Our run down on where to visit in Costa Rica and what each place has to offer
Costa Rica translates to rich coast, a suiting name for this charming small country situated south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. Also known as the happiest place on earth to live by happy index and the land of Pura Vida which translates to pure life. This is a common saying you will hear repeatedly in Costa Rica and for many, it is a way of life. The beaches are jaw-droppingly beautiful and the mountains are not to be forgotten, after all, the mountains here have some of the best, most moderate temperatures in the world. Although the country is classified as a third world country you will find first class amenities when looking for vacation rentals.
The high altitudes put you in the clouds and closer to nature than you have ever been before. Go for a hike to surround yourself in serenity with over 2500 plant species, 100 species of mammals, 120 reptiles and 400 species of birds. There is a biodiversity here that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Adventure will be nipping at your feet with extreme activities such as zip lining and a Tarzan swing tempting your audacious side. Mostly visited for the wildlife and abundance of eco tours Monteverde is an exciting place for everyone that will make your holiday very special.
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This chill little beach town is home to Manuel Antonio National Park, the most visited national park in all of Costa Rica. It’s no wonder flocks of tourists come here from all over the world to see the abundance of wildlife – you may even see monkeys and if you aren’t careful they may steal food right from your hand. Also home to the famous two-toed sloth that will melt your heart with a single sighting. The park has a network of trails meandering through the rainforest leading to 3 different beaches, from the beaches you will want to make your way up the cliff side trail for incredible views. Located 175 kilometres from San Jose the closest town is Quepos where fishermen come from all over the world to catch record breaking Sail Fish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and much more. Adventure awaits with the several activities that can be booked such as river rafting, canopy tours, avatar zip line, surfing, jet skiing, ATV tours, rappelling and canyoning. There is also an eco-village not far away that has a really good eco tour with exotic fruit tasting worth checking out.
Visit Lake Arenal for the outstanding pleasant weather and most famously known for the volcano that has been active until recently. The lake is 32.82 square miles offering wakeboarding and kiteboarding for the adventure seekers. A great place to kayak or go fishing making it a perfect destination for the family. Most of the action can be found in La Fortuna, the popular tourist town that has fine dining and hot springs that will sooth your soul. The exciting options for activities will get your heart racing, choose from canopy tours, horseback riding, rafting, ATV tours, Rappelling, zip line tours, biking plus there are more eco tours exploring the rain forest or you can go on a chocolate or coffee making tour. La Fortuna is the perfect place for the explorer with natural hot springs and waterfalls that can be hiked to. The drive around the lake is worth the trip, you can get some amazing photos of the volcano. The volcano has been active up until 2010 when it became dormant. The most destructive eruption was on July 29th, 1968 when it violently erupted wiping out three small villages and killing 87 people.
This is an epic place to come if you are looking for a nice small town that has some action during the day with tours and a little party at night. The surfing in Tamarindo is great for beginners or stand up paddle boarders and there are some bigger waves not far away, the most famous is Witch’s Rock. The tours that you can choose from can fill a week’s schedule easily, ATV tours, river rafting, catamaran outings, canopy tours, mountain biking, horseback riding and kayaking. The town is great for the family but also draws a cool young crowd to party at night. Turtles migrate to the area and are a sight to see when they come in the hundreds and you are sure to see a howler monkey which may startle you the first time you hear it. The fishing is also very good off the shores of Tamarindo and you can find charters from the town
This beach town is somewhat of a developing city and one of the most visited locations in the country. Los Suenos Resort and Marina is only 15 minutes away and attracts an upscale crowd for fishing and world class golfing. For the family that can afford it, the resort is amazing but the town of Jaco also has some great choices for lodging and this is where you will find some great dining options. The party and casinos are what attract locals from San Jose and tourists from all over the world. Jaco is a great place to surf with beginner waves on the north side and more advanced waves to the south but if you are looking for world class surfing head to Playa Hermosa which is only 10 minutes away. The area has a magnificent selection of tours for everyone ranging from horseback riding, river rafting, monkey tours, crocodile tours, ATV tours, waterfall tours plus there is a new adventure tour park that has a little bit of everything including rappelling, zip lining and a bungee jump.
Jason Mueller enjoys to travel the world and make the best of life. He currently has projects in Costa Rica and California. He enjoys to read and write, currently working with First Security Services.