Picture yourself on a white sand beach with a cold coconut in your hand. Welcome to Costa Rica! One of the most bio-diverse countries in the world. This small and beautiful country has so much to offer everybody. There is a location that has the perfect vacation climate for anybody’s blood type. Cool breezes dance across the mountainous areas making them the most desirable climates in the world. The sun beats down on the coastal sandy shores for those looking to soak up the rays and relax. Costa Rica should be at the top of every bucket list, especially for the wanderlust. While you are there you can cross off some other new bucket list items below.
Costa Rica Tourist Destinations and Attractions
#1. Manuel Antonio National Park
You better get some tips for birdwatching because this is a bird watcher heaven. There are 184 species of birds altogether.
Some of the most fascinating and most seen birds are the Toucan, Scarlet Macaw, Boobies and the famous Great Tinamou.
If the birds didn’t excite you then the monkeys will, they may even want some of your lunch if you aren’t careful. There are four different species of monkeys which are the white-headed capuchin, mantled howler, squirrel, and spider monkey. They keep tourists entertained at the beaches and with in the park.
Inside the park, there are walking trails in the forest. The two-toed sloths are hard to spot but one of the main attractions. The white sandy beaches are what you dream about when you are in your happy place. This is the most visited park in Costa Rica for so many reasons.
#2. Zip Line Canopy Tours
Many people don’t know it zip lining was actually first invented in Costa Rica. Biologists used the same method to get to previous impossible sites to make studies. It didn’t take long for someone to catch on and make a business out of it. There are canopy or zip lining tours in almost every tourist location in this small country. The longest zip lines in the country are in Monteverde, Uvita and La Fortuna. This is a spectacular way to get deep in the rain forest and give you the chance to encounter some rare wildlife.
#3. Guided Nature Tours
There is such a huge array of wildlife in Costa Rica and you will find different species in each unique location. There is no way you will ever find all the hidden creatures out there with your untrained eye. It is best to get a knowledgeable guide that has binoculars and a telescope. You will be surprised at what is hiding in the rain forest. A guide will not only spot all the hidden animals but they will have the knowledge, making this a great learning experience.
#4. Climb the Highest Peak
The coldest and highest mountain in Costa Rica is Cerro Chirripó at 12,533 feet. You will need a special permit to make the hike so be sure to book in advance. The surrounding area below the peak has a cloud forest. If you pay a small donation to the cloud forest you can hike the trails and find some marvelous waterfalls. The climate in this area is close to perfect for most. The sun will keep you warm but not too hot.
The 1966 movie Endless Summer put Costa Rica on the map for surfing. One of the longest lefts in the world is at Pavones. Playa Hermosa in the province of Puntarenas is another spot that hosts world tournaments and is renowned for surfing, this is where the pros ride. Almost every beach that you go to has a decent to world class wave to offer surfers from beginners to experts.
If surfing is out of your league then you may want to try to stand up paddle boarding or SUP. You can challenge some waves or just take the board out on some calm waters to enjoy a relaxing day. This is possibly the best way to watch the sunset but be careful because the sun sets very fast being so close to the equator.
#7. La Paz Waterfall Garden
In English, la Paz translates to the peace which is the perfect way to describe this majestic place. There is a wildlife refuge and you can encounter animals ranging from tigers to monkeys. The butterfly garden is the most diverse in the country. The walking trails are immaculately manicured and safe for all ages. The trails will bring you to some amazing waterfalls and you can even walk underneath the one waterfall.
#8. Visit a Volcano
Depending on which area you are in will decipher which volcano you should go to. The most spectacular are Poas, Arenal and Irazu. Turrialba has been active in 2016 has caused problems canceling many flights because it is close to the airport. Arenal was active up until 2010, prior to 2010 you could see the volcano glowing at night. There is an aerial tram that takes tourists close to the peak where you can get some amazing pictures.
#9. Relax in a Hot Spring
One of the best areas for hot springs in Costa Rica is the La Fortuna area which is where the Arenal Volcano is. There are natural hot springs and manmade fancy hot springs in the La Fortuna area. Tabacon was the first developed hot spring in the country and is possibly the most extravagant. Rio Perdido in Guanacaste is 100% natural for those looking for the real deal. In the area below Chirripó there are hot springs, they aren’t the best but the area is relaxing.
#10. Go for an Adventure Tour
There are so many adventure tours in Costa Rica there is no way you can narrow it down to just one. The crocodile tours are arguably the best. ATV tours that lead you deep into the rain forest and waterfalls are a hoot. There is a new ropes course in Jaco to try something different. Your best bet is to read reviews on Tripadvisor for the specific area that you plan to travel to. The adventure seekers will never have a dull moment when visiting Costa Rica.
About The Author
Jason is a Canadian expat who settled down in Costa Rica. His new life brings about many challenges but living in paradise is worth it. His company Vacation Rentals Costa Rica, LLC helps people from all over the world discover everything great that Costa Rica has to offer.