Reasons to Visit
Whilst Costa Rica is famed for its natural beauty, there are also plenty of ways to explore the country for those seeking a bit more of an adrenalin rush. Canopy zip-line tours, white water rafting, quad biking along deserted Pacific beaches, horseriding, hiking to pristine lakes and forests, mountain biking and kayaking are just a few of the options available.
Costa Rica has long been heralded as a pioneer in ecotourism, with over a quarter of the country being protected as a national park or reserve. Whilst many hotels elsewhere in the world will wave the ecotourism flag with little or no real credentials, things are different in Costa Rica, where hotels can gain accreditation from a national board for implementing green practices.
July to October is the nesting season for the endangered Green Turtle, when the turtles come up on to Tortuguero beach at night to lay their eggs. It is possible to arrange trips at night to witness this fantastic natural phenomenon, and it really is a wonderful sight to see these peaceful giants so close up.
There are over 200 volcanoes in Costa Rica, many remaining active and fascinating to explore. Their landscapes range from dramatic jagged moonscapes to verdant tropical rainforest, conical in shape to rugged and barren with ancient magma flows and crater lakes. At Arenal, in particular, you may even be able to glimpse live lava flows and hear gas eruptions.
Rafting in Costa Rica is simply spectacular and there are numerous places to try it, suitable for all levels. The Pacuare River, in particular, is the most challenging. It is a thrilling experience in a stunning setting as the surrounding tropical rainforest provides your backdrop for this adventure, complete with narrow gulleys and beautiful waterfalls along the way.
The wildlife is simply spectacular in Costa Rica and you have real chances of seeing tapirs, sloth, ocelots, coatis, caiman, numerous species of monkey, margay, turtles, iguanas, frogs, butterflies, not to mention more than 850 species of birds.
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With Audley, where you stay is very much part of the experience. Wherever possible we try to track down characterful accommodation. We regularly inspect the accommodation we use, updating our knowledge on existing properties and researching new alternatives
Here we feature some of our most interesting properties, although we recommend and use many others to suit all budgets and tastes.
Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves
Corcovado & Osa Peninsula
Monteverde Cloud Forest
Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast
Northern Pacific Coast
San José & Central Valley
Rincon de la Vieja
Further reading:Tours in Costa RicaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Costa RicaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanama
Condé Nast Favourite Specialist Tour Operator 2010
Wanderlust Travel Awards Tour Operator 2013
Which? Recommended Holiday Company 2012
Sunday Times Value For Money Awards 2011
American Travel Trade Association
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