Costa Rica is proof that big things can come in small packages. Although this Central American gem is barely the size of West Virginia, it’s the most biodiverse country on the planet—and given its extensive coastlines and varied landscapes, it is arguably one of the most beautiful. This list will help you experience the best of it.
Costa Rica Travel Guides
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Every year travelers from around the world travel to the tiny Costa Rican town of La Fortuna. They come for one reason and one reason alone—to experience the majesty of Costa Rica's most famous active volcano and its surrounding natural wonders. Here is our expert guide to discovering Arenal.
Costa Rica's Guanacaste Province is an eco-playground with plentiful beaches and large expanses of protected rainforest. This guide covers everything you need to know to discover this Pacific gem—you'll be learning to surf in Tamarindo or visiting the cascading falls of Viento Fresco in no time.
Costa Rica's mountainous Monteverde region is a traveler favorite, topping lists for its distinct cloud forest ecosystem, abundant wildlife, and options for hiking and zip-lining. Head northwest for a long weekend from San José or visit after a few days at Arenal—whatever you choose, this guide has everything you need to plan your time.
While most visitors to Costa Rica will head west to the Pacific, the laidback lifestyle and Afro-Caribbean culture and cuisine of Puerto Viejo beckon you to experience life on the country's eastern coast. This guide will introduce you to the playas, towns, wilderness areas, and signature excursions that make Puerto Viejo the incredible destination it is, plus offer tips on where to stay and what to eat.
Manuel Antonio is a slice of paradise on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. A short flight (or four-hour drive) south of San José, the national park and surrounding area have rainforest hiking trails and lots of beaches to explore, each with its own character. Learn where to eat, stay, and play with this comprehensive guide.
San José offers much more than the international airport most visitors fly into. Costa Rica's capital is a cultural hub worth getting to know, and provides a great intro to the country's food and history. Take a day or two to explore the city—this guide will help you make the most of your time.
Scarlet macaws fly over secluded lagoons, wild ocelots roam the jungle, and the call of howler monkeys carry in the wind. This is the Osa Peninsula, an area famous for its remote rainforests and abundant marine life. Whether you're on a solo spiritual journey or a family adventure, this guide shows you how to enjoy it to its full potential.
When travelers want to experience an even wilder side of Costa Rica, they come to Tortuguero National Park. This protected area, famous as a nesting ground for sea turtles, is remote, little developed, accessible only by boat and plane—and totally worth the journey. Read on for all the info needed to make the most of your Tortuguero adventure.
Many travelers use San José as an overnight stay when flying in and out of Costa Rica, and nothing more. But you’d be amiss to skip exploring this culturally and historically rich capital, which mixes customs and traditions from across the country. In San José, you can taste regional delicacies and mingle with residents as you peruse markets, visit museums to learn more about the city’s origins, enjoy aperitifs with rooftop city views, and more.
The colorful wildlife (yes, the resplendent quetzal resides here), lush vegetation, and abundance of hiking trails found in the misty cloud forests of Monteverde make it an appealing destination for travelers looking to immerse in nature. But with so many activities, parks, and private reserves to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. Our expert tips can help you choose a memorable cloud forest experience in Monteverde.