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Travel Guide

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Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s strikingly diverse terrain — lush forests, wildlife reserves, and tropical beaches — offers a little something for every traveler. Costa Rica merits repeat visits. But if you’re just starting your explorations of one of Central America’s most beautiful countries, these stops will steer you in the right direction. It has endless attractions and destinations to see that may take you a long time if you’re not sure of what you want to see and do, or if you have no idea of what the country has to offer. This brief guide to this beautiful country will give you an inspiration of which places to visit, things to do or where to stay to come into life your Costa Rica luxury vacations dream.

Poas Volcano National Park

The Poas Volcano National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Costa Rica thanks to its proximity with the San Jose city and the international airport. The main crater of this volcano is one of the largest in the world and the expedition consists of a hike to the crater rim. A full day tour can be done if you’re planning to visit this active volcano or as a stop during a transfer to other destination such as Arenal. A stopover to this national park is a great addition if you’re going on a coffee tour to Doka Coffee Estate or visiting La Paz Waterfall Gardens. This is a great idea especially if you have more time to spend in San Jose.

The weather in this park is cold and humid, with possible rain all year round. It has an average temperature of 15ºC which is a great weather condition for lush, green vegetation around.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park is located in La Fortuna, Costa Rica surrounded with a variety of conditions and attractions that will surely capture your heart. This means that whatever it is that you’re looking for, may it be adventure, relaxation, or nature encounter, you’ll surely find it here in Arenal Volcano National Park.

Its main attraction is obviously the Arenal Volcano which currently in a resting phase. Its hot springs are also one of the things you should try here. Some of the most popular adventurous experiences include whitewater rafting, zip lining, hiking, walk on a hanging bridge and many more.  But if you’re just looking for a relaxation, you can simply enjoy the hot spring pools while enjoying the incredible views of the volcano. You can also treat yourself with a volcanic mud wrap or a stone massage in one of the best spas located in the hotels of the area.

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall is located near the Arenal Volcano National Park area. It’s 5.5 kilometers away from La Fortuna San Carlos, next to the Chato Hill. It owns a beauty scenic surrounded by abundant vegetation and a great variety of flora and fauna. The waterfall is produced by waters from the Fortuna River and by tributaries located in the mountains of the zone.

Another item to tick on your bucket list is visiting the La Fortuna waterfalls. Viewing this majestic waterfall of 70 meters high in this tropical setting is breathtaking. Don’t forget to bring a waterproof backpack, raincoats and make sure you have your swimmers to jump in.

The admission is $15 USD for adults and $15 for children over 6. The hike down to the waterfall is short and arduous, along with a staircase carved into the hillside. Guests are encouraged to swim in the stream and small rapids below the falls, and there’s a lifeguard on duty.

Celeste River

Celeste River is a river in Tenorio Volcano National Park of Costa Rica. It is notable for its distinctive turquoise coloration. It also borders a few hot springs and has one large waterfall. One of the natural wonders of the country is without a doubt the Celeste River and maybe you have already heard about it, as it is one of the most famous places in Costa Rica. In the place, the blue volume surrounded by fumaroles can be appreciated, stones and brooks. The waters of the river are rich in minerals, as well as volcanic material as the copper sulfate and sulfur, that cause the water takes a crystalline color very similar to the sky color.

Along the trail, you can also see thermal hot springs and a blue lagoon. Visitors must stay on the trail so as not to disrupt any part of the forest’s ecosystem. It can be accessed from either Gautuso or Bijagua. Gautuso is about an hour from La Fortuna. It takes close to an hour and 45 minutes to reach Bijagua.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast, encompasses rugged rainforest, white-sand beaches, and coral reefs. It’s renowned for its vast diversity of tropical plants and wildlife, from three-toed sloths and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys to hundreds of bird species. This is maybe one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica. Manuel Antonio National Park combines a variety of wildlife, a lush vegetation, and an incredible beach, and that’s why it is one of the favorite places of families, couples, and solo travelers.

It’s easy to spend your entire holiday in this area of the country! Manuel Antonio is the premier destination of the Central Pacific region offering a variety of small intimate hotels artistically built into a rainforest hillside between town and the popular Manuel Antonio National Park.