Discovering Costa Rica: A Journey through the Country’s Most Captivating Destinations. Costa Rica, a country renowned for its diverse ecosystems and breathtaking landscapes, is a paradise for adventurers, explorers, artists, and romantics alike. This Central American gem is a haven for the curious and the wild at heart, offering a plethora of destinations that promise unforgettable experiences.


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Here are the top 20 places to visit in Costa Rica, each with unique beauty and charm.

The 20 destinations we’ve selected encapsulate the diverse beauty and rich cultural heritage of Costa Rica. Each location offers a unique experience, from the vibrant wildlife of Puerto Jiménez and Rincon de la Vieja National Park to the tranquil beaches of Dominical and Santa Teresa. We’ve included destinations that cater to a range of interests, whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to navigate the trails of Irazú Volcano National Park, a history enthusiast drawn to the architectural grandeur of The National Theater in San José, or a nature lover eager to explore the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. These destinations also highlight Costa Rica’s commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism. By choosing these 20 locations, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide to discovering Costa Rica, offering travelers a glimpse into the country’s natural wonders, cultural landmarks, and unforgettable experiences.

Puerto Jiménez: This hidden gem in the Osa Peninsula is one of the most biodiverse places in the world. Far from the mainland, it offers essential services travelers might need during their journey.



Dominical: A paradise for backpackers, Dominical boasts beautiful beaches, cheap lodging, open-air restaurants, and captivating sanctuaries.



Irazú Volcano National Park: Home to the nation’s highest volcano, this park offers an incredible lunar-like landscape and marked trails for easy navigation.



The National Theater in San José: A marvel for theater arts enthusiasts, this architectural masterpiece is a symbol of pride for locals.



Rincon de la Vieja National Park: This park is home to splendid wildlife species and offers a 9.6-kilometer trail through spectacular ecosystems.



Uvita: A small coastal town known for its stunning nature, wildlife, and the Marino Ballena National Park. It’s an ideal paradise for those who want to escape the crowds.



La Paz Waterfall Gardens: More than just a park, this 70-acre area is a habitat for various wildlife creatures and features the phenomenal La Paz waterfall.



Bajos del Toro: A small rural farming village, this place is a local favorite for peaceful moments and off-the-beaten-path hiking.



Turrialba: Known for its recreational activities and outdoor sports, Turrialba offers mountain biking trails and fantastic river sports sites.



Santa Teresa: Famous for its pristine beaches and surfing spots, Santa Teresa is also a great yoga and wellness destination.



Puerto Viejo: Known for its laid-back Caribbean vibes, Puerto Viejo offers fantastic white sand beaches and crystal waters.



Playas del Coco: Once a small fishing village, this place has become a popular destination for fishing and beach hopping.



Papagayo Peninsula: Home to some spectacular resorts and alluring white sand beaches, it’s an ideal hub for honeymooners and luxury tourists.



Chirripo National Park: This park protects an impressive diversity of habitats and wildlife, making it a treasure for every eco-lover.



Sarapiqui: Known for its abundance in agriculture, Sarapiqui offers exciting water sports like rafting and activities like bird watching and hiking.



Jaco: A coastal town with a touch of modernization, Jaco offers great restaurants, fancy hotels, and beautiful beaches.



Tamarindo: Known to be the most developed and easily accessible beach place in the area, Tamarindo offers a variety of water sports and land activities.



Arenal Volcano: An eye-catcher with its exquisite symmetrical shape, the Arenal Volcano offers beautiful landscapes and a variety of activities.



Manuel Antonio National Park: Despite being the smallest national park in Costa Rica, it draws visitors worldwide for its wide range of activities and abundant wildlife.



Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: Known for its unbelievable beauty, unique biodiversity, and richness in activities, this reserve is among the nation’s most envied havens.



Costa Rica is greatly recognized as one of the world’s biggest natural playgrounds. Each of these astounding places offers a unique experience, making Costa Rica a must-visit destination for any traveler.


Discovering Costa Rica is a journey of a lifetime. This vibrant country, with its diverse ecosystems and rich cultural heritage, offers an unparalleled experience for every traveler. From the lush rainforests to the pristine beaches, Costa Rica’s natural beauty is a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation and sustainable tourism. So, pack your bags and set off on an adventure to discover the wonders of Costa Rica.

-Written by Glenn Tellier (Founder of CRIE and Grupo Gap).

[email protected]


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season from December to April. However, the country’s diverse ecosystems make it a year-round destination.

Is Costa Rica safe for tourists?

Yes, Costa Rica is generally safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s important to stay vigilant and follow local advice and travel advisories.

What is the official language of Costa Rica?

The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

What currency is used in Costa Rica?

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón. However, US dollars are widely accepted in most places.

Do I need a visa to visit Costa Rica?

Visa requirements for Costa Rica vary depending on your nationality. It’s best to check with your local Costa Rican embassy or consulate for the most accurate information.

What is the food like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rican cuisine is a blend of native, Spanish, and African influences. Staples include rice, beans, and proteins like chicken, beef, or fish.

What wildlife can I see in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, jaguars, tapirs, and a variety of bird species.

What are the top attractions in Costa Rica?

Top attractions in Costa Rica include the Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and the beautiful beaches of Tamarindo and Santa Teresa.



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