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Costa Rica offers a diverse range of wildlife, natural beauty, white-sand beaches, breath-taking sunsets and warm, clear waters. Yet there is still so much that is unexplored. The locals also make this tropical haven what it is, there warm and friendly nature is welcoming to all. Costa Rica is seen as one of the happiest countries in the world, and is also a front runner globally for environmental protection, renewable energy and overall sustainability. If it is the simple life you’re after, Costa Rica is the place to be. When conversing with locals use the phrase ‘pura via’ which loosely translates to ‘pure life’.
Tortuguero National Park spans over 77000 acres, dominating the northern coast of Costa Rica. The national park provides amazing experiences whilst exploring the maze of rivers and canals that curve their way through the jungle. Its name translates to mean ‘Land of the Turtles’ and they certainly weren’t lying. Large numbers of turtles come to nest along the shoreline each year. The best chance to guarantee this unique experience is timing your trip in April and May – the turtles nesting seasons. Do not worry though, there is still plenty to do in the area – with wildlife to see all year round and ample hiking and canal cruise opportunities.
Puerto Viejo is a popular town famous for its lively nightlife. As one of the most popular destinations on the Caribbean coast, especially with young people and backpackers. It has a variety of things on offer including beautiful beaches, amazing surf sports and bustling party atmosphere. Although there is something going on every night you can also find some peace and quiet, with some quaint beach hotels and cafes. An amazing day out is to the nearby jaguar rescue centre, who have made it their responsibility to rehabilitate local wildlife and prepare them to be released back into the wild.
The area around Mount Arenal offers an abundance of wonderful activities to suit everyone: hiking across the national park, breath-taking waterfall La Fortuna, sunset views over the lake, caving, rafting and famous hot springs. With all this to do it is no wonder that it is one of the most visited places in Costa Rica. Mount Arenal itself is around 1670 metres above sea level – it erupts every so often, and some may be lucky enough to see lave flowing down its sides. However, it has dormant for the last seven years.
If it is wide, white sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters, Manuel Antonio is the destination for you. This extremely popular beach destination is located on the Pacific Coast; however, it does not just offer beach paradise. Its national park welcomes over 150,000 visitors annually – with hiking trails, several secluded beaches, and an abundance of wildlife – including three different species of native monkeys. Admission to the park is $16 USD per person, though kids under 12 enter free.
Ever heard of the quetzal birds? This rare, elusive bird calls Monteverde it is home, bringing over 250,000 tourists flocking to this area every year for a glimpse.Resting right on the continental divide, Monteverde – an eco-toursim hub – often experiences high winds and extremely unusual weather patterns. It is common for tourists to want to enjoy a zip line through this luscious area, flying through the tree canopy or to explore the various sky bridges in the area.
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