Visitors to the Republic of Costa Rica will find that despite its small size, the country has an incredible number of attractions and activities to offer. Five per cent of the world’s biodiversity can be found within Costa Rica’s borders and great efforts have been made to preserve this rich resource; protected national parks make up almost 25% of the land – more than any other country in the world. From fishing and surfing to white water rafting and exploring volcanic regions, Costa Rica is the perfect playground for nature lovers and adventures seekers alike.




Southern Costa Rica


Southern Costa Rica is known for its remote, unspoilt landscapes encompassing the towering Cerro Chirripo standing at 3820 metres, the jungle-clad Osa Peninsula, and the magnificent La Amistad International Park. Visitors can spot an array of wildlife including monkeys, sloths and coatis; discover the rugged coasts of the Golfo Dulce – a wild, scenic and incredibly biodiverse gulf; and immerse themselves in the local Bribrí, Boruc, Cabecar, and Ngobe cultures. Don’t miss a visit to the Corcovado National Park, featuring a network of scenic hiking trails, long stretches of golden shoreline, and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

San Jose


San Jose, affectionately known to its residents as ‘Chepe’, lies in the heart of Costa Rica and is home to almost two-thirds of the country’s population. With few buildings over 100 years old, the mountainous capital is relatively modern compared to its Latin American counterparts, but still has a significant amount of culture, art and history for visitors to discover. With a number of theatres full of Costa Rican culture, museums that include the largest collection of American jade in the world, and streets full of bright murals and painted buses, San Jose is an eclectic city waiting to be experienced.



Southern Caribbean Coast




Located in Costa Rica, the spectacularly scenic Southern Caribbean Coast is best known for its pristine golden-sand beaches fringed by swaying palm trees and lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters. This coastline offers visitors the quintessential tropical vacation experience. It has yet to be fully discovered by Costa Rica’s tourism boom and retains its unspoilt natural charm. Visitors can spend lazy days relaxing on idyllic Caribbean beaches, snorkelling through underwater wonderlands, and surfing some epic waves. Don’t miss the remarkably beautiful Cahuita National Park, featuring an offshore stretch of coral reef; as well as the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge with its paradisiacal beaches, hidden coves, mangroves, little islands, coral reefs and lush rainforest inhabited by abundant wildlife including: sea turtles, dolphins, manatees, crocodiles and a variety of birdlife.


Southern Costa Rica

Southern Costa Rica is known for its remote, unspoilt landscapes encompassing the towering Cerro Chirripo standing at 3820 metres, the jungle-clad Osa Peninsula, and the magnificent La Amistad International Park. Visitors can spot an array of wildlife including monkeys, sloths and coatis; discover the rugged coasts of the Golfo Dulce – a wild, scenic and incredibly biodiverse gulf; and immerse themselves in the local Bribrí, Boruc, Cabecar, and Ngobe cultures. Don’t miss a visit to the Corcovado National Park, featuring a network of scenic hiking trails, long stretches of golden shoreline, and a variety of diverse ecosystems.

Northern Plains


Set in the north of beautiful Costa Rica, the Northern Plains is a unique region boasting spectacular mountain scenery. This popular destination is known for its cultural and ecotourism adventure opportunities and its breathtaking natural beauty. The landscape features volcanic terrain scattered with cascading waterfalls, rivers, lakes, lagoons, and lush forests. This area is inhabited by a variety of mammals, reptiles, and waterfowl. Visitors can view the spectacular array of wildlife at one of the many sanctuaries such as the biodiverse Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, enjoy a visit to the magnificent Tenorio Volcano National Park and visit Arenal Lake, the largest lake in Costa Rica. Popular activities include kayaking, white water rafting, bird watching, horse riding, cycling, boat cruises, canopy tours and ziplining.

