Colors of Costa Rica

Lest you think my entire recent trip to Costa was all rained out, I wanted to add a post on the colors of Costa Rica. I hope that shots of flowers like these are a reminder of why the tropics needs so much rain! I’ve seen these same areas after months and months without rain — I promise you that I will never again take the lush green plants and colorful flowers for granted!Β Β The first time I visited Costa Rica, a trip that lasted one year almost to the day, it was bone dry. While I saw spots of green, for the most part, the trees and dirt roads were brown and dry. I didn’t complain — dry weather meant more days in the sun, cleaner roads while walking home, and much easier driving (not that I had a car myself.)

On this visit, I got a lot of rain, even though historically, wet season is over by late November. I got just enough sun that I didn’t mind — and the colorful plants and flowers made the morning showers worth it. Here are my favorite bursts from the garden!

The color pink filled my guesthouse’s garden. Does anyone know the name of this plant?

I just had to include this one surprise bonus beam of color coming from the sea. He doesn’t even look real to me!

See — I did see sun! And it brought out loads of colorful bird of paradise “flowers.” I always catch myself calling them “flowers,” because of their colors, but really they’re perennials. I was just glad they came out after the sun!


If life is about simple pleasures, then part of the magic of the tropics are joys like the the colors of Costa Rica, whether it’s watching the brightest plants and flowers bloom in your driveway practically in minutes, or finding a crab so colorful that you think he can’t be real — until he scurries off into the ocean.

What simple joys have you found in nature today?

The following two tabs change content below.
I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

Related Content


  1. That crab is awesome! He looks like he wandered too close to my wife’s preschool class and they got a hold of him with their neon paints. The eyes are a little creepy though.
    I’m not much of a plant guy, and living in the Pacific Northwest I’ve had more than my share of rain, but the colors you’ve captured in your pictures are great and makes it seem like a fair trade off. I’m going to try and remember that next time it rains for a month straight here.

  2. Wow that crab looks surreal, love the colours here especially on this drab Canadian winter day.

  3. That crab photo is AMAZING!! I love it! The flower shot below it reminds me of the floral and fauna in Chiang Mai. So colorful and pretty!

  4. That crab is amazing. I want one. I work with a little boy who is 4 years old and is IN LOVE with crabs. I am going to try to show this photo to him, he will be so excited.

  5. Haha glad I’m not the only one obsessed with that crab! When I saw it, I was so excited, but the friend I was with had seem ’em before and wasn’t that impressed!

  6. I have never seen a crab that fluorescent! I fondly remember the flowers in Costa Rica. So beautiful and exotic.

  7. The NVR Guys have not found enough simple joys in nature lately, as we’ve been very city centric. I think a hike is in order – thanks for the inspiration.

  8. I’ve seen so many colorful fish, that I don’t know why I was SO excited about the crab — but I was!

    A hike sounds so great. I definitely need to find more time for nature in my life in Vegas.

  9. I already knew the colors of the flowers are amazing in CR, but that crab…wow!

  10. Let’s be honest — the flowers were just an excuse for the crab photo post haha

  11. Hey,

    Great photos! I love the little crab, he is so cute!! I totally agree with you about finding little pleasures. At night in Sri Lanka in my village there used to be swarms of tiny fireflies lighting up the air, glowing neon yellow in the moonlight. And during sunset on the beach, the sun would get so low that it would look like this giant phosphorescent beach ball hovering over the sea. Those were some of my favourite things πŸ™‚

  12. Ohhhh fireflies! Those make me so happy. So does the sound of a big ‘ol sun hanging over the ocean!

  13. The colors in these photos are so vibrant, especially that crab: he looks like he escaped from a cartoon πŸ™‚

  14. I love crabs. In childhood, i had catch lots of crabs in pond in front of my home.

  15. I used to chase them as a kid, too! I grew up in Florida, but my house was not quite on the water. He DOES look like a cartoon!

  16. I can’t believe the colors on that crab! Far out. That’s a Vegas-style crab, for sure. πŸ˜‰

  17. Haha he is SO Vegas!!

  18. This makes me SOOOO excited!! I leave for Costa Rica for 8 days on January 5th. I cannot WAIT now. (Beautiful photographs Abby!)

  19. Thank you, Kirsten! Omg soo excited for your trip!!

  20. I want a colorful crab!!! Not really, I just want to see one and take its picture… which really means that I want to go to Costa Rica πŸ™‚

  21. Haha I think he made my whole trip! And unlike the darn monkeys, he stayed still long enough for me to get a good photo!

  22. Lovely, bright photos πŸ™‚

  23. Oh come on, you’re just advertising a new kiddy cartoon hero!

  24. Haha that’s how I felt! My friend was unfazed, and I was screaming at her to come over! Apparently, it’s fairly common!

  25. That crab looks like a cartoon character!

  26. Beautiful!! I always picture CR as a really colourful place =)

  27. Got to agree with everyone else, that crab is just far out, never heard of a crab like that before.

  28. Wow, I’ve never seen a crab so colorful!

  29. I should have just made him his own post!!

  30. I have a whole photo essay of the flowers in Costa Rica for good reason. The colors rock! And, yes … I love the crab too!

  31. Yay — someone who likes the flowers, too!

  32. Whooooa purple crab! The prettiest crab on the beach. Awesome shots.

  33. Gorgeous! I love the flowers and wildlife in Costa Rica. All except those scorpions!

  34. Love the flowers in Costa Rica!

  35. Wow, those are incredible! The flowers would have been enough, but that crab steals the show.

  36. I saw that first plant a lot in Hawaii….don’t know the name though. Thanks for this, Abby….I am hoping to visit CR in 2013 and this only whets my appetite. The crab is amazing too.

  37. They make crabs that color?!? Mind blown. I was enamored with Costa Rica’s biodiversity in my short time there and am excited I’ll be back in May!

  38. I’m so happy to hear about your upcoming trips to my favorite country!!

  39. Wow – that’s indeed a colorful crab! Great post πŸ˜‰

  40. Such pretty pics! The vivid colors were one of my favorite parts of Costa Rica when I went in October. The vibrant plants were just incredible. My friend snapped a photo of a bright blue iguana, though I had just missed it.

  41. love the colors so much! And that crab is cracking me up πŸ™‚

  42. He was quite popular!

  43. oh my gosh…that crab looks photoshopped!! wow!!

  44. Wow! The colours on that crab are incredible. I’d heard iffy things about Costa Rica but perhaps you are winning me over…;)

  45. Fabulous photos, but I especially love the crab. He doesn’t look real to me either. Happy New Year and all the best in 2012.

  46. These colors are so bright that the images seem computer-generated. Amazingly gorgeous! I walked to and from brunch today (5miles total). It always makes me smile to walk through DC.

  47. OMG- that little guy is so cute! I’m hoping to see some fun marine animals when we are in Mexico next week!

  48. I can’t believe that crab is real. Did you see more like it?
    Beautiful colors. Does your choice in clothing while there blend with your surrounding colors?

Speak Your Mind