Costa Rica has always been one of the most favorite tourist spots for travelers. The calmness and serenity of the place are what make it so much loved. But, did you know there are certain places in Costa Rica where you can enjoy the best vacation of your life? If not, we have got this travel guide to help you find out the best places to visit in Costa Rica. So, keep reading until the end to find it all!
Find Out Where to Stay in Costa Rica for the Next Adventurous Trip
Costa Rica is a popular travel destination in Central America, located along the Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. The Flora and fauna of the place give out the relaxing vibes required for a peaceful vacation after a tiring month. As per the reports, Costa Rica has around 6% of the total world biodiversity (Box, 2021), which is pretty much a lot compared to the other parts of the world. The biodiversity here is considered the highest. Most of its area is covered in jungle, and many wildlife species stay there without any bindings. Of course, there are zoos too. Not just that, but you can also enjoy other fun activities like hiking, surfing, and yoga here, all of which are naturally calming and refreshing so there is no wonder there are so many great places to visit in Costa Rica.
Are you wondering what all are we going to share in this guide today? Well, our travel experts have covered some of the exotics travel locations in Costa Rica where you can stay to do some of the best things on your next vacation. Know that there are several superb locations in Costa Rica, but out of those all, there are six topmost locations considered of the finest quality and are enjoyed the most by the tourists. Are you excited to find out? If yes, then stay hooked until the end!
As the name suggests, Arenal Volcano is an active volcano located in the northwest regions of Costa Rica. The place is just 90 kilometers away from the capital of Costa Rica, San Jose. You will be glad to know that the place is located amidst the Arenal Volcano National Park (8 Amazing Things to Do in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, 2021), which means you can enjoy the beauty of the park whenever you want. Several tourist guides are there to take you on tour to the park and show you the wildlife diversity there. But if you are adventurous enough to do it all yourself, then, of course, you can skip taking a guide and explore the place all alone.
You can enjoy many activities here like ziplining, hiking and enjoying hot springs. The hiking locations here are so beautiful that you will not feel like coming back. While hiking, you can enjoy the sight of lava rocks and trails, which can be viewed nowhere except in a location where an active volcano stands. Tourists can enjoy ziplining the most as there are a lot of forest canopies surrounding the place. The jungle is full of marvelous hot springs where no one would mind a hot water bath to calm their nerves. The hotels that you can choose while staying in this location (Huang, 2021) are:
- Arenal Backpackers Resort: If you want to stay in a lavish hotel with private pools and comfortable tents, then this is the one. From here, you can also enjoy the sight of the volcano. The rooms here are quite spacious and also comfortable. Our experts have read the reviews of this hotel which says that the food is great, and so is the hotel staff.
- Arenal Observatory Lodge: People who want to stay inside the Arenal National Park and still want to enjoy the view of the volcano should stay here. One can enjoy the closest view of the Arenal volcano if they take a room here. One unique feature of the hotel is that they have a private bird sanctuary only for those who stay there—the sanctuary features around 500 bird species. There are also other facilities here like a games room and a sun terrace. As you can see, there are many things to do here, even if you are lazy enough to step outside!
- The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal: People who can afford luxury should choose this grandeur hotel. This place is especially suited for those who are on their honeymoon. This hotel also contains private hot springs within the property so that the guests can enjoy a therapeutic bath without leaving the place. They provide a lot of value for the money!
Pacuare Outdoor Center
Unlike Arenal Volcano, this is not a land-based location as such. It is a hotel that experts highly recommend. This property is located near the Pacuare River, where the view is mesmerizing and can be a perfect sight for a romantic candlelight dinner. The hotel looks beautiful at night because then the place lit up with hundreds of flashlights. It is a perfect place for a family vacation with your spouse and kids. As this hotel does not allow smoking, the non-smoking areas are best suited for younger kids and people who love to enjoy the purity of nature without the presence of tobacco. Here, you will get many benefits that can make your journey feel just right. For instance, if you are traveling by car, you can avail yourself of the free parking spot offered by the property. Besides a free parking spot, you’ll also get free breakfast here.
The place is also full of garden patios that provide the perfect ambiance for spending some quality time with your loved ones. As much as the place is suited for families, it is suited for couples wanting to enjoy privacy. The honeymoon suites here are luxurious, and you are going to love your time here!
