Costa Rica

One of the first things you’ll notice is the incredible beaches in Costa Rica. Due to the country being surrounded by the Pacific on one side and the Caribbean on the other, its beaches are as diverse as its rainforest life. Starting at the Pacific coast there’s Playa Manuel Antonio, part of the Manuel Antonio National Park which boasts beautiful coral reefs perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. Further down south is Dominical Beach, known around the world as a surfer’s paradise. Then along the Caribbean coast you’ve got the stunning turquoise waters of Playa Manzanillo and Punta Uva. You’re truly spoilt for choice on beautiful beaches here.

If you’re up for an adventure Costa Rica has it all, from zip-lining through the dense canopies of the rainforests to white water rafting along the rapids of the River Pacuare. There are options for all levels with family trips catered for too. While adventure is everywhere in Costa Rica, there’s also plenty of opportunity to relax in this tropical haven. The volcanoes of Costa Rica lend their heat to a number of hot springs and there are several world-class spas in the area including The Springs Resort at Arenal Volcano and the tranquil Esencia Spa at El Silencio Lodge.

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More about Costa Rica

Costa Rica has one of the richest plant and animal life of any place in the world so no wonder its name means “Rich Coast”. This gorgeous tropical paradise is teeming with lush jungle, white sandy beaches and adventures around every corner. There are many tours you can join while you’re there, varying from kayaking and hiking to mountain climbing and bird-watching. There’s so much to see and do here, you’ll want to come back year after year.

To mix it up a little, don’t forget to check out the thriving capital of San Jose, where over a quarter of the entire population of Cost Rica live. This bustling city is filled with winding streets, vibrant bars, shops and restaurants. The museums here are not to be missed if you fancy some cultural activities. We recommend the Jade Museum and the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, as well as the National Museum of Costa Rica where you can see relics of the ancient tribal people who have lived in the rainforests for thousands of years.

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Top five things to do in Costa Rica

10 facts about Costa Rica

1.

Costa Rica consists of 11 times more water than land, making it a top destination for water sports enthusiasts, divers and beach lovers aplenty.

2.

A jungle is different from a rainforest as its plants grow closer to the ground, whereas a rainforest forms a high canopy which blocks out the light.

3.

The La Fortuna Waterfall in Alajuela is Costa Rica’s most famous, but the Bijagual Waterfall is the tallest at an impressive 600ft.

4.

Just 3.5 miles west of San José is the trendy hotspot of Escazú with a buzzing party atmosphere and plenty of shops, restaurants and clubs.

5.

Drake Bay Lodges is one of the best areas of Costa Rica for bird-watching. It is one of the most diverse tropical habitats in the world.

6.

The huge Tarcoles River is home to some of the biggest crocodiles in the world, some of them reaching up to 20 feet long.

7.

Playa Manuel Antonio beach is surrounded by colourful coral reefs – paradise for snorkelers or scuba divers.

8.

The riptide is known for being incredibly strong at times so make sure kids don’t swim too far out. If you get stuck out at sea, swim back at a 45° angle.

9.

The fascinating archaeological site of Cano has some mysterious ancient stone spheres, some of them more than 6 feet wide.

10.

Arenal volcano is over 1,633 metres high and sits in its own national park. It is active but not dangerous - in fact there are many relaxing hot springs nearby.

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