Manuel Antonio

Neighbouring the spectacularly scenic 680-hectare Manuel Antonio National Park and situated along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, the bustling beachside village of Manuel Antonio offers a variety of comfortable accommodation options for eco-explorers and adventurers who flock here to explore this beautiful area. The undeniable highlight is the adjacent Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica’s smallest national park, featuring lush biodiverse rainforests, mangroves, lagoons, offshore coral reefs, pristine white-sand beaches and abundant wildlife including over 100 mammal species and almost 200 bird species. Visitors can enjoy a variety of exciting activities including fishing, swimming, snorkelling, wildlife viewing, bird watching, hiking and relaxing on tropical beaches.


Manuel Antonio National Park


Set just south of Quepos, on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, the Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world. Boasting enthralling rain forests, pristine beaches, and gorgeous coral reefs, this is an ultimate destination for outdoor explorers. Some of the best beaches are the Playa Espadilla Sur and Playa Manuel Antonio, and the conditions for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing (lessons are on offer) are excellent here. In the forests, hikers may see iguanas, sloths, snakes, lizards, butterflies, many types of monkeys and brightly coloured tiny crabs. The forest is a mecca for birdwatchers – there are more than 350 spectacular bird species including toucans and emerald amazon kingfishers. Several lovely bistros and bars are scattered around the outskirts.


The horseshoe bay of Tamarindo, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, offers three and a half kilometres of white sand and azure waters. Five-star resorts are strung along the beachfront with charming restaurants, bars and shops clustered further back from the beach, under the lush vegetation that blankets this laid back town. Surfing, diving, estuary trips, fishing and a weekly farmers market are just some of the activities on offer in Tamarindo. For a rare opportunity to witness turtles nesting, travel to National Park Las Baulas just outside town.


Bordering the Tortuguero National Park along Costa Rica’s beautiful Carribean Coast, the village of Tortuguero is known for its ecotourism and its extensive network of canals. It is set amidst tropical lowland rainforests, magnificent rivers, and pristine beaches. A definite highlight of the area is taking the unique once in a lifetime opportunity to watch baby green turtles hatch along the shoreline. Visitors can look forward to a wide selection of exciting activities such as: visiting the Tortuguero National Park which is home to over 300 species of bird, a variety of flora and diverse fauna. Other popular activities include: hiking, sport fishing, canal tours, canopy tours, and kayaking. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit and explore the nearby Barra del Colorado Wildlife Refuge, the Cariari National Wetlands, and theTurtle Museum at Sea Turtle Conservancy.


Located less than two hours from the Costa Rican capital, San Jose, Jacó is famed for its sparkling nightlife, tropical beaches and world-class waves. This small resort destination is a magnet for surfers, backpackers and party-loving travellers, and a popular getaway for San Jose locals looking to escape urban living for a spell. The town offers excellent shopping, wining and dining, as well as lovely beaches and an array of outdoor activities. Don’t miss a visit to the renowned Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls, where you can see a spectacular display of plants and flowers from all over the world. The village’s rainforest surrounds provide the opportunities for excellent adventure and nature activities, including trekking, canopy tours, golf, sport fishing, paragliding, sea kayaking and bungee jumping.

Rincon de la Vieja National Park


Named after one of three volcanoes in the reserve, Rincon de la Vieja National Park offers a heady mix of rolling green hills, gushing waterfalls and lush cloud forest. The park attracts travellers year round who come to explore its volcanoes, hot springs and numerous picture perfect waterfalls. Rincon de la Vieja means “The Old Woman’s Corner” and was named after a local legend, which tells of a girl’s lover who was thrown into the volcano by her father. It’s said the woman became a recluse and developed healing powers, living out her days on the slopes of Rincon de la Vieja.




Situated in South Costa Rica, along its beautiful southwestern Pacific Coast, Dominical is a quaint beachside village best known for its excellent surfing. It boasts some large, impressive waves which make it popular with surfers who flock here from all corners of the globe. This village is surrounded by the lush jungle-clad foothills of the Talamanca Mountains and features scenic landscapes boasting various estuaries, mangroves, marshes, and sheer cliffs plunging into the ocean. Visitors can enjoy the long stretches of black-sand beaches, spot dolphins in the surf, and visit the Marino Ballena National Park for some of the best whale watching in the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike to the magnificent Nauyaca Waterfalls. Other popular activities include thrilling canopy tours, hiking, horse riding, surfing, fishing, sea kayaking, bird watching and wildlife viewing.


