The 8 Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a lot to offer travellers looking for some adventure. The country boasts beautiful beaches, volcanoes, and plenty of other exciting attractions.

One of the best places to visit in Costa Rica is Tortuga Island, a tropical paradise that’s home to an amazing community of turtles. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy nature without the crowds.

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The northern Guanacaste region of Costa Rica is renowned for its sun-splashed beaches and Pacific surf. It also offers a diverse landscape with fascinating national parks, caldera volcanoes and hot springs.

With its beautiful beaches, a wealth of resorts and activities for all tastes, it’s no surprise that Guanacaste is one of the most popular places to visit in Costa Rica. It’s a popular choice for those who want to escape the cold of winter, but it’s also an ideal destination for travelers who are interested in exploring the area’s pristine nature.

There are a few great ways to experience the natural beauty of this region:

Hiking in the rainforest at Rincon de la Vieja Volcano National Park is an unforgettable experience, as is enjoying a relaxing mud bath at a local spa. If you’re looking for something a little different, the Llanos de Cortes waterfall near Liberia is an incredible experience that feels like a tropical oasis in the middle of the desert.

Another great option is Playa Hermosa, a secluded beach surrounded by palm trees and tranquil waters. Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this beach is known for its world class yoga retreats and is one of the best places to see Olive Ridley sea turtles nesting in the area.

2.Tortuga Island

A dreamy paradise of turquoise water, sandy beaches and just the right balance between relaxation and a party vibe, Tortuga Island is one of Costa Rica’s top destinations. It can be reached by boat from Puntarenas, Montezuma and Jaco, and despite being smaller than its name suggests, it packs in a lot of fun and adventure into a single day.

The best way to visit Isla Tortuga is to take an organized tour. These offer a full day of everything from snorkeling to swimming, hiking, sunbathing and even some scuba diving!


There’s also plenty of wildlife to spot on Isla Tortuga, including red-backed squirrel monkeys, harpy eagles and white-lipped peccaries. Hiking trails wind through the forest, giving visitors a chance to get up close and personal with nature.

If you’re feeling hungry, most tours include a BBQ-style lunch. It’s a great way to sample some Costa Rican food and enjoy a delicious meal while on the island! You can even pick up some souvenirs along the way from tented shops scattered along the shore.

3.Jaco Beach.

If you are looking for a beach vacation that offers a little bit of everything, Jaco is the place to go. You can spend your days relaxing on the pristine beaches and exploring the fascinating wildlife around town.

If you’re into adventure, there are lots of tours to do here, including a day trip to the amazing Carara National Park. This stunning rainforest is the most northern Pacific coastal national park in Costa Rica and is a great way to get out into nature and spot some wild animals while on your Costa Rican vacation!

Another popular option is a tour to Tortuga Island. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling and there are plenty of sea turtles and dolphins to see.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the resort experience in Jaco, so make sure to sign up for some tours that take you outside of your hotel to enjoy some of this amazing area’s highlights. For example, you can take a short 25-minute drive north to the famous crocodile bridge over the Tarcoles River. Or check out the local surf competitions that are held in the area throughout the year!

4.Tamarindo Beach.

One of Costa Rica’s most popular beach towns, Tamarindo has a lot to offer visitors looking for a short vacation. From surfing, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, and sunset catamaran tours to turtle excursions, there are plenty of activities in the area.

A 3km stretch of white sand with warm blue water, exquisite nature and stunning sunsets, Tamarindo Beach is a dream for those looking to unwind and soak up some sun. This picture-perfect location also provides a great backdrop for couples to enjoy a romantic dinner while watching the sun go down on the beach.

If you’re interested in animal conservation, the Monkey Park Foundation is a great way to spend a day learning about how these animals are protected and helping to keep Costa Rica wildlife thriving. This non-profit is a great place to visit on a day trip from Tamarindo and helps to keep Costa Rica’s most endangered species in the wild.

If you’re looking for more adventure, take a short drive to Las Baulas National Park, which is home to mangroves and a variety of wildlife including howler monkeys. Or try a horseback, zip line, or river boat tour from the many operators nearby.

5.Islas Murcielagos.

Located in the north of Guanacaste, Islas Murcielagos are considered to be one of the best places in the world for diving. Their location in the Ocean Pacific and their proximity to the Santa Rosa National Park make them an incredible scuba site where you can see Bull Sharks, Manta Rays and a variety of other species.

A trip to Islas Murcielagos is a must-do for any scuba fanatic. The visibility is excellent, the marine life is abundant and there are many dive sites that will leave you wishing you were underwater more often.

Another reason why Islas Murcielagos should be on your bucket list is the opportunity to see a wide variety of sharks, including Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks. It’s also home to a lot of eels and other species that will leave you in awe!

You’ll also be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches that make this place so famous. The best way to experience Islas Murcielagos, however, is by boat. There are tours that depart from Playa Herradura and Playa Conchal.

6.San José

San José is a bustling metropolis full of interesting places, faces, and colors. With a population of more than half a million, it is a city that rewards explorers with lively markets, must-see museums, and unforgettable volcanos close by.

A thriving culinary scene is also a must here. Whether you’re looking to sample modern coffee culture at cafes like Cabra Negra, the open-air Franco, or Nueve Specialty Coffee or are after a beer-focused addition to a country that mainly drinks Imperial, Pilsen, or Bavaria brands, there’s something here for everyone.

Costa Rica’s capital is a major hub for travelers and has world-class museums, parks, hotels, theaters, and historic buildings spread throughout the Central Valley. It’s also a great base for adventures into surrounding mountains and volcanoes or exploring the famed coffee country that makes Costa Rica famous.

One of the top day trips from San Jose is the Poas Volcano National Park & La Paz Waterfall Gardens, which is home to 100 rescued species of animals and houses some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Costa Rica. On a clear day, you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts from the top of the volcano.


If you are looking for a place to get away from it all, Cahuita is the perfect destination. This quaint village is nestled among tropical rainforests and wildlife refuges. It also offers postcard-perfect beaches and one of the most impressive national parks in Costa Rica.

The best way to explore Cahuita is by taking a tour. You can book a guided trip that includes transportation, snacks and drinks, and a nature walk in the park.

You can also choose to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center, which is a sanctuary for rescued animals in the region. Here, you can see gorgeous jaguars and other wildlife rescued from the wild or natural disasters.

Another great option is to go horseback riding on a local ranch. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery and feel the wind blowing as you ride through the countryside.

8.Chirripo National Park.

Nestled along the heart of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains, Chirripo National Park offers one of the most challenging hiking experiences in the country. The park’s highest peak, Cerro Chirripo at 12,533 feet (3,820 meters), offers sweeping 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

This 123,923-acre (50,150-hectare) park is home to various sculpted glacial formations such as U-shaped valleys, lakes and terraces. It also has numerous natural viewpoints.

Hikers can choose from a variety of trails in this national park, with most gaining altitude and allowing hikers to see the vast landscape of the area. Some of the most popular hikes include those that lead to Cerro Ventisqueros, Costa Rica’s second-highest peak at 12,507 feet; Los Crestones, a collection of rock spires that jut out of the ridge above the base camp; and a route to the summit of Chirripo.

Before you start your hike, it is recommended to make a reservation with the park’s office in San Gerardo de Rivas. This will ensure that you are allowed to enter the park and avoid long lines on your day of arrival.

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