“Pura Vida,” a greeting used by Costa Ricans since 1956 and which literally means “Pure life” but contextually means “Full of Life” or “Going Great,” is the best way to define Costa Rica and its culture. Visiting this beautiful country immediately puts you in a good mood. This is a place where people are always nice and things always seem to be going just great. And what is best, there are innumerable things to do, places to see and food to eat! Here are some of the top Costa Rica Destinations for you to explore.
Manuel Antonio National Park: Luxury, Comfort and Nature
As soon as you arrive to Manuel Antonio you immediately notice that this is one of the most exclusive areas of Costa Rica. Luxurious hotels with panoramic views are found almost everywhere and numerous casinos are also available for the most demanding travelers. The park is one of the most popular and visited attractions of the country, receiving in average 150,000 visitors per year. Despite its small size of 682 hectares, the park offers stunning beaches, a lush rainforest with walking trails, and an incredible variety of wildlife.
A good idea is to hire a guide. These guides are most of the times bilingual (English-Spanish), they provide lots of information about the park and can be very helpful.
Corcovado National Park: Biologically Intense
If you are looking for an eco-tourism adventure, visiting the Corcovado National Park is a must. Among the most biologically intense areas of the planet, this park is also one of the most remote places of the country. It is located in the Osa Peninsula and it is home to a wide variety of endangered species including the beautiful Scarlet Macaw, the Red-Eyed Tree Frog and the Tapir among other creatures. While at Corcovado you will find thirteen different ecosystems that range from mangrove swamps and jolillo palm groves to beaches, lagoons and primary lowland rain forests.
Tamarindo: Superb Natural Surroundings
Located in the region of Guanacaste Province on the North Pacific Coast, this former fishing village is one of the most touristic towns of the area. It has beautiful pristine beaches and a laidback atmosphere perfect if you want to simply relax and enjoy the weather. Surfing and windsurfing conditions here are great and swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, boogie boarding and scuba diving are also popular pastimes. The best way to get to this charming town is to fly into the Liberia International Airport or if you are in San Jose take the domestic flight to Tamarindo Domestic Airport.
Playa Langosta: Amazing Surfing
Known for its amazing surfing and beautiful beachfront bed, Playa Langosta is one of the most popular spots of Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast. Located just south of Tamarindo, this beach is ideal if you want to spend a peaceful and comforting time. Its natural beauty is unlike any other and has a mostly rocky shoreline with small pockets of sandy beach. If you want to see the leatherback turtles which nest in the area visit Playa Langosta during October through March.
La Fortuna de San Carlos: The Gateway to the Arenal Volcano
Referred by locals as simply “La Fortuna,” this town is located in the province of Alajuela and connects the Arenal Volcano with the Monteverde cloud forests. In recent years, the town has become particularly popular among tourists that come to see the best views of the Arenal Volcano. Other attractions of the town include a beautiful waterfall called “La Catarata de La Fortuna,” and the nearby Tabacon Hot Springs, ideal for a relaxing and indulging day.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: Untouched by Modernity
Those who like contact with nature will love visiting the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Located in tiny village of Monteverde, this reserve offers great eco-tourism opportunities and incredible bird watching. It is located high up in the Tilaran Mountain Range, which causes the weather to be a little chilly. It is a good idea to bring thick clothes and a light jacket. Other touristic attractions in the area include the butterfly garden, the Hummingbird Gallery and a local crafts center.
Costa Rica Famous Events
Fool Moon Party, Cocalito Beach
Puntarenas Carnival, Puntarenas
Copa del Café, Escazú
Costa Rica Restaurants: Our Picks
Tim Jo, San Jose
Bacchus, Santa Ana
Ginger, Playa Hermosa
Playa de Los Artistas, Montezuma
Check out accommodations in Costa Rica