Costa Rica enjoys a staggering diversity of ecosystems, some of the world’s best beaches, and good weather year-round. It has coastlines on two major oceans, active volcanoes and five different types of forest. It has been a hot spot for eco- and adventure tourism for decades.
Costa Rica is in Central America, sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama, but has managed to escape much of the political turmoil of the region. It has a strong environmental track record with nearly 25 percent of the country set aside as national parks or conservation areas.
Hike up an active volcano, find pristine lagoons, and see all kinds of exotic flora and fauna. Adventurers can go mountain bike riding, zip-lining, and white water rafting. Nature lovers will feel right at home in Costa Rica, with several distinct topographical regions and highly varied weather patterns yielding a biodiversity found in few other places on the planet.
Visit many different types of forest, including cloud forests, which have frequent low-level cloud cover, and rain forests, known for high rainfall and moist vegetation. Spot monkeys, sloths and any of the several hundred species of birds and reptiles that live in the area.
Hit the beach to relax in the sun or go for a surf. You’ll find a laid-back atmosphere at Montezuma, fine-dining restaurants at Tamarindo, and oceanfront night clubs, bars and restaurants in Jaco and Dominical. San José, the capital city, is more developed and urban. Surfers should paddle out into the waters of the Central Pacific Coast and Guanacaste. Take a trip over to the country’s Caribbean side to find secluded and seemingly untouched beaches. You’ll see where the forest meets the sand and get the chance to see all kinds of animals.
The name Costa Rica translates as Rich Coast. As one of the greenest, safest and most-relaxed destinations in Central America, it lives up to its name.
A restful alternative to the busier resorts of Costa Rica, Hotel Luisiana is 10 minutes' drive from the international airport and only 20 minutes from downtown San José. Guests can relax in the sleepy atmosphere of San Luis, or drive 11 minutes to the sprawling Multiplaza shopping mall.
This Papagayo resort is on the beach, 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Marina Papagayo, and within 25 mi (40 km) of Hermosa Bay Beach and Coco Beach. Papagayo Golf and Country Club and Hidden Garden Art Gallery are also within 25 mi (40 km).
Located near the airport, this family-friendly hotel is within 12 mi (20 km) of Museum of Costa Rican Art, National Theater, and Gold Museum. National Museum of Costa Rica and Jade Museum are also within 12 mi (20 km).
This family-friendly Ciudad Cariari hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Plaza Real Cariari and Cariari Bowling Center. Ultrapark Free Zone & Business Center and Global Park Free Zone and Business Park are also within 1 mi (2 km).
This family-friendly La Fortuna lodge is located in the mountains, within 1 mi (2 km) of Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Arenal Volcano National Park. Ecoglide Arenal Park and Ecotermales Fortuna are also within 3 mi (5 km).
Barcelo San Jose Palacio is situated on tropically landscaped grounds, 3 km (2 mi) from the museums, markets, and theaters of downtown San Jose; the airport is a 15-minute ride by complimentary shuttle, and is available on request at scheduled times.
This family-friendly San Jose hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Children's Museum, Gold Museum, and National Theater. Simon Bolivar Zoo and Mercado Central are also within 1 mi (2 km). San Jose Atlantic Station is 22 minutes by foot and San Jose Fercori Station is 24 minutes.
This family-friendly Ciudad Cariari hotel is located near the airport, within 1 mi (2 km) of Plaza Real Cariari, Ultrapark Free Zone & Business Center, and Global Park Free Zone and Business Park. Metro Free Zone & Business Park and Cafe Britt Coffee Farm are also within 6 mi (10 km).