Costa Rica is packed full of incredible experiences for such a tiny space. Tropical rainforests, active volcanoes, vast stretches of beach with perfect surf, verdant coffee plantations and abundant wildlife. Sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Central America because of its stunning natural beauty, easy lifestyle and peaceful democracy - there is lots to enjoy here.
Due to the incredible and varied topography in Costa Rica, your adventure could have you hiking an active volcano one day and searching for howler monkeys in the cloud forests the next. Drive through pristine rainforest, past picturesque towns, or trek through the Osa Peninsula forest, one of the planet's most biologically diverse places before going south to Ballena Marine National Park to drive and snorkel the thriving coastal reefs. Raft the Pacuare River and explore the narrow canals of Tortuguero (with binoculars) to spot herons, monkeys, three-toed sloths and even the elusive caiman.
Along the Pacific coast hfill your days with hiking, swimming or relaxing in a hammock to the lull of the ocean. Known as the Gold Coast it is one of the most coveted holiday destinations in the country. Ensure you visit out-of-the-limelight Nicoya Peninsula, where nearly deserted beaches have ocean, river and mountain views and charming fishing villages have a cool boho ex-pat community. Watch (or join) surfers taking on the epic waves off Playa Nosara and cruise along the coast, anchoring at secluded islands for nature treks and dips in the crystal clear waters.
Why we like it
- Lush Central Valley volcanoes
- Exotic wildlife of Tortuguero
- A Diving Paradise
- San Jos's coffee baron mansions
- Pacuare River rafting