Costa Rica is a Latin American Denmark, at least judging by the happiness index.
Namely, for many years the people of Costa Rica have been declared the happiest in Latin America. Costa Rica lies between two great “glasses of water,” the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other. It has incredible amounts of biodiversity, and in addition to beautiful flora and fauna, beaches and volcanoes attract many tourists.
Also, the country has a warm climate: average annual temperatures range from + 23 °C to + 25 °C. Agriculture and exports are also important to Costa Rica, a country that abolished the military back in 1949 and diverted all the money to health and education. Costa Rica (translated from Spanish means “rich coast”) is also one of the favorite places where residents from the United States retire.
Imagine soft white sand stands under your feet, blinding blue-green waters, and unforgettable views. Diving, surfing, hanging out on the beach or just relaxing in your resort’s spa while playing your favorite game at the JackpotCity online casino. Costa Rica does not disappoint.
8 Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica
1. Arenal Volcano National Park: For walkers and nature lovers.
Until recently, Arenal Volcano was one of the most active volcanoes in the region. While it’s now less eruptive, Arenal keeps its iconic conical shape. The height of the volcano is 1670 m above sea level. After an eruption in 1968, several more craters formed near the volcano, and a village located on the side of the mountain was completely ruined. Currently, scientists periodically record volcanic activity. For example, in 2011 a column of smoke was filmed at the top of the Arenal.
Arenal Volcano National Park is located halfway between the two airports and is known for the trails that lead through the lava of the volcano, as well as the lake, thermal springs, jaguars, and tree frogs. It is best to stay in the city of La Fortuna and from there take a bus to visit the park.
2. Monteverde Rainforest / Santa Elena: For wildlife lovers.
The perfect destination for anyone who likes slightly lower temperatures, forests, and wilderness. Monteverde Cloud Forest (Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde) is one of the most special forests in the world, and it is there that the first zipline in Costa Rica was set up. Don’t miss this trip through greenery as you’ve never seen before in your life, overlooking orchids and a whole host of beautiful colorful birds. Admission will cost you about $20 per person. Santa Elena is the nearby town, from where buses run to Monteverde.
3. San José: The big city with historical and cultural attractions
There are many museums in the city, whose collections are unique. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold (Museo Oro Pre columbino). In it, you can see many gold objects (ornaments, ritual objects, ingots) and other artifacts, as well as a collection of coins. Another museum popular with tourists is the Jade Museum (Museo del Jade), which contains more than 7,000 exhibits. Another famous museum of the capital of Costa Rica — the National Museum — is located in a former fortress. It is possible to get to know the history of the settlement of the territory of Costa Rica and the development of the state, along with the flora and fauna of the country.
The building itself, once the barracks of the city garrison, also deserves attention. In the building that once housed the city jail, there is now a Children’s Museum, where children can use simulators to learn about earthquakes and other natural phenomena, learn to dance and write music and see various scientific experiments. The building of the former Atlantic train station houses a railway museum where visitors can learn about the development of transport communications, which has led to the growth of the country’s economy.
The Costa Rican Museum of Art has six rooms, where you can see works by contemporary sculptors and artists. The city houses the Museum of Philately, the Museum of Forums, Spaces and Sounds, the Museum of Dr. Raphael Angel Calderon Guardia, who was president of the country between 1940 and 1944, the Museum of Photography, the Museum of the History of Penitentiary Institutions, the Museum of Forensic Science and the Press Museum.
4. Manuel Antonio/Quepos: If you ever want to see sloths
The beautiful animals for which Costa Rica is known — head to Manuel Antonio National Park, which is known not only for its beautiful flora and fauna but also for its exceptional beaches. Find accommodation in Quepos, where you have everything tourists need, from ATMs and car rentals to travel agencies and souvenir shops.
Buena Vista Lodge (and a slide through the jungle): In Guanacaste, in the middle of the jungle, there is a beautiful resort Buena Vista (translated as “good view”), where you can experience the adrenaline and relaxing adventures. You can ride horses, swim under waterfalls, try zip lines, and what is most exciting for many – go down the water slide through the rainforest.
Beaches, Beaches and more Beaches!
Costa Rica’s beaches are among the best in Latin America. Think about it: when someone says, “Costa Rica,” you probably think “fantastic beaches!” Is that correct? Year-round hot water areas, developed tourist infrastructure, and unlimited attractions spanning the two coasts are the reasons why Costa Rica’s beaches are ranked among the best in the world.
If beaches are your main motive for coming to Costa Rica, you will be in a difficult situation to choose from. The Pacific side of the coast is 1254 kilometers long, and the Caribbean 212 kilometers. But on either side of the walk, you will surely find a beautiful beach.
Some of the places that have those:
5. Puerto Viejo: Puerto Viejo (translated as “old port”)
A special destination in Costa Rica, with beautiful white sandy beaches (Cocles, Punta Uva, Chiquita) where you can relax for a mile, and in the meantime dive into the beautiful underworld of coral and sunken ships. The black beach of Playa Negra is also famous.
6. Jaco: For surfers and partygoers.
Jaco is a very popular destination for surfers. It is an hour’s drive from the capital of San Jose, so it is loved by the locals. The beach is not one of the most beautiful, but it gathers fans of surfing and big waves, who like to party well along the way. Surfers stay in one of the surf camps, and the most popular are School of the World, Vista Guapa, Tortuga Surf Camp, Jaco Surf School, Room2Board. The nightlife in Jaco is extremely strong, with lots of bars and clubs, so Jaco is perhaps the most fun-crazy beach destination in all of Costa Rica.
7. Mal Pais: Surf culture is a major philosophy in Mal Pais and its coastal neighbor, Santa Teresa.
If you are not a fan of the waves, book a boat tour and watch dolphins, mantles and other creatures pass through the protected waters in the area. Travelers can also welcome the Montezuma Falls and take a flying jump, or win a four-hour trek through the nature of the Cabo Blanco reserve to its quaint, white sand beach. However, Mal Pais beaches are even better for tucking in a hammock and navigating the sun.
8. Playa Tamarindo:
Although Playa Tamarindo entertains shopping, dining, and world-class touring, budget travelers can be found at a price. But the natural permits of Tamarindo make it worthwhile – on the beautiful beaches near Tamarindo, huge leatherback turtles (and other species) descend to the coast every year to lay their eggs.
If you ask tourists why they go to Costa Rica, the nature of this country will surely take one of the first places on their list of answers. Volcanoes, lakes, national parks, museums, islands, beaches with clear water and white sand – all this attracts those who want to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city and love natural tourism. Enjoy the charms of Costa Rica.
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