Best Places To Visit In Costa Rica, Central America: Costa Rica is a popular destination for those looking to explore its natural beauty and rich culture.
With so many natural and cultural attractions and activities to do and see, you’ll be blown away by this beautiful country.
The city of San Jose is where you will find many high-end hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls, as well as the Costa Rican National Museum. The capital city is a centre for arts and culture, with theatres, galleries, and museums that show off the country’s creations.
- 1 Best Places To Visit In Costa Rica
- 2 Best National Parks To Visit In Costa Rica
Best Places To Visit In Costa Rica
This country is full of natural beauty, from waterfalls and beaches to volcanoes and rainforests.
With lush forests and fertile plains, Costa Rica is a biodiversity hotspot with countless species of flora and fauna. There is something for everyone in Costa Rica, with each region offering something different.
In Costa Rica, nightclubs are popular with salsa dances, and nightlife is exuberant with live reggae and calypso music.
You can explore surfing in Jaco Beach or relaxing on the beach in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica has something for everyone.
The Nicoya Peninsula
The Nicoya Peninsula is located in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. This province is home to many natural attractions, including national parks and wildlife reserves.
The most visited attraction in this area is Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve, which covers 2,540 hectares. In addition to being a wildlife reserve, it is also a waterfowl sanctuary, containing more than 260 species of birds from around the world.
The Nicoya Peninsula is well known for its lush rainforest, natural beauty, and rich culture. A person looking to explore their surroundings should not shy away from visiting this exciting region. There are two major towns on the peninsula- Puntarenas, and Nicoya.
Drake Bay is a tiny town located in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica which has grown in popularity over the last couple of decades for its serene beaches and natural beauty.
Suggested Reading: Best Waterfalls in Costa Rica
The Caribbean coastline is just one of the many unique features that Costa Rica offers travellers. The country is well-known for its tropical climate, wildlife, mountains, and beaches.
The Gulf of Nicoya primarily forms the Caribbean coast. This gulf makes for a great vacation spot due to its warm waters, small islands, abundant marine life, and rainforests.
No trip to the Costa Rican coast is complete without a visit to one of the many beautiful tropical beaches that dot the coastline. The two shores are vastly different in their natural beauty.
The Pacific Coast has long, empty stretches of sand that are great for swimming and relaxation, while the Caribbean side has shorter times of sand where people gather to go out on boat rides, horseback riding, bike tours, or even take surf lessons.
Another popular destination for tourists is Santa Teresa, the small beach town in Costa Rica, located on the Pacific coast, which is known for its beautiful beaches and surfing waves. Visitors can enjoy many activities available in Santa Teresa including boating, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and beach volleyball.
When the beaches aren’t too crowded with tourists and locals, you’ll find children playing soccer and families fishing off of the pier. Santa Teresa is also home to an active volcano as well as an observatory for those fascinated by stars and planets.
The Caribbean side of Costa Rica is known for its preservation of natural resources and traditional festivals. The most famous of these is the annual Carnival celebration in Limón.
Natural beauty and eco-friendly resorts that blend into the surroundings can be found all along the coast. However, most visitors come to beach towns to enjoy a day on the beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and Tamarindo.
Uvita / Dominical / Osa Peninsula
The Uvita to Dominical stretch of Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula is an area that appeals to travellers for its remote location.
The lush rainforest vegetation, oceanside views, and lack of large resorts are all qualities that make this region truly unique. The area has beaches, forests, waterfalls, rivers, and other natural attractions to enjoy.
The Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica is one of the most pristine ecosystems globally, characterized by the luxuriant rain forests that are part of the Osa Peninsula.
This region is home to some of the best diving and snorkelling in Central America between two mountain ranges. The Gulf of Papagayo provides inviting clear waters for visitors to explore the many small islands dotting its coast.
The Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica’s most remote destination for travellers to visit. Protected by the Corcovado National Park, the ecosystem is one of the most pristine in the country.
The beaches are long and white, while the coral reefs burst with colour. However, this secluded destination is not to be taken lightly, as it is just an hour’s drive from Uvita, where you can find all the amenities that allow for a comfortable stay.
It is the only place in Costa Rica where you can witness all 4 monkey species in the wild, and one of the few places to see vibrant scarlet macaws flying overhead.
