Costa Rica is a country of beaches, and beaches only. If that is what you think while travelling to Costa Rica, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Costa Rica is also a country of national parks, lazy sloths, and volcanoes. Here is a list of 10 attractions why Costa Rica is so popular with tourists.
12. La Fortuna Falls
The La Fortuna Falls runs through a rainforest, hence offering you a chance to spot monkeys, toucans and other wild creatures. The waterfalls can only be reached on horseback or on foot. If you want to go by foot, then you have to take a long flight of stairs leading to the falls. The water is chilly and an adventurous bent of mind is needed to swim in it. If you go by horseback, it will take an hour to reach the falls. If you don’t want to swim, then you can take some breathtaking photographs or simply admire the scenery.
11. Tabacon Hot Springs
Tabacon is a hot springs resort and is a great place for unwinding and for relaxing. Set near the Arenal Volcano, the Tabacon hot springs consist of a resort surrounding a thermal river. The water of the river is naturally heated by the Arenal Volcano and flows through two different channels throughout Tabacon. There is also a cold river, so it offers a contrasting experience from the hot one. The average temperature of the hot springs ranges from 25 C to 50 C.
10. Arenal Hanging Bridge
Arenal Hanging Bridge is a collection of fifteen suspension bridges and is truly meant for daredevils. Guided tours are available but you can also venture out on your own. The natural wildlife and birdlife of Costa Rica can be observed from the bridge. The hike is a long and tiring one, but there is a restaurant nearby, if you want to rest and grab a bite. You can enjoy picturesque views of the neighboring Arenal Volcano while refueling yourself.
9. Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge
This is a great place for watching wildlife in Costa Rica. There are some excellent trails where you can go for a hike. In addition, there are cabins so you can stay overnight. Spotting groups of Capuchin monkeys is a given while you are at this park. There is also a telescope placed next to the local restaurant for spotting sloths.
8. Irazu Volcano National Park
The Irazu is an active volcano in Costa Rica. The park protects the volcano and also the land surrounding the it. The top of the volcano is riddled with craters just like on the moon. The depth of the craters ranges from 300 to 1050 meters. One of the craters, the Diego de la Haya Crater, contains a small lake inside it. There are well-marked trails for reaching the craters, both big and small. If you go to the top, you can see the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean stretched out for miles.
Tamarindo was once a quiet village with hardly any tourists. Today it competes with Mal Pais as one of the best surfing locations of Costa Rica. With the growth in tourism infrastructure, it has turned into a surfing haven with plenty of accommodation and food options. The Tamarindo Beach is spread across a length of almost 1.5 km and is good for both experienced and new surfers.
Jaco is a paradox in Costa Rica. It is small in size, but has all the comforts of a large city. The beach is very long and popular with the surfers. It is generally safe to swim in the beach. What sets Jaco apart from the other small towns is the steady stretch of apartments, hotels, and stores surrounding the beach.
5. Tortuguero National Park
The Tortuguero National Park is easily reachable by plane or via boat. It is one of the wettest areas of Costa Rica and is a great place for watching green turtles. They mostly come up on the beaches for breeding purposes. In addition to the green turtles, there are other animals like spot monkeys, kinkajous, and of course, sloths. The sea however is not safe for swimming at this park. The waves and currents are known to be strong and rough.
4. Cloud Forest
The cloud forest is located near the towns of Santa Elena and Monteverde and is a popular eco-tourism destination. This is the place to be if you don’t want to go too far to spot some rare wildlife and plants. Many tourists come to these forests simply to watch the birds or to see the unique biodiversity of the area. The forest is home to many types of wildlife ranging from monkeys to pumas and jaguars. The best way to explore the forest and the wildlife is to go on a hiking trip.
3. Mal Pais
Mal Pais is most noteworthy as a surfing destination. It is located on the Nicoya peninsula, near the small town of Santa Teresa. A chain of beaches and small villages surround the area. Such is the beauty and charm of the place, that there have been instances of surfers coming to Mal Pais and never going back! The villages of Manzanillo and Mal Pais offer ample accommodation options to tourists. Recent developments in the area has turned it into a more upscale tourist destination.
2. Manuel Antonio National Park
While Costa Rica lacks in terms of cultural attractions, it makes up for the same with its wildlife. The Manuel Antonio National Park is the best place in the country to view local wildlife. The guides at the park are qualified and are well versed with the terrains. They know how to take you to a sleepy sloth or a hungry one. Include this park in your list if you want to see sloths from up close. You can also spot other exotic wildlife like scarlet macaws and squirrel monkeys.
- Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal volcano, with a height of 1633 meters, attracts the most number of tourists in Costa Rica. This almost perfectly conical volcano looks very impressive as it dominates the surrounding skyline. The most recent eruption of the volcano was in 1968 which destroyed two neighboring villages. Depending on when you go, you will be able to see glowing red lava coming down the volcano. Along with the volcano, the park is also known for housing various animals and endemic birds.
Originally posted 2017-03-31 05:36:30.