This is a question we receive frequently and there really is not an easy answer as it depends on each individuals personal interests. However, in a general sense, the following are the most popular, travel friendly and most frequently visited destinations in Costa Rica and why you would visit each.
Arenal Volcano: This is the adventure capital of Central America. Of course, there is also the iconic volcano and the best hot springs in Costa Rica.
Monteverde: This is a cloud forest destination offering the best canopy adventures and excellent highland birdwatching.
Manuel Antonio: This is the most popular beach in Costa Rica due to beautiful jungle lined beaches, the national park, exotic wildlife and plenty of adventure activity options.
Tamarindo: This is another of Costa Rica’s most popular beach towns. It offers beautiful beaches for swimming or surfing, nightlife, restaurants, shopping and more.
Tortuguero: Tortuguero is one of the most remote destinations in Costa Rica, only accessible by boat or plane. The canals are surrounded by jungle which creates habitat for many species of wildlife. In addition, several species of sea turtles utilize the beach at Tortuguero for nesting. The best time for this is mid-July through mid-October.
Samara: This is an off the beaten path beach town with true Costa Rican charm. The small town offers beautiful beaches, great restaurants, just enough nightlife and good shopping.
Rincon de la Vieja: The “Old Lady in the Corner” (Rincon de la Vieja translated) is a volcano destination in Northwest Guanacaste. This area provides great adventure activities and hot springs, though visitors should be aware that daily temperatures are usually in the 90s.
Drake Bay: This is the most popular destination on the Osa Peninsula and gateway to the wilds of Corcovado National Park. Drake Bay can only be accessed by boat or car, making this one of the most remote, yet rewarding destinations in Costa Rica.
Puerto Viejo de Limon: This is the most popular beach destination on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Visitors come for the jungle lined white sand beaches, plentiful wildlife and the unique Caribbean culture.
Malpais-Santa Teresa: Though not easily accessible, this is a top destination for surfers and yoga.
Unsure of what to do? Let us make you a free custom trip plan!