What You Need To Know About Traveling In Costa Rica


Visiting Costa Rica’s spectacular beaches is one of the many fun things to do in Costa Rica. This country is known for its beautiful Caribbean and Pacific Ocean coasts. They come in different colors from white sand to black sand as well as various textures like soft and coarse to grainy. The beaches can be classified into several types depending on your preference. There are public beaches, private beaches, and beaches great for surfing, beaches great for relaxing and so much more!

Some of the best Costa Rica tours involve canopy and coffee tours. Canopy tours include zip lining and gondola where you’ll enjoy a heart pumping ride up from one of the treetops to other tree platforms while safely attached in a harness on a strong cable. Usually, canopy tours are widely popular not because of educational trips but because of the fun ride. Canyoning is another fun yet slightly dangerous activity since you can rappel down the falls like in Manuel Antonio waterfalls.

Travel agencies in Costa Rica would just love to take you on a cruise to see the canals of Tortuguero, wetlands of Cano Negro and mangroves of the Damas where you can just relax and savor the natural view of the waters. This is just the perfect place for honeymooners to share a romantic dinner beneath a starry night.

Other Costa Rica tours involve exciting water-related activities such as surfing, kayaking, white-water rafting, and windsurfing. The Manuel Antonio National Park is considered as one of the best beaches that are splendid for surfing while the Lake Arenal, its balmy water is considered exquisite for windsurfing. White water rafting is another way to spend a whole day of fun. One of the famous rides is on the Pacuare River where you are rushed through two sections of forests then into an exquisite gorge.

Let’s not forget a stroll in Costa Rica National Parks and Rain forests where you’ll see its natural abundance in flora and fauna as well as lush tropical green forests. Bird watching, of course, is inclusive while tourists walk along the forest trails. You can’t help but become an amateur bird watcher since you’ll be drawn to its exquisite colors and plumage. One of the most popular cloud forest is the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Its trail allows you to see the resplendent quetzal considered to be the most beautiful bird in the western hemisphere but is very much prevalent in Monteverde during nesting season from March to April. Corcovado National Park is another great selection for nature walks since it is considered the largest tract of virgin rain forest in Costa Rica. It’s famously the natural habitat for scarlet macaws and other colorful bird species.

According to most Costa Rican vacation reviews these are some of the most popular things that tourists just love to do while vacationing in Costa Rica. However, visiting some of these places will require a lot of expenses hence it is important to know how you can save money while touring the places. The following tips will guide you on saving money

Tip 1

Always research the countries that you’re going to before you go, as well as book trips, excursions and activities on the web in advance. You will save a rucksack full of money and also lots of time (Check out the CIA Guide to Costa Rica). A prepared trip is an incredible trip. Therefore, do all the leg work before you leave.

Tip 2

Travelling with a guide won’t only save you cash, but time too. Guides are there to help make your holiday truly memorable simply because they’re really in tune with the region, and are employed because of their expertise and local knowledge. They are frequently born in the country. They’re also trained to understand your individual requirements and accommodate your needs.

Tip 3

You are going to be traveling in a small group, which will lower your expenses on your social life. Even when you’re not traveling alone, it’s fantastic to make new mates. You are going to be travelling with like-minded individuals from all around the world.

Tip 4

This may seem obvious but you have to try the Costa Rica Coffee. It is known the world over as some of the best coffee in the world. So while in Costa Rica try Costa Rica Coffee!


Holidays in Costa Rica are great for adventure holidays. The terrific climate and landscape gives scope for a huge assortment of activities. Make sure, however, to do homework before you leave home and save your time, cash and energy for the adventures ahead.

Botanical Gardens In Costa Rica


On my last trip to Costa Rica in Feb. 05, while doing research for my botanical tour programs, I visited the three most important botanical gardens in this small Central American Republic – Wilson Botanical Gardens, Lankester Gardens and Arenal Botanical Gardens. Each of these venues was quite different from each other in terms of focus, design and location. It wouldn’t hurt to visit all three venues if you are botanical enthusiast. To follow is a brief description of all three …

Wilson Botanical Garden

Located in southern Costa Rica near the Panamanian border at an elevation of 4500 feet above sea level, Wilson Botanical Garden covers an area over 25 acres and were designed in part by the famous landscape designer and architect, Roberto-Burle Marx. The gardens are operated by the Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS) as a center for research, scientific study and public education in tropical botany. The gardens are terraced to give it sort of a natural feel; plants of the same culture requirements are grouped together – Bromeliads, marantas, heliconias, gingers in particular are well represented here. There are over 700 species of palms alone, the second largest collection worldwide. Easy to navigate walking trails circle the entire property which abuts a private biological reserve. Believe it or not, this is one of the most popular venues for the birdwatcher crowd. When I was there, a small group of real avid Birdwatchers from California and Massachusetts stayed at the lodge and were really stoked as they added many new bird species to their life history list. Nearby is the quaint little town of San Vito which was founded by Italian immigrants sometime after World War II; there are several great pasta and pizza ristorantes in the area.

