Costa Rica, a Central-American country with a 5% share in global biodiversity, is home to one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and majestic volcanoes.
In Costa Rica there is something for everyone. See wild animals, surf in Santa Teresa, swim in waterfalls, climb volcanoes and hunt for adrenaline in this adventure land. There are so many amazing places to visit in Costa Rica but in this article, we have listed only sixteen.
Table of Contents
- Amazing Places to Visit in Costa Rica:
- 1. Arenal Volcano National Park
- 2. Madrigal Beach
- 3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
- 4. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
- 5. Jaco
- 6. Gandoca
- 7. Nosara
- 8. Cocos Island
- 9. Dominical
- 10. La Pecora Nera
- 11. San Carlos
- 12. Cartago
- 13. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles
- 14. Fiestas de los Diablitos
- 15. Galeria Namu
- 16. San Jose Central Market
Amazing Places to Visit in Costa Rica:
1. Arenal Volcano National Park
The park consists of two volcanoes: the Arenal of 5357 ft and the inactive Chato Volcano of 3740 ft. Once at the park, you can check out the forest, hike at the Hanging Bridges or the Arenal itself, do some ziplining at the Arenal Reserve, and can also take some rafting sessions.
The Danaus Eco-centre can be visited to take a look at the pretty butterfly and fauna garden.
2. Madrigal Beach
Madrigal Beach is located in a small town called Carate, which is the main entrance to La Leona Sector of Corcovado National Park, in the Osa Peninsula.
This beach is the beginning of the trail to La Leona Ranger Station, on the way you will see several jungle lodges and plenty of birds like red macaws. This is one of the unique beaches that are worth traveling to.
This wild region is worth the trip: explore the vast rainforest that shelters Costa Rica’s largest remaining population of jaguars and tapirs, surf the cerulean waves along with the peninsula’s southern point, or take a boat ride through its enormous expanse of mangroves.
Related: 10 Best Beaches in Costa Rica
3. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
The wonderful Monteverde, translated as the ‘Green Mountain’, is the base to thick cloud forests. The place has pleasant weather, precisely because it is so green and healthy all around. And interestingly, the place offers many restaurants as well as activities.
Once at Monteverde, you may do horse riding, go birding, discover coffee plantations, and visit insect museums. So, don’t forget to add this top-rated tourist attraction in Costa Rica in your bucket list.
4. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
This is most probably the best Costa Rica beach destination for many beach lovers. Puerto Viejo beach is located on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. A tiny downtown with bars and restaurants makes the beach trip even more exciting.
A beach in itself is a very soothing spot for humankind; what makes it even more appealing is the sport that can happen there. Surfing, fishing, snorkeling, and diving are a few thrills that you can experience at the charming Puerto Viejo.
Jaco is a small city in Costa Rica that is famous for its beach, national park, waterfall, and unforgettable nights. You can climb the mountain called Miro to take a good panoramic view of Jaco outlined by the beach.
For those of you who love ATV, there is some good news for you, Jaco offers long, muddy tracks for ATV touring as well!
One thing that Costa Rica is widely known for is its wildlife and biodiversity. Gandoca is a place where you can see the turtles. There is a conservation center where you can even volunteer to help conserve the species in some way.
After a little walk comes to the Punta Mona where you can experience a new kind of freshness with its beach and unique, natural way of living.
Nosara in Costa Rica is famous for its yoga, spa, and amazing edibles. A boat takes you across two rivers to see a wide range of creatures including crabs, crocodiles, parrots, butterflies, and motmots.
For the people who find different languages interesting can also learn some Spanish by taking a 10-hour or 20-hour course at the Nosara Spanish Institute.
8. Cocos Island
Enough of the terrestrial animals already? Don’t worry! Cocos Island offers more than that, as it brings you some marine life for a change. Around 270 kinds of fish swim in Cocos waters.
Moreover, the Cocos area has been carved by volcanoes like a piece of art, with its valleys and cliffs. It is by far one of the most breath-taking parts of the country.
How many times have we imagined seeing a whale for real after being inspired by Hollywood movies like In The Heart of The Sea? Even though it could be a dreadful experience yet there is some curiosity in us to see the gigantic fish.
Dominical is a spot that can fulfill that dream of yours by giving you a live whale show. Also, Dominical has one of the best beaches in Costa Rica.
10. La Pecora Nera
There are several restaurants in Costa Rica but keeping everything at a glance, that is, location, architecture, food and service, La Pecora Nera is the best.
The most appreciable thing about this restaurant is that it is an open-air restaurant and serves a great Italian menu (good news for Italian food lovers!).
11. San Carlos
Some Hollywood movies like Jurassic Park, After Earth, and many more, were shot in Costa Rica. San Carlos was the place where the movie Congo was partially shot. Hence it is a must-see place to visit in Costa Rica.
When visiting a new country one must learn about its history. Often such history is preserved in local museums or on actual sites. Cartago was destroyed by earthquakes once, now it holds the ruins of a cathedral and a walk-through museum for the visitors.
There are good food outlets and hotels nearby so you can stay and explore the region properly for a few days.
13. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles
It is one of Costa Rica’s most important religious buildings and cathedral. It is beautiful on the inside with glass, wood, and creative paint everywhere.
Since Costa Ricans are majorly Roman Catholics, the churches are abundant and hold immense importance for the locals.
14. Fiestas de los Diablitos
This festival is by far the weirdest holiday traditions you will come across in the country. It happens in February and is a whole battle between two masked devilish groups by means of dancing. Consider your day made on this occasion.
Related: 10 Weird Holiday Traditions From Around the World
15. Galeria Namu
Lastly, art is what I feel is the defining factor of each civilization. Central American tribal art is somewhat showcased in Galeria Namu of Costa Rica which is why it must be on your list. It has masks, baskets, crafts and so much more awaiting to be praised.
16. San Jose Central Market
It is quite fruitless to visit a new place and not buy anything for ourselves or for our friends and relatives. San Jose has the largest market in the city, called the Central Market, which holds around 200 shops, cheap restaurants, and stalls to add a little bit more to the tourist entertainment.
You can pick souvenirs and shop beyond that at affordable prices. The market is important culturally as it is ancient and a nearby National Theatre adds to the value.
Costa Rica might not be a very advanced state but it sure is a very pleasant location for those who like it light and natural. It is a happy place to be according to the Happy Planet index, which is why it should definitely be visited. Hopefully, our above list of amazing places to visit in Costa Rica will make your travel choose easy.