Best Place To Go In Costa Rica – If you’re not sure where to start with what Costa Rica has to offer, here’s a list of 20 spots you shouldn’t miss, from cascading waterfalls to surf breaks for all skill levels.
The Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal is 17 km west of La Fortuna. Solo hikers will spot sloths, tufted monkeys, white-faced capuchins and anteaters.
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In 2017 a new ‘Peninsula Sector’ was laid out on the open course with an observation tower for players and a 1.2 km trail overlooking the lake.
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If you’re traveling between Monteverde and Arenal, there’s no good excuse not to stop here. Viento Fresco is a series of five waterfalls, including the spectacular Arco Iris (Rainbow Fall).
No amount of crowding or commercialization can spoil the natural beauty of this place. You may have an accident, especially early in the day.
This three-in-one museum houses Costa Rica’s most valuable Colombian gold and a vast collection of other artifacts, including historical currency and contemporary regional art.
The room’s interactive 360-degree videography depicting Bribri’s cultural range is worth the price of admission alone.
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Composed of lush forests, picture-perfect beaches and steep headlands, this small park (680 hectares) is home to wildlife (and frequent human encounters).
As you wander the scenic trails, you’ll spot sloths, toucans and playful monkeys and stumble upon stunning views of the ocean and nearby islands.
This locally owned surf vendor prides itself on its two student instructor system, instructors with CPR and water safety training and years of experience.
The lovely owner, Cesar Valverde, runs the program in a friendly, intimate manner, including surf lessons and accommodation. Private readings and rental maps are also available and the maps are of high quality. Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity and has one of the most rugged coastlines on Earth. Cutting through Central America, the regions range from the aquamarine lakes of the Caribbean Sea to the foamy waters of the Pacific Ocean. Read on to see my picks for some of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
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With volcanoes erupting from the clouds, spring showers inhabited by howler monkeys and golden frogs, and roaring waterfalls that seem to flow from Shangri-La, there’s something for yogis, hikers, surfers, wildlife lovers and more.
This guide to the 15 best places to visit in Costa Rica only scratches the surface of this fascinating country. It looks from the dense cloud forest of Monteverde to the wave-washed shores of Guanacaste province, and includes long groups of deserted islands that you can only reach by boat amid the sounds of the capital, San José.
Also, find tips on how to get to Costa Rica and the best time to visit at the end of this post. Enjoy!
Manuel Antonio is one of the country’s leading eco-tourism hotspots (and he said something – it’s Costa Rica, remember?). Manuel Antonio is rightly celebrated at its doorstep: Manuel Antonio National Park. At just 4,900 acres (1,983 hectares), Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest reserve on Earth. But boy does the trick… come and go howler monkeys, red-lipped monkeys, basilisks, capuchins and – who might forget – the sloth, the most famous two-legged sloth.
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Manuel Antonio’s villa is north of the entrance to the public park. The place is now busy and lively, full of sportswear (you know these waters are inhabited by crafty sailors), running lines and hiking guides. The hotel in Manuel Antonio is not allowed near the beach due to conservation regulations, but with a hidden function – they study the top of the cliffs, offering panoramic views of the broken beaches.
Speaking of waves, many high-quality breaks roll onto the beach at Espadilla Sur, south of the village. In fact, with the menus on the left and right you’ll find tops for beginners and advanced surfaces. They also offer snorkeling around Playa Bassanz’s cove and sunset spots at the end of the one-mile (1.6-kilometer) trek to Punta Cathedral.
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Little Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes you to the Costa Rican Caribbean. It also shows This town would look at home anywhere on the coast of northern Jamaica. It’s full of colorful cantinas and ramshackle eateries, where the smell of coconut wafts through the air to the beat of reggaeton. Oh, and there are chains buzzing with rum cocktails and cold beers, meaning you’re never short of life at night.
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Once, Puerto Viejo was just an obscure fishing village. Then they came to the surface. They are drawn by the promise of the cauldron’s roaring left that winds through the cliffs of Salsa Brava and the shallow ledges that line Cocales Playa. They are now two of the most popular surf spots in Costa Rica as a whole, offering a place to score tubes in the drier months between November and April, when the Pacific coast is usually a little less reliable.
Puerto Viejo isn’t just about the waves. The town is perfectly located for expeditions to the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, home to abundant ciliate vipers and emerald parrots. It’s also home to the famous Jaguar Rescue Center, where you can learn all about Costa Rica’s foremost conservation efforts.
Check out our Costa Rica Adventure page to see how you can explore the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
Others say that Monteverde has traditionally brought ecotourism to Costa Rica and is high on the list of the best places to visit in Costa Rica. True or not, this is the place to get out and about in the wild tropical regions of this wild land. High in the mists of the Cordillera de Tillerón, it covers a total area of more than 20 square miles (53 sq km). Countless nature reserves and protected forest areas constantly attract hikers, wildlife watchers and adventurers.
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A 100% unmissable place is the heroic Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. There visitors step into some of the most biodiverse forests left on the planet. All are connected by well-maintained pathways that culminate with a 492-foot-long (150-meter) suspension bridge that cuts straight through the canopy. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic quetzal (Guatemala’s versicolor national bird) and the rare red-breasted warbler!
Accommodation in these parts is usually on the extreme side. He talks about places like Monteverde Cloud Forest Lodge, a series of log cabins near St. Helena’s backpacker center with decks overlooking the wild and flower-covered countryside. From there, you can arrange everything from white water rafting to canyoneering to horse racing.
North, south, east, west – everywhere you look around there is a bit of Tortuguero National Park. Herein lies the beauty of this remote and isolated destination on the Caribbean Sea coast of northern Costa Rica. As the name suggests, it is famous for its resident sea turtles.
They are still the main attraction. Thousands of tourists come to see sea turtles, leatherback and hawksbill turtles come out of the sea to nest between July and October (August is best). An experience you won’t soon forget. Turtle safaris to nearby beaches usually take place at the end of the night, when the stars burn overhead and the moon shines over the Caribbean Sea. A lucky group will even see the first baby grebes returning from the beach to the water.
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Besides turtles, Tortuguero is the perfect gateway to the wetlands and estuaries of Tortuguero National Park. It stretches for about 10 miles (16 km) through the hills and rainforest behind town, opening into wild caiman-filled trails where you can canoe and kayak through truly untouched landscapes.
If you have time to visit a national park in Costa Rica, this is a good reason to make it Corcovado National Park. It was established that large parts of the Osa Peninsula were reduced to a remote area southward to save the few remnants of ancient rainforests in Pacific Central America. In time – havers and miners already had an eye on this place!
Today it is difficult to get part of the country. The best way to arrive is by boat via Drake Bay or Puerto Jimenez. Then I got a hit
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