If you are looking for the best places to visit in Costa Rica that have beautiful fauna and flora with a vast variety of mountains, valleys, forests, volcanoes, beaches, lakes, and rivers, then look no further!
Costa Rica is actually a pretty small country which makes it great to travel around it in a very short time, within two-three weeks you can see the most gorgeous beaches, then travel to volcanoes and enjoy rafting in spectacular rivers.
We give you our best places to visit in Costa Rica below!
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Province of Guanacaste. Tamarindo is the largest developed beach town in Guanacaste and home to the best Tamarindo surf camp!
It has the most accessible location along the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, only 1-hour drive from the international airport of Liberia.
Known by many thanks to the legendary movie “Endless Summer II”, Playa Tamarindo is an excellent spot for both surf and after surf fun.
Besides having outstanding surf breaks it also has many restaurants and lounge bars lined by the beach from where you have a front-row view to the surf and beach life.
And it is by far the best town in Costa Rica to learn how to surf. At Iguana Surf, we have the best surf instructors in town and also beautiful, and comfortable Tamarindo accommodations for you to stay while you learn how to surf like a pro!
Among the best Surf spots in Playa Tamarindo you can find: El Estero, situated a short walk away from Tamarindo. It is an exposed river mouth that breaks over a sandy bottom. The break is known to offer consistent surfs throughout the year. It receives offshore winds from the east and good wind direction is from southwest and west.
Pico Pequeño, it is easily the best surf spot in Tamarindo Beach, located just in front of the best Tamarindo surf camp, waves here are known for having a consistent shape yet surprising power and its ideal for high tide. It sits in one of another great surf spot called Pico Grande which is the best to surf during low tide.
After shredding some waves in Tamarindo is time for a little change, at Monteverde, you will be surrounded by luscious green mountains, and the weather will be much cooler. Located in central Costa Rica, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is one of the country’s most coveted tourist destination due to the many activities you can do, Monteverde is known for their many adventure tours, Ziplines, Canopy, rappel down huge waterfalls, astonishing natural beauty, and extraordinary biodiversity.
It’s a tropical jungle, blanketed in clouds, bursting with nature’s sounds of exotic birds, animals, and insect calls. If you are a true nature lover, then Monteverde is a must.
Make sure to visit the cloud forests. these forests sit from 1500 meters and more above sea level and It has very unique vegetation, take a coffee tour and enjoy all this precious gem that Monteverde is!
Until 2010, it was Costa Rica’s most active volcano. Now it is a silent and impotent giant, Arenal volcano has entered into an indeterminate resting phase since
2010 and it’s one of the main touristic attractions in Costa Rica.
Arenal area is also known for having some of the country’s finest accommodations. There are stylish hotels with private hot springs, and lavish spas, jungle
bungalows, and lake view lodgings with spectacular views.
You can spend the day doing water sports in the lake such as windsurf, wakeboard or paddleboard, from the lake you can see the volcano, after a long active day nothing like relaxing in one of the many hot springs around the volcano.
Back to surf! Santa Teresa is home for scenic beaches, great surf, and a bohemian vibe. Its white sand beach is washed by the Pacific surf and backed by jungle-covered hills, a perfect combination of greenery and great waves.
With a huge variety of cultures and residents from all over the world, Santa Teresa has great restaurants, bars and a wide variety of lodging options for every budget.
Santa Teresa is neighbor to Mal Pais, a small fishing port where you can enjoy snorkeling or fishing. With more calm waters to do paddleboard or kayak.
There is also adventure, with zip-line on the canopy next to Cabo Blanco Reserve
And of course, you can’t leave the area without exploring the waterfalls in Montezuma, the Tide pools in Mar Azul and taking a boat and snorkeling tour to the Tortuga Islands where pristine aquamarine water will be waiting for you.
Finally, nature lovers should not miss a visit of Cabo Blanco, Costa Rica’s oldest Nature Reserve.
Waves in Dominical can grow to 10 feet off the shore perfect for an advanced surfers vacation destination.
Dominical is a small town but full with cool vibes, amazing restaurants, and a pretty cool surfer community. Get ready for some big waves and surfing with a huge luscious forest greenery and palm trees views around you.
Before you leave Dominical, make sure to hike to the Nauyaca Waterfalls, a two-tiered waterfall, with a 61 meter (200 foot) combined drop and a deep natural pool for swimming. You have three options to arrive at the waterfall; You can get there by horseriding, taking a pickup truck, or hiking.
Choose hiking and enjoy the gorgeous surrounding rainforest! Nothing like a nice cold waterfall dip after a good hike!
Punta Uvita is located down south Puntarenas. It is the perfect destination jungle lovers It is described by many as one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. With a 2-mile white sand beach with moderate waves and crystal clear blue waters. Since this beach is part of the Marino Ballena National Park, the beach and water remain intact. Swimming conditions are ideal here and tourists can enjoy a variety of water sports.
And if you are lucky you can see the whales swimming!! Every year, hundreds of humpback whales migrate to the region’s warm waters to breed and rear young. The best time of year to see humpbacks and their babies is from August to November, with peak times in the Costa Ballena during September and October. So make sure to plan accordingly.
You are ready now!! Pack your bags and discover the best places to visit in Costa Rica!! There is not a place where you will be disappointed, Costa Rica is an all green and extremely beautiful paradise! Surf, Hike, Go on Adventures and Enjoy!