Rain forests have the most biodiversity among ecosystems in the world, home to colorful birds, animals (monkeys, anteaters and sloths), amphibians (neon green poison dart frogs) and tropical plant life. Costa Rica boasts many tropical rain forest destinations where you can explore firsthand the diverse life in these habitats.
Corcovado National Park on the south Pacific Coast is sometimes called the "Last Frontier" because you might get the opportunity to see four types of monkeys, specifically the American squirrel monkey, endemic only to Costa Rica.
The Sarapiqui zone is recommended if you will be traveling near San Jose. Tortuguero National Park offers a jungle tour and an opportunity to observe the Western Hemisphere's most endangered green turtle. Monteverde Cloud Forest presents a unique opportunity to walk in an old-growth forest and the most spectacular variety of birds and wildlife.
Volcanoes and Mountains
Costa Rica boasts more than 114 volcano formations, six of which are active.
The Arenal Volcano is the most active and is best known for nearby hot springs where you can view the flowing lava under the starry skies.
Poas Volcano is popular for not only its proximity to San Juan but also due to stunning crater lakes that reflect the sky.
Irazu Volcano, in San Juan's mountains, hasn't erupted since 1956, but the botanical gardens and annual Costa Rican pilgrimage continue to draw attraction to this 11,260-foot peak.
Few countries offer beaches bordering both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
When exploring the beaches on the Caribbean coast, you can encounter either black or white sands, surfing or a colorful Caribbean lifestyle.
The Pacific Coast is known for luxury hotels, surfing, scuba diving and relaxing tranquil waters. Hot spots include resort hotels at the Guanacaste Beach, ecosystem treasures of Manual Antonio National Park and the expansive beaches of Jaco Beach nearby San Jose.
Tican ecosystems boast rich animal and plant life due to an incredible biodiversity. Observe families of bats and more than 270 varieties of birds in the Tiskita Jungle, squirrel monkeys and colorful crabs at the Manuel Antonio National Park, dozens of crocodiles in the Carara Pacific lowland regions or toucanetes in the Cerro de la Muerte Mountains. Plan your trip around the fauna you wish to get to know.
Tican culture is rich, carefree and warm. Indulge your taste buds in the famous national dish of fried rice and black beans, sip a tasty fruit drink or chan--a seed-based drink, dance merengue, salsa or folk music, and take public transportation to fully immerse yourself in the Tico way of life.