View Map

Overview

A pioneer in eco-tourism, this tiny nation is big in all things nature related. Its twelve distinct ecological zones span coastal wetlands to montane cloud forests and subalpine savannas. This diversity combines with a pivotal position at the apex of both North and South America and the Caribbean and Pacific realms to produce an astounding wealth of wildlife, protected within a system of national parks and wildlife refuges covering one-third of the nation. Dozens of nature lodges cater to nature enthusiasts. Whitewater rafting is world-class. So, too, surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking, and even golf. Canopy tours are a highlight. And ...

A pioneer in eco-tourism, this tiny nation is big in all things nature related. Its twelve distinct ecological zones span coastal wetlands to montane cloud forests and subalpine savannas. This diversity combines with a pivotal position at the apex of both North and South America and the Caribbean and Pacific realms to produce an astounding wealth of wildlife, protected within a system of national parks and wildlife refuges covering one-third of the nation. Dozens of nature lodges cater to nature enthusiasts. Whitewater rafting is world-class. So, too, surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking, and even golf. Canopy tours are a highlight. And sportfishing compares to anywhere in the world. Other key attractions include active volcanoes; excellent pre-Columbian gold and jade museums; superb botanical gardens and mini-zoos; and lovely beaches. The country lacks the profound cultural legacy of neighboring countries. For colorful culture, head to Cahuita, on the Caribbean. Driving can be a challenge (4WD is a necessity), but air and bus service is well developed. Costa Rica boasts superb hotels, from simple bargain-priced cabinas to fabulous boutique hotels.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

view full overview

Christopher Baker for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance