Costa Rica

Unmissable Landscapes in Costa Rica

Unmissable Landscapes in Costa Rica

Want to see the diverse landscapes in Costa Rica in real life, just to make sure they’re as incredible as they sound? It’ll be the trip of a lifetime, that’s for sure. Located in Central America, this relatively small country is known for its natural beauty and biodiversity, making it a popular destination for travellers from across the world. Costa Rica has two coastlines: the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast. So, as you can imagine, the beaches in this part of the world are seriously spectacular. As are the lush green jungles and rainforests, the powerful waterfalls and the protected wetlands. Put simply, there are oodles of breathtaking natural wonders to discover in this country. Convinced? Read on to discover our round-up of the most unique and unforgettable landscapes in Costa Rica.


  1. Make Memories at Manuel Antonio
  2. Active at Arenal Volcano
  3. Take Me To Tortuguero
  4. Connect with Corcovado
  5. Up in the Clouds at Monteverde


Make Memories at Manuel Antonio

If you haven’t seen a sloth in its natural habitat, now’s your chance. Our particularly slow friends live on the Pacific coast of the country, specifically in Manuel Antonio National Park, around 82 miles from the capital city of San Jose. It spans approximately 4,906 acres and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas and over 350 species of birds. It’s very likely that you’ll see some of these animals too, as they’re used to tourists so tend to get quite close to the trails and beaches here. Look up and you’re sure to see white-faced capuchins or howler monkeys jumping from tree to tree and playing in the branches. If you’re up for a moderate hike, try the Cathedral Point Trail as it offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding rainforest. Alternatively, for an easier stroll of around 30 minutes, take the Mangrove Boardwalk and you’ll traverse through the park's mangrove forest. There’s also a wide range of activities to enjoy at the park’s four main beaches: Manuel Antonio Beach, Espadilla Sur Beach, Escondido Beach and Playita Beach. So, whether you want to hike, birdwatch, swim, snorkel or paddleboard – it’s all possible when the ocean meets the forest.


Active at Arenal Volcano

Want to visit one of the most famous and active volcanoes in the world? Head to Arenal Volcano National Park, in the northern part of Costa Rica, and you’ll see a volcano that’s been active since 1968. And rising at 5,358ft above sea level, it’s hard to miss. Take a hike through the surrounding rainforest to see the beast up close or admire it from a distance in one of the Tabacón Hot Springs in the vicinity. Take a walk across the hanging bridges too: a series of suspension bridges through the canopy of the rainforest where you’ll be able to see the landscape (and wildlife) from a different perspective. Thrill seekers and adventurers will be glad to know that you can go ziplining, horse riding and white water rafting here too. If you’ve got time and want to see another impressive natural landmark, then you could make the journey to the 8,848ft-tall Poás Volcano. It’s just over a two-hour drive from this spot and has a crater that’s approximately one mile wide. 


Take Me To Tortuguero

Now for a National Park located on the Caribbean coast: Tortuguero. Like many of the other parks we’ve covered, there are rainforests, mangroves and beaches to explore here too. This one is unique, however, as it’s only accessible by boat or plane. Located in the province of Limon, this important conservation area is home to a variety of plants and animals, including sea turtles, monkeys and crocodiles. Sea turtle watching is one of the main activities and you can take guided night tours to see them laying their eggs on the sand or watch the hatchlings make their way into the waters. Prefer a spot of birdwatching? There are over 400 species of birds to look out for here, including toucans, parrots and herons.


Connect with Corcovado

Just when you think there can’t be more unmissable landscapes in Costa Rica, we hit you with Corcovado National Park. Situated on the southern Pacific coast, it’s one of the most biodiverse areas in the world and is also home to a few of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the country. Nature lovers will be in their element here with lowland rainforests, highland cloud forests and coastal marine areas to explore. The wildlife in this park is also pretty special, with over 500 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 140 species of mammals to discover. It’s worth packing some binoculars as you could catch a glimpse of jaguars, pumas, crocodiles, snakes or turtles. In the marine areas, you might be lucky enough to spot dolphins and whales too.


Up in the Clouds at Monteverde

Let’s round things up with one of the most famous rainforests in the country: Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, located in the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range. The entire forest is shrouded in a dense layer of hazy mist, giving the place a truly mystical feel. Add the constant soundtrack of exotic bird calls and you’ve got yourself a scene from a fantasy film. Founded in 1972, Monteverde is home to over 2,500 species of plants, including hundreds of orchid species, as well as a network of walking trails, such as Sendero Bosque Nuboso, the Sendero Camino de la Leche, and the Sendero Wilford Guindon. Follow one of these, and you’ll get to the suspension bridge, known as The Skywalk, which was built using a range of sustainable materials.