Location: Arenal Volcano and the Cloudforest Reserves
The central highlands encompass northern Costa Rica’s most fertile regions.
Waterfalls, mountains and forests are found amongst undulating hills and near-perfect weather conditions allow Costa Rica’s famous coffee to grow plentifully.
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.
The most popular of these reserves are the Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloudforest Reserves. Monteverde has six distinct ecological zones and is an excellent place to seek out the resplendent but elusive red and green quetzal.
Quieter, more peaceful experiences can be found in Bajos del Toro and San Ramon with lodges tucked away in beautiful private reserves with mystical, dense forests, rushing rivers and tumbling waterfalls and over 200 species of bird.
Whichever of the reserves you choose to spend time in, all of them are fabulous places to walk, especially in the early morning amongst shrouds of magical mist or atop canopy walkways, and adrenalin junkies can fly through the forest by systems of zip wires.
Please ask a specialist to discuss the best option to suit your needs.
At 1633 metres above sea level, the infamous Arenal Volcano has been until recently the most active in Central America and was considered to be one of the world's ten most active volcanoes! As you can imagine this is a popular spot for anyone wanting to visit Costa Rica therefore you should be aware, in peak season especially, this is by no means the peaceful area it once was. Despite the coach loads it can draw it is a stunning part of the country and well worth including on a trip to Costa Rica.
Although the volcano is no longer delivering its sporadic eruptions it is a magnificent peak and there is plenty to do in the area. The volcano can be difficult to see, especially in the dry season as it is often shrouded by cloud but its an incredible sight if you are lucky enough and the surrounding lava fields are also fascinating.
You can explore the area by combining a multitude of activities such as canopy walkways, horse-riding, canoeing and walking. The nearby hot springs, though busy, make for a special experience bathing beneath the stars and the nearby Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is well worth a day trip.
The volcano's growth over the ages has been characterised by a number of eruptions - the last major one of which occurred on 29th July 1968. This eruption blasted off the top of the volcano creating the volcano shape that can be seen today.
Please note: Since Dec 2010 Arenal has stopped erupting but remains a popular place to visit.
Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
The nearby Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge is well worth a day trip. This is one of the most densely populated areas of Costa Rica but we have found some fabulous accommodation in this scenic and beautiful region.