- Central Pacific Coast
- Northwest Costa Rica
- Puerto Limon
- San Jose Costa Rica
- The Caribbean Lowlands
What to see in Costa Rica
- Things to see in Costa Rica
- Got a question or comment about Attractions in Costa Rica? Ask a Travel Expert!
Costa Rica Attractions
Although a small country, there are a wealth of attractions in Costa Rica and only the most jaded of travellers could fail to be excited by the plenitude of exciting things to see and do. A whopping 25 percent of Costa Rica is taken up by 75 different national parks, wildlife refuges and biological reserves, making it a paradise for eco-tourism. Adventurous visitors are spoiled for choice with activities like surfing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, white water rafting, canyoning, climbing and zip-line tours available all over this diverse country. For those inclined to relax Costa Rica boasts truly beautiful beaches and these alone could fill a holiday with sun-tanning, swimming and snorkelling.
The northwest region of Costa Rica is famous for two particularly spectacular national parks: the Arenal Volcano National Park, with the seemingly perpetually active Volcan Arenal at its heart; and the world renowned Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, a unique and awe-inspiring wilderness area that enchants visitors with its mystical atmosphere. Fortuna is a good base from which to explore the region and a visit to the Monteverde community, spread in the hills of the cloud forest, is a fascinating excursion.
The Pacific coast is well developed for tourism and is scattered with picturesque villages and great beaches. Jacó is a beach resort town perfect for surfing, sunning and partying in the midst of this wonderful coastline. Puntarenas, the largest town in the region, and a popular stop off for cruises, is also a good base for exploring the area. The Manuel Antonio National Park is the most celebrated reserve of the region and here you will find a captivating variety of wildlife as well as the chance to enjoy numerous adventure activities.
The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica is becoming increasingly popular; it has a more relaxed atmosphere and is less developed for tourism but it is a beach haven and the local communities are charming, friendly, and happy to share their yummy cuisine and vibey music. Puerto Limon is a bit rundown but it receives regular cruise passengers and acts as a doorway into the stunning coastal areas and pristine rainforests of Caribbean Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a popular tourist destination nestled on the coast. The best parks in this area are the Cahuita National Park, which protects a wondrous coral reef and is a treat for divers and snorkellers, and the Tortuguero National Park, in the north, a famous breeding ground for sea turtles.
And in the middle of this natural wonderland of a country sits the capital, San Jose, which is a lively and modern city with good shopping, restaurants and nightlife. It has some pretty colonial areas and a few great museums. From this urban centre you can find no end of things to see and do in Costa Rica.
The Arenal Volcano National Park is situated within the Arenal Conservation Area, also known as 'the Energetic Heart…
The only coral reef on the Costa Rican Caribbean coastline is found within this national park, and with 500 species of…
Fortuna is the nearest village to the spectacular Volcán Arenal and the volcano is the main reason for visiting…
Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica but also one of the more popular ones. With beautiful white…
Monteverde is a small community scattered along several kilometres of road that leads to the Monteverde Cloud Forest…
The cloud forest is one of the most famous ecotourism areas in Central America. It is called a cloud forest rather than…
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, simply known as Puerto Viejo (not to be confused with Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí in…
Despite its isolation on the northern part of the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero National Park is an extremely popular destination…
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 designs made-to-order, privately-guided adventure tours to Costa Rica and over 200 other world wonders. Come Back Different!
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.