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Besides its two stunning coastlines, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries on the American continent, and also has some of the most pristine beaches in the world. But its more than nature that has attracted tourist to this Central American gem. With a population of five million residing in a land brimming with flora, rural retreats, and sands that meet the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica has it all.
Stroll the colonial ambience of San José., where Spanish influenced architecture, a national park, and the historic Mercado Central exude an old-world feel. In the northwest, beyond lush jungles, is the sky bound Arenal Volcano. Voyage through Tortuguero National Park by boat and witness spider monkeys, river turtles, and jaguars, as well as hundreds of bird species. Or simply head coast side to enjoy beach activities that’ll bring you closer to the natural charms of Costa Rica.
Bridge walk among trees that surround the stratovolcano of Arenal. Last active in 1968, this conical volcano stands a mighty 1,633 metres high. Within the surrounding national park is another tour-de-force that’s part of the Ceiba tree family—considered sacred by the ancient Maya people. A hike to see this 400-year-old standalone giant of a tree as you trek these trails is an immense experience.
At the northeastern tip of Costa Rica is the majestic Tortuguero National Park. This remote location (boat or plane entries) provides a setting that includes swamplands, beaches, rainforests and lagoons. A boat trip along narrow canals bring you within touching distance of snappy wildlife such as turtles and crocodiles
Under the cover of clouds is where you’ll find 500 types of orchids, hundreds of bird species, and a lot of mammals. Take a tour as you ascend suspension bridges and witness monkeys, sloths and plenty more wildlife that make treetops their home. Immerse yourself in the vivid colours and lively sounds found in a populated and preserved forest that peaks 1,420 metres above sea level.
A snorkel, dive or surf at Tamarindo, a beach town location with mouth-watering activities, will leave you giddy from excitement. Strong ocean currents make for striking images on a blustery day in this North Pacific location. To the north, Playa Grande beach provides a nesting site for leatherback turtles. A marine park and mangrove-lined estuary sets the scene for a wildlife refuge that protects animals throughout Tamarindo.
In the north of the Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay is set in the country’s most remote region and swiftly grabs visitors with nature upon arrival. Whales are regular visitors here, as are spotted dolphins. Prepare for an intense wildlife experience full of the squawks and calling-cries of nature.
The dry season runs from middling December to April and provides plenty of sunshine. In Costa Rica, the higher in altitude you climb, the cooler the air becomes. An average temperature of 21 to 27°C is largely due to the country’s proximity to the equator. Rainforests found at the southern pacific coast are warm, sticky, and humid. The rainy season (May to November) predictably brings with it, heavy rains. The plains of Costa Rica are hot year-round, however.
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