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Great Places to Explore in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a great destination for a holiday. There are great places to explore in Costa Rica, such as gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, active volcanos, traditional villages, and many charming historic city neighborhoods.

Exploring the capital

If arriving in Costa Rica by plane, you will probably land at Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) airport in Alajuela, which is located just outside of San José. There are frequent taxis and local buses that travel from the airport to the capital. Once in the capital, you can enjoy taking a nice walk through the city center, visiting the National Theater, or strolling through a museum.

You can finish the day by having a wonderful dinner at one of the many eateries in Barrio Escalante.

White Water Rafting

There are unforgettable white-water rafting tours that depart from the city capital daily, with pick-up from your hotel.

Costa Rica has class II, III, and IV rapids that pass by breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls in canyons in lush rainforests. Tours typically stop and provide lunch halfway down the river. You should pack dry clothes for changing into at the final stop before heading back to San José.

Ecotourism on The Caribbean Coast

The traditional and quaint village of Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast, offers unique ecotourism opportunities.

You will have many options for adventure or simple relaxation. You can enjoy a boat ride through jungle canals and see impressive birds, monkeys, and crocodiles can usually be spotted fairly easily.

During your time in Tortuguero, schedule a night tour to witness the magic of giant sea turtles nesting on Playa Tortuguero (February to October). Your tour fees directly support the conservation of these endangered animals.  For more fun, head to the National Park (of the same name), where you can walk the flat, easy trails through dense jungle and along deserted beaches.

You’ll likely run into other critters here, such as armadillos and sloths.

Volcanoes and Thermal Baths

Once you explore the Caribbean, you can travel to the Pacific side of the country towards Lake Arenal.

Lake Arenal resides in the mountainous area of La Fortuna. You can enjoy the rejuvenating and relaxing healing waters of the local hot springs heated by the active volcano Arenal. There are several luxury hot springs and spa resorts that offer day passes, which often include access to the springs, food, and perhaps even waterslides.

If you are into trekking, you can explore trails in Arenal Volcano National Park.  You will be able to observe Volcano Arenal from a safe distance, walk on old lave fields and encounter the varying ecosystems of the geothermal area.

Explore The Cloud Forest

Explore Monteverde Cloud Forest. During the journey, you’ll cross Lake Arenal and ride through lush countryside to Santa Elena, a popular town, and our recommendation for lodging near Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.  We recommend you allocate a full day to explore it. The reserve has an extensive network of hiking trails, and as you enjoy the lush scenery, you may spot rare wildlife such as quetzals, monkeys, and sloths. 

Costa Rica is awaiting your arrival. There is so much to do here!

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