Costa Rica is a lush and gorgeous destination, whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure. The country may seem small but there are multiple destinations and sights to see, where you could spend endless hours enjoying in their splendor.
Costa Rica has a ton of coastline. Translation -> a ton of beaches to explore! But the interior is equally stunning with rainforests, waterfalls, and wildlife. The beauty really lies in the more remote destinations that tend to see fewer crowds.
How much you can explore really depends on how much time you have. While access is generally good in Costa Rica, public transportation and quality of roads may find you taking longer than expected to reach your destination. I have only explored a small area, but these are my recommendations for touring such a vibrant country:
Spend some time checking out the local trails and waterfalls in Rincon de la Vieja National Park. This North West area of Costa Rica is unspoiled and free from crowds. Which means you just mind find yourself alone in a turquoise forest lagoon with a beautiful waterfall at its source.
Arenal Volcano National Park and La Fortuna. The National Park contains two craters: 5357 foot Arenal, which is still active, and 3740 foot Chato, which is inactive and collapsed. La Fortuna lies on the East side of the active Volcano and trips to the West side reveal the volcano’s activity. A trip to this area isn’t complete without relaxing in the many hot springs.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve was an ultimate highlight. Santa Elena is an amazing and quaint town set on the Continental Divide. The area has a great vibe with plenty of biodiversity to check out. And there is nothing better than exploring a rainforest via a canopy tour, cruising from tree to tree along lengthy zip lines. The trek from La Fortuna to Santa Elena is well worth it!
After exploring the interior of Costa Rica, venturing out to the coastline is a lovely change of scenery. Montezuma is a tiny village, known for its off-beat, fun-loving atmosphere and the stunning beauty of its beaches and waterfalls. Montezuma Falls are best known, found via a short hike leading to the cascade, and a slightly more difficult hike leading to another set of upper pools and cascades.
For a surf town vibe, plenty of ocean, and lots of adventure, check out the town of Tamarindo. A small sample of activities includes sport fishing, swimming, surfing, diving, snorkeling, rafting, and hiking. There are plenty of outfitters in the area to hook you up with whatever equipment or guiding you require!