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Why Costa Rica is the perfect place for an unforgettable vacation!

The temperatures are going down, and the leaves are beginning to fall. It is time to decide where to escape the winter whites and enjoy tropical blues and greens! Welcome to Costa Rica where unforgettable vacations are made!  Costa Rica is the perfect place to spend your vacations for many reasons, and while we wholeheartedly agree, the experts have said it, and we believe them! 

So, what puts Costa Rica on the perfect place to vacation radar of so many people year after year from all over the world? So, with your Poas Rent a Car reserved and ready to start exploring Costa Rica and its beautiful corners, let´s begin to create that unforgettable vacation!

1.     Well Connected to the World!

Did you know it is faster to fly from New York to Costa Rica than to Los Angeles? With more than 1000 flights entering and leaving the country from its two modern international airports, Costa Rica is perfectly positioned in the middle of the American continent.   You choose whether you fly into or out of the Liberia International Airport in Guanacaste or to the Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose.

With a wide range of daily flights from around the globe, Costa Rica is just hours away from many North American hubs, including Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles.   It also has direct flights to and from Europe and Latin America, so you are flying away from many possibilities coming to or going from beautiful Costa Rica.

Poas Rent a Car has offices in both airports, so picking up your rental car upon arrival is easy and efficient. Costa Rica is a small country also, so you are never far away from where you need to go.   The road systems are extensive and reach nearly all corners of the country, although it`s fun to get off the beaten track, too, sometimes!

2.     Where the sun always shines

One of the other reasons Costa Rica’s location is so fantastic is that it has excellent weather.   Not far north of the equator, Costa Rica has ideal warm weather, and the coastal areas have the perfect beach weather the whole year.   The sun always shines in Costa Rica.

Cooler weather happens during the afternoon tropical bursts of rainfall that refresh and revive, making the rainforest greener and the blue ocean water shimmer. So that afternoon coffee is richer, too, while basking in the sunset from your terrace.

The excellent year-round climate and several micro-climates result from the impressive forest-laden volcanic mountain ranges, the rich coastal lowlands, and the oceanic winds from the Pacific and the Atlantic.

These near-perfect conditions guarantee lots of wildlife and adventures that Costa Rica is famous for. It also means fresh produce in the form of fruits, vegetables, and meat sources is available anywhere and everywhere.  

3.     Nature’s Backyard

Costa Rica has decided to lead the world when it comes to affirmative action in the protection of wildlife.  An impressive 25% of the country is protected through the country’s national park system, which helps to protect the equally amazing biodiversity that calls Costa Rica home. 

It may be small in size, but Costa Rica boasts nearly 5% of the world’s biodiversity, and wherever you are, you will see and feel its presence.   Embrace activities close to nature experiences, so be prepared to admire the sleepy sloths, the cheeky monkeys, the dancing dolphins, and the beautifully loud scarlet macaws announcing their arrival.

What makes the fact that Costa Rica is full of wildlife even better is that you will have national parks and verdant rainforests, pristine rivers, and long stretches of beach just minutes away from wherever you may be.   All this nature means you will always be just steps away from great adventures and beautiful scenery.

4.     A Foodies Delight Destination

Come to Costa Rica for some fantastic food.  The culinary revolution has begun all around Costa Rica, whether you are at Jaco Beach, Santa Teresa Beach, Arenal, La Fortuna, San Jose, or Corcovado.  Wherever your Poas Rent a Car takes you, there will be a fantastic eatery for your foodie spirit.

Cooking has always been exceptional and the pride of many a Costa Rican, and with fresh fruits and vegetables all day, every day, thanks to the fantastic weather, food is hearty and feels very homemade.  The famous “Casados,” a plate with a mixture of Costa Rican staple diet elements like rice, black beans, salad, a protein, was the classic, traditional cuisine. While many kitchens have moved on, many of these dishes continue on many a menu.

Thanks to a new generation of innovative and creative chefs, you will now find twists and variations on a theme using those fresh ingredients and local produce and converting them into fantastic new culinary experiences.   The fusion of local and international flavors with the originality and curiosity of these great creators is putting Costa Rica on the foodie’s map.

