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  • Connie Cupples

Discover Costa Rica: Nature's Gem!

Nestled between the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea and the mighty Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica stands as a vibrant tapestry of biodiversity, adventure, and cultural richness. Imagine waking up to the symphony of howler monkeys echoing through the rainforest, spending your days surfing on some of the world's most renowned breaks, and evenings savoring the tantalizing flavors of traditional cuisine under a canopy of stars. 

Costa Rica beckons with promises of awe-inspiring natural wonders, adrenaline-fueled escapades, and a warm embrace from a nation known for its commitment to sustainability and "Pura Vida" lifestyle.

Welcome to a land where every sunrise brings a new adventure, and every sunset leaves you spellbound – welcome to Costa Rica.

Why Visit the Rich Coast?

Step into Costa Rica, where paradise unfolds. Picture breathtaking beaches, vibrant rainforests, and a symphony of wildlife. Ready for thrills or tranquility? There's magic here for every soul.

A Nature Lover’s Utopia

Costa Rica is like a dreamland for people who love nature and exciting adventures! Imagine exploring towering volcanoes, lively rainforests, and untouched beaches—it's a paradise waiting for you. There's something for everyone, whether you're into spotting colorful birds and butterflies or hanging out with playful monkeys and sleepy sloths.

Thrilling Adventures

If you're up for some adrenaline-pumping fun, try surfing, ziplining, or hiking through the wild landscapes. 

Kick Back

But if you prefer to take it easy, you can simply soak up the laid-back vibes, savor the delicious food, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of this super-friendly and eco-friendly country. 

Costa Rica is more than just a place—it's a whole experience that lets you truly feel alive!

Top Ten Most Enticing Sites To Visit

  1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano, and Hot Springs Tour

Experience the stunning La Fortuna region in a thrilling full-day adventure perfect for nature lovers! Dive into the heart of the rainforest with invigorating hikes, meet the vibrant Maleku Indian community, and wander through a magical butterfly garden.

Then, cool off with a refreshing swim beneath the majestic La Fortuna waterfall, keeping an eye out for playful wildlife along the way. Get up close to the awe-inspiring Arenal Volcano before winding down with a delicious cocktail and a soothing soak in a natural hot spring river. 

Don't miss out on this unforgettable journey through Costa Rica's natural wonders! 

What’s included:

  • Lunch and cocktail

  • Insightful commentary from the guide

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off 

  • Small-group tour limited to 10 people

2. San Jose: Central Market Bites and Sights Walking Tour

Discover Costa Rica's vibrant tastes and dive into its rich culture on a fun-filled walking tour through San Jose! Explore bustling markets like Mercado Central and Mercado Borbón, where you'll pick up fresh fruits, veggies, and posies!

Then, take in the beauty of the National Theater and La Laguna Plaza while sampling delicious local treats at every stop. 

It's a flavorful adventure you won't want to miss!

Options available:

  • Explore San Jose on foot with a local guide

  • Choose from private or small-group options

  • Early-morning and late-morning departures are available

  • Food and beverages are included in the price

3. San José: Full-Day Tortuga Island Tour with Lunch

Uncover the enchantment of Playa Tortuga! Nestled in the Gulf of Nicoya, just 12 nautical miles away from Puntarenas, this gem of a beach beckons with its pristine beauty. Known as Tolinga by the indigenous people, it spans 120 hectares of protected forest, ensuring its ecological integrity. 

For over five years, it has proudly waved the Ecological Blue Flag, a testament to its unpolluted waters. With its turquoise hues and inviting waves, it's the perfect playground for swimmers and beach lovers alike. 

Dive into the magic of Playa Tortuga today!"

What’s included:

  • Snorkel at the beach

  • Fresh Fruits

  • Coffee and snack

  • Dolphin watching (If conditions allow)

  • Lunch

  • Air-conditioned vehicle

  • All Fees and Taxes

  • Gratuity/tips

  • Breakfast

4. Manuel Antonio: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Boost your odds of seeing Costa Rica’s rarest creatures on a wildlife adventure through Manuel Antonio National Park! Join our intimate group of just 12 explorers for personalized attention as we delve into the lush jungle. Keep your eyes peeled for sloths, monkeys, lizards, snakes, and a whole lot more!

