Lined with forests, volcanoes, beaches and lush greenery, Costa Rica is a paradise for all those who love natural settings. You can indulge in various adventurous activities when you are not mesmerised by the riveting beauty of the natural landscape. While there are many, many places to choose from, here are five must-see natural attractions in Costa Rica:
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
House to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is a treasure of natural resources and diverse creatures. As the name suggests, the area has a misty atmosphere where you can literally have your head in the clouds. You can view many of your favourite animals, including jaguars, ocelots, bare-necked umbrella bird and resplendent quetzal. A natural wonder, the forest is a major attraction for eco-tourism in the country. Tourists can also take up adventure activities such as zip lining, rappelling and canyoning. Located in Sierra de Tilaran, one can also marvel the 10% endemic flora here.
Manuel Antonio National Park
The colloquial Hindi phrase “Chhota Packet, Bada Dhamaka” is embodied by Manuel Anotonio National Park. While it may be the smallest national park in the country, it is still one of the most treasured and visited natural sites in Costa Rica. Established in 1972, the park offers a plethora of natural views with its rain forests, beaches and coral reefs. Home to sloths, squirrel monkeys, iguanas and white faced monkeys, the park also offers guided tours to visitors. Snorkelling at the beaches is another activity often opted by tourists.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
Home to the largest population of the country’s national flower, the guaria morada, Rincon de la Vieja National Park is a sight begging to be explored. The Rincon de la Vieja volcano comprises of nine craters. The National Park gets its name from this volcano. In this area, you can spot various birds including toucans, eagles and quetzals, in addition to the diverse flora and fauna. You can hike up to the foot of the volcano, where hot-sulphur springs await to provide you with a unique bathing experience. Another stream and waterfalls nearby provide a relaxing experience. A hike around the park is the ideal way to explore the paradise.
Everybody’s science fair project come alive, Arenal is an active volcano in Costa Rica. Wrapped at the foot with lush greenery, the mountain itself is a sight thousands of people from across the world come to visit. The abundance of bountiful sights make the place one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. You can hike mountains and view the gorgeous lakes and rivers. The waterfalls and hot springs at the site are a visual treat, to say the least. There is so much you can do, from waterfall rappelling and rafting to hanging bridge walks and canopy tours. Make sure you do not miss a soak in the geothermal springs.
Tortuguero National Park
One cannot experience the entirety of eco-tourism in Costa Rica without a trip to Tortuguero National Park. The town and park are accessible by boats or small aircrafts. The beach is one of the largest sites of mass turtle nesting. One can see these adorable creatures during the winter months. Apart from the turtles, the park is also home to 57 species of amphibians. 60 species of mammals, 111 species of reptiles and an astonishing 300 species of birds. You can view spider monkeys, poison dart frogs, river otters, river otters, great blue herons and other unusual animals. You can enjoy the beach with long walks and also the canals.
Santa Teresa and Mal Pais
Twin beaches Santa Teresa and Mal Pais offer an incredibly contrasting experience for every tourist. While the golden sands and clear water are available in both, the difference lies in the experience you seek. If you wish for excitement and activity, you must visit the dynamic Santa Teresa. Surfing is a popular watersport and the high waves of Santa Teresa are incomparable. At night, you can expect some beach parties and social gatherings. On the other hand is the quaint and quiet beach of Mal Pais. Fishing is the ideal sport and the favourite pastime for all tourists and locals here. Overall, the natural beauty of the two beaches are undeniable and completely irresistible.
Read about eco-tourism in Costa Rica