Even though Costa Rica is a relatively small country, it should be thought of as a multi-destination, destination. In order to really feel like you’ve gotten a good taste of Costa Rica, you should plan on visiting at least two or three different places.
- A Snapshot of Costa Rica’s Destinations:
Each area of Costa Rica offers a unique variety of sights and activities.
- Central Pacific (Jaco & Manuel Antonio)
Think of wildlife, surfing, beach front condos (Jaco), miles of deserted beaches, sport fishing, crocodiles, scarlet macaws, Titi monkey, canopy tours and luxury hotels
- Arenal & Monteverde
Think of red lava flowing down one of the most active and most perfectly formed volcanoes in the world (Arenal Volcano) and steamy hot springs, cool cloud forests, coffee, quetzals and bird watching (Monteverde)
Hot Spots include: La Fortuna (Arenal), Santa Elena (Monteverde)
Gotta Do: canopy tour, hanging bridges, coffee tour and a night walk
- South Pacific & the Osa Peninsula
Think of dense green primary rain forests, wildlife in Corcovado National Park (monkeys, sloths, tapirs, wild cats and hundreds of bird species), remote jungle lodges, scuba diving, snorkeling (Cano Island), scarlet macaws, dolphin & whale watching and surfing
Hot Spots include: Dominical, Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez, Golfito & Pavones
Gotta See: Corcovado National park, Cano Island, giant stone spheres in Sierpe, Sierpe Terraba Mangroves
Gotta Do: kayak in the mangroves, hike in Corcovado, bird and wildlife watching, dolphin and whale watching, diving at Cano Island, surf the point break in Pavones and sport fishing
- North Pacific (Guanacaste & the Nicoya Peninsula)
Think of beautiful beaches (the Gold Coast), surfing, five-star all inclusive resorts, golf, natural hot springs and mud pits, leatherback and Olive Ridley sea turtles, lots of wildlife and adventure tours.
Hot Spots include: Tamarindo, Flamingo, Conchal, Samara, Liberia & Santa Teresa
Gotta See: Rincon de la Vieja Volcano, Ostional Wildlife Refuge, Wild Cat Preserve and Santa Rosa National Park
Gotta Do: turtle tour, horseback ride and take a mud bath at Rincon de la Vieja, surf lessons and play a round of golf
- North & South CaribbeanNorth Caribbean (Tortuguero):
Think of a laid back atmosphere, green sea turtles and emerald green rain forests filled with wildlife (sloths, monkeys, herons, tree frogs, butterflies and much more)
South Caribbean (Puerto Viejo, Cahuita and Manzanillo):Think of Afro-Caribbean culture, coral reefs, white sanded beaches, BriBri Indians, wildlife and tranquil beach towns with lots of local artisans selling handmade crafts and jewerly.
Gotta See: green sea turtle come ashore and lay her eggs, manatee in Manzanillo,
Gotta Do: wildlife watching in Tortuguero National Park, hike and snorkel in Cahuita, kayak in Manzanillo Gandoca Refuge, diving
- Central Valley & San Jose
There is much more to the central valley than just the city of San Jose!
Think of the cities with churches, museums, monuments and lots of shopping and restaurants, and the surrounding mountains with active volcanoes (Poas & Irazu), botanical and butterfly gardens, canopy tours and coffee plantations. Plus many parks and reserves filled with hiking trails, waterfalls and a rich variety of flora and fauna.
Hot Spots include: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, Escazu, Cartago, Sarchi & Grecia
Gotta Do: white water rafting, canopy tour, tour a coffee plantation