Lankester Garden

Located in the Central Plateau near the historic colonial city of Cartago, Lankester Garden are operated by the University of Costa Rica. It’s an easy 1-hour drive from San Jose. For several years, this facility was poorly maintained, however when I visited the gardens in Feb 2005, the gardens were in good shape as the University spent some money on upgrading the facility. The gardens are located on a relatively flat terrain at an elevation of about 3,000 feet above sea level; while it does not have the raw and wild look of Arenal Gardens or the classical natural terraced landscaping of Wilson’s, it is still an absolutely delightful place to see and is especially popular with visiting Tico Families from San Jose.

Featuring over 1,100 different species of orchids including the most important collection in the world of the miniature Pleurothallids, Lankester is definitely the place to go if you’re an orchid enthusiast. Walking inside their Orchidarium, I saw many unusual and colorful species of cattleyas, ladyslippers (Phragmepidiums), moth orchids (Phaelonopsis) oncidiums, stanhopeas as well as the tiny looking” dwarf orchids”. I’m not really an orchid enthusiast per se, but I have to admit some of the exotic orchids on display in the Orchidarium were real knockouts. For your information, The National Orchid show, a special weekend festival in San Jose takes place every year in March.

Arenal Botanical Garden and Serpentarium

Located about 3 1/2 hours northwest of San Jose, Arenal Botanical Garden is situated on a sloped hillside directly across from Arenal Lake. These gardens are primarily a native species preservation project; it definitely has the wildest feel of the three described venues and features many native Costa Rican plants, trees and flowers in addition to a good selection of imported and introduced species. Overall, 2,200 species are represented here including an extraordinary collection of Ferns and cycads. The trails climb a relatively steep grade and circle the entire facility. There is also a small Serpentarium on site – if you’re interested in becoming familiar with some of the indigenous snakes of Costa Rica, this is definitely the place to visit. Boas, pythons and poisonous species are equally represented here

There lots of attractions in this region of Costa Rica, including the majestic Arenal Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the world; in addition there are some small butterfly gardens in the area and several venues with thermal hot springs. Windsurfing and sportfishing are two of the most popular activities at Arenal Lake, a large manmade lake, located just east of the volcano.

In addition, if you’re staying in the San Jose Area, you must visit the lovely gardens at the Bougainvillea Hotel, located in the quiet San Jos√© suburb of Santo Domingo.

Holidays In Costa Rica


Hiking is one of the best ways to explore a new country and usually the most rewarding mode of getting around on wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, one of the most popular places for both beginner and seasoned hikers to begin their journey is the Corcovado National Park. Corcovado National Park has been noted as one of the most “biologically intense places” on earth, and while the terrain is extremely varied, it is typically of an intermediate level as the hiking trails are well trodden and excellently maintained.

Concentrated Ecosystems

Wildlife holidays in Costa Rica are particularly rewarding as the country takes great pride in the conservation of their land. The abundance of wildlife and the diversity found in this relatively small geographical area is nothing short of amazing. Corcovado itself protects over 140 species of animals, 400 species of birds, over 6000 species of insects and 500 species of trees within the park’s 424 square kilometres. Hiking through the park is an extremely rewarding pursuit, however due to its popularity it is important to have a camping permit in place well in advance of the date of your proposed trip. This will all be taken care of if you book your trip with a specialist tour operator.

What to See

Corcovado National Park has an amazingly varied landscape, just perfect for hiking and wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, the Corcovado National Park is home to the world’s last known primary lowland rain forest, making it hugely valuable both ecologically and biologically. Visitors can expect to explore 13 different ecosystems while traversing the park – including montane forests, mangrove swamps, beaches and lagoons, to name just a few. This ever-changing landscape offers the perfect habitat for a huge number of birds, mammals, fish, plants and insects. The chance to see some rare animals and birds is not uncommon in this hugely bio-diverse environment.

Wildlife Galore

Visitors are in for a wealth of sighting opportunities while visiting Corcovado. The park is home to many rare animals such as the Harbour Squirrel Monkey and the Baird’s Tapir. Numerous varieties of Costa Rica¬†monkeys can be seen, such as the Mantled Howler Monkey and the White-faced Capuchin, as well as big cat species like Pumas and the Jaguarundi. In the water systems and along the beaches, sea creatures such as bull sharks and Spectacled Caimans can been seen and the park is known as a nesting ground for four different species of sea turtles.

Look to the Sky

The spectacular array of bird species exceeds 400 (of which 20 are endemic) and makes a visit to Corcovado National Park a must for the best wildlife holidays. In Costa Rica, birdwatchers are frequently drawn by the opportunities to see the magnificent Resplendent Quetzal and Harpy Eagle, and the country has the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws. There is no doubt that the best way to fully appreciate the beauty of the Corcovado National Park and its inhabitants, while also helping to preserve this important natural environment, is by hiking through the park’s stunning terrain.