Costa Rica is rich with natural beauty and is well known for its beaches but some of the best places to go to in Costa Rica are on the roads less traveled. Costa Rica is nestled between Nicaragua and Panama in Central America and has both a Pacific and a Caribbean coast. Its rich coastline and fertile, volcanic inland, lush with tropical forests, is perfect for ecotourism and adventure. Before setting off for Costa Rica, you may want to pick up a few handy phrases in Spanish to help you get around a bit easier.
Some of The Best places to Go to in Costa Rica
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park is on the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It has the largest tropical rainforest in the region. The diversity of tropical flora and fauna is perfect for shutterbugs. You'll see lots of tropical wildlife and even pilot whales as they migrate. With over 120 species of mammals, over 370 species of birds, over 100 species of reptiles and over 60 species of freshwater fish, you won't be lacking in photo subject matter.The lodging choices are just as diverse as the wildlife here. You'll find accommodations from small cabins with shared bathrooms to luxury villas.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve
You'll have to work for the reward of visiting this exquisite cloud forest. It is over 100 uphill miles from Costa Rica's capitol of San Jose and will be a four-hour drive on mostly unpaved roads. Santa Elena is the town closest to Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. You'll want to make your lodging arrangements there. The best way to be sure you see everything you can is to arrange, through your hotel, to have a guide take you through the cloud forest. Tropical fauna tend to blend in very well with their environment and having a guide to point them out will make the hike that much more enjoyable. For those less energetic travelers who would prefer not to hike, a sky tram is available to ride through the rainforest. Adrenaline junkies might even like to take the zipline on the way back! One of the great benefits to taking the sky tram is the great view you'll have of Arenal Volcano. You may even be lucky enough to see it erupt.
Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano
Lake Arenal is Costa Rica's largest lake and water sports abound here. For those who are looking for a romantic getaway, a horseback ride on the beach is also a possibility. Since Lake Arenal is out of the way, reservations at fine lodging sites are not difficult to acquire. Arenal Volcano (Volcán Arenal) is a very popular attraction. It erupts several times an hour and watching the lava flow at night can be quite a spectacle.If you're planning a visit to the Lake Arenal area, you may want to consider the Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort. This resort was built on natural hot springs but added something more. They've channeled the springs into private pools perfect for vacationing couples seeking private time together in a relaxing atmosphere. Some of the other offerings that make this one of the best places to go to in Costa Rica are a massage near a waterfall and the Grand Spa where you can have a massage while hidden among the local tropical foliage. For the more social vacationers, there is a pool bar you can swim up to or the El Palenque lounge where you can spend your evening enjoying your chosen beverage while watching the lava flow down Arenal Volcano.
While a stay at Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort isn't exactly considered eco-tourism, it can make for a relaxing break after hiking through a cloud forest and zipping through tree tops on a zipline.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is a small park on the southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Here you will find relaxing white sand beaches as well as dense rainforest busy with wildlife. You won't need a guide in this rainforest as the wildlife is notoriously easy to spot. Weekends here are busy with sunbathers and lodging offered is mainly luxury accommodations in the village of Manuel Antonio.
Something For Everyone in Costa Rica
Are you looking for hard core eco-tourism complete with hiking boots and ziplines or the kind that allows you to relax in the lap of luxury after a long day of whale and bird watching? Whatever your pleasure, Costa Rica is the place to go and these places are just some of the best that Costa Rica has to offer.