What’s included:

  • Snacks

  • Entry/Admission - Manuel Antonio National Park

5. Rincon de la Vieja

Hidden in Guanacaste lies Rincon de la Vieja, a volcanic wonderland waiting to be explored. This volcano is alive and kicking, making it a paradise for nature buffs. Picture yourself strolling through thick jungles, listening to howler monkeys, and admiring colorful orchids. Feel the warmth beneath your feet from the volcano's heat, and after a day of trekking, take a dip in natural hot springs.

Every turn here promises adventure. Glide through the air on a zip line for a breathtaking view, or hop on a horse for a different perspective of the land. And if you're into legends, locals whisper about treasures hidden deep in the forest.

What makes Rincon de la Vieja special is the mix of natural beauty and heart-pounding activities. From majestic waterfalls to bubbling mud pots, there's always something unique to see and do. Oh, and a tip: come during the dry season, usually from December to April, for the ultimate experience.

So, if you're itching for an unforgettable Costa Rican escapade, put Rincon de la Vieja at the top of your list. Trust us; you won't regret it!

6. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Embark on a thrilling journey led by passionate young biologists as you delve into the wild heart of Costa Rica's bustling metropolis. Prepare to be amazed as you encounter a vibrant tapestry of wildlife mere minutes away from the city center.

Your adventure begins with a quest to spot resident and migratory birds alongside a kaleidoscope of incredible insects and breathtaking flowers. Along the way, immerse yourself in discussions spanning art, history, indigenous culture, and, above all, the wonders of nature.

But the excitement doesn't end there. Your final destination? The main campus, where you'll have the chance to mingle with the famously laid-back sloths, leisurely climbing through their natural habitat.

This tour isn't just about exploration—it's a mission to revolutionize tourism in Costa Rica. By supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs, you'll be part of a movement to celebrate and preserve the beauty of this remarkable country.

What’s included:

  • Guided nature walk by a biologist

  • Telescope for bird and sloth watching

  • Snacks or water

7. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

Embark on an adventure through Arenal National Park with a morning tour that unveils its wonders. Witness the majestic Arenal Volcano, meander through lush trails, and conquer ancient lava rocks. Your bilingual guide will illuminate the ecosystem and its inhabitants along the way.

Discover a serene emerald lake, then indulge in a flavorful local lunch. Finally, unwind in natural hot springs at a quaint resort, soaking in relaxation amidst nature's embrace.

What’s included:

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off in La Fortuna

  • Bilingual Guide

  • Full Lunch

  • Entrance fee to the park

  • Entrance fee to hot springs

8. Monteverde: Night Tour in the Tropical Forest

Come along on a magical journey through Costa Rica's enchanting Monteverde Tropical Forest! With your trusty guide leading the way, you'll wander along scenic paths, perfect for catching glimpses of the fascinating local wildlife after the sun sets.

When you arrive, just flash your digital voucher at the entrance, and you're all set to embark on your adventure! Before setting off, you'll get to meet your guide, who'll be your companion throughout the exploration.

Together, you'll venture into the refuge and forests, where your guide will expertly position you to spy on native creatures. Keep your eyes peeled for a whole host of critters, from Tarantulas to Glass Frogs, Red Eye Frogs, and even the majestic Sloths. And that's not all – you might also encounter owls, Toucans, various insects, and plenty of other nocturnal marvels like the Kinkajou, Olingo, Armadillos, Porcupines, plus reptiles like lizards and snakes. It's bound to be an unforgettable experience filled with wonder and discovery!

