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Top Places to visit during your vacations in Costa Rica

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Ultimate list of the top places to visit on your vacations in Costa Rica for extreme adventures and luxurious relaxation.

Costa Rica is perfectly located between the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean, with volcanoes and rainforests completing the whole tropical package. It is the happiest place on earth and contains 5 percent of the world’s bio diversity!

Ecotourism is the shared passion of every community in Costa Rica. With 29 national parks and 27 other reserves, both the government and private entities strive not only to bring tourists in for economic gains but also to educate the masses regarding the essentiality of rainforest and wildlife conservation.

Vacations in Costa Rica are not complete without visiting at least one national park!

Check out the most popular Costa Rica travel destinations and get ready for “Pura Vida”.

Top Places to visit on your vacations in Costa Rica

More cool places to visit in Costa Rica

1. Tortuguero

Tortuguero is called the Central American Amazon, and once you arrive you will know why.

Most places are only accessible by boat. This makes the place difficult to reach, but it also makes every visit to this destination an intentional one.

I am sure you won’t mind going around by boat. Monkeys, birds, sloths and other wild creatures are always around to make your cruise interesting and fun.

Most people visit Tortuguero to explore the Tortuguero National Park. Established in 1980 for the purpose of creating a protected habitat for nesting sea turtles in Costa Rica, the park continues to be one of the wildest and most important of all the massive national parks in the country.

Nowadays, you can see not only green sea turtles here but also leatherbacks and hawksbills. This 19,000-hectare property is run by the government and enjoys high visitor turnover from July to October. Within this time frame, there is a high chance of seeing the beloved nesting turtles.

Most lodges are only accessible by boat. This includes the Manatus Hotel. With its beautiful ecolodges equipped with exceptional amenities, the Manatus Hotel is a luxurious relief within the jungle of Tortuguero.

2. Santa Teresa

Santa Teresa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica and is one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. Another great surf spot, Mal Pais, is just three kilometer away.

Other adventure activities that you can do in Santa Teresa are amongst others Canopy tours, horseback riding and hiking. The Curu Wildlife Reserve is one of the most popular destinations in Costa Rica and is situated in Santa Teresa. It was actually the country’s first private wildlife refuge.

The Pranamar Villas and Yoga Retreat is a luxury resort right next to the Santa Teresa beach. The villas are built with bamboo and wood and are surrounded by a green garden.

If you want to try yoga for the first time, there is no better place. It’s a perfect way to relax your tense muscles after a full day of adventures in Costa Rica. While looking for luxurious places to stay in Santa Teresa, consider the Canaima Chill House as well.

3. Cerro Chirripó

The highest mountain in Costa Rica is the Cerro Chirripo, making the place an ideal hiking destination for people excited with the idea of reaching the topmost part of the country.

Several provinces serve as an entrance to this Costa Rican tourist spot, and these include Cartago and San Jose. The 25-kilometer hike to the summit may be physically daunting, but the views of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean  from the top are mesmerising.

Only 60 visitors are allowed per day to explore the park. In here you will find trails that have hardly undergone any modification so that even hiking enthusiasts find it exhilaratingly challenging to traverse.

While you are there, pay a visit to the village of San Gerardo de Rivas and let the locals take you on a unique coffee exploration. Before you leave, relax in the natural hot spring in Rio Chirripo.

Crestones Base Lodge is the only accommodation inside the Chirripo National Park. It offers basic amenities to hikers and a resting place for the ones wanting to see the captivating sunrise from the mountains the next day.

4. Central Valley

The Central Valley or “Meseta Central” is where many Costa Ricans reside. With its naturally stunning backdrop and bountiful lands, no wonder people choose to build their lives here.

It is home to the Irazu and Poas Volcanoes, both of which are active thus providing richness to the soils around the area. This makes farming thrive in the plateau – and yes, strictly speaking it is not a valley. 

The Braulio Carillo National Park is one of the main attractions in the Central Valley. Just by driving along the roads, your eyes and lungs are definitely in for a nature retreat.

Into the jungle, there are hiking trails that lead you to breathtaking waterfalls and diverse flora and fauna. Further into the forest, there is an aerial tram that takes you through treetops and sloth habitats.

The Central Valley offers a wide range of luxury accommodations like the Best Western Irazu Hotel and Casino, the Grano de Oro and the Bougainvillea Hotels.

5. Playa Sámara

Playa Samara in Guanacaste, Costa Rica is one of the best parts of Costa Rica to visit. Samara’s good reputation as a small, safe town makes it a popular choice. The beach itself is a 5-kilometer haven for ocean lovers.

Aside from the beach, Samara hosts yoga practices, horseback riding and stand-up paddle boarding. As a form of livelihood, locals go for farming and fishing.

Sámara has an airstrip for small planes and Liberia International Airport & the Nosara Domestic Airport are close to the town.

Hotel Punta Islita is hard to miss when in Samara. This luxury hotel allows guests to do popular Costa Rican adventures all in the comfort and splendor of its 3,000 acre property. 

Another town gem is the Villas Playa Samara Beach Front Resort. 116 rooms and villas make up this wedding-ready tropical destination.

6. Montezuma

Here is yet another beach destination in Costa Rica – good thing they’re all too beautiful to get tired of.

Montezuma is proud of its white sand beaches, majestic waterfalls and snorkeling sites that attract adventurers wanting to experience the natural wonders that Costa Rica is widely known for. Montezuma’s temperate weather is best enjoyed anytime between December to August.

Going to Montezuma means paying a visit to one of the top destinations in Costa Rica, the Cabo Blanco Absolute Natural Reserve. It is located at the south of the Nicoya Peninsula and can be reached through Mal Pais as well.

Inside the reserve, you can go on a hiking expedition and spot different animals such as armadillos, howler monkeys and raccoons.

There are also beautiful beaches where you can enjoy the diverse marine ecosystem. These beaches are the Playa Cabo Blanco and Playa Balsitas.

Costa Rica Travel Information 

Climate in Costa Rica: Costa Rica has two seasons: high season (dry) and green season (wet). Its climate varies greatly among the different locations of each city and province.

From December to April, the country experiences high season which is great for travelling. September and October are subject to green season, making them popular months to go surfing in Costa Rica.

Temperatures in Costa Rica: The country’s temperature ranges from 12 to 27 degrees Centigrade. The place that is said to have the best weather in the country is the Meseta Central plateau.

It enjoys a temperature of 22 degrees Centigrade. In the high areas, the temperature can reach up to 17 degrees Centigrade. In all the other areas, 26 degrees Centigrade is the average temperature.

What to bring to Costa Rica: While on tours, bring a dry bag, high SPF sunscreen, insect repellent, sun visor, closed hiking shoes and an underwater camera. 

Are you keeping up with my Costa Rica Series

I have lived and worked in Costa Rica for one year. While working for a local tour company in the capital city San José I travelled to all the BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN COSTA RICA.

To help you plan your trip to Costa Rica I put together a guide about HOW TO GET AROUND IN COSTA RICA and BEST LUXURY HOTELS IN COSTA RICA.

Costa Rica is well known for its beautiful beaches and hot springs. Find here THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES IN COSTA RICA and the BEST HOT SPRINGS IN COSTA RICA.

Do you prefer organised tours and all-inclusive resorts? I’ve put together a list of BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS IN COSTA RICA and COSTA RICA MULTI DAY TOUR PACKAGES.


Sunday 29th of December 2019

Definitely bookmarking this post, It's Very helpful for planning a trip