Known for its Pura Vida or “pure life” lifestyle, Costa Rica is located in the exotic sector of Central America. A now popular travel destination, Costa Rica welcomes visitors to a wide range of attractions and eco-adventures. Whether planning a trip for relaxation away from the stresses of life or for days filled with exciting excursions, this eco-friendly country offers anything and everything an endurance driven traveler is searching for. Over the years Costa Rica has become a hotspot for travelers. The gratification this country offers is endless.
Zip lining, mountian climbing, biking, ATVs, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, golfing
In the infinite stretch of rainforests, national parks, and stunning beaches, the Guanacaste area is popular for both water and land adventures. Challenge your body by planning a day complete with excursions. Spend a day testing your body strength, hiking through the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, which features beautiful scenery, miles of trails, two volcanoes, and six different volcano peaks to conquer. Relax your body in the waterfalls and hot springs or move forward on a horseback ride though the lavish tropical rainforests.
Enjoy a nature hike to high intense mountain peaks, work your way down through the jungle while zip lining hundreds of feet above the rainforest. Flying across the rainforest upside down in what locals call the ‘backward spider’ is not for the faint of heart. For the truly daring, class 5 whitewater rafting lies just around the river bend.
Surfing, beach yoga, physical rehabilitation, hiking, qaterfalls, whitewater rafting, backpacking
Nestled on the edge of the Nicoya Peninsula, Montezuma is known as the Bohemian region of Costa Rica. The widespread laid-back surfer culture has prompted locals to refer to Montezuma as “Montefuma” (fumar: to smoke).
The bustling organic farmers market, filled with ripe tropical fruits and local vegetables, is open daily. A plethora of alternative medicine spas and clinics offer a wide range of rehabilitative therapies.
Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) – Primarily nocturnal, living on a diet of insects, the red-eyed tree frog stays dormant during the warm days, conserving water and energy. About the size of a teacup, these frogs are not actually venonmous, despite their bright coloration.
Boasting a professionally manicured 18-hole golf course, the Four Seasons Hotel in Papagayo, Guanacaste, was designed with discerning guests in mind. Those seeking additional privacy can chose from one of twenty private residences. A friendly concierge desk can pair guests with tour guides and authentic cuisine. The golf course, spa and pools are all set to the backdrop of golden sand beaches, wild rainforest and jagged mountains.
Sportfishing, surfing, scuba diving, jet skiing, boogie boarding, sailing, kayaking
Known for its aquatic flare and local culture, water enthusiasts come from around the world to test out the waves in this little beach town. Whether your sport of choice is aquatic or you’re looking to test the waters, this is a place any athletic traveler should visit to get their feet wet. Local companies along the beach offer a true Costa Rican experience. At the Iguana Surf Shop, located right off the Tamarindo beach, the adrenaline driven staff is always ready to provide any guest with private lessons, equipment and touring needs. After a day of challenging your strength against the waves, end your day with a beautiful catamaran sunset tour. Relax your body and step aboard a sailing yacht with spacious deck layouts, affording travelers endless comfort. Most tours include a variety of sightseeing in the form of beautiful marine life and sea creatures. Expected to stop at many private reefs to snorkel, swim and catch a glimpse of dolphins, sea turtles and more. Before you travel, do your research. Tamarindo is well known for its breathtaking sailing tours. With a handful of small businesses, search for one that fits your sailing desires. Start with Vargas Tours and The Blue Dolphin Sailing. They both offer a vast variety of tours, and not just limited to sailing.
Menelaus blue morpho (Morpho menelaus) – One of the largest butterflies in the world, with a wingspan up to twice as much as the monarch butterfly, it has two very unique wing patterns: metallic blue on the upperside and a brown underside with spots that look like eyes.
Arenal Volcano/Tabacon Hot Springs
Hiking, backpacking, rafting, camping, spa, hot springs, boating, horseback riding, fishing
This “sleeping” volcano, which last erupted in 1968 after almost 400 years of inactivity, is the magnificent centerpiece to the area’s attractions. Take a tandem kayak voyage on the landlocked Lake Arenal to enjoy the wildlife in the surrounding rainforest with the Arenal Volcano as a backdrop. The lake is full of fish and attracts local sport fishermen year round with the world famous guapote (rainbow bass) fish. Set out from La Fortuna village to take a shower beneath La Fortuna waterfall, a 200-foot drop of clear water into a picturesque pool.
