Costa Rica is a nature, wildlife and adventure lover’s paradise. Travel to Costa Rica offers an endless variety of experiences making it a destination to travel to again and again. Known as one of the hottest ecotourism destinations on the planet, the country consistently earns travel accolades and awards. In fact, CN Traveler just included it the “Top Most Beautiful Countries in the World” and Costa Rica was named “Mexico & Central America’s Leading Destination” at the 2019 World Travel Awards.
The reason Costa Rica is a top destination is because there is a lot packed into this relatively small country. It has only 0.03% of the world’s landmass yet an amazing 5% of the world’s biodiversity. It offers sandy beaches, dense rainforests filled with colorful birds, cool waterfalls, towering volcanoes and so much more. Whether it’s your first visit or your tenth, there will always be something new and exciting to do and see in Costa Rica.
Where to Begin
Most people begin their travel to Costa Rica with an international flight into San Jose. From here, we recommend soaking up the beauty of the Central Valley located just a short distance from the city. The spring-like mild temperatures, rolling green hills and rich fertile soil are home to some of the best Costa Rica coffee plantations. One of our favorites is Finca Rosa Blanca, where every balcony offers breathtaking views of mountain scenery and volcanoes in the distance. This is a great place to unwind before you begin your vacation or relax after partaking in your Costa Rica adventures.
As well as being beautiful, this region has a lot to offer in terms of art, culture and history, including the oldest church still in use in the country. It is also home to Cartago, one of the oldest towns in Costa Rica and an important religious pilgrimage site.
Costa Rica Adventure
The Central Valley also beckons to adventure lovers and the small town of Providencia is a popular destination for hiking, climbing and mountain biking. Experience the thrill of whitewater river rafting on the Rio Reventazon and the Rio Pacuare. There are also plenty of spectacular wonders to explore – from dense rainforests to enormous volcanoes. The steaming and bubbling crater of the Poas volcano can be found here and you can climb the summit of Irazu Volcano – the largest and highest active volcano in Costa Rica. From this peak you can admire the view of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Nature and Wildlife
Head north to a dream destination for nature lovers. In the region of Arenal and Monteverde, you will find protected lakes, lagoons, volcanoes, rivers, hot springs and waterfalls. There is no shortage of things to do and see in the great outdoors of this region. A hike in the rainforest across hanging bridges to jungle waterfalls will reward you with endless tropical flora and fauna. Take an exhilarating ride on a zip line through the forest canopy. In the evenings, you can sit outside your hotel room and watch the glow of molten lava from Arenal Volcano with its constant low-grade eruptions.
Take a trip across the Lake Arenal to Monteverde Cloud Forest in search of abundant wildlife. Some of the creatures include the jaguar, ocelot, Baird’s tapir, three-wattled bellbird, bare-necked umbrellabird and the famously elusive resplendent quetzal. Another nature boat tour is north at Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge. It is one of the most biodiverse places in Costa Rica where turtles, caimans, sloths, monkeys and iguanas roam free.
Another area that epitomizes diversity is the wild and untamed Osa Peninsula. Explore Corcovado National Park, where you will be able to see all four native species of monkey leaping through the forest canopies above you. This protected natural wonderland is home to many endangered species, including the Scarlet Macaw, the Harpy Eagle, the Jaguar and the Puma.
Drake Bay offers visitors a taste of a tropical wilderness along the coast and into the forests of nearby Corcovado National Park. A rustic setting with miles of uninhabited beaches, scarlet macaws flying overhead, and the captivating beauty of the rainforest will be the setting for this wilderness adventure. This is the perfect spot for deep sea fishing, bird watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and experiencing the remarkable biodiversity of the Peninsula’s tropical rainforest.
A great way to end your Costa Rica vacation is to spend a few days relaxing near the beach. Manuel Antonio is a nice crescent-shaped beach where rainforest meets ocean. It was voted one of the top 25 beaches in the world by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award 2019. At the end of the day, you can enjoy a gorgeous Pacific sunset from your hilltop villa or boutique hotel.
The Guanacaste province offers more amazing beaches and a variety of accommodation such as luxury villas, homes, resorts, boutique hotels and apartments. It also offers easy access to off the beaten path national parks and volcanoes for a day or overnight trip. Tamarindo is the perfect place to enjoy fun activities for water lovers like surfing, snorkeling and sailing. Just north of Tamarindo is Playa Conchal, considered to be one of the most exotic beaches in the region. This lovely beach offers calm, clear water and a fantastic array of marine life for snorkeling and scuba diving.
We could go on and on about travel to Costa Rica. But we’d rather let you experience this amazing destination up close and in person. We specialize in Costa Rica and have many sample itineraries that can be customized to your style and interests, like Costa Rica Vacation for Nature Lovers.
To start planning the ultimate Costa Rica vacation, send us a message and let us know what you thought about this blog post. What would you like to see and do in Costa Rica?