Tropical treasures ready to be discovered
Costa Rica is a strip of land full of tropical vegetation and has five percent of the world’s biodiversity among a modest 19,000 square miles—oh, and it boasts five active volcanoes. The country’s wildlife includes the snorting tapir and tiny ocelot. On the western coast, enter a Blue Zone where native ticos often live beyond 100 years—Costa Rica is good-living. Pick a budding starfruit in an inland forest before moving on to a coastline to spot eagle rays, dolphins, and whales in a country of five million residents.
Whether an avid explorer, a lover of wildlife, or a city dweller looking for a tropical fix—the Central American bridge that is Costa Rica bulges with discovery. At its narrowest point, 75 miles separate coasts leading to the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. On either side see dolphins as you snorkel among the colourful coral reefs. Whilst exploring San José, enjoy an eclectic skyline of Spanish architecture and modern skyscrapers. Stroll to Mercado Central to enjoy fresh cuisine such as black bean dish casado. Hike the lush greens of Tortuguero National Park and hop on a boat cruise that’ll introduce you to spider monkeys, river turtles, and with a bit of luck, a jaguar.
A stratovolcano with a big reputation—the still-active Arenal Volcano stands 1,633 metres tall within a national park of the same name. After a hike around volcanic rock dating 7,000 years, take time to walk the El Ceibo trail with a tour guide towards a Ceiba tree that’s four times the size of Big Ben and held sacred by the Maya people—a truly breath-taking experience made extra special with some expert advice delivered by a Tourlane Expert.
Tortuguero or ‘region of turtles’ in Spanish, in Tortuguero National Park, located at the north-eastern tip of Costa Rica, enter an untouched region of multiple habitats that include: beaches, swamplands, rainforests and lagoons. Witness baby turtles hatch, a rare wildlife treat. The park spreads over 193 square miles in a remote region that invites you to canoe through narrow canals where crocodiles lurk. In a region of natural beauty, enjoy a zipline through tropical trees.
The perennially misty forest is the ideal place for 500 orchids and hundreds of birdlife species that exude a colourful chirpy nature—Monteverde Mountain Cloud Forest is like nowhere else in Costa Rica. One of our experts will lead you along a suspension bridge high up in trees— sloths and howler monkeys call home. You’ll love a guided hike through gorgeous chamaedorea tepejilote plants—just be on the lookout for the elusive jaguar.
Costa Rica is a coastal gift that keeps giving. Head to the west coast to snorkel in the North Pacific Ocean. This tropical beach town invites you to surf a wave in clear waters. Stronger ocean currents make for dramatic imagery—you’ll want a camera on hand. North is Plata Grande Beach, a nesting site for leatherback turtles, a mangrove tree-lined estuary makes for the perfect wildlife setting. Cap off a day on the sand at sunset with a breezy on your back and cocktail in hand.
Half of Costa Rica’s 500,000 animal species live on the peninsula of Drake Bay, ready yourself for an intensive wildlife experience as you hike across a majestic coastal land. North of the Osa Peninsula is Drake Bay, a place of colourful reefs and volcanic mounds—this is the perfect place to spot reef sharks and moray eels. The bay is one of the country’s remotest regions and whales are regular visitors to the area, as are spotted dolphins.
In Costa Rica, the dry season is from December through April, provides plenty of sunshine as you move through the land. However, it’s also peak season for tourism, resulting in a larger number of visitors to popular attractions. The higher altitude in regions of the country means as you move higher the climate cools. Due to the country’s proximity to the equator, average temperatures range from 21 to 27 degrees celsius. The rainforests found by the South Pacific Ocean are mostly warm, sticky and humid year-round. The rainy season arrives to turn the land green in May through November.
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