Leafy rainforests brimming with fascinating animal and plant life, volcanoes with bubbling, steaming craters, beaches with blankets of untouched golden sand, adventurous activities ranging from zip-lining to surfing the Pacific – Costa Rica is completely diverse, full of distractions and overwhelming natural beauty.
In something of an ode to this incredible country, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why it makes a rather excellent holiday destination.
We can tailor-make any of our sample Costa Rica itineraries around what you would like to do and see - contact us now to speak to one of our Central America experts.
For the ultimate family adventure
Boredom is possibly the one thing that Costa Rica doesn’t do well, making it quite the ideal setting for a family holiday. Fascinate children of all ages with the rainbow-spectrum of birdlife, humpback whale-watching in the coast’s shallow waters, the famous turtles of Tortuguero or howler monkeys swinging through the treetops.
Even the accommodation is more interesting than your average hotel – take the Tree House Lodge, for instance. A fully-functional cabin in the trees with a thatched roof, tree trunks climbing through the living room, bridges running through the rainforest and sloths for neighbours, this is a childhood dream come true.
For riding the waves
730 miles of coastline, warm waters (no wetsuit required), excellent waves and idyllic beaches to pan out on post-surf make here an amazing place for surfer dudes of all descriptions. With the unique asset of having the Pacific on one side and the Caribbean on the other, six hours’ drive apart, it has become one of the biggest surf destinations in the world and ideal for a holiday riding the waves.
Playa Guiones, on the western coast, is one of the best areas for year-round waves – chill out at Harmony Hotel, with coconut groves, banana trees and howler monkeys to keep you company and prime waves to keep your little surfing heart happy.
For an epic road trip
One way to ensure seeing sides of Costa Rica that most others don’t is to take to the road for an incredible self-drive holiday, simultaneously adding a sense of adventure and meaning you can enjoy the country at your own pace.
Our recommended tailor-made itinerary starts you off at Poas Volcano, the largest active crater in the world to Arenal Volcano’s therapeutic hot springs and the beautiful beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, and back to the hustling San Jose for a spot of salsa flavour.
For an incredible honeymoon
As possibly the most memorable holiday of your lifetime, we think your honeymoon should combine quality sun, sea and sand time to ease post-wedding stress and some adventure and activity to shape your travel anecdotes nicely for when you return to reality – and thankfully, Costa Rica has both beaches and adventure by the bucket load.
The gorgeous beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park look as if they’ve been created straight from a “wish you were here” postcard – flawless golden sand, with clear waters and coral reefs filled with a colourful array of marine life. Chill out here before heading to the rainforest, where adrenalin-packed activities await, such as white-water rafting, zip-lining and hiking to stunning waterfalls: your wedding album may well have a rival in your spectacular honeymoon photo collection after your time on stunning Costa Rican shores.
For pampering and wellness
Sick of constantly bleeping Blackberries, looming deadlines, stressful meetings and the general toll of wear and tear that daily life can take on your body? Costa Rica is actually one of the best destinations in the world for a renewing spa or yoga break – even just one night in pristine tropical cloud forest, with the sound of waterfalls crashing and exotic birds chirping in the distance, tends to push daily worries to the very back of your mind, we find.
The country’s numerous volcanoes give rise to a range of healing minerals, ideal for rejuvenating spa treatments, and the plentiful hot springs are a source of invigorating therapy. Yoga holds a very special place in the heart of Costa Rica, and there are plenty of luxurious resorts that offer courses and classes to cleanse body and soul – one of our favourites is El Silencio in the Central Valley, with an alfresco yoga deck encircled by dense rainforest, that’s perfect for getting your ‘ommm’ on.