5 best places to visit in Costa Rica
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Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in Central America. The name Costa Rica is Spanish for “rich coast,” and there is no better name for this tropical paradise. Costa Rica has been a popular tourist destination for many years and is ready to welcome tourists. If this is your first trip to this stunning country don’t miss out on the best places to visit in Costa Rica.
BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN COSTA RICA
Spend time in charming San Jose
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and the largest city in the country. The city also has the best quality of life among Latin American cities. It manages to be both historical and modern at the same time, with structures that range from ancient Spanish architectural structures to modern buildings.
If you love cultural life, San Jose has many museums and entertainment venues. Museums worth visiting include the National Museum of Costa Rica, the Jade Museum and the Museum of Costa Rican Art. If you’re in the mood for live performance, check the schedule at the National Theater of Costa Rica. The dining options in San Jose are endless. The city’s establishments offer the best dishes of European, Cuban and South American cuisine. You can dine in the elegant garden at the Park Café, or sample Central American and French fusion cuisine at the Grano de Oro Restaurant.
There are many outdoor activities in San Jose, including the attractions of San Jose Central Park, Simon Bolivar National Park and Zoo, among many others. Shoppers will love the city’s many markets and the largest shopping mall in Central America, the San Pedro Mall.
Blend with nature at Chirripo National Park
Chirripo National Park is a real find for nature lovers. There are many hiking trails in the park where you will see all the different habitats and wildlife. Natural features of the park include fern groves, swamps, rainforests and glacial lakes. A highlight is Cerro Chirripo Grande, the highest peak in Central America at 3820 meters. Be sure to check out the stunning views from Cerro Terbi, Rabbit Valley and Monte Sin Fe during your visit. While exploring the park, you can encounter wildlife and rare bird species, jaguars, iguanas and monkeys.
Surfing, sunbathing and partying in Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a lively place with many beach activities and nightlife. This seaside town is considered Costa Rica’s most popular tourist attraction for the trendy youth. The atmosphere of this former fishing village is an eclectic mix of Afro-Caribbean, Latin American and Bribri cultures. Salsa Brava Beach is a surfer’s paradise in the area, and other beaches are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing. For those interested in nature and wildlife, plan a visit to the rainforest at the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Sanctuary.
Walk and explore the cloudy forest of Monteverde
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is a favorite tourist destination for its natural beauty, biodiversity and outdoor activities. In the woods, guests can zipline among the magnificent trees, ride horses, walk the many trails and hike the suspension bridges.
Not only is this cloudy forest packed with activities, but also one of the best examples of sustainable tourism in the world. The forest is home to 2500 species of plants, 100 species of mammals, 400 species of birds and 120 species of reptiles. During any visit, guests can meet frogs, wild pigs, monkeys and more while exploring the reserve.
Climb an active volcano
Poas Volcano National Park, a 90-minute drive from San Jose, is considered a popular site with an active volcano. As you explore the park, watch the fog evaporate and see a sulfur lake at the bottom with steam and smoke rising from the fumaroles. Throughout the landscape, you will observe a variety of birds including hummingbirds, flycatchers, toucanets and the famous magnificent quetzal. The park has good hiking trails with scenic wildlife and landscape views.
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