Discovering the forest
Within an area created for natural conservation, it is not surprising that the visitor is moved by such beauty. In the jungle, every element of the landscape has an exquisite sense of balance and harmony. Just walking through a tropical forest and listening to the sound of rain filtering through the foliage, transports you to a completely different atmosphere.
It is not easy to guess all the secrets that are locked in a single tree or a single wild bird; hence, the importance of being accompanied by experts in the field. Costa Rica has many naturalist guides and biologists who will allow you to discover and understand, in a pleasant way, the essence of a forest and its inhabitants.
The classification of the forest, the main habitat for maintaining biodiversity, ranges from dry tropical to very humid mountain. In certain areas, more than 10 types can be found, including deciduous, evergreen forests, mangroves, swamps, beach vegetation, or scrubby wasteland.
Several organizations and numerous people have been concerned with keeping natural areas private, whether for tourism, conservation or research purposes. These zones constitute a complement to the state protected areas, due to the fact that, proportionally, they have greater economic resources than the State for their administration.
A suntan fades; memoirs do not
Unlike other classic world tourism destinations, Costa Rica offers its natural world, its people and its landscapes. This makes every moment lived an unforgettable experience; a memory that goes beyond a traditional vacation. Along its coasts you can find hundreds of beaches with a diversity of sand, waves or vegetation. The beaches of Costa Rica are the perfect place to sunbathe, read a book, practice sports, walk or rest under the shade of a tree.
If the tourist is a lover of underwater life, in Costa Rica they will be passionate, because here there are more than 1,000 species of fish, which reproduce in abundance, both in the Pacific and in the Atlantic. Today, Coco’s Island is considered an invaluable natural laboratory for the study of the evolution of species.
Another place that has an abundant marine environment is Caño Island, located in front of the Corcovado National Park, on the Osa Peninsula. This Island has a high archaeological value, because in ancient times it was used as an indigenous cemetery.
Our country possibilities are limitless. Whether in the forest, in the air, on the beach, or in its rushing rivers; in its lakes, in the sea or diving, there will always be something to discover. The only thing that the traveler needs is the desire to live intensely the magic that the nature of Costa Rica offers to whoever seeks it.
Sports and adventure
Costa Rica is the best option for practicing activities such as sport fishing, sliding down river rapids, surfing, windsurfing, diving, kayaking, water skiing, or any other.
Gliding and paddling on a raft within the currents of Costa Rica’s rivers is one of the most popular adventures in the country. With the necessary equipment and a professional in charge of each boat, groups of 6 to 8 people can enjoy the scenic beauty of the jungle along rivers such as the Reventazón, the Pacuare, the General, or the Corobicí.
Sea and river kayaking
The Nicoya Peninsula, the Golfo Dulce and the beaches of Manuel Antonio, present ideal conditions for the practice of sea kayaking. In Costa Rica, you can also practice river kayaking in places like the San Juan River, the Frío River, lakes, and estuaries throughout the territory.
The pleasant temperatures of the water, the size, frequency and shape of the waves attract thousands of surfers from different parts of the world. Places like Naranjo Beach, Grande Beach, Negra Beach, Hazelnuts, Langosta or Potrero Grande are the perfect stopovers for many surfers visiting the North Pacific. In the Central Pacific, surfing is practiced in Boca Barranca, Caldera, Jacó Beach, Hermosa Beach and Escondida Beach, among other places. In the South Pacific, this sport can be practiced in Manuel Antonio, Dominical, Pavones and Quepos, among others.
In the Atlantic, on the other hand, there are a large number of beaches suitable for surfing including Playa Bonita, Puerto Viejo, Westfalia and Manzanillo. The country has companies that offer facilities to surfers, such as vehicle rental, single and double traction, as well as transportation and scheduled visits to the beaches.
Lake Arenal, located 1,700 meters above sea level, has been classified by world champions of this discipline, “as one of the 5 best places in the world to practice windsurfing”.
In this place, the regularity, speed and intensity of the wind, facilitate the practice of the sport, especially for beginners.
In Costa Rica the emotion is not only on the surface. Underwater caves, multicolored fish, manta rays and sharks are some of the attractions that diving enthusiasts can appreciate.
In the Pacific marine life abounds; there are tunas, sharks, groupers and a wide variety of tropical reef fish. The Caribbean is distinguished by the beauty of fish such as the French angelfish, the queen angelfish, the green moray eel, and many others.
Costa Rica has diving centers where you can organize tours and rent equipment. However, the most abundant underwater wealth in the country is concentrated on the Isla del Coco and the Isla del Caño. Due to its distance and value from the species that grow there, access to these places requires special transport and permission.
Sport fishing is practiced in places such as the Gulf of Papagayo, the Manuel Antonio area and the Osa Peninsula, in the South Pacific. Species such as marlin, sailfish, large tuna, dorado, “wahoo”, roosterfish or snapper, are some of those that stand out in the Pacific.
Different scenarios, of lakes and rivers, contribute to the enjoyment of fishing for species such as booby fish, machaca, roncador, snook and even trout.
Sailboats and other water sports
Here, tourists can rent, during the day, yachts, sailboats, or opt for a tour of Tortuga Island, in the Gulf of Nicoya, or navigate a river bed. You can also go water skiing and jet skiing.
Sun and beach
As has already been said, in Costa Rica each beach has very defined characteristics of sand, vegetation, waves and climate. Although some beaches do not have tourist infrastructure of high luxury and comfort, their natural beauty attracts many visitors.
The heart of the mountains of Costa Rica can be discovered by those who practice this sport since there are a large number of trails and ideal places for this activity.
Horses for rent
Horseback riding is an entertainment that can be practiced anywhere in the country. It is common to find people riding near the beach, on gravel roads, in the field, or on some forest trails.
Climbing a mountain, or walking for hours through a tropical forest, are very attractive activities that can be done within the abundant National Parks of Costa Rica.
From the treetops to the caverns
An option that allows you to feel nature from the heights, it is found on a tour of a cable car that goes into the majestic virgin forest. For those who prefer to discover the secrets of the underground world, they will be able to descend deep into the caverns of the Barra Honda National Park, in Nicoya.
And as the adventure has no limits, there is still the possibility of jumping into the void, from a bridge 61 meters high, tied by an elastic safety rope; it is called “Bungee Jumping”.
In Costa Rica, you can practice traditional sports such as swimming, aerobic gymnastics, tennis, handball, volleyball, and golf, among others. The sport par excellence, however, is soccer. The behavior of Ticos in a stadium, their passion for this sport and the dynamics of the game, are a spectacle worth watching.
Since ancient times, the geographical position of Costa Rica, at the southern tip of Central America, served as a meeting point for different cultures. The wide natural biodiversity that characterizes the Costa Rican territory also encompasses the people. Here they coexist, in total respect and harmony, the same blondes as redheads, Indians, blacks or brunettes; that is, people of all ethnic groups and of all faiths.
This clear tolerance in the behavior of the Costa Rican has made him an affable, spontaneous and helpful person. In Costa Rica, the smiles are sincere and the people’s faces convey a special warmth, which is difficult to find in other parts of the world.