This period of experimentation in the kitchen is part of an artistic and cultural evolution that the country is enjoying. So, come prepared for some great new culinary expressions in the diversity of little eateries, bars, cafes, and restaurants in all corners of the country.

5.     The Beaches are the Best!

According to our sources, let’s say that Costa Rica has over 300 beaches to choose from, and many of them are literally deserted and could only be reached in a Full Size or Premium SUV from the Poas Rent a Car fleet of modern vehicles. This is an adventure, the Costa Rican way, and what a way!

The Pacific Ocean borders Costa Rica on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, which translates to hundreds of miles of sand, waves, and palm trees.   Each coast is very different from the other, but you can get from one on the same day, so there are no excuses to cross the mountains to get to the other side.  

On the northern Pacific coast and along the Nicoya Peninsula, the beaches are white-sanded, and you will find lots of places to stay and things to do.  Santa Teresa, Tamarindo, Conchal, and Nosara are popular beach towns worth checking out.   This is great for surfers, too, so bring your board and request a roof rack from Poas Rent a Car when reserving your car.

Along the Pacific Coast that meets the Panama border, life is slower and greener than in the north but is just as beautiful.  This stunning coastline is where green is the color of choice, and wildlife thrives. It is a surfing paradise, with Dominical, Pavones, and Hermosa standing out as the big names.  It is also home to the famous Jaco Beach and Manuel Antonio, favorites to stay at, with excellent hotels and nightlife!

On the Caribbean side of the country, this is where fantastic flavors and rhythms mix with the spectacular, rainforest-bordered beaches that will take your breath away.  Puerto Viejo and Cahuita are popular beach destinations. So prepare yourself for some Afro-Caribbean-influenced gastronomy, music, language, and vibe while lounging on the beautiful beaches. 

So, when are you coming to the best place on earth for an unforgettable vacation!!?? Let us know, and we will help you decide which car to take you there!

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Let’s explore the Arenal Volcano hotspot, a signature Costa Rican Experience

What could be Costa Rica´s most iconic natural landmark, the Arenal Volcano, is located on the northern lowlands that extend to the Caribbean Sea. This area of vast plains, winding rivers, and quaint rural towns are host to various stunning natural landscapes and adventure activities in nature. Let´s explore the Arenal Volcano hotspot and its surrounds! It is a signature Costa Rican experience! So buckle up, and let´s get on the road!

Driving to the Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna is picturesque and easily accessible. Your Poas Rent a car will get you there safely and surely. All roads to Arenal are in good condition, so choose any of the range of modern vehicles from the fleet. If you would like to take the back roads or explore the less traveled roads, rent a Standard or Full-Size SUV to experience the northern lowlands from a different perspective.

How do I get to the Arenal Volcano – La Fortuna

  • If you are coming from Guanacaste, take the Cañas – Tilaran – Lake Arenal route, which will take you through a beautiful farming country and then around the lake.
  • If you are coming from San Jose, take Route 32 through the Braulio Carrillo National Park, and then the North-Atlantic Corridor, Route 4, will take you through lush forests and pineapple plantations. Route 4 will connect you with the Caribbean too.
  • An alternative route from the Central Valley is via San Ramon. Take Route 1, the Pan American Highway north, and then through the small city of San Ramon and the town of Chachagua. This is also a very scenic route.
  • If you want to explore beyond the Arenal Volcano, consider Rio Celeste, another Costa Rican natural icon. It is north of Arenal and is an easy drive along a well-maintained road. It is an hour and a half drive along the North Atlantic Corridor.

Wellness tourism in nature: Thermal Springs

The Arenal region is a favorite for wellness tourism thanks to the volcanic gift of thermal springs. Deep below the earth, water is heated by the volcano, and on the surface can enjoy bathers. These thermal springs can be found in resorts, hotels, and spas dotted around the base of the Arenal Volcano. One is a short drive away if your hotel doesn’t have its thermal springs.

The thermal springs are not only relaxing, but they are also medicinal. They are rich in sulfate, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium, sodium, and other minerals, ready to soothe your mind and body. After a day of adventure in nature, this is the ultimate open-air wellness experience.