What’s included:

  • Optical gear - spotting scope

  • Field guides

  • Pictures

  • Guide

  • Flashlights

  • Parking lot

  • Exclusions

  • Entrance fee to the trails ($13 per person)

  • Transportation

9. Timarouba: Sailing & Snorkeling

Spend a lazy afternoon chilling on a cool catamaran anchored in Playa Tamarindo Bay in Guanacaste. Picture this: unlimited drinks, a tasty lunch served on deck, and fun stuff like snorkeling, kayaking, or paddle boarding.

Your adventure kicks off with a beach pickup, then a smooth ride on a smaller boat to reach the catamaran. Glide gently on the stunning blue waters of Playa Tamarindo Bay, with just a hint of engine noise for a serene vibe.

Once on board, kick back on the sun-soaked trampolines or dive into the sea with snorkeling gear, kayaks, or paddle boards. Spot some underwater critters or simply splash around in the warm waves.

Hungry? No worries! Dig into a delicious local lunch whipped up by a talented French chef right there on the catamaran. Freshen up under the onboard showers, grab a drink from the open bar, and soak up the sun on those comfy trampolines.

As the day winds down, cruise back to port while soaking in the gorgeous sunset over the water. Ah, what a perfect day in paradise!

10. Playa Conchal Beach

Ever seen a postcard of a stunning Costa Rican beach? Well, that might just be Playa Conchal! It's the go-to spot for couples, solo adventurers, and families alike. Why? Because it's got everything you need for a fantastic beach day! From renting equipment to grabbing snacks from vendors, Playa Conchal has you covered.

What makes it extra special? The sand! It's not your ordinary sand—it's made of beautiful white shells that shimmer in the sunlight. Plus, you can count on endless sunny days here. That's why it's so popular, especially during the first part of the year when the skies are clear and the weather is perfect.

And here's a bonus: Playa Conchal is super close to the bustling town of Tamarindo. So, if you feel like exploring a bit, you can easily take a short trip and check out what Tamarindo has to offer.

A Few Fun Facts About Costa Rica

There Are No Costa Ricans!

In Costa Rica, folks aren't just called Costa Ricans; they're known as "Ticos"! It's a nickname they give themselves, and even other Latin American countries use it. Why? Well, they have this cool habit of adding "tico" to the end of words for, like, no real reason. Isn't that neat? It's one of the quirkiest things about Costa Rica!

Happiest Folks on Earth!

Back in 2017, National Geographic Magazine crowned Costa Rica the happiest country on Earth. They said, "Costa Ricans know how to squeeze the most out of every day in a stress-free paradise." And hey, who wouldn't want a piece of that happiness?

Costa Rica's second-largest European group is the British!

Picture this: in 2012, nestled amidst the vibrant culture of Costa Rica, lived a surprising community of around 5,200 Britons. Yes, you read that right! These folks, with roots tracing back to Britain, found their way to this tropical paradise. How did this happen? Well, back in the late 1800s, when Britain was making waves in the Caribbean, they set their sights on Costa Rica's lush coffee plantations. It was a natural reaction: they saw something good and thought, "Why not be a part of it?" And thus, a unique slice of British life found its home in the heart of Central America.

Costa Rica Has a Whale-Tail Beach

Guess what? There's this awesome place called Bahia Ballena. And get this: it's like the VIP spot for watching whales! Just like many other beautiful spots in the country, it's looked after and kept safe as the Marino Ballena National Park.

Final Thoughts

In essence, Costa Rica beckons with a siren song of unparalleled natural beauty, adventure, and sustainability. It's a land where verdant rainforests cascade down to meet pristine beaches, where biodiversity thrives in every corner, and where the warmth of its people matches the glow of its sunsets. Beyond its captivating landscapes, Costa Rica offers a transformative experience, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in a culture deeply rooted in conservation and respect for the environment.

So, whether you seek adrenaline-fueled escapades, soul-soothing retreats, or simply a chance to reconnect with nature, Costa Rica promises an unforgettable journey that will leave you not just inspired but deeply enriched. Discover the pura vida spirit that defines this extraordinary destination and embark on an adventure that will resonate with you long after your journey ends.


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