This article was published on February 3rd, 2019
Pack your bags! Your next LGBT adventure into the outdoors awaits in the beautiful tropical destination of Costa Rica. This small central American country has long been one of the top adventure destinations.
Costa Rica has several micro climates ranging from cloud forests, to full tropical rain forests. You’ll find some amazing wildlife like monkeys, humming birds, frogs, crocodiles, and of course the world-famous sloths! The country can boast being the greenest country on the planet with over 300 days a year powered completely by renewable energy. They have an amazing relationship with nature, where most of the country is protected land and farming on mass scales is controlled. This connection with nature makes animal viewing easy, almost anywhere, and they aren’t scared of humans.
Overcoming your fear is important. Monte Verde is a region north west of the capital San Jose. This region has a cloud forest climate, so a bit cooler temperature, with extremely lush forests. The zip lining here is incredible. They have superman zip lining where you lay flat flying through the air like Superman. They also have a crazy Tarzan swing that will get your adrenaline rushing. The Selvatura adventure park has treetop walkways and great hiking to really explore the forest canopy. You can even check out the hummingbird sanctuary, put your finger up next to a feeder and maybe have a hummingbird land on your hand while it feeds. Make sure to check out Taco Taco for great Mexican food and the best Margherita’s in Costa Rica.
Head east to the La Fortuna region where you’ll have breathtaking views of Mt Arenal. You can hike the volcano, horseback ride around it, or rent bikes. The adventurous among you will love repelling down waterfalls and cliff jumping on the canyoneering tours, or the thrill of whitewater rafting. If that’s not your thing head to the nearby lake for stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking, you’ll be sure to see lots of wildlife while enjoying the beautiful lake. After a long day you can soak in one of the many natural hot springs to relax those muscles.
If you are into food then don’t forget to head south there are a lot of culinary gems down near Uvita, which is an incredible town. During low tide there is a huge sandbar in the shape of a whale tail. There are some fantastic resorts here down on the coast or up in the mountains with breathtaking sunset views. On the way back to San Jose there is a great place called Quepos with great beaches, you can learn to surf or check out Manuel Antonio Nature reserve. Be sure to take a guided tour of the park. The naturalists have hawk like vision and will point out some of the really small amazing species. Keep in mind though that Costa Rican’s love rice and beans, you’ll have it every meal all over the country. You can find more variety, but you have to search a little harder.
There are many other regions to explore, Puerto Viejo has a Caribbean flare, with more African food and cultural influence. Tamarindo is a famous beach on the Pacific Coast. Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast where you can see turtles hatch on the beach. Make sure you are there the right time of year though. Speaking of right time of year, you can check out different whale migrations if your timing is right.
Costa Rica is LGBT friendly. They have had debates about Civil Unions for over a decade with parts recognizing it. The supreme court just rules that the government has 18 months to recognize same sex marriage as well. Costa Rica for the most part is extremely safe. There are a few places that it’s recommended to be more cautious, like San Jose or Puerto Viejo. But safety rules follow being in any major city, don’t show off wealth, don’t be alone at night. The people are friendly and open, they love nature, protecting the earth, and showing you their beautiful country. It’s time to put Costa Rica on your list of gay friendly must do’s!