If you are planning a getaway in the Atlantic, Costa Rica can be a fabulous option. Straddling both the Atlantic and the Pacific, Costa Rica is becoming increasingly popular for its sun kissed glamorous beaches, lush tropical rainforests, volcanos and exotic wildlife. If you are planning for a getaway, then here’s a list of seven not-to-miss checkboxes for your vacation:
1. San Jose
A vacation to Costa Rica will take you to its capital housing the primary airport. So start by exploring this gem of a cultural city before heading off to the rustic beauty outside the city. The city is steeped in culture (it was elected as the Ibero-American city of culture some time back), and the vestiges of Spanish colonialism can be found everywhere. Do visit the museums showcasing its life in the pre-Columbian days to learn a bit more of its fascinating past. San Jose is located on a plateau, encircled by mountains and valleys that also make for delightful day trips from San Jose.
The town of Montezuma (named after the legendary Aztec ruler) is a 5-6 hours drive from San Jose on its western coast. Located on the pacific, it is a semi-hippie joint, popular for its bohemian vibes that are quintessentially reflected in the brilliant cuisines, beachside beauty and the nightlife as well. Playa Montezuma or the Montezuma beach is an oasis of sorts where you can be as laidback as possible or can pursue a host of seaside activities. If you are in for a bit of peace, then head to the Playa Grande beach – but be aware that it is a clothing optional beach, unless you want to go skinny dipping as well!
3. The Arenal Volcano
Well, the beaches are ticked, what next? Head off to an active volcano. Yes, you have read it right! The Arenal volcano to the north of the country is an active volcano, lying dormant since 2010, but creating an adventurer’s ecosystem in its vicinity. There are plenty of options to stay and wait with bated breath for the volcano to show any sign of activity, but the real adrenaline lies in exploring the national park around the volcano. Go for long hikes in the brilliant rainforests (the exotica of which will remind you of Skull Island from King Kong) or go for rappelling in the waterfalls. Or select a thermal hot pool and soak in the aches from your white-water rafting.
Keep heading north along the Pacific coast until you hit the international borders with Nicaragua and you will have landed in Guanacaste – a province renowned for its natural beauty studded with scores of quaint beaches, lush forest and fishermen’s towns. But that’s not all, if you want to pamper yourself in luxury, head off to the Las Ventanas del Mar resort that claims to be paradise on Costa Rica. This region further has an overabundance of white beaches and turquoise waters – so be a bit of an explorer and you will definitely end up finding a secluded private beach of your own.
5. Corcovado National Park
No holiday to Costa Rica is complete without a tryst with its biodiversity and its fauna. And there’s no better place to explore the wildlife of the country than the Corocovado National Park located in the southern extreme of the country. There is an entire spectrum of places to stay in the vicinity, ranging from the basic to the uber – luxuriant one. Choose whatever fits your pocket but definitely head of to the hikes or driving trails in the forest – claimed to be the most biologically intense place on earth by National Geographic. And why not? There is a cornucopia of wildlife here – capuchin monkeys, colourful frogs, dazzling toucans, tapirs and ocelots all call this place home. So don’t forget the Corocovado and feel the Tarzan rise within you