Between Two Coasts: Sightseeing Knows No Bounds in Costa Rica

 Yes, it's greener and happier than most anywhere else on earth, and Costa Rica is bursting with many natural sights to see. Between two coasts that boast world-class beaches like Manzanillo and legendary surf spots such as Salsa Brava, the country is home to six active volcanos, including the majestic lagoon filled crater of Parque Nacional Volcán Irazú- and 26 national parks- among which Corcovado stands out as the country's crown jewel. A good place to start is InBio Park, a family-friendly theme park not far from the capital city of San José where there's a magnificent mushroom exhibit and an insect collection that numbers in the millions. Wend your way to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and birdwatch in the wee hours, then take a nocturnal stroll for an eerie thrill. At the Jaguar Rescue Center, you can see and play with the injured or abandoned sloths and monkeys that live here before they're re-released into the nearby jungle. While many of Costa Rica's waterfalls are hidden deep in the mountains, La Paz Waterfall is easily accessible and offers even more than the exciting experience of seeing five waterfalls up close, there's also a serpentarium and a butterfly observatory.

The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles is a Roman Catholic church in classic Byzantine style, located in the heart of Cartago, Costa Rica. Built in 1639, this basilica is officially sanctified to the Virgin of Nuestra Senora de los...  Read More

La Paz Waterfall and gardens is a delightful eco-excursion just outside the city of San Jose, and with a half or full day trip, you'll be treated to not only five rushing waterfalls, but lush tropical rain forest, exotic birds, butterflies,...  Read More

White sand beaches and clear waters flanked by lush vegetation are hallmarks of Manzanillo, a quintessential Caribbean fishing village where not too much has changed in the past fifty years or so. Small houses are built on stilts and colorful...  Read More

Iraz� Volcano National Park encompasses the area around the Iraz� Volcano in Cartago Province. The volcano is not far from the capital city and makes for an excellent day trip attraction from San Jose. Iraz� Volcano National...  Read More

Once upon a time, El Museo de Arte Costarricense (MAC) was Costa Rica's main airport terminal. Now it is home to a diverse collection of works by some of the country's most revered artists and serves as a celebration of national talent....  Read More

The Corcovado National Park is widely recognized as Costa Rica's "crown jewel" of natural preserves; the National Geographic cals it "the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity." Located in Costa Rica's...  Read More

The Monteverde Cloud forest is a lush preserve that remains largely intact despite a recent boom in tourism. Most of the wildlife is rare and much of it is nocturnal, which is why a night hike of the preserve makes for such a stimulating...  Read More

The Lankester Botanical Gardens (Jardín Botánico Lankester) was created in 1973 as a center for the exhibition, conservation and research of tropical air plants, with an empahsis on orchids. Recognized worldwide for its stunning collections of...  Read More

INBio Park
Photo courtesy of Dave McCracken

InBio Park is Costa Rica's national institute for biodiversity and conservation, and it includes a theme park for all ages to introduce Costa Rica and all its natural wonders to the public. It collaborates with government agencies,...  Read More

At the Jaguar Rescue Center in Playa Chiquita, a few kilometers south of Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica a primatologist and her herpatologist husband are a couple of passionate animal lovers who created the Jaguar Rescue Center in response to...  Read More


Meet Sophia LaMonica

On Sophia's first trip to Costa Rica, she came face to face with white-faced monkeys, gasped at the sight of giant purple crabs, and rode horseback through plunging waterfalls. Costa Rica...  More About Sophia
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