It is well known that Costa Rica is an ecological paradise. It is said that when Christopher Columbus landed on Uvita Island in 1502, just three kilometers from Puerto Limón, he was amazed by the lush Costa Rican orchard and perhaps for that reason he baptized this land with this name.
The natural wealth of Costa Rica is one of the main attractions for ecotourism lovers. Bathed by the warm and clean waters of the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west, the country is full of beautiful places to enjoy nature in its purest form. Here are some of our favorites.
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Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero is one of the most emblematic national parks in Costa Rica. Also nicknamed as the 'little Amazon' this reserve is the main hatchery of the green turtle. The nesting of turtles on the beaches is the main reason why many visit Tortuguero. However, in this national park there are also many other animals such as howler monkeys, frogs and green iguanas or crocodiles.
Every morning it is possible to spot them with a pair of binoculars on board a boat that enters the park's canals and mangroves. In addition, between July and October there is a night tour that allows you to see how the turtles come out of the sea and excavate a nest on the beach to lay their eggs. in one of the few remaining sea turtle sanctuaries in the world.
But Tortuguero is not just vegetation. Being in the Caribbean, it is one of the largest regions of Afro-Caribbean culture in the country. Most of its population has Jamaican origin and maintains its traditions, which makes Tortuguero a very interesting place to get to know from a cultural and ecotourism point of view.
Just four hours from San José in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, is Rio Celeste, the seventh natural wonder of Costa Rica. The trip to this place is a combination of adventure and contemplation of nature, which is why it is one of the most striking and must-see tours in the area.
Within the trip to Rio Celeste, the Teñidero stands out, where the transparent waters are naturally colored turquoise blue. Further on the road is the Rio Celeste waterfall, whose water ends up in a pool where bathing is allowed. Here you can spend a moment in a relaxing environment, listening to the sounds of the river and the forest itself while observing the beautiful surrounding landscape.
Arenal and Irazú Volcano
As part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Costa Rica's volcanoes are among the most amazing in the world. Despite not being a very wide country, the number of volcanoes in Costa Rica reaches 112. Some of them are national parks that protect interesting natural environments.
One of these is the Arenal volcano, considered among the 10 most active volcanoes in the world by scientists although no one would say so judging by the peaceful views and the surrounding blanket of mist. El Arenal has two different landscapes: one covered with vegetation and the other full of lava and sand resulting from the constant eruptions.
The last major eruption of the Arenal volcano occurred in 1968 and its hot springs are now one of the area's top attractions, along with its beautiful scenery and adventure activities.
Another of the most popular volcanoes in Costa Ruca is the Irazú, the highest in the country and with a long history of eruptions. It is located within the Irazú Volcano National Park and the geological resources of the protected area are diverse, among them the Playa Hermosa, the Principal and Diego de la Haya craters, as well as the Sapper formation, the highest point of the massif and from which you can observe the Caribbean and Pacific of Costa Rica
Costa Rica, top destination for surfing
With miles of white sand beaches and giant waves, Costa Rica has become one of the favorite destinations for surfers to practice this sport. After all, the country is considered the third most popular destination for surfing after Hawaii and Indonesia for its excellent beaches and waves.
Costa Rica is one of the few countries where two great oceans are only six hours apart. This makes it possible to surf the Pacific at sunrise and end the day taming the Atlantic waves at sunset. Incredible true?
In addition, many people visit the country just to experience specific waves such as the so-called Salsa Brava, one of the largest in Costa Rica.
The rainy season is during the summer and the following months, so the best time to travel to Costa Rica and practice surfing is when the weather is rougher and there is a greater chance of finding good waves, as well as beaches with fewer people. Montezuma, Pavones and Jaco are three of the best Costa Rican beaches for surfing.