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.
Costa Rica is regarded as one of the safest, friendliest, most diverse and exotic destinations in the world. And if that wasn’t enough to highlight its family appeal, it is now also possible to fly direct from London with British airways, making it also easily accessible. Here, Imagine Latin America round up five the best family friendly properties in the country to get you started:
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:
Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Award-winning Lapa Rios is an amazing rainforest eco-lodge on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Magical views of the Pacific Ocean and superb wildlife guides make Lapa Rios a wonderful place for nature lovers to immerse themselves in this biodiversity hotspot.
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Set on a high, breezy jungle ridge in a private nature reserve among some of Central America's last remaining Pacific lowland rainforest, the 16 wood, bamboo and thatch bungalows of Lapa Rios overlook Golfo Dulce and the Pacific Ocean.
Run by Minnesota couple John and Karen Lewis, the lodge has garnered many awards for its comfort, its tranquillity and especially its sustainability, and is one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular eco-resorts. Accommodations have an appealingly rustic feel, blending indigenous motifs and sweeps of bold colour, and come with four-poster beds layered with fabrics made by local artisans. Fresh tiled bathrooms and outdoor garden showers with hot water have views onto the private teak terraces where you can see passing monkeys, roosting toucans, and plenty of scarlet macaws all from your lounge chair. If you don't like to climb stairs, request a bungalow close to the main lodge.
Inspired meals, including seafood, exotic fruits and vegetables, are prepared to the very highest standards by eight local chefs trained at the lodge and served under a soaring thatch roof (after repeated requests for recipes, the second edition of The Lapa Rios Cookbook was recently published). There's also an infinity pool, a massage hut, and a yoga deck.
Given its privileged beach and rainforest location there is a long list of activities at Lapa Rios, including bird watching, kayaking, surfing, nature walks, swimming, and humpback whale watching. Resident naturalist guides lead tours through pristine wilderness and to nearby beaches on foot or on horseback, and don't miss the free sustainability tour called Pigs, Twigs, and Garbage, which highlights the resort's eco-friendly commitment, including pigs' contribution to energy fuels. A transfer by small plane to the Corcovado National Park can also be arranged.
When to go
From May to December it's the 'green season' when it rains more than the rest of the year, it can sometimes rain for 3 days in a row. However, this is rainforest and walking in the rain doesn't ruin the experience. October is the wettest month, the creeks rise and roads can be impassable. There are few people staying at Lapa Rios, though, so it’s much more intimate. January to April are the drier months, when it’s idyllic here. The busiest time of year is the second half of December, when you need to book well in advance.
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Holiday ideas including a stay in this property
An all-encompassing highlights tour of Costa Rica, taking in some of our favourite sights and staying in some of our favourite properties! Perfect for a first time visitor looking to indulge and see the best of this fantastic country.