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7 Best Tourist Destinations To Visit in Costa Rica

Hailed as a nature and adventure tourism top destination, Costa Rica is indeed a perfect travel destination for every vacationist. From beautiful coastlines, tropical rain forests, various types of wildlife, and much more not to mention a great many activities, this country in Central America is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations. If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica.

1. Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is crowned by many visitors as Costa Rica's most beautiful park, with white sand beaches and incredible biodiversity. This mid-Pacific coast park has tropical wet woods, palm-fringed beaches, and glistening clean bays. Surely you will encounter a monkey, sloths, iguanas, toucans, and many more if you trek. Perfect for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, sunbathing, and sand activities, the beaches also have raccoons or monkeys attempting to get your food!

2. Arenal Volcano / Hot Springs

Seeing Costa Rica without stopping at the Arenal Volcano and receiving a leisurely massage from one of the hot pools is difficult. This is a 5,437-foot-tall volcanic landform; even when the volcano is not erupting, the region usually shows clouds on top that coupled with the dramatic surroundings provide some amazing vistas and sunsets. —... Having a dip in the mineral water pools and hot springs is the ideal method to relieve your aching muscles at last, after a day of climbing the Arenal trails and a near experience with the volcano. Although Tabacón Hot Springs & Spa is far away, its cascading system of hot spring pools supplemented with the rainforest and lovely gardens makes sense.

3. Monteverde Cloud Forest

There is no argument that one of the best things to do is visit Monteverde’s magical cloud forests. As a result of low-level moisture, these forests which are found at a relatively high altitude are clouds that have transformed themselves into forests. When walking through a green jungle that is covered in “clouds”, one could feel that he or she is walking in a fairy tale. When you are walking on the sky bridges, which are bridges that are above the canopy of the forest and offer an opportunity to view the forest floor, be sure to view the beautiful exotic birds which are evident in the area such as the quetzal. Another thing not to be missed in this destination is ziplining which would take one sliding over the cloud canopy and into valleys.

4. Tortuguero National Park

Nesting in the region, green sea turtles find great protection at the Tortuguero National Park, sometimes known as "turtle place." Getting to this park on Costa Rica's northern Caribbean coast is fairly difficult and entails traversing a system of water canals in the tropical jungle. Once there, embark on a guided turtle nesting tour to engage with these enormous reptiles from March to October. Alternatively search for howler monkeys or manatees, caimans, and other species by boat cruise over the rivers and canals of the park.

5. Jacó

If you are aspiring for the laid-back surfer town of Costa Rica, then Jacó, located in the central Pacific region, is the right place for you. Most of the business establishments that we saw were related to the surf industry, including shops, hostels, eateries, and drinking joints, and many of them are located a stone’s throw from the beach. Grab a board and catch the waves at Playa Jacó or, if they are not an experienced surfer, take a lesson. Catching up on your hunger, savor fresh seafood or a cold Imperial beer, watching the surfers at Le Loft, a popular hang-out. Ready to have a fun adventure? Take an open jungle ATV tour or a nearby canopy zipline tour.

6. Drake Bay

Drake Bay, to this date, is one of the least developed and isolated areas in Costa Rica, only accessible by boat, plane, or car ride. This is a remote area of the Osa Peninsula that offers travelers deserted sands, excellent fishing, and wildlife in the forests, and aquatic environment, especially in the Caño Island Biological Reserve which is an islet off the coast of the Peninsula. During the guided walking tour, see sloths, monkeys, coatis, scarlet macaw, and the toco toucan. Or, snorkel and dive into the coral reefs of Caño Island and be confronted with turtles, sharks, and rays.

7. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is relaxing and is part of the Caribbean as it is located on the southeastern part of the coast of Costa Rica near the Panama border. Surfing is popular here, and at Salsa Brava, which hosts one of the largest and most formidable waves in the region. The food is great and there is also good snorkeling and scuba diving at Manzanillo Gandoca Wildlife Refuge nearby. In town, do not reject walking the tight bright painted alleyways, visiting street sellers, and tasting Caribbean dishes such as rice and beans, pasta chicken, and Rondon, preferably with the Imperial beer.

Featuring natural beauty, breathtaking exotic animals, countless outdoor activities, mouthwatering food, and the pura vida atmosphere, you can’t make a wrong choice when deciding on where to visit Costa Rica. Which of these places will be on your travel list for the coming years?

FAQ

What are my interests, and which destinations align with them?

Do you love surfing and beaches (Tamarindo, Jaco)? Craving rainforest adventures (Monteverde, Tortuguero)? Yearning for volcano hikes (Arenal) or relaxation (Conchal Beach)?

Is this a good list for families, couples, or solo travelers?

Consider the vibe of each destination. Manuel Antonio is great for families, while Arenal caters to adventure couples. Monteverde is perfect for nature enthusiasts, while Tamarindo offers a lively surf scene for solo travelers.

How much time do I need to spend in each destination?

This depends on your pace and activities. Allow 2-3 days for each destination to explore its highlights and surrounding areas. If relaxation is your goal, a week at a beach location might suffice.

Are there any hidden costs to consider beyond accommodation and flights?

National park entrance fees, activity costs (ziplinelines, whitewater rafting), and transportation within Costa Rica can add up. Factor these into your budget.

What's the best way to get around Costa Rica?

Public buses are affordable but can be slow. Rental cars offer flexibility, but driving can be challenging. Guided tours are convenient but pricier. Consider a mix depending on your budget and comfort level.