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Costa Rica, geography and facts explained
Geograhy, facts, local customs and foodie guide.
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Vacation in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s natural beauty and wide range of activities and sites have made it one of the decade’s top vacation destinations for couples, families, and groups of friends traveling together. Two coastlines, an amazing diversity of wildlife, and both black and white sand beaches, are just some of what Costa Rica has to offer. Snorkel around a coral reef, explore rainforests, hike volcanoes, and kayak winding rivers. Visit the top regions in this Central American country of the Nicoya Peninsula, bustling Pacific coast, quieter Caribbean Coast, and the capital city, San Jose. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or you’re just longing to relax on a gorgeous beach, a Costa Rica vacation is the perfect choice
The Northern Plains is Costa Rica’s newest tourist spot, and a haven for adventure travelers and nature lovers. This region features reasonably priced smaller, independently run hotels. In contrast, the Nicoya Peninsula has countless beaches, shopping and a party atmosphere. Accommodations here range from budget chains to glitzy resorts with pool complexes, spas, and golf.
Another perfect beach vacation is the Central Pacific Coast, which offers everything from mountains to beaches. This region also has high-end resorts, but there are also lower-priced motels and family run hotels. Stay in the quieter Caribbean coastline, Costa Rica’s secret; less busy, and the towns and beaches are more laidback, but there’s a smaller range of accommodation, with mostly smaller, simple hotels.
With two coastlines, Costa Rica has a wealth of beaches to choose from. Top spots for surfers include Jaco and Manuel Antonio on the Pacific side, while you’ll find the dramatic white and black sand beaches of Caihuta and Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side. Playa Montezuma has waterfalls nearby, and attracts an eclectic, bohemian crowd. Best beaches for families include Playa Hermosa, with calmer waters ideal for young children, and Playa Tamarindo, with enough waves and diversions to please teens.
Inland, Arenal Volcano National Park is one of Costa Rica’s most dramatic sites. Explore caves, tour the area by horseback or on a guided hike, and admire exotic wildlife at the Arenal Natural Ecological Park or the Butterfly Conservatory.
In Monteverde in the Northern Plains area, relish unique vacation experiences like the Monteverde Cloudforest train through the Costa Rica’s beautiful, misty jungle, or explore Selvatura Park, with a zip line tour and a treetop walkway.
For fast-paced adventure, take a heart-pounding ride down one of Costa Rica’s scenic rivers. Rio Pascuare and Rio Reventazon have tour companies that offer kayak and rafting rides that range from day trips to multi-day excursions. In addition to the thrills, the trips have views of spectacular waterfalls and lush vegetation.
Costa Rica isn’t all outdoor beauty and thrills. In San Jose, top sites include the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, filled with artifacts crafted from the precious metal; the interactive Museum de Los Ninos, and the National Museum with exhibits on the country’s culture and history. Outside of the city but in also in the Central Valley, you’ll find Volcan Poas, where you can visit the top of a volcano, and coffee plantations the Doka Estate and Café Brit, that offer tours and tastings.