Costa Rica is the perfect place for fun outdoor adventure mixed with gorgeous sandy beaches. Hike a volcano, immerse yourself in a mud bath or fly through the trees in this well developed, visitor friendly little country.
Did You Know
- Arenal Volcano is still active and is a great place to see spurts of fire and smoke coming out of the top … nightly!
- Costa Ricans come out No. 1in the World Happiness Index
- Monteverde - the cloud forest must see - was founded by a group of Quakers fleeing the draft for the Korean War
- “Ticos” are proud of their country`s natural beauty and 25% of the country is protected national parks and reserves
The north-west corner of Costa Rica gets the least rain making it the top place for year round white sandy beaches. Following are some of the most exclusive and all inclusive resorts in the country. Tamarindo Beach is as international as they come, and the twelve beaches that make up the Gulf of Papagayo make for a more natural setting. More low key, Playa Conchal is regarded as the most beautiful beach in the country. Take a trip inland, though, for some fascinating cattle ranches (haciendas), complete with cowboys, some semi-active volcanoes, great hiking and the last stretch of tropical dry forest in Central America.
Northern Costa Rica
The mountainous north of Costa Rica is rich in cloud forests and amazingly active volcanoes. For outdoor adventure the obvious starting point are the Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forests. Each with a fascinating history of organic farming and protection of the environment, Here are zip lines to glide through the forest canopy and great opportunities for bird watching, hiking and rafting.
Arenal Lake has some of the best windsurfing in the world. Arenal Volcano is safe but active with nightly displays of spouting smoke and fire. The volcanic terrain makes the area perfect for lovers of hot springs, geysers and mud baths.
The Carribean Coast has a totally different landscape and people. The Nothern Carribean is backed by swampy mangroves and the south by a mountain range leading to a huge diversity of adventures. For beaches Puerto Viejo is a decidedly Caribbean concoction of perfect beaches, spectacular surfing and laid-back attitude, spiced up with the most happening music, nightlife and restaurant scene on the coast. Much more low-key, Cahuita has live coral off shore, and Manzanillo is a sleepy town of idyllic sandy beaches and palm trees. Along the coast here you’ll find a fascinating blend of Afro Carribean and some of the surviving indigenous peoples of Costa Rica. Further north, Tortuga Islands are the Amazon of Costa Rica: narrow canals to be explored by canoe, and a major nesting beach of the Atlantic green sea turtle.
Central and South Pacific Coast
The Pacific Coast has a large array of environments including lush forests and idyllic beaches; perfect for anyone seeking an eco adventure or a laid-back time on a quiet beach. The region’s most popular attraction is easily the Parque National Manuel Antonio
, with its superb white sand beaches and lush green mountains. For a more active nightlife head to Jaco Beach, or to the Nicoya Peninsular for surfing central that is Mal Pais. Heading south of Manuel Antonio, things get altogether more quiet. Home to the largest last remaining stretches of Pacific coastal rainforests in Central America nestled within the gorgeous Parque Nacional Corcovado
, this region of Costa Rica plays host to some to the world’s most endangered species of wildlife. This park on the Oso Peninsular is the most isolated part of the country and has many eco lodges for wildlife spotting while the stunning Isla del Caño
off the coast has a fantastic underwater marine world.
Central Valleys and San Jose
Most Ticos (Costa Ricans) live in the country`s fertile central valleys. The mountainous terrain here provides cool breezes and the pleasant year round climate makes it ideal for the many plantations and fincas (ranches). San Jose, or Chepe, is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Central America and is a good base for exploring Costa Rica.