15 Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Perhaps you’re pining for the misty jungles, acclaimed eco lodges and cloud forests of Monteverde? Maybe you’re eager to spy out rare three-toed sloths and howler monkeys in the silk tree canopies, moving as slow as the time ticks over amidst the Rasta shacks of Puerto Viejo? Or, is it the world-class surf swells that have you aching for the tropics of Costa Rica: the rollers of Tamarindo; the legendary barrels of Salsa Brava? Perhaps it’s those steaming volcanos that have piqued the interest?

Whatever it is, there’s no question that this jewel of Central America has plenty of treats up its sleeve. It ranges from the mist-topped highlands and coffee haciendas of the Central Valley to the sunny coastlines of the Caribbean Sea and the boulder-spattered sands of the Pacific, drawing in hikers, wave riders, wildlife lovers, culture vultures and more to its wealth of colonial cities and natural parks.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Costa Rica:

1. Arenal

Arenal, Costa Rica

Source: flickr

Arenal, Costa Rica

Soaring more than 1,600 meters above the jungles of Alajuela north out of San Jose, the Arenal Volcano remains arguably Costa Rica’s biggest draw.

A mecca for outdoorsy types, the whole area around the colossal mount is dotted with roaring waterfalls (not least of all the wonderful La Fortuna falls), crisscrossed by countless hiking trails and bridle paths, cut through by frothing river rapids ripe for whitewater rafting, and home to swinging wire bridges that offer close-up encounters with the toucans and sloths of the rainforest canopies. Careful though – Arenal is still one of the most active calderas in all of Central America!

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Costa Rica
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List of Image Sources

15 Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica:

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Beach

  • Arenal, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Monteverde, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Beach: flickr
  • Plaza de la Cultura, San Jose, Costa Rica: wikipedia
  • Alajuela – Traditional hand-painted oxen cart: flickr
  • Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Surfer – Jacó, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Anhinga in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Chirripó National Park, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Cartago, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Costa Rica: flickr
  • Montezuma, Costa Rica: flickr