Situated in southern Costa Rica, the small village of Uvita, also known as Uvita de Osa, is a little remote gem on the coast. It isn’t as overdeveloped as the other beach towns and boasts an array of wonderful attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Uvita serves as the gateway to the incredibly scenic Marino Ballena National Park, famous for its migrating pods of humpback whales. It features a unique peninsula, the Cola de Ballena, which translates as ’The Whale’s Tail’, which is indeed in the shape of a whale tail. Visitors can look forward to enjoying a refreshing dip in the Uvita Waterfall, as well as the enormous multi-tiered Nauyaca Waterfall and exploring the caves of Playa Las Ventanas Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a magnificent sunset over the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and spot colourful toucans flying around the jungle. Highlights include: the Annual Whale and Dolphin Festival, horse riding excursions, kayaking tours and excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities.


Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula lies between the Pacific Ocean and the Golfo Dulce in the southwestern region of the country. This virtually untouched corner of the world contains almost half of Costa Rica’s wildlife species, offering nature lovers the chance to see exotic animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians in the rainforest of the Corcovado National Park. The surrounding waters invite visitors to surf, snorkel, fish, or simply relax on the white sandy beaches before retreating to the rustic Puerto Jimenez, the largest settlement in the area, for a good night’s rest.


Teetering on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula is the lively bohemian village of Montezuma, a lush tropical paradise cradled by rolling hillsides completely covered by exuberant jungle on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Expats flock to this hippie haven and revel in the stunning natural beauty of quiet beaches, rivers, cascading waterfalls and verdant landscapes. A trip downtown leads travellers to an array of quaint art shops, bars, vendors, hotels, beach restaurants and vibrant street life. Nature enthusiasts thrive amid the scores of activities available including canopy tours at the Montezuma Waterfalls, surfing at the Playa Grande, and admiring exotic butterflies at the Mariposario Gardens. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike at the forested Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve, home to monkeys, agoutis, peccaries, sloths, deer, coyotes and raccoons.


Braulio Carrillo National Park

Braulio Carrillo National Park is located in both the Heredia Province and the San José Province, Costa Rica. Part of the Central Volcanic Conservation Area, it stretches over approximately 109,000 acres and has an altitude of about 3000 metres between its highest and lowest points. Containing many ecoregion zones, this national park consists of one of the highest levels of biodiversity in Costa Rica.


Puerto Jiménez


Resting between the marshlands of Quebrada Cacao and the glistening waters of the Golfo Dulce lies the largest of the Osa Peninsula towns; Puerto Jimenez. Originally built as a mining hub, today, this quaint town acts as the gateway to the spectacular Corcovado National Park, an expansive lowland tropical rainforest known as one of the most iconic attractions in Costa Rica. There is a lot more than meets the eye with this modest seaside town, as visitors are met by locals strolling down the sandy streets, fishermen tending to their bopping boats in the bay and the white-faced capuchins traversing the treetops. Adventure seekers can enjoy dolphin watching in the bay, kayaking the mangrove swamps of Gulfo Dulce, or admiring the breathtaking sunset before heading out to experience the booming nightlife.

Carara National Park


Conveniently located in close proximity to the city of San Jose, the Carara National Park features dense jungle and easy hiking trails, and is considered to be one of the Costa Rica’s best birding destinations. This protected area encompasses 4700 hectares and boasts a number of distinct ecosystems such as marshlands, lagoons, and gallery forests which are home to a diverse range of wildlife. Local animals include: Two-toed Sloth, Agouti, Armadillo, Pacas, Great Anteater, Crocodile, Kinkajou, Tayra, Margay cat, Collared Peccary, White-tailed Deer, a variety of monkeys and over 400 species of bird. The park is also famous for containing one of the highest diversity of trees in the world, as well as a number of pre-Columbian archaeological sites dating back as far as 2000 years.


