Things to Do
Costa Rica is expensive. Spend some time saving before your visit if you really want to explore this wonderful nation to its fullest.
Bring a good camera, you have opportunities to take some once in a lifetime shots here, but a point and shoot without a zoom lense, just won't do.
Be prepared for early rises. A lot of hiking tours begin at the buttcrack of dawn. This isn't really where you stay up drinking loads.
The west coast is more touristic and said to be much safer, as well as more picturesque, but the Caribbean side has a lot to offer, like Cahuita National Park, which is a must do.
1. Hiker's rejoice!
Costa Rica has a whopping 29 National Parks all laden with trails, volcanoes, and wildlife, plus many on the water so you can go for a dip after all that walking. Our favourite park was Manuel Antonio for the sheer amount of monkey sightings. Other popular parks include Carara for birdwatching, including: woodpeckers, toucans, manakins, jacamars, and even the scarlet macaw.
2. Explore the Nicoya Peninsula
With 80-miles of shoreline, towns and dense forests provide a backdrop for surfers, beach lovers, snorklers, scuba divers, hikers, and wildlife watchers. The beaches at the tip of the peninsula, are backed by Cabo Blanco, the oldest protected area of Costa Rica, with a 4.5 km trail leading through old-growth tropical forest to a white-sand beach. Talk about a dream come true.
3. Visit the hot springs in La Fortuna
Naturally warm, and drenched in volcanic minerals, these hot springs are a real draw. It's a great way to relax, and it's great for the skin. You'll feel like you've spent the day at a spa.
4. Monteverde Cloud Forest
Suspended bridges are not the only amazing attraction in this cloud forest; the abundant opportunities to catch glimpses of wildlife are a big draw all year round. Birds, monkeys, and reptiles all call this forest home.
5. Do go chasing waterfalls
There are hundreds of waterfalls around the country that you can reach by hike, horseback riding, and some by rappelling to0! El Chorro Waterfall, near Montezuma is one of the few waterfalls around the world that tumbles directly into an ocean (Pacific Ocean). Another fall not to miss is Rio Celeste, situated in Tenorio Volcano National Park. The Celeste River, the waterfall, and the pool it collects into are a stunning blue color because of a chemical combination of sulfur and calcium carbonate. Sometimes the waterfall itself glows blue.