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6 Reasons Why Canadians LOVE Costa Rica!

Being one of the happiest and most beautiful countries in the world, Canadians cannot seem to get enough of Costa Rica. It’s hard to put your finger on why Costa Rica is such a happy country because there are too many possible reasons – the weather, nature, culture…

Situated in Central America, Costa Rica isn’t quite far away enough to get jet lag. Being within a similar time zone to Canada helps too! A popular pastime for Canadians on this trip is to indulge in some online casino games; themed slots and traditional games at Spincasino can make time fly – literally!

Stepping off the plane and being hit by a wave of humidity is a magical feeling – especially when visiting during the Northern Hemisphere’s wintertime. But, let’s explore the beauty and wonders of the country itself, and why Canadians are one of Costa Rica’s top visitors – making up almost 10% of the country’s annual visitors.

National Parks

Coming from a place with moose, wolves, bears and snowy mountains, Canadians tend to appreciate nature. Costa Rica is ideal for those that enjoy nature because there are a tonne of amazing hiking opportunities. 

Arenal Volcano National Park is perhaps the first place you will hear being mentioned, as it’s an iconic volcano for its symmetrical shape embedded in an amazing landscape. The park entrance fee is around CA$18 and has a famous trail of around 3.3 miles.

The Arenal Volcano itself is only half as tall as the Cerro Chirripó and Irazú Volcano, so there’s lots more to discover for those that enjoy a challenge.

However, it’s not just the mountains and volcanoes, but the forestry and nature they’re surrounded by. A guided tour through some of Costa Rica’s national parks feels like a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with dense forestry, incredible biodiversity, and some endemic species that cannot be found anywhere else.

In fact, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve alone has 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity – and it’s only 10,500 hectares. Life and nature are dense and abundant in Costa Rica, and Canadian’s seem to appreciate that.

Warm Weather

Whilst much of Canada does experience warm temperatures in June, July, and August, it doesn’t really compare to the tropical heat of Costa Rica, where you’re likely to get around 30°C during these months in Costa Rica. In fact, you’ll get around 30°C in any month, because Costa Rica has some of the most consistent temperatures on the planet.

So, it’s not just the hot summers that Canadians enjoy, but actually, it’s that the temperature will be around 30°C during wintertime in Canada – this makes it the perfect winter break.

However, let’s not confuse warm weather with having no rain. Costa Rica does have seasons – a dry and a wet one. The wet season lasts from May to November, with most rainfall coming in September and October. Generally, the rain comes more in the evenings, so holidaymakers can still enjoy the morning sunshine.

The months with the least rain are January to March. Early in the year is when Costa Rica receives the most visitors, so this is an indication of when Canadians believe Costa Rica is at its best.

R&R – A Place of Healing

Costa Rica is an incredible place to visit for some rest and recreation. Because of the amazing nature and weather, the tourism industry isn’t naive – they have utilized their beauty in the best way possible for tourists. 

This is why Canadians have so much choice when it comes to luxury relaxation and healing. There are plenty of hot springs in the rainforest which have been made accessible. Arenal Hot Springs is a popular choice, though the Springs Resort Hot Springs is a great choice for those wanting to stay there in a resort. The truth is, there are too many to name – but are easy to find!

Costa Rica also has plenty of yoga retreats, which again are leveraged by the stunning settings. Visitors can also use the volcanic mud for skin care and relaxation, and just indulge in nature more generally. 

Even those that simply enjoy meditation and aren’t looking for resorts and retreats, there is an abundance of shoreline and remote beaches to meditate on and listen to the waves.

A Better Financial Situation

Costa Rica is hardly known as the cheapest country south of the US border, but it’s actually not as expensive as people think. Luxury holidays and restaurants aimed at tourists can be around the sort of prices you expect to see in the US or Canada – meaning it’s “expensive” or “normal” depending on how you look at it.

However, living in Costa Rica can certainly be cheaper than living in Canada. Property prices, rental prices, grocery prices, among other basic necessities can be cheaper – with the more luxury things being expensive.

So, this isn’t really good or bad news for tourists, but it’s good news for Canadian expats and immigrants. Furthermore, there is no capital gains tax, and annual property tax is only 0.25%, meaning Canadians are often drawn to Costa Rica’s financial appeal. It’s also quite easy to become a tax resident of Costa Rica and nullify any Canadian tax liability. If the ex-pat doesn’t spend more than half the year in Canada and doesn’t still have a Canadian home, they won’t be double-taxed.

Costa Rica and Canada have similarities

It may not seem like it at first, but Canada and Costa Rica share many things in common. With a mixture of rural and urban areas, both countries have a profound respect for wildlife and nature. Both countries have their own diverse nature, from waterfalls and dormant volcanoes to exotic and dangerous animals.

Beyond this, both countries are sociable and family-orientated people, known for their overuse in expressing gratitude and politeness. Christianity and Roman Catholicism are the dominant religion in both countries, and both have a multicultural society. In fact, there are also plenty of Canadians living in Costa Rica, so the expat communities are strong.

Of course, there are many differences too – and Canadians wouldn’t have it any other way. Being too similar would mean having no new experiences, but the foundation of both countries – and their values – are similar enough to integrate seamlessly. 

Costa Rica is Safe

Canada is a very safe country, so travelling to Central or South America can be met with some apprehension and warnings from family members. Whilst this may be slightly exaggerated, there certainly are a number of countries south of the border that can be dangerous. However, Costa Rica is not one of them, and this is a great sigh of relief for visitors.

Generally, Costa Rica is considered to be the safest country in the whole of Latin America – even beating Chile and Uruguay, which are often praised for their safety. The most common cause of tourists being a victim of crime is theft, though this tends to be the case for most countries. 

So, whilst Canadians still need to be careful, they enjoy not having to worry too much about violent crime, scams, and corruption. In fact, it may just be the wildlife and nature that poses a great threat – but this is something that a lot of Canadians are educated and sensible about.

Costa Rican Food

Because of the multiculturalism within Costa Rica, their history of immigration has lent itself to some amazing food. Produce is extremely fresh, and many vegetables grown in Costa Rica cannot be grown very well in Canada, making them a whole new experience. Sweet chile peppers, cherry tomatoes, watermelon… Just the market produce alone is a fantastic experience.

Beyond the tasty produce, there are plenty of authentic, great-tasting Latin American dishes. Gallo Pinto is often considered as the Costa Rican national dish, being eaten for breakfast usually. Restaurants will often have food that derived from immigration too, making the culinary experience in Costa Rica very diverse and interesting.

The Future of Canadian Tourism in Costa Rica

The current situation for Canadians is that there are moderate restrictions to visit Costa Rica, though the Canadian government is against non-essential travel. It is possible, but it will be met with some restrictions. Costa Rica will not currently require Canadians to quarantine, but they will have to upon returning. An online health pass must be required 72 hours prior to travel, and Costa Rica has their own set of lockdown rules (i.e. nightclubs are currently closed).

However, the situation is constantly evolving, Canadians are almost fully vaccinated, and travel restrictions to Costa Rica are unlikely to remain completely the same. Whilst tourism has been very slow in the past year, and still is, we can expect things to pick back up towards the end of the year – though nothing is for certain.

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