Palo Verde National Park


Situated in Costa Rica, the Palo Verde National Park is known for its abundant variety of bird species. This sanctuary features an endangered biodiverse ecosystem and protects important floodplains, evergreen forests, mangrove wetlands and seasonal pools. This environment consists of two very different zones which include: spectacular wetlands and one of the last tropical dry forests in the world. Many of the resident tropical bird species nest on bird island, a small mangrove island in the Río Tempisque. Commonly spotted bird species include: great curassows, scarlet macaws, blue-winged teal, roseate spoonbills, anhingas, jabirus, white ibis, and wood storks among many others.


Playa Hermosa


Sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of Playa del Coco and Playa Panama on the western coast of Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica, lies Playa Hermosa; a sanctuary of relaxation. Hermosa, the Spanish translation for beautiful, is a testament to this tropical haven with its golden shores, marine-rich turquoise waters and lush greenery, all just metres apart. Boasting warm inviting waters, visitors can surf the powerful breaks, enjoy a leisurely kayak along the bay and snorkel amidst the ocean’s rich dive sites featuring volcanic rock, vibrant coral gardens and spectacular marine life. Those seeking an inland experience can indulge in decadent cuisine, meander around the many shops that line the beach or venture further out for a day trip to the spectacular Arenal Volcano.


Limon, also known as Puerto Limon, serves as the capital of Costa Rica’s Limon Province. It buzzes with a multicultural heritage, an interesting culture, and a fascinating history. This idyllically positioned coastal city is known as the most important port in the country and hosts numerous cruise ships throughout the year. It is an excellent base from which to explore the beautiful surrounding area. The city boasts a strong Afro-Caribbean culture and a blend of architectural styles can be seen in the somewhat dilapidated buildings lining the streets, which many can argue is where Limon’s charm lies. This Costa Rican city was one of Christopher Columbus’ ports of call while exploring the New World. Limon is a popular tourist destination with many attractions scattered around the city including the Parque Vargas on the east side of town.



Monteverde, the name of a settlement and a forest described as ‘the jewel in the crown of cloud forests’ by National Geographic, lies in the Cordillera de Tilaran mountain range in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. One of the rarest habitats on the planet and unique from the country’s other rainforests for its constant swathes of mist (which give it its name), the Monteverde Cloud Forest is an incredible wild world filled with thousands of plant species, insects, bird varieties, and animals. Watch brightly-coloured birds at play in the Curi-Cancha Reserve; take a guided hike or horse ride through the dense jungle; watch electric blue frogs jump about at the famous Frog Pond, or take a dip in the pools around the San Luis Waterfall. Must-sees include the Butterfly Gardens, Orchid House, Selvatura treetop suspension bridges, and coffee, chocolate, and sugarcane tour.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Known as the ‘Forest in the Clouds’, Monteverde is one of Costa Rica’s key conservation areas, taking in six different ecological zones and home to a kaleidoscopic array of flora and fauna. Breathtaking walking trails traverse this mountainous reserve, whilea network of canopy bridges are suspended in the tree tops overhead – both offering visitors the chance to experience its astonishing biodiversity. The park’s menagerie of exotic wildlife includes jaguars, ocelots, three-wattled bell birds, bare-necked umbrella birds, and elusive, vividly coloured quetzals, while its botanical offerings range from woodlands and rainforests, to exquisite orchids, delicate ferns, jungle vines and mosses.

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

This once-sleepy fishing village has become a popular tourist destination in recent years due its incredible beaches, crystal-clear water, laid-back Caribbean charm and amazing surf. Aside from the spectacular beaches fringing the town itself, two national parks, to the north and south respectively, feature pristine bays and coves where the rainforests tumble down to the waterline. These lush jungles are the natural habitat of a cornucopia of wildlife, including exotic mammals such as the howler monkey and myriad bird species. Snorkelling, surfing and simply soaking up the sun are the order of the day in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, while the town’s selection of reggae bars provide atmospheric spots in which to while the night away.


