Costa Rica is a nature lover and outdoor enthusiasts'
paradise. It is very much at the forefront of eco-tourism and for
good reason. The country is home to 15 different eco-systems which
have created its spectacular natural beauty.
Its beaches go on for mile after mile of unspoilt beauty and the
jungle has an extraordinary wildlife all of its own. To really get
the best out of the country there are endless activities on offer:
hiking, mountain biking, flying on zip lines through the jungle
canopy, snorkelling, diving, horse riding and white water
The cloud forest of Monteverde is one of the most famous
eco-tourism areas in Central America. It is called a cloud forest
rather than a rain forest, creating a misty and mystical habitat
supporting a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Santa Elena is
home to the Monteverde Orchid Garden featuring 450 species
including the world's smallest one, which is viewed through a
magnifying glass. The Santa Elena Reserva is less busy than
Monteverde and an excellent place to do night trails of nocturnal
Parque Nacional Cahuita is the only coral reef on the
Costa Rican Caribbean coastline and found within this park are 500
species of fish which affords excellent opportunities for
snorkelling and diving. It has stunning beaches and is good
for both land and water activities making it one of the most
visited parks on the Caribbean coast. A well-defined trail runs
through the coastal rainforest and howler monkeys and sloths are
among the wildlife attractions.
The Veragua Rainforest Research Adventure Park is definitely a
highlight of any trip to Costa Rica, both from an educational and
wow-factor perspective. Located less than one hour from the
historic Caribbean town of Limón, the park houses the largest
indoor nocturnal frog exhibit in the world, a butterfly garden,
reptile vivarium, hummingbird garden, magnificent waterfalls, a
fascinating tram ride through the rainforest canopy and spectacular
walking trails through the primary rainforest..
A boat trip up the Tortuguero Canal, which runs parallel to the
coastline from Puerto Limon to the Nicaraguan border, affords the
chance to enjoy some spectacular scenery and get close to a variety
of wildlife including see West Indian manatee (sea cow) swimming
underwater and spider monkeys.
Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal as is obvious from the name,
houses one of South America's most active volcanoes.