Costa Rica highlights & map
Lush rainforests, diverse wildlife and sandy beaches, Costa Rica has so much to offer those intending to visit. Take a look below to discover its most unmissable sights and our top ten highlights for Costa Rica.
1. San Jose
It’s well known for being a diverse city, full of hipster Costa Rican coffee shops and craft beer bars with a vibrant street art scene. Grab your best camera and get exploring, you won’t regret it!
2. Canoe trip in Tortuguero
The rainforests of Tortuguero are truly magnificent. Navigate this incredible landscape in the early hours of the morning, via its meandering rivers, for an unforgettable adventure. This way, you can get out before the wildlife has been disturbed and witness the animals in their natural habitat.
3. Boca Tapada
Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, far from the usual tourist trail in this peaceful jungle retreat. Experience a unique stay in a treehouse or lodge and head out on the guided night walk, in which you can encounter the local wildlife and culture, for a particularly unique adventure.
4. Village stays in Bribri
Stay with the local indigenous people and get to know their culture here in Costa Rica. The Bribri are a warm and welcoming people for whom recycling, sustainability and looking after the environment is ingrained in their way of life. Help out their community and learn to cook the local way.
5. Spotting quetzals in the clouds
Whether you’re a bird lover or not, there’s no denying that spotting the striking quetzals in the beautiful forests of San Gerardo De Dota is simply spectacular.
6. Corcovado National Park
Considered one of the most remote biodiverse regions in the world, this park contains tropical ecosystems with Pacific beaches, mangrove swamps, and rainforests across the lowlands and mountains. You can either explore it on the waters, catch a speedboat through the channels or go on a challenging hike through the jungle.
7. Samara Beach
This picture-perfect, family-friendly beach boasts white sands and turquoise blue sea; the ideal place to relax and unwind. Should you be feeling a little more adventurous you can enjoy water-sports in the calm, shallow waters such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkelling or surfing.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, then you won’t be able to resist zip lining through the cloud forest on your Costa Rica travels. Combine this with a ride on a sky gondola and canopy walk to soak up the stunning views of the lush Monteverde jungle below.
9. Rincón de Vieja
Stay on a working cattle and horse farm, riding these beautiful animals and experience the local community of Rincón de Vieja. You’ll also be able to get up close to geothermal activity, bubbling mud pools and wide varieties of plants and animal species. Like the rest of Costa Rica, this place is wonderful for bird watching.
10. Arenal Volcano
La Fortuna is the gateway to the awesome Arenal volcano, as well as an array of wildlife, lakes and natural hot springs. For the best panoramic views of this volcano get yourself to the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa and take a guided hike to find out more.
For even more Costa Rica travel tips, head to our travel guide below.
View our itineraries featuring these highlights
From 16 days / 15 nights (flexible)
Nicaragua, San Jose - Tortuguero - La Fortuna - Monteverde - Rincon de la Vieja - Ometepe - Granada - Managua
From 17 days / 16 nights (flexible)
Panama, San Jose - Tortuguero - Puerto Viejo - Bri Bri Village - Bocas del Toro - Boquete - Panama City