The volcano has also contributed to the formation of the Tabacon Hot Springs. These hot springs require no underground digging or machinery to supply warm thermal spring water to visitors: water flows completely naturally through its various waterfalls, rivers and pools. There are many pools to enjoy that vary in temperature from 70 to 122 Fahrenheit. The minerals from the volcanic rock combined with the heat from the springs join to pass along well-known health benefits.
The Springs Resort
With Arenal Volcano in the background, the springs Resort is nestled in the jungle just minutes away from the hot springs and a variety of excursions. One of the only five star luxury resorts in the area, this exquisite boutique hotel is the primary choice of discerning guests looking to spend time in this area of Costa Rica.
Coffee tasting, culutural museums, golfing, public gardens, shopping, theater shows
While Costa Rica is known for its wild, untamed jungles and sparse, clean beaches, San Jose, its capital, offers a taste of civilization to ground you back into society. Costa Rica’s prized coffee is farmed and processed here. Early in the morning, the smell of fresh pastries and daily roasted coffee permeates the streets. Cultural museums and boutique inns are scattered among the buildings downtown.
Osa Peninsula/Drake Bay
Dolphin watching, whale watching, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, sportfishing, birdwatching
Named after British explorer Sir Frances Drake, Drake Bay is accessible by highway only half of the year; the primary path to and from the bay is by boat. During the winter months, whales and dolphins can be seen off of the shore.
Off of the coast, scuba divers enjoy the splendor of Devil’s Rock (Bajo del Diablo), a view of underwater mountains. One of the richest diversity of under water species puts it amongst the best dive sites in the world.
Drake Bay is also one of the only points of entry into Corcovado National Park. This park is home to the largest primary forest conservation projects and one of the last remaining lowland tropical rainforests in the world, containing thousands of species of plants and animals.
Turtle tours, canal tours, hiking
Between the months of April and October, tourists venture out to the beaches of Tortuguero to see many different species of sea turtles lay their eggs. Tortuguero, which literally means “Land of the Turtles,” is home to four different sea turtle species, including two endangered ones. Early in the morning from November to January, nests of eggs buried in the sand become clusters of turtle hatchlings. While guides will offer to show you the experience of “helping to hatch” the eggs, disturbing turtle eggs almost guarantees their death. Souvenier shops line the remote town near the beach. Tortuguero is only accessible by sea plane or boat, helping preserve this incredible turtle refuge.
Brown-throated three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) – Approximately two feet tall, sloths live mostly solitary lives, feeding on leaves from the trees they inhabit. Living up to 30 years, sloths only socialize for mating—female sloths are known for emitting a human-like scream as part of their mating ritual.
Cuisine, nightlife, clubbing, ATV exploration, surfing, swimming, dancing, shopping
Unlike the rest of Costa Rica, Puerto Limon’s inhabtants are primarily of Caribbean descent and has a rich Afro-Caribbean culture. Although it is a common summer cruise port, the city is not heavily influenced by tourism, allowing visitors to get a good sense of the native culture. Enjoy blending in with the surroundings and locals while relaxing in the laid back atmosphere.
Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel
Contemporary decor and modern design are juxtaposed against the wild and untamed jungle. Excellent service and well kept facilities convey a sense of high luxury. Take a long walk on the private beach or be pampered in the full service spa. Modern cuisine and local fare are both available in this boutique hotel.
Surfing, shopping, horseback riding, mountain biking, white -water rafting, water sports, snorkeling, scuba diving
With surf swelling as high as 16 feet, the Salsa Brava waves have made Puerto Viejo a perennial destination among avid surfers. A popular destination for all thrill seekers, the nearby Pacuare River is rated in the top five for global white water rafting difficulty. Enjoy crystal clear water and beautiful white sand beaches and hundreds of different species of fish to survey while snorkeling or scuba diving.