Named after the native Quepoa Indians who lived in the area until the 1800’s, Quepos is a small but active town on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, boasting a traditional Latin American charm and an energetic nightlife. Although the town serves as a gateway to the nearby Manuel Antonia National Park, it has many wonderful attractions of its own, including a variety of fish that have made it a world-class destination for sport fishing. For those in search of a different kind of thrill, Quepos offers kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, canopy tours and many other activities for adventurous visitors.

Santa Teresa

Resting on the western edge of the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is a tiny beach village set on the beautiful coast of Costa Rica. It is a surfing mecca and draws many visitors to its sandy shores each year. This laid-back town has grown into a popular travel destination. Visitors can stroll along the gorgeous white sandy beaches and watch the surfers that flock here to surf the impressive waves from all over the globe. Aside from surfing Santa Teresa offers a variety of other activities for visitors to enjoy including hiking in the scenic surrounds, enjoying a horse riding excursion and thrilling canopy tours. Those looking for more adventure can also look forward to exploring the nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve.


Idyllically set on Costa Rica’s exquisite Caribbean coast, Cahuita is a little beach town known for its laid back atmosphere and authentic Caribbean culture. This tropical paradise is a gateway to the magnificent Cahuita National Park. The park lies to the west of the town and features an abundance of exotic wildlife as well as a long stretch of exquisite forest-lined beach lapped by warm turquoise waters. Just to the east of town is a popular black sand beach providing some excellent swimming conditions and small waves which are ideal for beginner surfers. Other outdoor activities available in the area include: snorkelling, scuba diving, hiking and canoeing. Foodies are equally well catered for with a delicious range of unique Afro-Caribbean cuisine served up in Cahuita’s lovely selection of local restaurants.


Poas Volcano

A major attraction in the central region Costa Rica, the Poas Volcano is an active volcano. At approximately 2650 meters above sea level, the crater of the volcano measures more than a mile across. Seismic activity was first recorded at the volcano in 1828.


The government of Costa Rica established a 5600 hectare national park in 1971, protecting the cloud forest and ecosystems surrounding the Poas Volcano. In 1993, the park was expanded to 6506 hectares. Several short trails can be found at the volcano summit, leading to the main crater and the crater lake.


Drake Bay

Drake Bay, also known as Bahia Drake, is located on the north side of the Osa Peninsula on the coast of southwestern Costa Rica. The area is famous for its incredible display of nature, which takes the form of lush, untamed tropical rainforests, impressive wildlife, and National Parks. The isolated, unspoilt woodlands are covered with thick canopies where screeching macaws and swinging howler monkeys have their homes. Nearby, golden sandy beaches are lapped by turquoise seas. Off the shores of the Isla del Cano Marine Reserve, go snorkelling and diving to spot huge, multicoloured schools of tropical fish, as well as dolphins, small sharks and even whales. Rio Agujitas provides great kayaking opportunities at high tide (look out for small crocodiles, reptiles and birds). Head to the Corcovado National Park for lots of animals including the big Baird’s Tapir.


Playa Hermosa

Sandwiched between the hustle and bustle of Playa del Coco and Playa Panama on the western coast of Guanacaste Province in Costa Rica, lies Playa Hermosa; a sanctuary of relaxation. Hermosa, the Spanish translation for beautiful, is a testament to this tropical haven with its golden shores, marine-rich turquoise waters and lush greenery, all just metres apart. Boasting warm inviting waters, visitors can surf the powerful breaks, enjoy a leisurely kayak along the bay and snorkel amidst the ocean’s rich dive sites featuring volcanic rock, vibrant coral gardens and spectacular marine life. Those seeking an inland experience can indulge in decadent cuisine, meander around the many shops that line the beach or venture further out for a day trip to the spectacular Arenal Volcano.


Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui



Once the most important river port of Costa Rica, this quaint market town lies on the confluence of the Rio Sarapiqui and Rio Puerto Viejo in the northeast of the country. Visitors are drawn to the area for the natural beauty and adventure of its tropical rainforests, where a range of activities are on offer – from hiking and leisurely birdwatching to riverboat tours that give visitors the chance to view toucans, monkeys, sloths and crocodiles, among other jungle creatures. Alternatively, visitors can take in the abundant scenery and wildlife on horseback, while thrill-seekers can experience the adrenaline-fuelled activities of kayaking, white water rafting and zip-line forest canopy tours.



