Pura Vida. The term used by locals in Costa Rica to describe "living the good life." Adventure traveler and TV travel show host, Nathan Fluellen aka World Wide Nate, says that between the country's surfing, adventure, and luxury accommodation offerings, one can certainly live and enjoy the good life while there.
For him, Costa Rica has a special place in his heart. Although he's visited 72 countries, and most recently checked off his 7th continent after a trip to Antarctica—with his mother by his side—Costa Rica reigns supreme as it is the place where he took his very first surfing lesson.
"It is also prominent in ecotourism, which allows visitors to zip line through rain forests, horseback ride to waterfalls, and take mud baths in hot springs," Fluellen shares. "Costa Rica really has something for everyone, and you can arrive within hours from the United States."
Describing his travel style as luxury meets adventure, we chatted more with the globetrotter to learn how we, too, can visit the country and navigate it like a pro.
Where to Stay
With luxury being high on his list, Fluellen shares that one of his favorite hotel properties is the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo.
"It is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle but still have an exciting getaway," says Fluellen. "The secluded property has two beaches and spectacular views of the water. The rooms and villas intertwine with the landscape, making you feel connected to nature."
For the eco-friendly buffs, he suggests Hotel Hacienda Guachipelin.
"More of a ranch-style property, it's located about 45 minutes from the Liberia Airport. Staying here is excellent because it is the hub for various ecotourism activities, and it's close to Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja," he adds.
Where to Play
No matter your interests, there will always be something to do or try while there. Since the TV host's interests span a myriad of things, he narrowed his list down to some of his favorite surfing spots, as well as the best places to connect with nature and see the country's gorgeous waterfalls.
"Tamarindo is the beach town where I took my first surf lesson and a tourist town with great restaurants, various accommodations, and plenty of tour operators to help you explore the area," Fluellen says to EBONY. "Rincón de la Vieja National Park provides an array of ecotourism activities, from jumping into the Las Chorreras Waterfalls to relaxing in nature at the Rio Negro Hot Springs."
He also shares that a visit to Parque Nacional Santa Rosa is another must-do.
Fluellen's top-rated restaurants
If you prefer fresh seafood mixed with dope beach vibes, he suggests heading to The Pangas Beach Club for the grilled octopus, lobster risotto and the ceviches. Or, if you fancy Italian fare, he says Pesce in the Four Seasons in where you want to go.
"I love to eat seafood when I'm traveling and close to the ocean, and the branzino (European sea bass) with the capers, olives, and cherry tomatoes was splendid. They also have an excellent wine selection," says the TV travel host.
What to pack for Costa Rica
While your hotel and activities can certainly make or break any trip, you also want to ensure you travel with all the necessary gear and equipment so that your adventure goes without a hitch. Some of Fluellen's highly suggested items to pack include: water shoes, a waterproof bag to keep your gear dry when exploring, hiking shoes when navigating the paths to the waterfalls, a portable phone charger, as well as plenty of swimwear to keep the Pura Vida vibes going.