Costa Rica is 19,652 square miles of pure beauty and the perfect place for nature lovers to vacation. With 20 natural parks, eight biological reservoirs and protected areas, 25% of this country's land is protected. This is more than any other country in the world. Whether you enjoy water, air or land activities, or a little of each, Costa Rica will certainly not disappoint.
Costa Rica straddles Central America and has coastlines on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with both black and white sand beaches that sunbathers enjoy. More active water activities you can pursue on your vacation to Costa Rica include snorkeling, deep sea diving, surfing, parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing and more.
About 300 miles off the shore of Puntarenas is Coco Island where snorkelers and deep sea divers can see colorful coral reefs, whale shark and white finned shark, as well as an abundance of other marine life. The Pacific coast locales of Esterillos, Hermosa and Marino Ballena National Park are especially popular with surfers, while swimmers prefer La Punta. The Puntarenas Estuary is excellent for water skiing, bird watching and even touring the mangrove swamps by boat.
No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a canopy tour. Take an aerial tram 100 feet above the forest floor and see tree frogs, vine snakes, hundreds of bird species and even three-toed sloth. If you would rather experience the canopy face-to-face, travel tree-to-tree via zip lines. Monteverde is known for its especially beautiful canopy tours. One tourist company even has a tree-top hotel room in the canopy for those wanting to experience the jungle at night. Be sure to try out the Superman cable at Turu Ba Ri Tropical Park. This is a 3280 foot long zip line that takes tourists zooming over the canopy at 55 miles per hour.
The super adventurous can try the 200 foot free-fall bungee jump at the old Colorado River Bridge. This jump is said to have exceptional scenic views. Hot air balloon tours are available at San Carlos, which is about 20 miles East of Arenal.
Corcovado National Park is home to tapir, big cats and all four of Costa Rica's monkey species: the White-headed Capuchin, Mantled Howler, Geoffroy's Spider Monkey and the Central American Squirrel Monkey. This area is known for the abundance of wildlife. You are sure to see many of these animals as you hike the miles and miles of mountain trails. In the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve you will see more than 800 different species of bird, over 100 species of mammals and 2000 plant species, including orchids, as you climb the mountains and hike the trails. In addition, you can go spelunking in the caves at Venado or horseback riding or bird watching at many other protected areas in Costa Rica.
Boredom is not an option when taking a trip to Costa Rica. With so much to see and do, you will find yourself wishing you could stay longer and start making plans to return to this tropical paradise even before you board the plane to go home.