15 Must-Visit Costa Rica Destinations

Discover top Costa Rica destinations, pick your favorites, and ask a Costa Rica Expert to include them in your vacation package. We can customize your trip to create the unique vacation experience you’re looking for.

Can’t decide where to go in Costa Rica? The country contains an endless variety of exotic places and points of interest to explore. From erupting volcanoes to virgin rainforests, Costa Rica offers an abundance of magical destinations. Imagine infinite possibilities and a myriad of ways to discover. Although Costa Rica is small, travel options are extensive. For a week-long vacation, we suggest choosing 2 Costa Rica destinations to visit. This will give you an ideal amount of time to immerse yourself in the culture, surroundings, and activities available in each destination, without missing out on any of the amazing experiences! Don’t be surprised to discover that you will yearn to return to the “Rich Coast” that is Costa Rica.

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Choose your Costa Rica Destinations:

Explore top Costa Rica destinations, activities, and attractions and customize your perfect vacation today.

Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica

It’s without a doubt that the best thing about visiting Costa Rica is the pure variety the country offers. The Caribbean Coast’s beaches, the arid plains of Guanacaste, the towering majesty of Arenal, the cool retreats of the Cloud Forests, the winding mangrove maze that is Tortuguero – it’s truly a traveler’s paradise. Each visit to this amazing little country can be uniquely personalized. You can mix and match destinations to create the perfect vacation, no matter who you’re taking with you. With nearly 30 years’ experience in planning trips, our Costa Rica Experts are the best in the business. Call today and let us start planning your dream getaway!

Costa Rica Beach Destinations

Need to know where to go in Costa Rica if you love the water and yearn for the sea? Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast is great bet! Water sport options are plentiful along the country’s entire coast line. In the north, Guanacaste features some of the Costa Rica’s most intimate and exclusive resorts making it the perfect destination for relaxing at the spa and lazy beach days. The Nicoya Peninsula is well-known for surfing, yoga, and wellness. Nearby national parks can also be great day-trips if you need a change of scenery! The Central Pacific Coast contains the celebrated Manuel Antonio National Park. Spend a day hiking through Manuel Antonio, relax on the park’s beautiful beaches or explore the neighboring mangroves by kayak. Further down the South Pacific Coast, secluded villas and luxury accommodations are perfect for relaxing and getting away from the crowds. If you enjoy the outdoors and are up for rustic eco lodges and adventure activities, head south along the coastline to hike and enjoy wildlife in Corcovado National Park on the beautiful Osa Peninsula.

Where to Go in Costa Rica for Adventure

As you move inland, adventure and cultural attractions dominate. Arenal Volcano is considered by many to be the adventure capital of Costa Rica. Explore the rainforest surrounding the magnificent Arenal Volcano via tram, zipline, or hiking trails. The nearby Arenal Lake offers paddle-boarding, kayaking, and Sport Fishing. The views here never get old as you relax into the evening in the celebrated mineral-fed Arenal hot springs. For birders and wild life enthusiasts, Monteverde Cloud Forest is just a boat-ride away. The Central Highlands in Costa Rica’s interior are peppered with majestic Cloud Forests. Birding, hiking, and horseback riding are great excuses to explore off the beaten path. Costa Rica’s central highlands and neighboring central valley, which includes the capitol of San Jose, are great for cultural activities. Explore coffee plantations, the colorful oxcarts of Sarchi, and local museums and parks. Need to know where to go in Costa Rica for the best rafting? The Pacuare River is also found in this region, offering some of the best whitewater rafting in the world!

Costa Rica Caribbean Coast Destinations

Need to know where to go in Costa Rica on the Caribbean Coast? Tortuguero is one of the main highlights, and an animal-lovers dream. Boat through a maze of jungle canals and discover what wildlife you can find! Many come to Tortuguero to see the masses of sea turtles that come to the area to nest annually, but the mangrove maze is frequented by everything from monkeys and caimans to coatis and iguanas! South of Tortuguero, the remaining Caribbean Coast is not as frequently visited by tourists. Its history (full of mischievous pirates and hidden treasures) plus the laid-back feel give it a culture unique from the rest of the country. Surfers especially delight in visiting Puerto Viejo–one of the best spots in the country for surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Where to Go in Costa Rica with Kids

Costa Rica is an adventure capital when it comes to travel, with a variety of experiences that all kids can enjoy! Hit the Guanacaste beaches and plan surfing lessons, paddle-boarding adventures, whitewater rafting, and more! Not interested in the water? The Venado Caves are an amazing experience for curious kids. A bilingual guide will help point out some of the captivating frogs, fish, and bats that live in this limestone labyrinth, as well as help spot marine fossils in the rocks. For a more relaxing experience, consider visiting Hotel Si Como No’s Butterfly Garden outside Manuel Antonio National Park. The Blue Morpho, with its stunning metallic blue or green wings, is a favorite resident!

Lesser-Known Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Say you want to venture off the beaten path and uncover some of Costa Rica’s less popular sites – but what next? Costa Rica’s intense variety has also produced some little-known options for the savvy traveler! In San Jose, visit the Gold Museum, Jade Museum, Children’s Museum, or the National Museum to explore some of the most intriguing aspects of Costa Rica’s past. The Gold and Jade Museums are notable for containing the largest pre-Columbian collections of artifacts (respectively). Visit Peace Lodge to explore the stunning butterfly gardens, or enjoy a few nights stay at Villa Blanca Inn in the central highlands, where Costa Rica’s authentic hospitality and traditions have been preserved. A tour to Sarchi, famous home of storied artisans and vibrant painted oxcarts, is an amazing way to experience Costa Rica at its purest.

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