Costa Rica is a fantastic destination for all types of travelers. The climate is warm and stable, it is safe and English is spoken all over, (US dollars are even accepted most places). Everywhere you turn there are natural wonders to behold and it is easy to avoid over commercialized areas. Ticos (Costa Ricans) have embraced eco-tourism like nowhere else so its easy to venture into wild natural environments here safely and easily. I’ve chosen to feature four destinations in Costa Rica. You can choose one to visit or make a tour of all four for a once-in-a-lifetime rainforest experience. PURA VIDA!

San Jose and vicinity

The area surrounding San Jose is diverse and wild, allowing visitors to see rainforest, volcanos, waterfalls and wildlife without traveling far from SJO.

Discover my recommendations here.

Poas Volcano

Poas Volcano

Taking in the View Highlight:

photogallery0853Toucan Rescue Ranch – $125/night (double occupancy) The Toucan Rescue Ranch is a wildlife rescue, rehabilitaion and release organization about 40 minutes from San Jose. The ranch has two private guesthouses available and income from these accommodations supports the rescue efforts of the ranch. Rates include a 2-hour tour of the ranch and breakfast with the baby animals. For more info email Leslie at Leslie@toucanrescueranch.org.

La Fortuna/Arenal

La Fortuna is a very popular destination and the area has many choices of activities and accommodations from animal encounters to ziplines. It can be tough to escape the tourists but there are many wonderful and peaceful moments to be had here. Views of the Arenal Volcano are stunning from the entire area.

Discover my recommendations here.


Taking in the View Highlight:

Proyecto Asis – A Wildlife Rescue Center which is home to a large variety of creatures including toucans, sloths, monkeys, peccaries, parrots and Kinkajous. They offer a half-day tour (90 minutes, $29/adult) , a half day tour with volunteering (3.5 hours, $51/adult) and a full day option with local homestay ($127/adult). If you sign up for the volunteer tour you will be able to touch the monkeys and Perla the Peccary as well as many of the small birds – so cool! Recommended for children and adults. Read about my visit here.


The drive to Monteverde may be bumpy but it is gorgeous countryside draped in green and crowned with clouds. Monteverde is home to many wonderful nature reserves that preserve this unique Cloud Forest ecosystem. You can spend several days exploring the Cloud Forest Reserves but to have a truly immersive and educational experience consider hiring a local naturalist guide.  The diverse ecosystem of this area is home to thousands of species of plants and animals.  The guides spend their lives learning about the incredible biodiversity here, and it would a shame to miss out on that expertise. Andres Alvarados is the best in the area. Read about my trip with Andy here.



Pool at El Sol


Taking in the View Highlight:

El Sol – $155, remote countryside location in Monteverde area. Two handbuilt cabins located on a family farm. Homecooked meals, horseback rides, pool and sauna available. Read more about our stay here.

Osa Penninsula

The Osa Penninsula is in the south of Costa Rica and is most accessible by plane (Nature Air or Sansa). Although it requires extra effort to reach this are the penninsula remains almost completely wild with the bulk of the area being taken up by Corcovado Park. Here the waters of the Gulfo Dulce and the Pacific meet and there are wide stretches of empty beach ringed with lush rainforest dense with Costa Rican creatures. A true jungle-lover’s paradise. There is very little that is commercialized on the Osa so don’t count on filling your days with excursions and dinners out – travel here to experience the slow pace and thrilling beauty of this unique and wild place. IMG_3950-2


Casa Blanca lanai at Bosque del Cabo


Taking in the View Highlight:

Bosque Del Cabo – Eco-resort located on the remote Osa Penninsula. $200 pp and up for Cabinas that include 3 daily meals. $400 and up per night for their 2-bedroom houses (meals not included, but kitchen available). Remote rainforest location, beautiful grounds, pool, beach access, walking trails, onsite naturalists and ocean views.

Read about our visit to Bosque del Cabo here.


For more Costa Rica Travel recommendations click here!

Want more Costa Rica inspiration? Check out these great blogs!
Pura Vida, Eh? – by Nikki and Ricki
Top Ten reasons to visit Costa Rica by Cailin Oneil
The Cost of Traveling Costa Rica by Nomadic Matt
Costa Rica travel blog by Ryan van Velzer
Costa Rica Escapes Blog
Costa Rica Travel articles on HuffPost
Costa Rica Mini Travel Guide
Enchanting Costa Rica


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