5 Natural Wonders of Costa Rica that Make It a Dream Paradise for Tourists

    This small Central American country can boast of being one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world

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    More than 40 years ago, when hardly anyone talked about climate change, Costa Rica decided that the most valuable thing it had was its nature and decided to dedicate all possible resources to the protection and conservation of its biodiversity. Of course, it did not have to be an easy decision, especially at a time when other countries around it were betting on uncontrolled industrial growth.

    Time has shown Costa Rica was right; now this small Central American country can boast of being one of the most desired tourist destinations in the world. Millions of tourists arrive each year in search of nature, a unique fauna in the world, wild beaches or experiences full of adventure. From coast to coast, and from north to south, we travel through Costa Rica in search of 5 natural wonders that make it a true paradise.

    1. Tortuguero National Park

    When talking about Costa Rica as a natural paradise, the Tortuguero National Park is, inevitably, one of the first places that come to mind. This park, protected since 1975, has been spread out on the Caribbean coast of the country, mixing areas of tropical forest with a network of lagoons, canals and rivers.

    The tourist zone is concentrated in a small area of the part, where the small and charming town of Tortuguero is located, as well as some sustainable tourism resorts that can only be accessed by boat. From there, we can take different routes with boats or canoes to enjoy the landscape or to ascend to Cerro Tortuguero.

    The constant rain has led to the existence of a unique biological diversity in the world with the presence of more than 400 species of trees, 400 species of birds, 60 species of amphibians or different endangered mammals such as jaguars, manatees and sloths. And, of course, the great star of the place: the sea turtle.

    Because, every year, thousands of sea turtles come to the beach to lay their eggs in a magical spectacle that we can enjoy if we comply with the rigorous protocol that the park authorities have established so that tourism coexists with the welfare of the animals. It is a maxim that is repeated in the rest of the country’s natural spaces.

    2. Arenal Volcano

    The perfect silhouette of the Arenal Volcano is drawn in the landscape, generally with its characteristic cloud hat. This 1,670 meter high volcano was active for decades until one day, in 2011, it decided to stop and stop spewing lava. But, under its calm appearance, volcanic activity continues and that has made the area one of the best places in the world to enjoy hot springs.

    In the town of La Fortuna, the largest of all those that rise at its feet, thermal centers have multiplied with a varied offer for all tastes and budgets; they range from some natural sources next to the river to public swimming pools, going through different hotels that allow us to enjoy a hot bath with a cocktail in hand.

    Adventure activities are the other great protagonists of the park. We will be able to walk along beautiful paths where the suspension bridges will test our vertigo or throw ourselves down one of the huge zip lines that fly over the forest in one of the numerous adventure parks that we find on both sides of the volcano.

    Another of the most beautiful excursions that we can do in the area is the route that takes us to the Río Fortuna Waterfall. To get to this waterfall, we will have to overcome a path with more than 500 steps through a forest with native trees to, once there, enjoy a spectacular view of this 70-meter-high waterfall or take a bath in the crystalline river waters.

    3. Manuel Antonio National Park

    In 1972, Costa Rica decided to preserve one of the most beautiful and biodiverse areas in the world by establishing the Manuel Antonio National Park. Located on the Pacific coast, within the province of Puntarenas, it is the smallest national park in the country, but, at the same time, one of the most important places protecting the most biological diversity.

    What stands out the most about the park is the great variety of ecosystems that it houses inside. Along with beautiful white sand beaches and a large area of mangroves, there is a tropical forest inhabited by all kinds of animals. The real stars of the park are its squirrel monkeys, which have become used to the presence of tourists and can be a bit mischievous so do not try to interact with them.

    4. Corcovado National Park

    On the same coast, although a little further south, you can find the Corcovado National Park, one of the largest in Costa Rica. This park covers an area of 424 square kilometers, including tropical forests, mangroves, estuaries, beaches, and coral reefs. It is home to a large number of animal species, including jaguars, pumas, monkeys, toucans, macaws, snakes, poison dart frogs, and many endemic plants of the region. It is estimated that this concentrates 2.5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet.

    Being a little further from San José, it is not as touristy as other national parks, which makes it the ideal option for those seeking wilder nature. In fact, it is a highly desired destination for trekking lovers, with hiking trails of all kinds and difficulties.

    One of the most popular routes is the trail that goes from Puerto Jiménez to La Sirena, which lasts approximately 7 hours, if we leave from Carate. The La Sirena forest station is one of the few places where we can sleep without having to camp, and it is perfect to use as a base for other excursions through the park with several marked trails, such as Río Claro, El Guanacaste or La Olla. .

    5. Chirripó Hill

    Now we completely change the landscape; Thus we leave the coast to ascend to the highest mountain in Costa Rica, with an altitude of 3,820 meters above sea level. This is located in the Talamanca mountain range, in the province of San José and its mountainous landscapes. Sometimes with snow, this contrasts with the usual postcards that we can imagine from Costa Rica.

    By the way, the trail that leads to the top of Cerro Chirripó is considered one of the most demanding in the country. But, as often happens, it is also one of the most rewarding. There, from above, we can enjoy impressive panoramic views of the mountains and even the Caribbean Sea on clear days.

    If you do not dare to climb, you can also enjoy the landscapes that the lower part of the mountain offers us. We start with a mountain forest that gradually transforms into a dense tropical jungle with trees that reach 50 meters in height. It has a unique variety of flora and fauna with the possibility of spotting tropical birds such as the quetzal or the long-tailed hummingbird.

    These 5 wonders of Costa Rica are just a few examples of all the natural attractions that this spectacular country offers us. The combination of dream beaches, tropical forests, jungle or volcanoes make this Central American country one of the most diverse countries in the world.

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