Costa Rica's Best Attractions and Activities: Get Happy in Nature

Costa Rica may be a tiny Central American country but it's anything but short of exciting things to do. From coast to coast, Costa Rica is bursting with natural assets, interesting attractions, and adventurous activities. On the Pacific coast, most hotels are happy to arrange excursions to nearby highlights, and on the Caribbean coast it's more D-I-Y. Play hands-on with howler monkeys and three-toed sloths at the Jaguar Rescue Center, where they hang out before being released back into the jungle a few feet away. On the Crazy Monkey Canopy Tour, you'll whiz along the treetops suspended from cables on Costa Rica's signature tourist attraction. For foodies, there's the  Chocolate Forest Experience, an off-the-beaten track trek through a real cacao farm, where organic chocolate is made the old-fashioned way. Discover the colorful underwater world thriving along the Caribbean coast with a dive to the still pristine eco-system of the barrier reef, where nurse sharks, lion fish and sea horses live. Explore the Volcan Irazu, soak in the thermal hot springs beneath Volcan Arenal, and cool off on a whitewater rafting trip down the Rio Pacuare, where the journey is one wet and wild destination. Welcome to la pura vida.

Experience the rush of Costa Rica's world-class whitewater rafting on some of Central America's best rapids on the Pacuare River. If the ride doesn't take your breath away, the scenery will. A one-day trip includes class III and IV rapids and...  Read More

Caribeans Chocolate Forest Experience
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica

Chocolate lovers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking to learn more about Costa Rica's rich history of cacao should indulge in the Chocolate Forest Experience, but if you can't spare the time, there's the Chocolate Tasting Lounge to relax and...  Read More

Cafe Britt Coffee Tour
Photo courtesy of Sophia LaMonica

After a warm introduction and a brief history of coffee in Costa Rica, the tour begins with a stroll through the plantation of coffee, cacao, and many other tropical trees. A charismatic bi-lingual guide explains the growing cycles from the...  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

INBio Park
Photo courtesy of Dave McCracken

InBio Park is Costa Rica's national institute for biodiversity and conservation, and it's main attraction is a theme park for all ages that introduce's Costa Rica and many of its natural wonders to the public. InBio collaborates with government...  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

Reef Runner Divers is a one-stop dive shop located in a prime beachfront spot in Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica. With a staff of experienced divers and a trusty panga boat named "The Reefer" this long-standing outfit has access to the most...  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

Yes, it is the quintessential Costa Rican adventure, and yes it is a must-do experience, if you enjoy the great outdoors, that is. You'll feel the adrenaline in your veins and the wind in your hair as you whiz from platform to platform (there...  Read More

At the Jaguar Rescue Center in Playa Chiquita, a few kilometers south of Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica a primatologist (monkey expert) and her herpatologist (reptile expert) husband are a couple of passionate animal lovers who created the...  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