Vibrant tropical waterfront cityscape at sunset.

Natural Parks and Reserves

Arenal Volcano National Park

Home to the iconic Arenal Volcano, this park offers trails that meander through lava fields and rainforest, with the chance to spot wildlife or soak in riverside hot springs. Don’t miss the hanging bridges, unless acrophobia’s your travel companion.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Biodiversity is the celebrity here, with rare orchids and quetzals vying for your attention. The cloud-shrouded treetops offer an eerie beauty that’s out of this world, while zip-lining above the canopy gives you a bird’s eye view minus the wings.

Manuel Antonio National Park

This gem combines jungle with beautiful beaches. Despite its size – it’s like the runt of the national park litter – it packs a punch with capuchin monkeys, sloths, and iguanas. And those postcard-perfect beaches? They are real, no filter needed.

Tortuguero National Park

Accessible only by boat or plane, Tortuguero is a network of waterways that’s like the Amazon, but with more turtles and less anacondas. The turtle nesting season is a nature documentary come to life.

Corcovado National Park

Off-the-grid adventure seekers, rejoice! Corcovado is your biodiverse playground, complete with tapirs, jaguars, and all the sweaty jungle trekking your heart desires. It’s like stepping into a real-life version of "Jumanji".

Beach Destinations

Playa Conchal

Imagine a beach where the sand is actually millions of tiny, crushed seashells. That’s Playa Conchal for you. The clear turquoise waters are just the cherry on top of this coastal sundae.

Santa Teresa

A laid-back surfer town where the waves are always up for a good time, and the sunset sessions are religious experiences. Santa Teresa has a magnetic pull that turns visitors into residents.

Tamarindo

Great for beginner surfers and leatherback turtles, Tamarindo has a lively nightlife that might have you doing the walk of shame from a beach bar. But hey, at least it’s a scenic walk.

Dominical

Here’s where the waves play hard to get but are worth the chase for seasoned surfers. The vibe is chill, and the beach is often dotted with yogis in warrior pose.

Nosara

Nosara: the wellness hotspot where you can detox before you retox! A blend of luxury and rustic, it’s a haven for those who want to namaste in style.

Adventure and Activities

Zip-lining in Monteverde

Monteverde offers zip-lining experiences that are basically the closest thing to teleportation we’ve got. Strap in and prepare for liftoff!

White Water Rafting on Pacuare River

Get ready to scream in tune with the rapids as you navigate the Pacuare River. This is a symphony of adrenaline where the river dictates the rhythm.

Surfing in Jaco

Jaco’s waves are the flirtatious type, perfect for beginners and intermediates to get their surf stoke on. It’s like the wave pool you always wished for as a kid, but saltier.

Snorkeling in Cahuita

Cahuita’s coral reefs are like underwater cities bustling with marine life. Just don your mask and witness the rush hour of colorful fish and other sea critters.

Cultural Experiences

San José’s Museums

San José’s museums offer a walk through Costa Rica’s history without the dusty textbooks. They’re like portals to the past, only cooler and with gift shops.

Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

Here you’ll find that gold is more than bling. The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum showcases intricate artifacts that’ll make you wonder about the ancient "Midas touch".

National Theatre of Costa Rica

The National Theatre is like the country’s living room, grand and welcoming. It’s where culture and architecture do the tango.

Local Markets and Culinary Tours

Take a bite of Costa Rica by diving mouth-first into the local markets. Culinary tours are the real-life equivalent of scrolling through foodie Instagrams, but you actually get to taste the stuff.

Wildlife Watching

Sloths Sanctuary

Sloths are the epitome of the pura vida lifestyle. Visit the Sloths Sanctuary to learn about these laid-back creatures that take life at a pace we all sometimes yearn for.

Jaguar Rescue Center

The Jaguar Rescue Center is where you’ll find big cats and other wildlife that have been through the wringer. It’s not just a rescue center; it’s a beacon of hope for the injured and the Instagram-worthy.

Whale Watching in Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is where humpback whales come to put on a show. It’s like they know we’re watching and decide to flaunt those flukes.

Thermal Springs and Waterfalls

Tabacón Hot Springs

Tabacón is essentially Mother Nature’s spa, offering geothermal waters surrounded by tropical greenery. Forget candles and Enya; this is how you truly unwind.

La Fortuna Waterfall

The La Fortuna Waterfall is a showstopper – a cascade of cool water in a tropical setting. It’s like nature’s version of a splashy Broadway finale.

Río Celeste Waterfall

Río Celeste boasts a waterfall with surreal blue waters that could make the Caribbean jealous. It’s as if Picasso dipped his brush in the river while painting the sky.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Locations

Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula is where longevity secrets and pristine beaches hang out together. It’s the health nut’s Shangri-La.

Rincon de la Vieja

Rincon de la Vieja is a hotbed of volcanic activity, with mud pots, hot springs, and a dormant volcano to explore. It’s the geothermal energy drink Costa Rica offers to the world’s adventurers.

Isla del Caño

Isla del Caño is a scuba diver’s dream, with visibility that rivals your brand new prescription glasses and marine life straight out of a Pixar movie.