Places to visit in Costa Rica vary greatly so you might wonder which of all these spots you can go to get the best out of your trip. Something that often happens when traveling is that you desire to be able to see as much as possible in the fastest amount of time and that it’s hard when you visit a country you know little of.
We’ve narrowed down some of the best places to go, here they are:
1) San Jose
San Jose or ‘Saint Joseph’ is the capital city of Costa Rica and is also the largest province, no less than a city lover’s heaven.
It is located in the west of the Central Valley and is the seat of economic, political, and transportation activities. It radiates a lively and energetic vibe and is the hub of major attractions such as notable theatres, museums, zoos, and several National Parks.
These are a few San Jose must-visits:
- Museo Nacional de Costa Rica: The country’s national museum is one of the top Costa Rica attractions. It is noteworthy not only because it houses a wealth of pre-Columbian artifacts, a butterfly conservatory, and furnishings from the early 20th century but because it was built as a fortress and was also a military barrack.
- La Sabana Metropolitan Park: La Sabana Metropolitan Park is a tranquil oasis that will have you believing that you are no longer in the city. It has a soothing, hushed, and relaxing environment and is the country’s biggest urban park, spanning a little over 150 acres. It features an artificial lake and sports fields and is home to the Costa Rica art museum.
- Avenida Central: This buzzing shopping area is one of the best Costa Rica tourist attractions for spendthrifts and shopping geeks. Hundreds of shops surround the street, selling everything from brand-name goods to fresh flowers, jewelry, and souvenirs. Getting bored is something that will not happen.
- Los Quetzales National Park: If you are a nature lover and feel peaceful around it, Los Quetzales National Park is the place for you. It is a popular tourist spot in Costa Rica. Quetzals make their home here. You can see the bright-colored birds vying for the attention of the females between February and July, which is the mating season. The park is also home to ocelots and otters.
- Coronado: This suburb of San Jose is a colossal destination especially if you yearn to get away from the crowds that throng the capital. It’s a great place for bird-watching and hiking as it’s close to Braulio Carrilo National Park. It takes about five hours to hike the summit but the view from the top is worth it!
4) Monteverde and the Cloud Forests
5) Arenal Volcano
This is a National Park, found in the Cordillera de Tilarán, and is one of the top volcano viewing areas in the country. The main attraction here is the Arenal Volcano, a cone-shaped mountain with huge ash columns frequently streaming from the crater. Visitors see anything from a cloud of ash to glowing red lava flowing down the mountain. This area is also known for its wide range of biodiversity, with approximately half of all Costa Rican birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. It is indeed one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
6) Tortuguero National Park
If you were wondering where to stay in Costa Rica with your family, this is one of the best, off-beat wetland areas in the country. Hundreds of sea turtles are bred making turtle watching a major activity here. There are many beaches with strong currents present here as it is located on the Caribbean coast. From the hiking trails or boat rides along the canals, it’s possible to spot monkeys, sloths, kinkajous, and many more.
7) La Paz Waterfall Gardens
According to the official website waterfallgardens.com (J, 2021), this privately owned nature park is a must attraction in Costa Rica. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys, butterflies, hummingbirds, and others. The highlight of the park is the La Paz waterfall. Rainwater from the cloud forests tumbles off a high ledge, falling 37 meters into a pool below. In addition to the waterfall, your admission ticket includes access to the serpentarium and observatories.
8) Mal Pais and Santa Teresa
Mal Pais on the Nicoya Peninsula is an area along the coast known for high waves and beautiful beaches that attract surfers from around the world. The town of Santa Teresa is the main hotspot in this area; however, a chain of villages and beaches lie along with the Mal Pais, including Manzanillo. Today, the area consists of backpackers and tourists who wish they had planned a longer stay. The area is trendier and has more of a scenery-like place called Dominical. Development in the area has made it more extravagant.
There are many places to visit in Costa Rica and we’re sure that you will love more than one because who wouldn’t right?