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Volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, & rain forests

Monkeys, tropical birds, iguanas, & butterflies

Beaches, surfing, rivers, white water rafting

San Jose, Central Valley, Arenal, Monteverde, & Tortuguero

Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Jaco, Central Pacific, Guanacaste

White faced monkey in Corcovado National Park.

White faced monkey in Corcovado National Park.

Tours

We use the best tour operators to book all kinds of tours to Costa Rica, including independent tours and packages. If you have a group we can design a tour for your group. Check with us for details or for other information. Please contact us to book your travel. We book travel worldwide. Check out our Special Promotions.

Regions of Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be broken down into a number of regions or specific destinations. You can start with an overview of Costa Rica. For specific details of a region or destination choose the one of interest. There is the Central Region, which includes San Jose and the Central Valley, and features the Poas Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. San Jose area hotels are found on a separate web page. Hotels at other destinations are reviewed with a specific destination's web page. To the north of San Jose is Arenal where you find the spectacular Arenal volcano, and Monteverde where the very impressive Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is located. Tortuguero is found in the eastern part of Costa Rica on the Caribbean Sea. There you see great wildlife from boats in rivers and canals. The region in the northwest adjoining the Pacific Ocean is Guanacaste. This is where you find popular beaches and the beach town of Tamarindo. This is the driest part of Costa Rica. The Central Pacific region includes the Jaco area and the near by Carara National Park. The Central Pacific also includes Manuel Antonio and the very popular Manuel Antonio National Park. In the southwest region on the Pacific coast is the Corcovado National Park. It is in a remote location, but is a great place to visit. Contact Us for more information.

Costa Rica Overview

Crater of Poas Volcano.

Crater of Poas Volcano, Central Valley.

Costa Rica is a country with one beautiful view after another, and it has been described as the Switzerland of the Americas. Everything is found in an area smaller than the state of West Virginia. Yet the variation in flora and fauna is phenomenal. Costa Rica is a perfect place for ecotourism. There are volcanoes, hot springs, waterfalls, rain forests, monkeys, iguanas, tropical birds, butterflies, and much more. When you go there take lots of film for a film camera and lots of memory cards for a digital camera. There are many photo opportunities.

Jesus Christ Lizard in Tourtuguero National Park.

Jesus Christ Lizard in Tortuguero National Park.

San Jose, the capital, is located at about 10 degrees latitude in the tropics. But, because of its' elevation the climate there is like eternal spring. On each coast it is like summer at all times. But go into the rain forests in the mountains and you will need a jacket, especially at night, throughout the year.

Scarlet macaw in Carara National Park.

Scarlet macaw in Carara National Park, Central Pacific.

With such a variety of things to see and do within such short distances it is no wonder that so many Americans have chosen to retire there. In fact, many Americans went there at a young age and never left; they now own many of the hotels and restaurants.

Squirrel monkeys near Manuel Antonio National Park at Hotel Costa Verde.

Squirrel monkeys near Manuel Antonio National Park at Hotel Costa Verde.

The country has a very stable political system. There is no military. They have chosen to spend their money instead on education and health care. So it is not surprising that so many Americans go to Costa Rica for medical treatment. The care is good and the costs can be much lower than in the United States. Some of your friends may have gone there for a face lift.

Toucan at Tilajari.

Toucan at Tilajari, near Arenal.

The people of Costa Rica, called Ticos, are very friendly and eager to offer help. They are largely of Spanish descent; there is very little Indian population. In this respect the country is very different, for example, from Mexico and Guatemala. It is a great place to learn or to practice Spanish. However, the guides and many of the Ticos are fluent in English.

Rebecca with vine at Monteverde.

Rebecca holding big vine in Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Touring Costa Rica

One way to see Costa Rica is to do it on your own. In fact, this can be the preferred method of travel when visiting a few cities in Europe, the Caribbean, or Bangkok, Thailand, to name a few places. But I personally do not recommend the independent mode of travel for Costa Rica. You will not know what to look for or where to look. Naturalist guides make the tour much more enjoyable since they show you and explain to you the great variety of animal and plant life that is found there. Also, it is really nice to let someone else do all the driving, especially when the roads are poorly marked or in bad condition. In Costa Rica I recommend touring with guides in small groups. It is important to use a good tour operator since not all tour operators have high quality naturalist guides. Also, not all local tour operators have insured vehicles. It is quite affordable for a group of six or eight to have their own dedicated driver/guide. For fewer people we can put you with a small group.

Very large iguana on the riverbank in Palo Verde National Park.

Very large iguana on the riverbank in Palo Verde National Park, Guanacaste.

Costa Rica Distinctive hotels

We prefer distinctive hotels in Costa Rica. They are very nice, quite lovely, attractive, and most in natural settings with wildlife. A number of these hotels have a lot of property, and are really destinations in their own. Many have their own nature trails and offer lots of activities. The food is quite good. There are usually spa services. Wi-Fi is available at many of these hotels. Two examples are pictured below.

Hotel Grano de Oro Courtyard.

Hotel Grano de Oro Courtyard, San Jose.

Regions of Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be broken down into a number of regions or specific destinations. You can start with an overview of Costa Rica. For specific details of a region or destination choose the one of interest. There is the Central Region, which includes San Jose and the Central Valley, and features the Poas Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. San Jose area hotels are found on a separate web page. Hotels at other destinations are reviewed with a specific destination's web page. To the north of San Jose is Arenal where you find the spectacular Arenal volcano, and Monteverde where the very impressive Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is located. Tortuguero is found in the eastern part of Costa Rica on the Caribbean Sea. There you see great wildlife from boats in rivers and canals. The region in the northwest adjoining the Pacific Ocean is Guanacaste. This is where you find popular beaches and the beach town of Tamarindo. This is the driest part of Costa Rica. The Central Pacific region includes the Jaco area and the near by Carara National Park. The Central Pacific also includes Manuel Antonio and the very popular Manuel Antonio National Park. In the southwest region on the Pacific coast is the Corcovado National Park. It is in a remote location, but is a great place to visit. Contact Us for more information.

A lovely walkway at the Parador Resort and Spa.

A lovely walkway at the Parador Resort and Spa, Manuel Antonio (Quepos).

 

Photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell prints and images.