Costa Rica hosts Central America’s stellar outdoors all in one spot. Benefitting from two diverse coastlines, sprawling volcanoes, and lush rainforests, this country is a can’t miss destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. A rare country in which a day spent in the city is a day lost, venture outside the capital of San Jose to view all the gifts that Costa Rica has to offer.
Manuel Antonio National Park – Quepos, Puntarenas
Despite being the smallest of the country’s national parks, Manuel Antonio is the second most visited location in Costa Rica. Known for its combination of beautiful beaches and rainforest hiking trails, Manuel Antonio represents the best biodiversity in Central America.
Tortuguero National Park – Tortuguero, Limón
Boasting over 20 miles of Caribbean coast line, the park is inundated yearly with beach-resting sea turtles laying their eggs in the spawning season. The ecosystem is home to over 400 species of trees, and 2,000 other types of plants.
Poás Volcano National Park – Alajuela
Costa Rica is home to 6 active volcanoes, and 61 dormant or extinct ones. Poás is the most visited of all of them, located 1.5 miles from San Jose. The last major eruption occurred in 1910, but visitors will still be treated with sulfuric pool bubbles and emitted smoke.
Celeste River – Tenorio Volanco National Park
The hidden gem of Northern Costa Rica is home to the most beautiful turquoise water in Central America. Volcanic tributaries create a drop in pH which leads to the incomparable blue colors of the river.
La Paz Waterfall Gardens – Alajuela
Visiting the gardens provides an up close and personal view to 5 different waterfalls. A tour to the gardens also includes a visit to a sanctuary home to over 100 species of animals, including jungle cats, macaws, and butterflies.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve – Cordillera de Tilarán
A visit to the reserve embodies all of the ecotourism Costa Rica has to offer. Low-level cloud cover, or fog, spread throughout over 26,000 acres of forest.