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Costa Rica is a thrill seeker's dream. With so many diverse ecosystems and terrains, it is the perfect adventure playground. With hiking, horse riding, snorkelling, rafting, zip lining, and surfing, there really is something for everyone. With so much variety on offer, we’ve helped you out and narrowed down our top five adventure activities to help you get out and explore the country’s natural wonders...
As the eco-and-adventure tourism capital of Costa Rica, it’s no surprise the country hosts a dizzying array of national parks. From hiking adventures to white water rafting, wildlife encounters and stunning vistas – there’s a National Park to suit everyone. Below are the top five National Parks that cover the highlights of Costa Rica and allow you to get under the skin of this magnificent country.
Home to more than 600 miles of unspoiled tropical beaches, which span two contrasting coasts - the Pacific and Caribbean – beach holidays here are as varied as you can get. Knowing where to start is tough, and so the guys on the Imagine Latin America team have picked out their top ten beaches to get you started:
Carpeted with dense, wildlife-rich jungles and lined with a dazzling coast, combine the jungle and beach in Latin America for a memorable holiday.
The eco-wonderland of Costa Rica is best known for its lush green rainforests and dense jungle. Here, Scarlett describes why she fell in love with Tortuguero, a hub of abundant wildlife and stunning scenery.
Nosara, Costa Rica
Best for: Family, Spa
Situated just a stone's throw from Playa Guiones Beach near Nosara is the laid-back Costa Rican surfers’ paradise of Harmony. Simple comforts, a strong environmental ethos and great food make Harmony a wonderful spot to catch a wave.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Boasting some of the most consistent waves in the world, the relaxed small resort of Harmony is the best place to come in Costa Rica if you’re a keen surfer. Located close to the sleepy town of Nosara on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, Harmony Hotel carefully combines sustainable living with the creature comforts of a home, and Just set back from Guiones Beach, Harmony’s 24 rooms and bungalows have been designed with simplicity in mind, mirroring the beautiful surrounding landscape. Ten rooms surround the swimming pool and are nearest to the restaurant and front desk, and come with a large private patio with outdoor shower, hammock and seating area, air conditioning and ceiling fans, refrigerator and mini bar, and Wi Fi access. There are also 13 larger bungalows in the gardens and a two-bedroom suite better for families or larger groups.
There is a lovely pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens and a laid back restaurant serving cuisine inspired by local flavours in a wonderfully rustic setting. The owners have given a lot of thought to protecting the environment and actively supporting the local community, and practises composting, the use of solar-powered water heaters, and landscaping is done with native plants. The staff also works with a local non-profit agency to protect the local sea turtle habitats and end poaching. In lieu of providing bottled water, the hotel has a tap near the reception area that provides purified rain-water.
A stone's throw from the hotel is some of the best surf in Costa Rica and the hotel can assist with organising surf rental and lessons. Other activities on offer at the hotel and in the surrounding area include yoga, nature hikes, bird watching, kayaking and horse riding on the beach and through the Nosara Nature Reserve, home to a huge variety of flora and fauna.
When to go
With a warm climate most of the year, the Nicoya Peninsula is known for its great weather. However, during the rainy season from April to November most of the roads can get quite impassable due to rivers washing them out. Mid November trade winds from the north-east arrive, marking the end of the rainy season. The following months these offshore winds, called Papagayo, relief the heat and provide perfect surf conditions. Sunshine is guaranteed during the high-season months of January - April. During this long and pronounced dry season many trees and shrub drop their leaves which makes it easier to spot animals.
In May a mellow rainy season follows which the tourism industry has dubbed the Green Season.
It's the time of the year preferred by eco-tourists as nature is verdant green, sunsets multi-hued, and many hotels offer low season rates.
To start planning your tailor-made holiday, call us on (646) 934-8942
Things to do
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons
Walk on water with a stand up paddle-boarding lesson and experience an ancient surfing technique once used by Hawaiians. You will head to a remote tropical island where you will then be able to snorkel or swim in the turquoise waters.
Calypso Catamaran Cruise to Tortuga Island
Discover the secluded island of Tortuga off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. White sand and rocky outcrops are surrounded by azure waters and is home to tropical birds, this is a true Costa Rica castaway island experience.
Horseback Riding Hacienda Ario
Ride along the beach and enjoy some of Costa Rica's most beautiful Pacific Ocean views. This area on the Nicoya Peninsula is all about vibrant landscapes and secluded beaches, so prepare to experience the very best of an untouched Costa Rica.
Ocean Kayak to Isla Chora with Snorkelling
Glide along the glistening waters of the Pacific Ocean on a kayak before arriving at an exotic pink sand beach. Here, you will have time to walk around, snorkel in the clear waters to spot tropical sea life or just relax in the glorious sunshine.
Pacific Green Turtle Nesting Tour at Night
Experience one of the most spectacular and unforgettable wildlife moments after sunset. With the help of an expert guide you will walk along the beach and witness turtles emerging from the depths of the ocean to lay between 65-90 eggs along the sand.
Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve
A nature excursion exploring the depths of the beautiful Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve. You will be guided around the lush tropical jungle spotting wandering wildlife and colourful flora and fauna. There will be some time to rest with fruits and a drink.
Palo Verde National Park and Pottery Demo in Guaitil
For an insight into Costa Rican culture, you'll stop off in the quaint town of Guaitil where you will have the opportunity to admire a pottery demo. You'll then head into the jungle for a tour of the vast wetlands and catch glimpses of curious wildlife.