Located southeast of San Jose, Cartago is a Costa Rican city set in the foothills of the Irazu Volcano in the Central Valley of Cartago. Cartago is one of the oldest towns in the country and once served as the capital of Costa Rica. It is home to La Negrita, the Black Madonna shrine at Our Lady of the Angels Basilica. Highlights include the Apostol Parish Ruins which form a central park, the beautiful Lankester Botanical Garden displaying over 1000 orchid species and the wildlife-rich rainforests of Tapantí Macizo de la Muerte National Park.



La Fortuna


Located just 2-hours drive northwest of the capital of San Jose, the little Costa Rican town of La Fortuna rests at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano. La Fortuna provides an excellent base for visitors to explore the beautiful surrounding area and serves as the gateway to the scenic Arenal Volcano National Park. Visitors can enjoy a comfortable stay at a host of guesthouses offering magnificent views of the volcano towering over the town, soak up some spectacularly scenic sights from numerous well-situated viewpoints and along hiking trails through the rainforest, or enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs. Don’t miss the beautiful La Fortuna waterfall and natural pool, the glistening Arenal Lake and the forest-covered slopes of the Chato Volcano. La Fortuna is known for its wonderful combination of adventure and nature and will no doubt keep visitors enthralled.


Corcovado National Park

One of Costa Rica’s most important ecological areas, Corcovado National Park was once described by National Geographic as ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’. This rich ecosystem stretches along the southern Pacific coast and encompasses beautiful ocean bays, tropical rainforest teeming with life, Central America’s largest wetland area, and the country’s biggest mangrove forest, sprawled over 20 000 hectares. Its myriad exotic creatures include jaguars, ocelots, tapirs, red macaws, quetzals and red-eyed tree frogs – not to mention the dolphins and humpback whales that breed in the coastal waters. Nature and adventure lovers will be in their element here, with a host of outdoor activities on offer, including wildlife viewing, fishing, surfing, and jungle treks.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Located in central Costa Rica, the Arenal Volcano National Park lies within the Arenal Tilaran Conservation Area and encompasses eight of the country’s 12 protected life zones. The park is home to the majority of Costa Rica’s 850 bird species, and an array of exotic creatures such as capuchin monkeys, parrot snakes, jaguars and deer, and its diverse landscapes include grasslands and volcanic badlands. Overlooking the park is the magnificent Arenal Volcano as well as the Chato Volcano, complete with a stunning lagoon. Experience this exciting region by hiking through lava fields and rainforests, spotting birds and animals, and taking a dip in the hot springs.

Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s ‘off-the beaten-track’ destinations, separated from the country’s mainland by the the Gulf of Nicoya and the Tempisque estuary. Visitors who venture here will find it well worth the effort – Nicoya’s idyllic sand beaches, aquamarine bays, charming local hamlets and excellent eco-tourism opportunities combine to make it an unforgettable travel experience. Popular pursuits here include sport-fishing, fishing, snorkelling, diving, surfing, or simply soaking up the sun on the peninsula’s array of magnificent beaches, as well as bird-watching and wildlife viewing in its various nature reserves.

Tenorio Volcano National Park

Set in the north of Costa Rica, Tenorio Volcano National Park, also referred to as Tenorio, is home to a magnificent volcano from which it received its name. The park is covered in natural tropical forest scattered with rivers and waterfalls. One of the many highlights is a hike to the magnificent Celeste Waterfall with its impossibly blue waters. Visitors can also enjoy walking over the many suspension bridges in the rainforest, visiting the Blue Lagoon, and climbing through the cloud forest along the Crater Trail to the top of the volcano to view the steaming Lago Dante. Don’t miss the incredible natural hot springs as well as the opportunity to spot an abundance of wildlife while walking through this tropical paradise.


