…At the Foot of the Volcano
The imposing Arenal Volcano is about a three-hour drive north of San José. Here, two landscapes dominate the scene. On the one hand, there is the lush vegetation, which is home to various wildlife. On the other hand, the terrain formed by lava and sand looks rather barren. However, both landscapes - albeit contrasting - are suitable for hiking trips. Moreover, the zip line parkours and suspension bridges offer different perspectives of the rainforest.
...Happiness in the Hot Springs
The area around Arenal Volcano is also known for its hot springs. A wide variety of thermal baths are available near the town of La Fortuna. Particularly well embedded in nature is the luxurious Tabacon Thermal Resort. The mineral-rich waters of the Río Tabacon have a temperature of around 37 degrees Celsius and are ideal for relaxation. Enjoy a soothing bath in the middle of the tropical rainforest.
… From Birds to Coffee
The journey to Monteverde is worthwhile, even though it takes about four hours to get there. The region lies between 14,000 and 17,000 meters above sea level, with a landscape dominated by cloud forests. Hence, it can get a bit cooler in the evenings. Due to its biodiversity, Monteverde was one of the first tourist destinations in the country. Head out and try to spot the striking quetzal and - if you are interested in aromatic coffee - take a coffee tour and visit the local plantations.
Carara National Park
...A Bird’s Paradise
This national park is located halfway between Monteverde and Manuel Antonio, just under two hours by car. Here, dry forests meet wet forests and form a transitional woodland with unique vegetation. Carara National Park is a world-renowned ornithological destination with very diverse birdlife. Thus, the park is not only home to the toucan but also to scarlet macaws. Indeed, one of the largest remaining wild populations of this endangered species lives here.
... In the Middle of the National Park
The smallest national park in the country offers a charming combination of rainforest and beach. Visitors can observe not only larger animals such as monkeys or coatis but also various small creatures. It is best to go on a discovery tour with an experienced guide equipped with binoculars. The trained eyes of the expert will spot quickly, and long before you can detect a thing, the spyglass has already been aimed at the target. This will reveal some fascinating facets of grasshoppers or dragonflies to you. However, you may find yourself staring directly into the smiling face of a sloth instead, leaving you with a lasting experience.
Sierpe and Corcovado
... On the Peninsula
The Corcovado National Park, an oasis of pure wilderness, can be found in the southwestern part of the Osa Peninsula. Many lodges here are only accessible by boat. Casa Corcovado Jungle Lodge, for example, is reached by an adventurous 90-minute journey from Sierpe via the River of the same name. The captain navigates the vessel through the largest mangrove wetland in Central America before entering the open ocean. However, to get to the lodge's landing place, another leg along the wild Pacific coast is required.
... From High Above
Would you like to avoid the five-hour drive back to San José? For another perspective on the breathtaking landscape, consider taking a domestic flight. Departing from the local airports Palmar Sur and Bahia Drake, the small propeller plane will take you comfortably to the capital in about 45 minutes. Besides the actual flight experience, you can enjoy impressive views of the rainforests and hilly landscapes below.
- Header – Photo from Visitcostarica.com
- Paragraph 1 – Photo from Visitcostarica.com
- Paragraph 2 – Photo from Skyadventures.travel
- Paragraph 3 – Photo by Tabacon Resort
- Paragraph 4 – Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash.com
- Paragraph 5 – Photo by moritz320 Pixabay.com
- Paragraph 6 – Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash.com
- Paragraph 7 – Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash.com
- Paragraph 8 – Photo by user:282060 on Pixabay.com
- Paragraph 9 – Photo by minkewink on Pixabay.com
- Paragraph 10 – Photo from Wikipedia.org
- Paragraph 11 – Photo by Traveling Tall Girl on Unsplash.com