The rugged and rainforested Central American country of Costa Rica has both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and is known around the world for its stunning beaches. Roughly one quarter of its area is made up of protected jungle, which is incredibly rich with wildlife, making it one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet.
It’s also home to cloud forest canopies, national parks, surfing beaches and plenty more. With all this in mind, we’ve decided to create a list of the top 10 reasons to visit this stunning country. Narrowing it down to just 10 was almost impossible, and there’s plenty more to see and do besides, but this should give you an idea what’s in store on a Costa Rican adventure.
Located in Costa Rica’s fertile northern lowlands, the Arenal volcano is an unavoidable presence in the country. One of Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes, there’s great hiking, fishing lakes and stunning spa retreats to enjoy in the region.
Sitting on top of Costa Rica’s continental divide, this coffee plantation and cloudforest is a place of remarkable bio-diversity, home to numerous monkey species and the resplendent Quetzal bird. Owing to its height, clouds get snagged in the trees, creating a cloud forest environment and moisture that feeds the unique ecosystem.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Located on the central Pacific Coast, this park is famed for its rugged rainforest and white sand beaches. With a vast array of plant and animal species, plus an offshore coral reef, this is one of the most vibrant places in the world. Using hiking trails crossing the 680 hectare park, you can explore this pristine environment on foot.
The capital and nation’s largest city, San Jose is located in the central valley. It’s one of the safest cities in Central America and an economic and transport hub for the region. Shop in the markets, dine out on exotic food and explore the colonial buildings that characterise the capital.
Literally translated as ‘land of the turtles’, this jungle park can be explored on the network of waterways running through the dense forest. It’s a unique way of seeing this kind of environment and, of course, it’s a great chance to get up close and personal with the sea turtle species that live here.
Costa Rica’s tropical weather and mountainous landscape have created a network of canyons and river torrents that are perfect for whitewater rafting. Carve your way down the Reventazon, Pacuare and Corobici rivers through dense rainforest on an unforgettable rafting adventure.
Blessed with both Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the white sandy beaches of Costa Rica are bordered by verdant jungle and stunning landscapes. Try Cahuita and Puerto Viejo in the southern Caribbean section of coast, or visit the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site at Coco Island. All along the coast there are opportunities for fishing, snorkelling, diving, surfing and plenty more.
The sloths and other creatures
One of the world’s strangest animals, the sloth is naturally at home in Costa Rica. But it’s not just these slow moving mammals, there’s also monkeys, iguanas, raccoons, stunning marine life and more than 800 species of bird to look out for. It’s a real wildlife lover’s paradise.
The world’s most sustainable country
Costa Rica is considered to be one of the greenest and most carbon neutral countries on the planet and has 27 national parks. Costa Rica’s forward-thinking conservation policies protect around 25% of its landmass – the highest proportion in the world. As sustainable tourism becomes more important, there couldn’t be a more ideal destination for anyone interested in an ethical and sustainable adventure.
Throughout this tropical and lush country, the food reflects this incredible diversity and colour. Pineapples, papaya, avocado, mangos, bananas and more all grow in abundance, as well as many rare and unusual species. Shop at local fruit stands and you’ll have the chance to try them all.
Take your pick from our wide range of holidays to Costa Rica.