Top 10 Costa Rican Attractions

2023-04-05 01:04:03 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.

Costa Rica is a small country by area, but it has some of the world's best natural playgrounds. Costa Rica, a country in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, has a diverse landscape of mountains, valleys, forests, volcanoes, beaches, lakes, and rivers, and the highest plant and animal diversity in the world. Highlights of Costa Rica's top attractions:

10. Tamarindo [SEE MAP]

It's on Tamarindowiki/Wikipedia, for those who are curious.

Tamarindo is a popular vacation spot for families and ecotourists because of its year-round warm weather, stunning natural scenery, easygoing vibe, and proximity to national parks. Tamarindo, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, has paved roads and many tourist amenities, making it one of the most developed and easily accessible beach towns in the area.

Tamarindo, a small tropical paradise less than an hour from Liberia, is easily navigated on foot, by taxi, rental car, or scooter. In addition to swimming, surfing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and boat cruises can all be enjoyed by guests at Tamarindo's expansive beach. Tamarindo is a sport fishing haven with first-rate fleets and an abundance of operations due to the abundance of snapper, marlin, grouper, tuna, and other trophy fish in the region's deep-sea waters. The golf courses in Tamarindo are among the best in the world.

Adventures like jungle trekking, ATV tours, horseback riding, and whitewater rafting are all available to tourists thanks to the close proximity of the rainforest. The nearby Marino Las Baulas National Park is a fantastic place for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing in addition to being one of the most important sanctuaries in the country for nesting leatherback sea turtles.


San Jose, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, is a modern metropolis with all the conveniences of a major metropolitan area, including a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment options. The city is located on a plateau in the geographic center of Costa Rica, making it a convenient starting point for day trips to other parts of the country via foot, taxi, or bus.

The downtown area of the city is an attractive blend of historic Spanish and modern day architecture, and it is home to landmarks, government buildings, cultural venues, and noisy traffic. Several museums in San Jose provide an overview of the country's past, present, and future through art, history, and wildlife. The National Theater, widely considered to be one of the most impressive architectural attractions in the country, is just one of several performing arts centers and theaters in San Jose that put on concerts, dances, and dramas all year long. In addition to the San Pedro Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in Central America, visitors can stroll through the vibrant markets of San Jose in search of unique keepsakes.

Charming plazas, green spaces, and public parks in the city offer gardens, lakes, sports areas, and artistic works along with opportunities for relaxation and outdoor recreation. The National Park, San Jose Central Park, and La Sabana Metropolitan Park are three of the most visited. The Simon Bolivar Zoological Park is a fun place for the whole family to visit to learn about and interact with animals from Costa Rica and around the world.

Park of Chirripo, number 8 [SEE MAP]

Source: amandicacom / Flickr

The Chirripo National Park in southern Costa Rica spans the provinces of Limón, Cartago, and San José, and protects a wide variety of ecosystems and animal species. The park is named after the highest peak in the country, Cerro Chirripó, and contains a wide variety of ecosystems, including treeless mountain plateaus, fern groves, marshlands, lush rainforest, and glacial lakes.

The La Amistad International Park Cloudforest, Rabbit Valley, Monte Sin Fe, and Cerro Terbi are among the park's most popular destinations because of the stunning vistas they offer. Trails are clearly marked so visitors can explore the park at their own pace and look out for wildlife like monkeys, iguanas, and the brilliantly colored quetzal. Climbers should prepare for cold nights and a three-day round trip if they plan on reaching the peak of the mountain.

To top it all off, the national park is one of the few spots in Costa Rica where technical rock climbing is welcome. Camping, inexpensive lodging, and information are all available at ranger stations spread throughout the park. From San Isidro del General, you can travel to Chirripo.

Number Seven: The Old Quarter of Rincon de la Vieja [SEE MAP]

Flickr/Steve Jurvetson

The large, steaming Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is the main draw to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park in Costa Rica's North Pacific region. Craters, vapor vents, bubbling mud pits, and hot springs are just some of the fascinating natural features that draw visitors to this national park.

