If you happen to be a nature lover and thrill seeker, Costa Rica is the ultimate destination for you. It’s high on my bucket list for the inevitable road trip I have been planning, pristine natural beauty and surreal rain-forests. For a country of such a tiny landmass, it boasts of the largest density of flora and fauna apart from other scenic wonders like, volcanoes, beaches and 1300 miles of unspoilt coastline. Though, not as cheap as its neighbors, the attractions found here are worth the extra money. For first time travelers seeking to explore this strikingly beautiful country, I have put together a list of some of the most popular attractions that Costa Rica has to offer based on the Travel Excellence Costa Rica Travel Guide and my personal choices.
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Top Reasons for Nature Lovers to Visit Costa Rica
1) Arenal volcano
Arenal volcano is the most active volcano in Costa Rica, which still erupts from time to time. If you happen to be there at the right time, you may be lucky enough to actually see the lava flowing down the mountain side during any of the frequent but small explosions. There are over 200 volcanic formations in this country which have made the soil rich and fertile. The surrounding areas are lush and full of life, making it ideal for other outdoor activities like,camping and hiking. La Fortuna at the base is a stunningly beautiful town, worth a visit.
2) Tamarindo beach
This beach and the surrounding areas are easily accessible from all places. You will be mesmerized by the clear turquoise waters and incredible weather that has something to offer for every visitor. If you plan to have a family holiday, head to Tamarindo for relaxation and peace like no other, all in one place. Snorkeling and scuba diving are other sought after activities here.The town boasts of a robust nightlife as well.
3) Puerto Viejo and Cahuita
If you are looking for a unique blend of Latin, Afro Caribbean and Bribiri indigenous cultures, then Puerto Viejo should figure on top of your bucket list. Having a laid back, Caribbean style of attitude, visitors here can get a glimpse of the most exotic part of the country. Nature lovers can try their luck in the nearby Cahuita national park, just a short distance away.
4) Drake bay
Drake Bay seems to be the most beautiful and peaceful place in the whole of Costa Rica. It is no wonder that it is aptly named ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’ by no less than the National Geographic. This town is also the entry point to the famous Corcovado National park, known for its diverse wildlife and stunning natural beauty.
5) San Jose
This is the perfect place to set up a base camp for your forays to the other parts of the country as it is situated bang in the Central Valley. Not only San Jose is the capital, but it is also the largest city in Costa Rica, enjoying a rich tradition of both history and culture. Once you are done with the city, you can easily explore some wonderful nearby places on the outskirts of the city.
A nesting place for thousands of marine turtles, Tortuguero is considered to be the Amazon of Costa Rica. Every year, these endangered turtles turn up in large numbers to lay their eggs in these world famous beaches from August to October. Don’t forget to tour along the extensive natural waterways and canals for a view of the fascinating jungle that line the sides.
Once a remote fishing village, the town these days attract hordes of eco travelers and backpackers which throng here because of the low cost accommodation on offer. Cost notwithstanding, the town is just beautiful and scenic as its more popular counterparts in the country. There are rivers and waterfalls surrounding the village, as well as pristine beaches. There is a spectacular nature reserve by the name of Cabo Blanco nearby, which is sure to attract nature lovers.
Costa Rica has a lot more to explore, apart from these attractions. The best part is that this country can be enjoyed by all kinds and age groups of travelers. If you are a nature lover like me, this would top your bucket list for more than 7 reasons for sure.
So, have you visited Costa Rica already? If so, I would love to hear your experiences in comments below and if not, make way to Costa Rica now and give in to its magnetic charms.