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Introducing Costa Rica

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Natural splendour in abundance ©

Costa Rica Travel Guide

When it comes to natural wonders there is very little that Costa Rica doesn't offer visitors: travellers can experience spectacular volcanic activity in Arenal Volcano National Park, explore the unique cloud forests in the world famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, snorkel or dive the colourful Caribbean coral reef in Cahuita National Park, and go white river rafting down the impressive canyons of the Rio Toro river.

Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide and its wildlife is a big draw for visitors. The numerous animal refuges and national parks allow tourists to witness creatures like sloths and various monkeys in their natural habitats, as well as marvel over the brightly coloured frogs, snakes and butterflies of the country. Thousands of people flock to Tortuguero National Park every year to watch green sea turtles hatch and set out for the ocean.

The cities and towns of Costa Rica tend to take a backseat to the natural splendour of the country but there are picturesque villages and lively coastal towns to enjoy, with the resort town of Jacó and the laid-back Caribbean village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca among the favorites. The capital city, San Jose, is a fun urban centre with plenty of opportunities to eat out, shop and party.

Best time to visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a tropical climate which means that its seasons are not distinct and there is little variation in temperature throughout the year. The peak tourist season in Costa Rica is between November and April but it is a popular year-round holiday destination. Read more on Costa Rica's Climate and Weather.

What to see in Costa Rica

-Visit the artistic community of Monteverde.

-Join a guided night tour from Fortuna to watch the red hot volcanic activity of Volcan Arenal.

-Lounge on the stunning Caribbean beaches of Playa Chiquita and Punta Uva.

-Explore the bustling market of Puerto Limon. Read more about what to see in Costa Rica.

What to do in Costa Rica

-Take a horseriding tour across the Continental Divide.

-Enjoy a luxurious soak in the Rio Negro Hot Springs of Liberia.

-Experience the thrill of white water rafting in Costa Rica.

-Dare a zip-line tour of the jungle canopy in Manuel Antonio National Park. Read more about what to do in Costa Rica.

Getting to Costa Rica

There are direct flights to Costa Rica from Fort Lauderdale and New York in the US but there are currently no direct flights from the UK to Costa Rica. However, there are plenty of cheap indirect flights to Costa Rica from the UK, connecting through other European cities. Flights land in Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia, and San Jose Juan Santamaria Airport, outside of San Jose. Get more information on Costa Rica Airports.

Read

Marcos Ramirez by Carlos Luis Fallas, and Monkeys are Made of Chocolate by Jack Ewing.

Listen

Luis Angel Castro and Debi Nova.

Watch

The Blue Butterfly (2004), and Caribe (2004).

Drink

Guaro (rum) and Costa Rican coffee.

Eat

Ceviche and casado.

What to buy

Wood carvings and coconut crafts.

What to pack

Plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant.

Did you know?

-There are seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica.

-Costa Ricans refer to themselves as Ticos (men) and Ticas (women).

-A 'soda' is a small, informal restaurant which serves cheap, traditional meals,

-Costa Rica has a life expectancy of almost 77 years, one of the highest in the world.

A final word

Costa Rica's unmatched ecological diversity and natural splendour make it a dream destination for adventurous eco-tourists, and its lovely beaches and friendly people ensure a relaxing holiday for those in search of sand and sun.

Become our Costa Rica Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Costa Rica travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Costa Rica or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.

iExplore

iExplore designs made-to-order, privately-guided adventure tours to Costa Rica and over 200 other world wonders. Come Back Different!

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Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track and having real life experiences in Costa Rica.


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