Surrounding the volcano are numerous acres of hiking trails leading through wooded greenery and cloud forest to reveal spectacular scenes like stunning waterfalls, volcanic craters, mud cauldrons and plains riddled with purple orchids The most traveled route is Las Pailas, a short circuit that features steaming fumaroles and boiling mud pots and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. Hidden Waterfalls, the park's most celebrated cascades, cascade into beautiful lagoons and natural swimming pools accessible via the Sendero Cangreja trail. The eight-hour round-trip hike to the volcano's crater is a worthy challenge for experienced hikers.

Camping, canopy tours, horseback riding, whitewater tubing, soaking in hot springs, and spotting wildlife like parrots, toucans, two-toed sloths, and howler monkeys are just some of the other activities available to park visitors. Staying at one of the park's many working cattle ranches, where visitors can help with tasks like herding cattle and caring for horses, is another option that may appeal to some visitors. Most visitors travel to the national park from the city of Liberia, where they can rent cars, take taxis, or take buses.

Park of Corcovado, Number Six [SEE MAP]

Christian Haugen / Shutterstock

Many consider Corcovado National Park to be the best of Costa Rica's national parks because of the abundance of diverse and fascinating wildlife that can be seen there. Corcovado National Park, located on the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica, is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, from mangrove swamps and rainforests to palm forests and cloud forests, as well as beaches and coastal habitats.

Visitors have a better chance of seeing red-backed squirrel monkeys, jaguars, harpy eagles, white-lipped peccaries, and Baird's tapirs here than anywhere else in Costa Rica due to the park's extensive network of hiking trails. The area is also home to howler, spider, and white-faced capuchin monkeys, as well as ocelots, pumas, sloths, coatis, poison dart frogs, glass frogs, and a wide variety of bird species. Sea turtles, hermit crabs, pelicans, and even flying scarlet macaws are all possible sightings on a stroll along the beach. Hikers can also see interesting rock formations, exotic plants, and stunning waterfalls while exploring the area's abundant wildlife. Canoeing down the river is a great way to see the wildlife in the park.

Visitors can take tours, rent bicycles, horses, and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or take a bus from Puerto Jimenez, the closest town, to reach Corcovado National Park. There are four ranger stations in Corcovado that offer beds, meals, and campsites.

National Park of Tortuguero [SEE MAP]

Credit: vincentraal / Flickr

Tortuguero National Park is a popular tourist destination despite its inconvenient location in northeast Costa Rica and the fact that visitors can only get there by boat or plane. The park's main draw is the sea turtles who use the beach for nesting and hatching, making it one of the most important turtle sanctuaries in the western Caribbean.

Because of its wet, tropical climate, Tortuguero National Park is home to a diverse ecosystem that includes rainforest, wetlands, mangroves, beaches, canals, and lagoons that are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. Tours along the beach in search of nesting turtles and sprinting baby turtles are the most popular things to do here. The months of July and October are prime time to see green and hawksbill turtles, while the months of February and April are leatherback turtle nesting season.

The turtles are cute, but they aren't the park's only draw. Manatees, sloths, river otters, tapirs, monkeys (spider, howler, and capuchin), birds (green macaws, toucans, parrots, and herons), and reptiles (giant iguanas) are just some of the animals that can be seen by tourists on boat rides or while paddling canoes through the mangroves and canals. Crocodiles and basilisk lizards

The journey to Tortuguero National Park is just as exciting as exploring the park. Visitors can fly into San Jose, Costa Rica, and then take a boat tour or rent a boat in the village of Tortuguero. Restaurants, hotels, and tour agencies can all be found in Tortuguero village.

Fourth, Playa Jaco [SEE MAP]

photograph by wytze / Flickr

Playa Jaco is a hotspot for tourists less than two hours from San Jose because it has everything that makes Costa Rica great: beautiful beaches, wildlife, outdoor activities, and a pulsating nightlife. Playa Jaco is a fun-loving beach town famous for its excellent surfing waves and carefree party vibe.

Playa Jaco is a popular tourist destination because it is a clean, quiet beach where visitors can swim, surf, and go sport fishing. If you want to learn how to surf, there are local surfing schools and classes you can enroll in. Playa Jaco's fantastic eco-tours include horseback riding, canopy tours, ATV expeditions, safaris, whitewater rafting, and wildlife viewing (including monkeys and scarlet macaws) in the nearby tropical jungles of nature reserves and national parks.

