Why Costa Rica?
Mention Costa Rica and people think paradise. The country’s “Disney-like” cast of creatures ranging from howler monkeys to toucans – are populous and relatively easy to spot. The rivers and waves are prime, the beauty is staggering and the sluggish pace seductive. A peaceful oasis in a tumultuous region, this tiny nation draws 1.5 million visitors every year.
Active travelers can surf, raft, hike, snorkel and spot wildlife for starters. The incredibly varied topography means you can cruise the cloud forest one day, visit an active volcano the next, and finish relaxing on a hot sandy beach. Adrenaline junkies have a myriad of ways to make mothers worry– among them zipping through canopy lines hundreds of meters long and riding the wild rapids of the river or rough surf of the Pacific. Choice and variety are the name of the game.
Split down the middle by two mountain ranges, its 20,000 square miles include more than 750 miles of coastline along the Caribbean and the Pacific, with 12 tropical life zones in between. From west to east, Costa Rica is only 100 miles at its widest—but by car, that can mean a death-defying 12-hour journey. To make your trip easier, think of the country as five essential regions and pick two to visit (we’ve done it for you). Unless you’ve got a month, don’t even attempt to hit all five.