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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Enjoy the private beachfront at the Tango Mar.
Discover the amazing and varied wildlife in Costa Rica, including caiman, snakes, monkeys, butterflies, over 850 species of birds and the elusive jaguar.
Explore Panama, Costa Rica, Belize or Mexico on a relaxing and fascinating cruise and see some amazing sights.
The cloudforest reserves in the highlands of Costa Rica are one of the best places for birders. Lush with thick foliage, they are a haven for hundreds of species of birds, insects and butterflies. However, it is the Arenal volcano that generally surpasses all expectations, delivering daily eruptions of molten lava that are not only visually stunning but also strikingly loud.
Surround yourself with pristine forest and a huge variety of flora and fauna in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, as you walk through along a trail with your guide and learn about the many different species along the way.
See the Selvatura cloud forest reserve from a totally unique perspective via a system of raised canopy walkways. This trip also includes time at the Monteverde Butterfly Garden, which is home to over 50 different species of butterfly from all over Costa Rica.
Small and safe but full of adventure and activities to experience there really is a staggering amount to see in Costa Rica. There are smouldering volcanoes, lush tropical forests, serene cloud-forests, unspoiled beaches and a diverse range of flora and fauna on show everywhere in a riot of vivid colours. From river-floating to rafting and canopy walk-ways to zip-lining it is a country that caters for all tastes and ages.
11 Days from £1,675pp
This tour of Costa Rica takes in three of the county’s highlights. Distances are not vast so you are able to make the most of your time with a good mix of wildlife viewing, activities and beach time.
14 Days from £2,005pp
Visit Costa Rica's most well-known highlights including Tortuguero, Arenal and Monteverde cloud-forest.
14 Days from £2,605pp
A two week wildlife-focused trip taking in the wonderfully diverse regions of the central volcanic range, Manuel Antonio’s tropical coastal forests and the beautiful Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica’s wildlife jewel in the crown.
Approx. 13 hours (via the USA or Europe)
American Airlines, Iberia & United Airlines
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout Costa RicaCountry Guides
Other countries in Central America, Mexico & Cuba:BelizeCubaGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaPanama
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