Playa Jaco is a popular tourist destination, so it has many restaurants to choose from, including those that serve both international and traditional Costa Rican cuisine. Playa Jaco also has a thriving nightlife, with dozens of venues including casinos, bars, discos, nightclubs, and even dive bars.

The Third Manuel Antonio Park [SEE MAP]

Manuel Antonio National Park is the most popular in Costa Rica despite being the country's smallest national park because of its proximity to the capital, San Jose. The park is known for its stunning natural scenery and wide array of wildlife and recreational opportunities. Manuel Antonio, a national park in central Costa Rica, is a popular vacation spot for families, backpackers, surfers, snorkelers, avian enthusiasts, and ecotourists thanks to its diverse ecosystems, including lush rainforests, white sand beaches, and beautiful coral reefs.

Swimming, surfing, snorkeling, diving, sea kayaking, whale-watching, sport fishing, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking are just some of the many outdoor activities and adventures available at Manuel Antonio National Park. Various trails provide opportunities to see wildlife like howler monkeys, iguanas, parrots, and even the critically endangered titi monkeys.

From Quepos, where there are numerous lodging, dining, and entertainment options, tourists can catch a bus to Manuel Antonio National Park.

2 The Volcano of Arenal [SEE MAP]

Arenal Volcano, one of Costa Rica's most visited attractions, rises perfectly symmetrically above the verdant hills and pastures of the country's northern lowlands. Once upon a time, Arenal's frequent, small explosions provided incredible displays of spewing lava, making it the most active volcano in Costa Rica. The eruptions, however, have been put on hold indefinitely since 2010, when Arenal's cycle entered a resting phase. Even so, there are many interesting places to visit and exciting things to do in the Arenal region.

Arenal Volcano National Park safeguards the area around Arenal Volcano and the dormant Chato Volcano. You can go fishing, whitewater rafting, mountain climbing, hiking, horseback riding, ziplining, canopy tours, caving, and waterfall rappelling within the park's picturesque landscapes of lakes, rivers, mountains, and rainforests.

The Arenal Volcano area is a haven for flora and fauna lovers, boasting a wide variety of flora and fauna including exotic flowers, mammals like howler monkeys, deer, and jaguar, and birds like parrots and resplendent quetzals. Furthermore, due to Arenal's geothermal activity, visitors can relax in a variety of high-end and budget-friendly hot springs, all of which offer stunning panoramas of the volcano. As for lodging and sightseeing opportunities, the region is home to a number of resorts.

The town of La Fortuna de San Carlos serves as the primary access point to the Arenal Volcano. You can take a bus there from San Jose in no time.

1. The Monteverde Reserve in the Cloud Forest [SEE MAP]

Photo by celebdu on Flickr

Nature's concert of exotic bird, animal, reptile, and insect calls resounds through the misty mountains and tropical jungle below. Monteverde is home to the stunning Cloud Forest Reserve. The Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range in central Costa Rica is home to a protected area that is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning scenery, rich biodiversity, and wide variety of things to do.

Monteverde's buses can take you to the reserve, where you'll find a small lodge, restaurant, and gift shop. Hiking through the park's many trails, admiring its many waterfalls and exotic flowers and plants, and keeping an eye out for wildlife like tapirs, agoutis, frogs, wild pigs, monkeys, porcupines, butterflies, and the rare resplendent quetzel is a popular pastime. a bird once held in high esteem by the ancient Mayans Horseback riding, canopy tours through the trees, Sky Walks across suspension bridges, and zipline adventures through the jungle trees are other ways to experience the cloud forest and its abundant wildlife.

In addition, there is a Quaker-founded dairy farm on the reserve where guests can purchase cheese and ice cream and take a tour to learn how the cheese is made. Additionally, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is home to a nature center where guests can stroll through butterfly gardens and gain insight into the reserve's abundant flora and fauna.

Costa Rica geographical map

Costa Rica Map OpenStreetMap, MapTiler, and Touropia
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