Destination Spotlight: Costa Rica

22 Feb 2018

by Sara Jane Crane —

From spectacular nature to friendly locals, there are hundreds of reasons to put this country on the top of your travel list.


If you’re an adventure-seeker, Costa Rica is the place for you. The country is known for its ziplining, whitewater rafting, kayaking, scuba diving and many other adrenaline-pumping activities.

Top of the adventure “must do” list is ziplining. Costa Rica is well known as the birthplace of the first zipline. You can find canopy tours all throughout the country but the best one is in Monteverde and Arenal because of the cloud/rainforest views.

One of the top surfing destinations in the world, Costa Rica’s waters are warm year-round. The best beaches are Playa Jaco, Playa Hermosa, Playa Tamarindo and Playa Grande but there are many other beaches if you don’t want to be fighting the crowds. If you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of surf schools.

Several rivers in Costa Rica are popular for whitewater, rating from Class 1 to Class V rapids. Rio Pacuare is considered one of the best whitewater rivers in the world. The landscape is absolutely incredible with lush flora, fauna, and wildlife all around.

Are you into sports fishing? A clean and world-class marine environment makes Costa Rica popular with anglers and snorkelers. Join a boating tour or rent your own. There are many great spots on the Pacific and Caribbean side to see marine wildlife like humpback whales and dolphins. Go beach hopping and snorkeling. The coral reef off Manzanillo Beach on the Caribbean coast is the best snorkeling spot in the country, according to Frommer’s.

The volcanoes and surrounding areas are also popular areas for hiking, camping and mountain biking.


About 25% of Costa Rica is made up of protected national parks and rainforests which hold 5% of the world’s biodiversity.

More than 850 avian species make bird-watching popular in Costa Rica. Carara Biological Reserve boasts the country’s largest population of scarlet macaws. Plus, it’s the hummingbird capital of the world with 52 different species.

Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the country’s most visited national parks, is home to approximately 100 types of mammals, including the rare spider monkey. For a chance to see nesting turtles, head to Tortuguero National Park. Sloths — the slowest mammals in the world — can be found all around the country. Look up in the trees as you drive along the roads or hike in the jungles and you will be sure to see them.


With many eco-friendly hotels and lodges across the country and tour operators attempting to be as low-impact as possible, they are well on their way to full sustainability. You can feel good about visiting.

Spas and Hot Springs

To unwind, consider a stay at one of their luxury inns and spas. Contemplate the natural surroundings while soaking in waters laced with essential oils and chocolate or soak in the healing waters of an on-site mineral hot springs.

Costa Rica is known as the happiest country on Earth. A common saying among locals is “pura vida,” which means “pure life.” Everywhere you go in Costa Rica, you will be welcomed with a smile by the locals.

Talk with an Acendas Travel Advisor to plan a wonderful and adventurous vacation to Costa Rica soon.