When it comes to paradise-like locations, Costa Rica is one of our top picks. From beach breaks to volcano climbing to wildlife spotting.
Though fairly small, Costa Rica is home to half a million different species — one in every twenty-five types of plants, insects, and animals in the world! As you might expect, this variety ensures that there's weird and wonderful wildlife in Costa Rica. Don’t be surprised if you come across cute capuchin monkeys, brightly colored frogs, and noisy toucans.
In the country’s nature reserves, you can try to spot an ocelot. Although very rarely seen in the wild, this big-pawed wild cat is definitely one of Costa Rica’s highlights. Ocelots can be found at wildlife sanctuaries like the La Paz Waterfall Gardens Nature Park. If you like more curious-looking creatures, there are tapirs and three-toed sloths.
Costa Rica is a land of volcanoes, with more than 200 volcanic formations in the country. Most are located in the northern and central highlands. Of these, five are active: Arenal, Poás, Rincón de la Vieja, and Irazú.
Irazú and Poás both have beautiful lakes in their craters. Although you wouldn’t want to swim inside, as the lake at Poás is filled with boiling acid.
If you fancy a dip, Costa Rica’s two coastlines offer lots of picture-perfect locations. The most popular are Playa Flamingo and Tamarindo — both of which offer plenty of opportunities for water sports and, of course, sunbathing.
These beaches are great for local activities, with friendly residents ready to take you out on boat trips. They’re also good places to find tour guides for visiting various historical sites, taking volcano hikes, and more.