Costa Rica is a fantastic, tropical pearl in the heart of Central America, and quite possibly the best backpacking country in this part of the world. It offers a perfect combination of beach life, surfing, diving, snorkelling, wildlife and trekking through jungles or up the side of a volcano. Nowhere else in the world you can find so many different species in such a little space! For example, you will find more than 850 different bird species in this small paradise. Costa Rica is truly a country that meets most nature lovers’ wildest dreams.
Volcanoes and waterfalls
La Fortuna is a beautiful area, best known for its active volcano, the Arenal, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The volcano ejects clouds of smoke, incandescent cinder, and glowing lava on an almost daily basis - fascinating and harmless as long as you keep a safe distance. One should definitely go on one of the exciting evening or night tours to view the volcano and its glowing lava! Another exciting activity is abseiling down, or more specifically through, one of the countries many waterfalls. Many other areas offer perfect conditions for white water rafting. Costa Rica is the perfect place for the traveller seeking adventure activities!
Monteverde Cloud Forest
A trip to Costa Rica should include this mountainous area with a mixture of rain forests and cloud forests, perfect for trekking! Eat lunch at one of the many "ranches" along the way and then go in search of the beautiful and unique quetzal bird. The place is very special thanks to the rainforest enshrouded in cloud, and don’t worry: The clouds don’t obscure the amazing views!
Manuel Antonio og Quepos
The country's largest national park is located in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific coast. The park is home to a huge array of exotic animals: snakes, monkeys, huge lizards, sloths, and birds of every imaginable colour. It's most recommended to hire a guide, whose help will be invaluable in finding and spotting the animals and birds. This intriguing area has many other attractions including a range of beautiful, almost deserted, white beaches!
The little town of Quepos oozes with a friendly, cozy atmosphere of relaxed Latin charm and sits close to both rainforest and beach. It therefore attracts surfers, backpackers, and extravagant jet setters!
Tortuguero National Park
This impressive national park is the most important nesting area for several species of endangered sea turtles in the Central America and Caribbean. If you are lucky enough to be here when the eggs hatch, you'll experience their first, tiny steps as they make their way to the ocean. The journey to Tortuguero is via a 3-hour boat trip from Puerto Limon, during which it is possible to see crocodiles, otters, river turtles, monkeys, bats and masses of birds.
Jacó: A surfer's paradise
Jacó is the perfect surfing spot where the world's surfing elite meets to train and compete. But you don't need to be an expert as there are loads of opportunities for surfing instruction. There are always loads of backpackers here, so the opportunity to meet fellow travellers in a great atmosphere with fantastic surroundings at one of the beach parties should not be passed up.
San José: The capital city
For many their journey around Costa Rica will start in the capital, San Jose. Must-sees include the Plaza de la Cultura and the city’s cathedrals. Thanks to Costa Rica's status as a surfing paradise, the capital is also a great place to fill your backpack with surfing!