Costa Rica is a green jewel at the heart of Central America, a country blessed with abundant coastlines, silver beaches, and some of the most unspoiled wilderness destinations to be found anywhere on Earth. Come here to experience a mix of glorious forests, captivating wildlife, picturesque history and fabulous coastal scenery.
Costa Rica is famed for its wonderful array of beaches, surf and water sport attractions. The Pacific coast is the main draw, so head to Guanacaste province in the north for Playa Avellana and Nosara Beach, with opportunities to swim, surf and enjoy the beachfront bars and cafes. On the Nicoya Peninsula, enjoy the sheltered bay of Bahia Ballena, which is ideal for less-confident swimmers. The sweeping sands and crashing surf of Dominical are a haven for water sports fans, with surfing, kayaking and kitesurfing all available. And you can scuba dive at nearby Caño Island, to discover the rainbow colours of the coral reefs and the dazzling marine wildlife.
Costa Rica is famed for its diversity of natural attractions. The Arenal Volcano National Park is a must see, offering visitors the chance to get up close to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, within a spectacular rainforest setting. There is no better place to see turtles than the Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast – experience the mangrove swamps, coastal lagoons and rainforest, and head down to the beach to see these wonderful creatures lay their eggs. And there is a wonderful choice of wildlife reserves, from the Nosara Wildlife Sanctuary in Guanacaste province to the Foundation Jaguar Rescue Centre on the Caribbean coast.
San Jose is Costa Rica’s capital, a bustling, friendly city filled with historical, cultural and natural attractions. The Pre-Colombian Gold Museum showcases the gleaming craftsmanship of the region’s original inhabitants, and the Pueblo Antiguo is a full-scale recreation of a Costa Rican settlement of a hundred years ago. San Ramón is a charming little town nestling in the central highlands, with a history and a cultural life that belies its size. It is surrounded by cloud forests – take a guided tour of the El Silencio de Los Angeles Cloud Forest Reserve, and check out the wonderful diversity of plant and animal species in the Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden.
There is so much to see and do in Costa Rica – from hiking and wildlife spotting, to horse riding and 4x4 driving, to ziplining and canyoning – that your challenge will be fitting it all in. Few countries pack as many wonderful wildlife reserves within their borders as Costa Rica, and these expanses of pristine rainforest, cloud forest and mangrove swamp provide plenty of things to do. Corcovado National Park on the south Pacific coast offers guided tours, hiking and camping. Guanacaste’s Black Stallion Eco Park offers horseback riding and ziplining activities, and you can try fishing, boating and kayaking in Lake Arenal, under the shadow of the volcano.