Now that you know that how this location would be a perfect spot for you, we will share what are the things that you can enjoy here. You can go ziplining here along the coast of the Pacuare River. The beautiful scenery of the place is calming. The river allows the tourist to enjoy several other fun activities like waterfall jumping and whitewater rafting. This is definitely adventurous for those who love enjoying their time in water and nature. There are many trees here, which also allow the tourists to enjoy the Tarzan swing. As you can see, one can enjoy many activities here that they haven’t before. That quite justifies why we have listed Pacuare Outdoor Center as the second-best tourist spots and one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica
Monteverde is a famous tropical cloud forest, which is located 1500 meters above sea level. Here, you can enjoy the serene beauty of the rainforests in Costa Rica. Such beauty is rare to be found in other portions of Costa Rica. If you have a personal car, then you can even visit the Arenal volcano within three hours. But even if you have no car there, you can always book one. Most hotels have their own contacts to help you book a car of your choice, and that is what we love the most about the properties here. Not just the hotels, Monteverde is also a perfect location for those who enjoy vegan delicacies. The cafes here are also lavish and serve the best quality caffeinated drinks to the customers.
Zipline adventure is something that you can enjoy the most when staying in Monteverde. Zip-lining here costs around $120 for adults and $60 for kids. The tropical rainforests here provides the right ambiance for the tourists to live their life amidst the nature. Also, people who like to stay away from the crowd should choose this place. Here, there are fewer tourists than in other locations recommended by us. Several hiking locations are also found here. If you do not like hiking alone, there are several ongoing programs in this place throughout the year where tourists can enjoy hiking with one another. The hotels that you can rely on while staying in Monteverde are:
- Cosa Campo Verde: If you have a tight budget and want to stay in a hotel that offers room at a reasonable price, then the Cosa Campo Verde would be a good place to stay. It is just around 10 minutes’ driving distance from the town of Santa Elena. The hotel is right in between the cloud forest, which means from the window of any room, one can relax while enjoying the evergreen beauty of nature. The facilities offered here are also more than enough compared to the place’s prices, which is why it is often a favorite residential property for most tourists in Monteverde.
- Monteverde Country Lodge: There are hardly any tourists who do not like the feel of wooden furniture. What if we tell you that a hotel offers rooms made out of wood? Yes, you will get that here in the Monteverde Country Lodge. We can assure you that your kids will have a great time here because here there are pools, a children’s club, and awesome food, all of which the kids can enjoy.
- Hotel Aguti Lodge & Reserve: This luxurious hotel is the best for those who love hiking. Here, you will find numerous hiking trails, and all of them are filled with a variety of animals. Staying here feels like staying in the jungle, the difference being that here you can do whatever you want without worrying about attacks from wild animals.
Puerto Viejo Costa Rica
Puerto Viejo is an exotic beach location that is located near the Panama borders (Lininger, 2021). This is a cultural place that has rare traditions not followed in other parts of Costa Rica. Of course, being a tourist, you don’t have to follow their culture, but you can enjoy it from a distance by observing the local people there. This place is surrounded by beaches where you can enjoy the sea waves and get tanned under the sun’s heat. A beach, when combined with a forest, is a heavenly combination for the tourists. The hotels here are also affordable, and it is believed that Puerto Viejo is one of the most budget-friendly locations and definitely one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
One of the prime reasons tourists love visiting Puerto Viejo is its Hiking Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. The hiking services here are quite affordable too. You can go on group hiking and make friends while enjoying the journey. Even those on a solo trip can join the hiking campaigns here to get some extra company. The next fun thing you can do here is snorkeling in Cahuita Beach. Swimming is a fun activity that can improve your mood and prepare you for a better day ahead. Swimming on a sunny day is enjoyed more, and hence, it is highly recommended if you ever visit Puerto Viejo. There are also a few local communities here that you can visit. They warmly welcome guests, and it is a pleasurable experience. Some hotels to pick in this location are:
- Selina Puerto Viejo: This is a property that provides multiple facilities to the people staying there. For instance, you get to enjoy a pool here, and there is also a bar. So, whenever you are in the mood for a good drink, you can visit the bar and even make some friends there. You can also choose to stay in a room or a tent as per your liking. There are also private rooms for honeymoon couples. Everything about this hotel is beautiful, and we are sure you are going to love it!
- Finca Chica: Here, you can stay in wooden furnished villas that give a luxurious vibe to the tourists. They also have a kitchen space where you can cook any food of your choice for many people. Besides the kitchen, there is also a dining area where you can have meals with your close ones. The hotel is located in the center of the forest and is also near to the beach. So, if you want to enjoy both beach and the forest, book your rooms in Finca Chica!
- Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel: If you are more into modern furnishing, then Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel rooms will please you. There is a stylish beach club within the property where you can dance to your favorite tunes. Apart from that, there is also a spa where you can go and relax for a soothing massage or other parlor treatments. The property also has an outdoor pool for visitors. Free Wi-Fi is also another excellent benefit that you get to enjoy when staying here. You will be surprised to know that all of these benefits cost only $120 per night. Hence, if you have a moderate budget, you can have a great time here!
Corcovado National Park
When we said that around 6% of the total biodiversity is there in Costa Rica, we meant it, and Corcovado National Park is proof of the same. This park itself accounts for around half of the biodiversity that one can experience in Costa Rica. There are many animals to see here and a large collection of birds from all over the country. Most foreigners, who come to enjoy flora and fauna of Costa Rica, stay here. This is also a great place for wildlife photographers because there is so much to capture here as there is no better place than this. But keeping all aside, the Corcovado National Park is a superb travel destination for adventure lovers. A favorite among those looking for the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
We want to start with hiking because that is what one can enjoy the most here. As there are five entrances to the park, you can hike from one location to the other every day of your stay. While hiking, you can also enjoy the sight of the beaches nearby. Other than hiking, you can also go boating here. If you are adventurous enough to take challenges, you can also go for tours in the middle of the jungle and stay there overnight. The lodging and meal facilities here are also incredible in such jungle tours, and hence, you will not feel uncomfortable at all. The hotels that you can choose while staying in Corcovado National Park are:
- The Jaguars Jungle Lodge: This hotel is located around 2 km away from Rincon Beach. You can enjoy a bar here whenever your heart feels like it. There is also a restaurant within the property where you can eat all of the popular dishes of Costa Rica. The meals served here are not just tasty but also healthy. Each guest also gets a terrace so that they can enjoy the ecstatic beauty of the jungle without leaving the hotel.
- Bolita Rainforest Hostel and Cabinas: If hiking is the prime reason you are visiting the Corcovado National Park, this hotel will be the right place for you. This hotel is located right in between the rainforests of the national park. If you hike for a few minutes, you witness some beautiful waterfalls in the park. The best part of this property is the behavior of the staff. They are amiable and listen to every customer’s request, which is much needed when traveling to a new place.
- Scarlet House: This hotel offers multiple benefits to the visitors, the best being the garden and the private beach. As the place is amidst the forest, there is fresh air coming through the windows all day. That is why the absence of an air conditioner does not bring any changes to the traveler’s experience. Moreover, it is an awesome place to stay when in Corcovado National Park.
Costa Rica is known for its freshness, which is great for practicing yoga. Nosara is one such place where you can participate in yoga and meditation retreats to keep your mind and body healthy. Just because we have listed this place, at last, it doesn’t mean we are not fond of it. Instead, you can say that we keep the best for the last! That is so because, in Nosara, you can even enjoy surfing and witness the collection of sea turtles in Costa Rica. Many hotels here also provide spa facilities to their customers. A worthy mention of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
Apart from wellness, you can also enjoy surfing here. Surfing in Guiones is an experience that no traveler wants to miss here. You can also go boating or, more specifically, Kayak on Rio Nosara. This is the special attraction of the place, and it’s definitely worth it. If you are interested in more kayak spots, then kayak in Isla Rosada will also be a good decision. The hotels where you can stay while in Nosara are:
- Green Sanctuary Hotel: This hotel is best for experiencing all the wellness and spa facilities that Nosara is renowned for. Here, you can also get access to free Wi-Fi and parking. The hotel rooms are neat, and the food is delicious.
- The Nomadic Hotel: From this hotel, you can go for a walk, and within a few minutes, the beach will greet you with its warm waves. The hotel provides free breakfast every day, and also the staffs are well-behaved.
- The Glided Iguana: This hotel is a luxurious property with features like a pool and restaurant. Here, too, you will get access to free Wi-Fi in any part of the hotel, and the room service facility will help you out with anything you need.
Best places to visit in Costa Rica
We hope this guide has helped you know the best places to visit in Costa Rica. If you follow our guide, your vacation will be sorted because we have shared all the places plus the activities you can do there. Also, our guide contains info about the best hotels in those locations. If none of the places mentioned above match your preference, you can also visit other locations like San Jose, Jaco, Tamarindo, and Montezuma. Whichever place you go, Costa Rica is a travel destination that would never disappoint. So, when will you go and visit the beauty of nature in Costa Rica? We are excited to know!