Costa Rica’s gateway to the Pacific coast, Puntarenas is a quintessential port town – a little tattered around the edges, but full of character. For most travellers, a stop here is a means to an end – a jumping-off point for excursions to more remote beach resorts peppering the central Pacific coast – but Puntarenas’ relaxed atmosphere and down-to-earth charm endear it to many who find themselves passing through. Key attractions in the city include the central plaza, the old cathedral, and the Parque Marino del Pacífico, where a series of saltwater aquariums highlight Costa Rica’s rich marine life. While you’re there, it’s worth visiting the Macaw Sanctuary El Manantial, 30 minutes out of town, where you can view these resplendent and endangered jungle birds up close; and the attractive nearby beaches of Playa Doña Aña and Playa Tivives.




Resting on the outer western edge of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula between the popular beach towns of Playa Samara and Playa Tamarindo, the surfer’s town of Nosara is known for its picture-perfect wildlife, array of watersports, and long-standing yoga culture. A long stretch of white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees and verdant jungle make Nosara a prime destination for holidaymakers, and it is one of the only coastal towns with little development on the beach. Rated as one of the top twenty surfing destinations by National Geographic, the town draws surfers from all over the world to enjoy its clean, plentiful waves. Renowned for its various yoga centres, Nosara beckons to health-conscious crowds. Other highlights include: a lovely array of restaurants and a variety of wild animals at the Nosara Biological Reserve.




Situated in vibrant Costa Rica, the large city of Alajuela serves as the capital of the Alajuela Province. It is known for its rich history, laid-back charm and provides an excellent base from which to explore the countryside to the north. This city’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the hometown of one of the country’s most famous national heroes, Juan Santamaria, a humble drummer boy who sacrificed his life at the Battle of Santa Rosa. Visitors can look forward to exploring Parque Central, a lush oasis in the heart of the city; browsing the massive Central Market, which stretches over an entire block; or visiting the Juan Santamaria Cultural Historical Museum, to learn about local history and view an array of historical artefacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample authentic Costa Rican cuisine at one of the many restaurants and cafes lining the bustling streets.




Located on Costa Rica’s scenic Pacific coast in the Guanacaste Province, the little village of Samara is known for its palm-fringed golden-sand beach lapped by crystalline turquoise waters. Visitors can explore the fascinating local streets of the town filled with upmarket boutiques, small hotels, tour operators and an array of restaurants, cafes and bars. The surrounding area boasts a magnificent landscape covered in lush tropical forest and inhabited by a variety of wildlife including iguanas, monkeys and many different bird species. Visitors can enjoy an ice-cold beer at one of the beach bars, take a sunset stroll on the spectacular Playa Samara, and participate in a host of watersports such as kayaking, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. Popular attractions include: the Werner-Sauter Biological Reserve, the Belen Waterfall and the offshore coral reef.

Gulf of Papagayo

On the northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, just north of Playa Panama, lies the exquisite untamed Gulf of Papagayo. This expansive wilderness area is known for its spectacular views, its excellent bird watching opportunities, its impressive array of exclusive, luxury resorts and its beautiful palm-lined beaches featuring long stretches of powder white sand lapped by calm, aquamarine waters. Surrounded by lush tropical forest and a dramatic volcanic landscape, the Gulf of Papagayo is the perfect destination for nature lovers eager to explore the magnificent national parks of Guanacaste, or those looking to simply unwind with a cocktail in hand on one of the area’s idyllic world-class beaches.



Situated in the Costa Rican Cartago Province, the small city of Turrialba is home to flourishing agriculture, textile, and tourism industries. Renowned for its amazing white water rafting, visitors can enjoy thrilling excursions down the Pacuare and Reventazon Rivers. This city serves as the gateway to the Costa Rican Caribbean and has been declared as a city of National Archeological Interest. Visitors can explore the largely undiscovered Turrialba Volcano National Park, home of the active Turrialba Volcano; discover Costa Rica’s only pre-Columbian ruins at Guayabo; and sample some delicious locally-made Turrialba cheese. Don’t miss the opportunity to climb the majestic Turrialba Volcano located just 15 kilometres northwest of town.