Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries in South America for tourism. While there are some classic areas of the country that should be visited, there are also some places off the beaten track with fewer tourists. Many people are enticed by the range of eco-activities there are to do in Costa Rica because of the tropical jungles and beaches. Whether you are looking to hike, hit the beaches or try some local specialties, we have just the place for you.
An extremely popular tourist destination but still worth it because of the impeccable views, cuisine, and hospitable locals. If you can help it, go in the beginning or end of high season because visiting the waterfalls can prove to be very busy and crowded. Despite this being a bustling destination, you will not have to worry about finding a place to stay. There are a large assortment of hotels for all types of budgets located in La Fortuna. Additionally, visitors rave about the amazing selection of restaurants here. An essential activity when visiting the area is a hike to be able to catch some breathtaking views of the dormant Arenal Volcano. You cannot actually hike up the volcano but there are an assortment of hiking trails within the National Park that bring you to some outlooks for a better view.
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
Our second location is an area that is becoming more popular, but not overwhelmingly crowded quite yet. It is the perfect place for those looking for the ultimate nature getaway. A fun way to become one with nature is to take a safari tour where you will be able to witness all kinds of colourful wildlife that live in the rainforest. Another more exciting activity that many tourists enjoy is white water rafting on the Sarapiqui River. The rapids there are perfect for beginners but also can get a little choppier and faster in certain areas making it the most exciting excursion. Some of the best chocolate has been grown in the area and has been a staple crop for the Mayan and Aztec people. You can learn more about the traditional harvesting techniques and even taste some of the delicious chocolate by joining a tour in Monteverde.
This calmer village is the region where much of the coffee in the country is produced. You can opt for rafting in the Río Grande de Orosi River or paying a visit to the Tapantí-Macizo de la Muerte National Park for some first-rate hiking. Other attractions in this area include the Lankester Botanical Gardens which is home to a world-renowned orchid collection. A coffee tour will be without a doubt, one of the best parts of the trip here. There are many different producers to choose from but they will always make you feel welcome and provide you with the most authentic experience. You may even get the chance to try the coffee processing techniques for yourself and of course taste some at the end!
Besides visiting this region for relaxing on its beaches and enjoying the scenery there are also many parks worth visiting. For instance, the Marino Ballena National Park is the preferred place for humpback whales and a few kinds of dolphins. Here, you have the possibility of getting a glimpse at one of these amazing creatures. The Corcovado National Park is open to the public but all visitors can only tour the park with a guide. There are even areas to camp or stay indoors for a few days with the possibility of meal reservation. The Caño Island Biological Reserve is perfect for a day trip. It is a small island that is a part of the canton and is a biological reserve where tourists can engage in whale watching and visiting the beaches' diverse marine life.
Located in the Límon Province, Tortuguero is known for its beaches which are home to a central nesting site for green turtles. There are no cars in the town, which means that you will have to choose between walking, biking or boating everywhere. We think this really allows some travellers to try something new and outside of their comfort zone. It is suggested that you spend at least 2 or 3 days in the town in order to experience all the aspects of its culture and not miss out on any activities. Though the area is not known for its diversity in restaurants, the barbecued street food comes highly recommended as a way to dabble in local cuisine. One of the best ways to see all of the canals, rivers and beaches are to rent a boat or kayak for the day. When you walk along the beaches, you may might notice some sea turtle tracks leading out of the ocean. If you visit between early March and October, you may even have the chance of joining a turtle tour and seeing baby turtles hatch.