Best National Parks To Visit In Costa Rica
If you’re curious about visiting Costa Rica, make sure to visit these six national parks: Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Tenorio Volcano National Park, and Tortuguero National Park. Each park is unique and will offer travellers a new experience.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is located in central Costa Rica, near Quepos town. The park contains 6 square miles of lush, green forest and 328 acres of white sand beaches. It is a hotbed for biodiversity with over 2,000 species of plants and 1,000 species of birds.
It is also home to many different species of animals like monkeys, sloths, and toucans. Manuel Antonio National Park is a true paradise for anyone who loves nature.
Zipline tours are an increasingly popular activity for thrill-seekers and those who want to capture the stunning views of the rainforest.
Costa Rica’s zip lines located in Manuel Antonio National Park offer visitors a chance to view some of the most beautiful scenery in the country as they soar over the trees, glide along natural waterways, and fly through dense vegetation.
The Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Volcano National Park is a beautiful national park in Costa Rica. It is located near the city of La Fortuna, in the Northern Zone of Costa Rica. It is home to many different types of wildlife, three soothing waterfalls, and the tallest waterfall in Central America with 650 feet.
The park has various hiking trails that visitors can explore. One of these trails is the “Arenal Volcano Trail,” which spans 5 kilometres and takes hikers to see the most significant volcanic formations like fluid lava, cinder cones, and hot springs.
This park can be seen from many La Fortuna and San Jose points, but it is best viewed from the Mirador Los Tucanes.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the most bio-diverse regions in Central America. Located just ten miles south of Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Monteverde is home to high levels of natural beauty, like lush tropical forests and cascading waterfalls.
The reserve also has an incredible amount of plant and animal life, including monkeys, sloths, hummingbirds, iguanas, and tree frogs.
The reserve is home to many different plant and animal species, including the elusive Resplendent Quetzal. Monteverde is a gateway for nature enthusiasts looking to explore the diverse ecosystems in the region.
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park is a popular destination for tourists and nature enthusiasts alike. Home to the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, this park is a true natural wonderland.
The rainforest that surrounds the peak of this mountain remains untouched and pristine. Due to the protected status of this area, its isolation from humans, it is located deep within the Osa Peninsula. Corcovado National Park has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.
One highlight of this park is the underground cave system. There are about 400 caves in Corcovado National Park, with 150 discovered by archaeologists who have also found evidence of human habitation in them dating back nearly 10,000 years.
Corcovado National Park is a natural wonder that spans three countries. Bordered by Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, the park includes an array of flora and fauna, including many endangered species.
Tenorio Volcano National Park
Tenorio Volcano National Park is a beautiful, pristine rainforest in Costa Rica. It was established in 1975 and covered 40,000 hectares. It offers a range of natural attractions and activities for travelers to enjoy.
The park’s namesake volcano remains dormant, but the national park includes many waterfalls and hot springs worth visiting. The park also offers the opportunity to climb the volcano or ride a horse along its base. Visitors can stay at any one of three hotels located inside the park, all of which have rooms with views of Lake Arenal.
The park is home to several plants and animals, including the endangered jaguarundi cat. In addition to the national park, there are also two other parks located within the region, called Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Guanacaste National Park.
The park’s elevation ranges from 2,000 meters to 3,700 meters above sea level. The park is home to Costa Rica’s most active volcanos, the Tenorio Volcano.
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most well-known national parks and is home to the world’s second-largest population of nesting scarlet macaws after Venezuela.
It benefits from an impressive variety of wildlife, including monkeys, pumas, crocodiles, toucans, and sloths. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 because it is considered “a site of exceptional ecological importance which has been heavily affected by human activity.
Tortuguero National Park is a Costa Rican park created to protect the endangered and endemic green-throated conure and other wildlife. The area is noted for its large population of scarlet macaws and black howler monkeys and its many reptiles species.
It’s a hidden gem in the littoral of Costa Rica and has one of the richest biological diversity in all Central America. It is home to four out of the five turtle species found in the world and is where you can see endangered animals like jaguars, howler monkeys, and tapirs.
The park was once inhabited by indigenous tribes such as Chorotega and Hunter, driven from their homes by Spanish colonizers.