination to choose, things get difficult. There are many countries in the area, and in this article we’ll talk about just four of them: Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
First of all we have to say that the beaches in Costa Rica are of course one of the reasons for going there, but it’s certainly not the only one. Not only are there white sands and turquoise waters fringed by palm trees, but it’s also a perfect base for travelling on to other Central American countries by car. This is why we recommend you hire a car in Costa Rica and enjoy all the charms of this region.
What to see in Costa Rica
The country’s motto is “Pura vida”, and there couldn’t be a better one. It’s a small country full of forests and jungles – in fact around 25% of its entire surface area is designated a nature reserve or national park. If you’re still wondering what to see in Costa Rica, don’t miss the Arenal Volcano National Park, where the Arenal Volcano soars to a height of almost 5,000 feet. Another must-see in this green paradise is the Tortuguero National Park, which can only be reached by boat or helicopter, and has a multitude of surprises in store for you. And if volcanoes are your thing, the Poás Volcano is another of the most iconic in the country.
‘Pura Vida’ also refers to its rich and varied fauna. For example, in Ostional you can enjoy the spectacle of watching hundreds of turtles nest on the shores of the Pacific. A wonderful experience, and one that needs to be lived in a responsible and respectful way, as with any other experience involving the native flora and fauna. If you want to know the best time to travel to Costa Rica, we say you’ll need to mark it on your calendar for some time between December and April, as this is the dry season.
Reasons for travelling to Puerto Rico
The smallest island in the Antilles is well worth a visit to discover some of its most interesting and unusual sights. One of these is the bioluminescent bay of Vieques. Take advantage of your visit to take a trip to some of the beaches in the area, such as Caracas or La Plata.
This country also has some of the most beautiful colonial cities in the world. One of them is San Juan, and the oldest district of the city is Viejo San Juan. A walk through its colourful streets is a journey into the past, which you leave behind when you come to neighbourhoods full of street art such as La Perla.
The Dominican Republic as a destination
No doubt this country stands out for its famous beaches, well-known worldwide. Swimming in the waters of Punta Cana or lying on palm fringed beaches of dazzling white sand is an absolute must. As is getting to know the capital, Santo Domingo, and the colonial charms of what was the first European city founded in the Americas. Don’t forget to jump on a boat and head to Saona Island, where you can eat the best fish in the country.
Cuba, the eternal beauty of the Caribbean
What can we say about Cuba, an island that is truly unique, beautiful in its decadence. Taking a walk along the famous Malecón, sipping a mojito in one of the most elegant places in the capital, Havana, or taking a salsa class will mark the difference from the more traditional sort of holiday. You can’t possibly leave the island without dropping by La Bodeguita del Medio, having lunch or a drink in a place where the greats of universal culture did exactly the same is a feast for the senses, and a wonderful memory.
Off the typically beaten tourist track, Cuba has more than one secret to hide. For example, the city of Trinidad is the prettiest of the colonial era on the entire island. Nearby is another of Cuba’s beauties, the small town of Cienfuegos. And in the same area you can visit the Valle de los Ingenios, where you’ll find one of the best examples of a Cuban hacienda in the architecture of Manaza Iznaga. Your trip can’t come to an end without a visit to through the second largest city on the island, Santiago de Cuba, which has a summer carnival well worth experiencing.
So as you can see, you can enjoy the beaches in Costa Rica as well as getting to know some of the most interesting countries in the region. Here are our four recommendations, but you don’t have to choose between them: just visit them all!