Our sleeping giant, the Arenal Volcano

As you drive towards the Arenal Volcano area, keep your eyes on the road, and the distance as this incredible cone-shaped spectacle begins to appear on the horizon. It is hard to miss and will be a constant companion that transforms the closer you get to it.

The Arenal Volcano sits within a national park of the same name and is a stratovolcano reaching 5350 feet above sea level. Although it is presently in a resting or sleeping phase, it is an active volcano, and while there are no minor eruptions, it continues to be a sight to see and will captivate you.

New experiences on the Lake Arenal

The Arenal Volcano has always been the main attraction in the area, and its fame is well deserved. Nevertheless, Arenal Lake is gaining traction with visitors, and there are a variety of aquatic activities you can enjoy. Lake Arenal also has stunning views of its volcanic neighbor, so while exploring the lake, you get birds-eye views of the sleeping giant in the near distance.

The drive to Arenal Lake is also pretty and not far from La Fortuna. It will take you along the hotel strip that borders the Arenal Volcano, and then you will begin to wind around its base to the other side through lush rainforest and over small streams, some warmed by the volcano. This drive takes about 15 minutes, and you will have views of the volcano all the way.

What can you do on Arenal Lake? Kayak, Pedal boarding, take a boat ride, fish, or hop on a SUP. This is a fun way to explore the surrounding area and view the Volcano from the other side!

The thriving town of La Fortuna

La Fortuna is a small, bustling town at the base of Arenal Volcano. It caters to the large number of tourists that visit the region throughout the year and is lively and busy. Choose from various restaurants, bars, souvenir shops, cafes, and tour operators offering their once-in-a-lifetime adventure and nature experiences.

While La Fortuna is big on tourism, it is also a traditional, rural town with the central park facing the church and the local school not far away. This is how many Costa Rican towns are anchored so you will get a sense of the local traditions and way of life. It is also home to many Costa Ricans who love their town.

La Fortuna is walkable, so park your car by the park or in one of its side streets and wander around the shops, have some lunch or dinner, or some delicious coffee to get a feel of the place. It is laid-back, friendly and with views of the volcano too!

Levels of Adventure for everyone

The Arenal Volcano region is world-renowned for its epic adventure activities and close-to-nature experiences.  Choose from a myriad of possibilities that range in adrenaline-rush levels. However, what is true is that all the activities are immersed in nature, and you decide on the thrill level.

Arenal offers you white water rafting, canyoneering, rappelling, or mountain biking for genuine thrill seekers. For the less adventurous-spirited, why not do horseback riding, kayaking, birdwatching, or hiking? Vacations are about trying new experiences and creating unforgettable memories, and Arenal will do just that.

For the even less adventurous, Arenal also has cultural activities that include visits to working farms to learn about cacao, sugarcane and coffee growing or to the Maleku indigenous community to witness their ancestral traditions and cosmovision. Then again, you can just lay back and relax in the thermal springs or by the hotel pool too.

Poas Rentacar has offices at San Jose International Airport and Guanacaste International Airport. They are just a few hours away from the Arenal Volcano – La Fortuna area, so hop in your car soon after you jump off the plane, and this beautiful region awaits your visit.

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It’s the whale-watching season in Costa Rica! Where should I go to see them?

Costa Rica is home to many animals of all shapes and sizes that live in the lush rainforests, rugged mountaintops, vast savannas, and coastal sanctuaries. This myriad of landscapes and ecosystems condensed into this small, yet diverse country brings nature-loving travelers to enjoy themselves and their inhabitants. Some of the animals are migratory, including the majestic giants of the oceans, the Humpback Whales. It is the whale-watching season in Costa Rica right now! Where should I go to see them is the question?

Thanks to its strategic position in the world and just 11 degrees north of the equator, Costa Rica sits pretty much near the center of the world between the Arctic and Antarctica, where our favorite whales spend the summer months. As the temperatures begin to cool at the Poles, the whales embark on their globe-trotting journey searching for warmer waters. This is where Costa Rica comes into the picture and is the place to swim.

