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Costa Rica

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Why would Costa Rica suit you?

Canyoning

Do you love outdoor activities, but hiking is not your thing? In Costa Rica there are plenty of opportunities for adventurous activities. Very popular now is canyoning. Climb up the canyon to rappel down again through the waterfall. Dangling on a zipline, you glide along treetops. In between the different climbs and descents, you’ll walk through the beautiful jungle. In Turrialba, Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Monteverde, several tours are offered.

National parks

More than 80 national parks and wild parks cover about 20% of Costa Rica. The most known is probably National Park Arenal Volcano in the north. The active volcano Arenal is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. One slope is lovely green, but on the other side, the lava floats down spectacularly. This is, especially in the evening, an impressive sight. After an inactive period for more than 500 years, the volcano last exploded in 1968. Also unique is Braulio Carrillo, the largest park in Central Costa Rica. Perhaps you’ll even spot some of the 6000 plants or 500 birds species that live here.

Nature

The nature in Costa Rica is fantastic! Although the country is small, it makes up for 5% of the earth’s biodiversity. Volcanoes almost look charming, but can be destroying, many different types of beaches and moreover the colorful flora and fauna. You should at least visit one of the many national parks or discover a tropical forest. In Costa Rica, there are more than 350 volcanoes, but the Irazú, which is 11,260 feet, is the highest. Remarkable and very beautiful is the green lake that you can find in the crater.

More Costa Rica highlights ↓

The nature in Costa Rica is overwhelming! 20% of the country is either national park or tropical forest. Walk through cloud forests, raft down wild rivers or zipline between the trees! But don’t forget the beautiful unspoiled beaches. Enjoy the sun or learn how to surf at Tamarindo beach.

Suspension bridge in the forest Image gallery
Time zone
In summer -8, in winter -7
Visa
Not required
Vaccinations
Recommended
High season
November – April and July - August
Currency
Costa Rican colon (CRC)

Where to stay?

Where to stay?

Costa Rica is well-known for:

  • Magnificent green nature
  • Many adventurous activities
  • Unspoiled beaches
  • Devotion to sustainable tourism

Keep in mind:

  • Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can occur

Alternatives nearby

Habitat of the San Blas Indians
Panama →
Trinidad
Cuba →

Costa Rica highlights Book now

Absailing on a canyoning trip
Canyoning

Do you love outdoor activities, but hiking is not your thing? In Costa Rica there are plenty of opportunities for adventurous activities. Very popular now is canyoning. Climb up the canyon to rappel down again through the waterfall. Dangling on a zipline, you glide along treetops. In between the different climbs and descents, you’ll walk through the beautiful jungle. In Turrialba, Arenal, Manuel Antonio and Monteverde, several tours are offered.

Arenal volcano
National parks

More than 80 national parks and wild parks cover about 20% of Costa Rica. The most known is probably National Park Arenal Volcano in the north. The active volcano Arenal is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. One slope is lovely green, but on the other side, the lava floats down spectacularly. This is, especially in the evening, an impressive sight. After an inactive period for more than 500 years, the volcano last exploded in 1968. Also unique is Braulio Carrillo, the largest park in Central Costa Rica. Perhaps you’ll even spot some of the 6000 plants or 500 birds species that live here.

Toucan in a tree
Nature

The nature in Costa Rica is fantastic! Although the country is small, it makes up for 5% of the earth’s biodiversity. Volcanoes almost look charming, but can be destroying, many different types of beaches and moreover the colorful flora and fauna. You should at least visit one of the many national parks or discover a tropical forest. In Costa Rica, there are more than 350 volcanoes, but the Irazú, which is 11,260 feet, is the highest. Remarkable and very beautiful is the green lake that you can find in the crater.

Turtle in Tortuguero National Park
Wildlife

Always wanted to see turtles? Visit the beach of Tortuguero on the east coast between July and September. During these months the turtles come here to lay eggs. It’s a unique excursion which you can experience with a guide. Furthermore, Costa Rica is an excellent destination to watch birds and other wild life, like tree frogs, iguanas and several kinds of monkeys. There are many companies that offer nature excursions, even from the beach resorts.

Humpback whale in Marino Ballena National Park
Underwater nature

Not only the nature on land is beautiful in Costa Rica. Also underwater there is a lot flora and fauna to see. Marino Bellena National Park, on the southwest coast, is of great value for underwater life in the region and the world. It is home to multiple species of dolphins, whales and other rare animals and plants. In both Marino Bellena National Park and National Park Cahuita in the east live more than 100 different types of fish.

Rafting on the Naranjo river
Active

Costa Rica is the perfect destination for an active vacation. The beautiful green nature seems to be made for all kinds of activities. Zipline between the trees, let the rugged rivers take you for a ride on a raft or bike along volcanoes and valleys.

The beautiful underwater world
Diving

Are you curious about the underwater world of Costa Rica? Take a beautiful dive into one of the adjoining oceans. In both Cahuita National Park on the east coast and Marino Bellena National Park on the west coast, you can spot over 100 different species of fish. Very spectacular is a dive with many hammer sharks! One of the best places in the world to see these sharks is the Costa Rican island Isla del Coco. Consider this in advance since it is necessary to book your diving trip on the mainland.

Surfers at Playa Jaco
Surfing

The place to be for sport fans and surf lovers is Tamarindo. This place, which used to be a quiet fishing village, is very popular among American surfers. Nice and pleasant is the laidback way of life, just like in Playa del Coco, a bit more to the north. The beach at Tamarindo is wide and the water shallow, which makes it perfect for both amateurs and advanced surfers.

Osa Peninsula beach in Corcovado National Park
Beaches

Although Costa Rica is mostly famous for its impressive nature parks, it also has stunning exotic beaches on two sides of the country! The beaches on the east coast are known for their Caribbean ambiance and it’s not affected by the rainy season. However, the most beautiful and popular beaches are found on the west coast, like Playa Carrillo, Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo. Playa Carrillo is a very relaxed and wide beach with a gentle surf. Nearby, you’ll find small villages and local restaurants. Are you looking for a bit more hustle and bustle? Manuel Antonio National Park, with shops and hotels, is a better option.

Hiking in the wilderness
Hiking

Costa Rica is the ultimate destination to go for a hike. Especially the different trails through the stunning green nature are great. You should try one of the paths along Monteverde Cloud Forrest. The park has many exiting suspension bridges to cross. Or choose one of the trails in Arenal National Park. From the volcano, you have an impressive view over the Arenal lake and its surroundings. Go to Cahuita for a walk along the coast. A trail of 4 miles will take you along the coastline and into the tropical rainforest.

Horseback riding through the rainforest
Horseback riding

A nice and peaceful activity is horseback riding. The Tico’s, how Costa Rican people call themselves, still use horses as means of transportation in everyday life. That’s one of the reasons horseback riding tours are so popular. Ride on one of the beautiful beaches or go into the rainforest.

Mountain biking in Costa Rica
Mountainbiking

Do you want to see more nature? Get on a mountain bike! From capital city San José, you ride along volcanoes and through the jungle. The most famous mountain bike trail leads you from San José to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. On your way, you’ll pass the impressive volcano Arenal and the town La Fortuna. Of course, the famous cloud forest Monteverde is not be skipped. Join a group excursion or rent a bike and explore the region on your own. 

Map of Costa Rica Book now

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Sources used on this page: Instituto Costarricense de Turismo | Toeristiek | Shutterstock
Header image: Lake near the Poás volcano by Shutterstock