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9 of the Best Places To Visit In Costa Rica

Republic of Costa Rica is a country in Central America, which is surrounded by Nicaragua in the north, Panama in the southeast, Pacific Ocean in the west, Caribbean Sea in the east and Ecuador in the South. Because of the strict environmental policies of the government, Costa Rica has the highest population of plants and animals species on earth with 26 nature parks, 8 biological reserves, 32 protected zones, 11 forest reserves, 58 wildlife refuges, 15 wetlands in Costa Rica. Eco-tourism because of rich & diverse flora-fauna, beautiful beaches, volcanoes and eco-friendly all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica are some of the major attraction which attracts large amount of tourists ever year. Here is an overview of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.

Places To Visit In Costa Rica

Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a town and district located in the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Year-round sunshine, scenic views, nature parks, beaches, lovely atmosphere and all-inclusive resorts in Costa Rica makes it a popular place for family vacation and nature lovers. Main attraction in Tamarindo is the long and rocky beach with excellent waves making it a perfect place for surfing, kayaking, sailing, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing and cruises. Tourist can also enjoy visiting “Marino Las Baulas National Park” which is a great place for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife adventure. Tamarindo is also country important sanctuaries for nesting leatherback sea turtles. Other major attractions are sport fishing and golfing.

Beach Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Image Credits: Hqfrancis

San Jose

San Jose is the capital and the largest city of Costa Rica located in the Central Valley surrounded by lush green valleys and mountains. San Jose is the seat of the national government, center of political and economic activity and transportation hub of this Central American nation. San Jose European Inspired Architecture and numerous cultural, musical, and artistic presentations and activities, which include traditional and modern Costa Rican and San José culture, are the main tourist attraction here. There are countless theaters, museums, parks and zoos to visit here. Such as The National Theatre of Costa Rica, The Melico Salazar Theatre, The National Auditorium of The Children’s Museum of Costa Rica, The National Museum of Costa Rica, The Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold, The Museum of Costa Rican Art, The National Park, Morazán Park , La Sabana Metropolitan Park, Peace Park and Simón Bolívar Zoo.

San Jose City in Costa Rica
Image Credits: Eric T Gunther

Chirripo National Park

Chirripo National Park is national park of Costa Rica spanning over 3 provinces of San Jose, Limon and Cartago. It is established in 1975. It is named after Cerro Chirripó, the highest mountain in Costa Rica, which is also the main attraction among tourists who visits this national park. Summiting the peak starts with a hike starts with a 16.5 kilometers from the town of San Gerardo de Rivas to the park ranger refuge followed by a 5 kilometers of walk to the peak.

 Chirripó National Park
Image Credit: Peter Andersen

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park is a national park situated in the northwestern part of Costa Rica in Guanacaste Province. It encompasses the Rincón de la Vieja and Santa María volcanoes, as well as the dormant Cerro Von Seebach which are the main attractions here. This national park also has variety of plant and wildlife makes it one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.

Volcán Rincón de la Vieja in Costa Rica
Image Credit: cyph3r

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park is a national park situated in southwestern part of Costa Rica in Osa Peninsula. It is the largest national park in Costa Rica. National Geographic has called it “the most intense places on earth in terms of bio diversity”. Corcovado is not only famous amount ecologists but also among tourists who wanted to experience abundance of wildlife. This national park is open for public and can be visited in day and overnight (under professional guide supervision). Tourist can easily witness scarlet macaws, spider monkeys, Central American squirrel monkey, mantled howler monkeys, sloths, anteaters, pumas, white faced capuchin monkeys, woodpeckers, hermit crabs and pelicans just to name some few.

Beach at Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica
Image Credits: José R.

Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park is a national park situated in the northeastern part of Costa Rica in Limón Province. It is the third most visited national park in Costa Rica, despite of its remote location. Airplane and boat is the only transportation option available to reach this park. The park is famous for its large variety of biological diversity which includes 11 different habitats from rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Tortuguero 35 kilometers long beach serves as a breeding ground which is also the main attraction here. This park is also home of around 400 species of trees and 2200 species of plants and fauna species like, sea turtles (hawksbill, loggerheads, green, and leatherbacks), bull shark, eel and 30 species of freshwater fish.

Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica
Image Credits: KTWL

Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park is a small national park in the Central Pacific Conservation Area located in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches, scenic great mountains and forest that reach the beaches. It also has large land and marine bio diversity. Because of which this park attracts surfers, swimmers, birders and eco tourists.

Every year around 150,000 tourists visit this national park. It is also listed by Forbes among the world’s 12 beautiful national parks.

Beach at Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Image Credits: Jackhynes

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano is active andesitic stratovolcano located in northwestern part of Costa Rica around 90m km from San Jose. A 7500 years old, 1633 meters high with a crater of 140 meters in diameter. Since December 2010, there is no explosion in the Arenal. The Arenal volcano is located in the center of the Arenal Volcano Nation Park which is the major attraction here; also the surroundings of Arenal are quite scenic and outstanding.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is located in central, Costa Rica. This forest reserve consists of 10,000 hectares of cloud forest, which is visited by 70,000 visitors every year. This forest reserve consist of 2,500 plant species, 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn scientists and tourists since. Apart from breathtaking wildlife experience, this forest reserve also offers zip lining and canopy tours for the tourists.

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Image Credit: Haakon S. Krohn

What are your favorite places to visit in Costa Rica?

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