The temperate, tropical waters of Costa Rica´s Pacific coast are where the humpback whales come to during the winter, not just to escape the freezing temperatures. They make this long journey to breed, give birth, and nurture their calves to prepare them for the long swim back. While they are here, the Pacific coast comes alive with their presence, and it is an incredible sight to see! This is Mother Nature at her best. Costa Rica has front-row seats, and Poas Rental Car can take you there.

When do the Humpback Whales visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica actually has two Whale Watching Seasons, as humpback whales from the Arctic and Antarctica come to visit at different times of the year. This means Costa Rica has the longest whale-watching season in the world thanks to the Northern and Southern Hemisphere whale’s temporary stays.

The best time to see humpback whales in Costa Rica is January, February, July, August, and September. You can see whales all along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica during those months as they breed and raise their newborns. Come prepared to see many mothers caring for their babies while learning to be a whale!

Whale Watching in Guanacaste

Guanacaste is best known for its white-sand beaches, seaside resorts, and sunny, blue skies. With easy access from the Guanacaste International Airport, beaches are just minutes away, including the world-renowned Gulf of Papagayo. Poas Rent a Car has an office at the airport, making getting to the beaches and exploring the area with ease. While a sedan will take you to many of the beaches to reach the more deserted off-the-beaten-track beaches, an Intermediate or Standard SUV will make the ride even better!

Gulf of Papagayo

During the months of July through September, humpback whales are commonly seen in the Gulf of Papagayo.  These protected waters are perfect for whales as they are safe from possible predators (i.e., Orcas!), and it is the perfect nursery for taking care of newborn calves.

While there are no actual organized whale-watching tours during the season, take a catamaran or a boat tour that does morning or sunset tours around the Gulf and the coastline. During these fun experiences, you will most probably spot some whales swimming around, lifting their enormous flippers or tails. Don’t forget to look out for the playful calves too!

Whale Watching at Tamarindo, Conchal, Flamingo

In the Tamarindo area, you can do some great beach-hopping exploring the beautiful beaches. The roads between them are in good condition, and you can visit several of them on the same day in your modern Poas rent a car.

While in the area, check out the new Flamingo Marina, where more and more sailing boats and catamarans are docking. These and other boats go out on snorkeling, scuba, and dolphin tours, so whales are added to the list of activities during the whale watching season, so you get to see them too!

Whale Watching at Marino Ballena National Park at Uvita

This marine park located south of Dominical could well be the most popular spot for whale-watching tours. The drive down the coastal road is really scenic, too, so you will enjoy the journey as much as the destination. The road is hugged by a beautiful coastline with spectacular beaches and rainforest-laden hills on either side. A treat for the eyes.

The Marino Ballena National Park at Uvita was created to protect the humpback whales during their migratory visits to Costa Rica. It even has a sandbank that connects with a rock formation to create a whale’s tail at low tide. Mother Nature is at work yet again!

During the month of September, at the peak of the season, the local community and tourism companies host a Humpback Whale Festival offering shortened versions of the traditional whale watching tour, among other whale-focused activities. Many local tour operators offer Whale Watching Tours during the season, and you can leave your car close to the National Park’s entrance. The Uvita beach is a long stretch of sand with great swimming waves, so even in the off-season, it is well worth a visit.

Don’t forget to walk the Whales Tail while you are there!

Whale Watching in the Golfo Dulce

As we work our way down Costa Rica’s Pacific Ocean Road, we will arrive at the Golfo Dulce, which is bordered by the Osa Peninsula. The Golfo Dulce is one of only 4 tropical fiords in the world and is the perfect sanctuary for our favorite giants of the ocean.

Whether you are on the Golfito side of the Gulf or on the Osa Peninsula side, Whale Watching Season is enjoyable and accessible. Many of the hotels and local tour operators offer tours to observe the whales and their habits during breeding, birthing, and raising season. You will most likely spot lots of dolphins, too, which is always a treat.

Poas Rent a car can take you to all the Whale Watching hot spots in its modern fleet of vehicles and superior customer service. With offices in the two major Costa Rican airports, you will be on your way soon after landing. Will you be visiting the Whales during your road travels around Costa Rica?

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