Are you thinking about traveling through Central America but aren’t quite sure about whether to go or not? Okay then I have the perfect list for you that points out some pros and cons of traveling through Central America. This guide will help you get a clearer impression of how it is to travel Costa Rica and help you decide whether this is a good travel destination for you or not.
Okay let’s get started.
In this post, I mainly refer to Costa Rica, as this is the central American country I’ve been to most of the time. Though almost all points can be applied in similar ways to the other countries as the culture is the same. Also, you should be aware, that my experiences might differ from yours and what I see as a con might not be the same for you. So, take this as an inspiration, rather than a fixed information.
Besides the common benefits and troubles while traveling, there are a few more pros and cons about going to Costa Rica.
Through this post, I want to show you some of these, so in case you’re wondering if you should go there, you’ve got a bit of an idea what to expect.
Let’s get to the cons first. Bad news before good news.
1. Traveling as a blond woman all by yourself is hard
Why that? You might wonder now. Well if you like getting asked out for dinner every night and then have to explain that you’re not going to start a relationship or anything similar, good for you! You’ll get free food every night!
But in case you just want to surf in peace or go for a walk on the beach. Good luck with that.
I found myself surrounded by five Ticos at a time in the water or on the streets several times. It’s hard to catch any waves or look at something closer if there’s someone asking you one question after the other and hitting on you.
Related: Learn how to deal with unwanted attention while traveling in my Let’s Travel Guide!
2. Transportation takes for ages
Costa Rica might seem small, at first. But it is pretty big if a 10 Km drive takes you an hour.
There are faster and more comfortable ways to get around Costa Rica. You could get a proper shuttle or rent a car but that’ll cost you.
If you want to travel cheap, the only way is taking the local bus and that takes for ages. It is never on time and it drives with 20 Km/h. Also, you might have to change a few times and wait for the next bus for I don’t know how long.
You might have to think twice if you should go to the other side of the countries. It will probably take you two entire days.
3. It is expensive
If you look for a country to travel cheap. Costa Rica isn’t the best choice.
Almost everything here is the same price as at home. Rent is about 15 – 20 $ a night, food will cost you at least 10 $ a day if you cook for yourself, a meal in a Soda is about 6$ a meal.
Transport except go the public bus, which cost between 2 and 10 dollars (most 2$ though) depending on where you go, as I’ve already said above too. If you decide to travel the more comfortable way it will cost you about 50$ each way.
If you have the money though you gonna have a lot of fun in Costa Rica. I assure you!
Enough complaining! Now let’s get to the bright side of life.
1. People are friendly if you know who to trust
If you once handled the “hitting on you” part, people can be very friendly here. It may take you a while to get used to the culture but once you know how to handle it, you will meet some nice people who are always ready to help and give you advice.
I figured especially women are more the kind who’d help and are just being nice without any back thoughts.
2. The food is healthy and delicious
Typical Costa Rican food like Ceviche, Casado or Pinto is super healthy. It contains moist of the time rice, beans, chicken or fish and vegetables. They cook almost without milk products and except of bakeries you’d hardly find gluten.
Also if you like spice food, the sauces made from habanero chilies are super good.
Furthermore you will get fresh coconut and delicious fruits like pineapple and mango, which taste so much better than back home.
I like the cooking Bananas very much too. You can either roast or cook them. It’s a great supplement for potatoes if you feel like a change.
Smoothies are pretty big in Costa Rica too, watch out for the sugar though. Lots of Juice Bars put in a huge amount of sugar.
3. There is lots to do and lots to see.
Even though Costa Rica is a small country compared to others on this continent, there is still a lot of choice. You’ll find everything. If you stay more inland you can go hiking, see waterfalls, volcanos, rainforests with amazing and exotic animals and plants, coffee fields and a lot more. In case you’re more the beach kind of person you’ll have two amazing coasts to choose from. The Pacific with great waves and surf culture and the Caribbean about which I can’t say that much yet, because it is still ahead of me but from what I’ve heard there is a nice laid back lifestyle and a lot of delicious food made with coconut milk. Also, diving should be a great activity there.
As you can see, there are a few things for and against going to Costa Rica.
My conclusion is, if you’ve got a bit of money and want to experience the Latin American culture and you’re traveling by yourself, Costa Rica is a good place to go.
Nevertheless you should be prepared for certain thing like making sure you always lock your stuff or maybe not take a dinner invitations to seriously. Especially as a blond woman I recommend you stay closer the beaches, there will be less guys who are looking for a future wife or one-night stand.
All in all, it is a nice country and depending on where you go you will definitely find some adventure.
And even if you’re not the biggest fan of the Latin American Culture you will have still plenty fun at both coasts where there are more people from other countries who’ve been moving there.
If you want to know more about specific places, check out my other posts about Costa Rica.
I hope that was a bit of a help and inspiration for your next trip.
If you liked it, feel free to share it and help others to decide whether to travel there or not.
In addition, if you want to be up-to-date about my travels check out my Instagram and Facebook. There I post some travel insights on a daily basis.
Have you been to Costa Rica? How did you like it?