Costa Rica is a tropical paradise with an incredibly diverse topography, astonishing amount of animal and plant life and with greater biodiversity than Europe and North America. The rain forests, dry forests, cloud forests and agricultural pastures are flanked by huge sandy beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific Coast. Similar in size to Switzerland, you can travel from coast to coast in a day or just 45 minutes by plane.
Costa Rica is Central America’s most stable democratic country owing largely to its history of independent family farmers. The Spanish crown rather overlooked Costa Rica in the colonial years as they found no riches here and the country was therefore left to develop on its own. It has managed to avoid much of the violence that has plagued most of The Americas. Today, the people will welcome you with open arms and delight in showing you the paradise in which they live.
National Parks including Tortuguero and Corcovado are popular spots for siting the toucans, turtles, quetzals, monkeys and sloths as well as endangered species like jaguars and tapirs. Deep in the jungle and along the Pacuare River you can white water raft to the shores of Pacuare Lodge, swing through the canopy and visit the Cabecar Indians, the largest indigenous tribe in Costa Rica.
Climbing volcanoes or bathing in volcanic springs after a day in the jungle is a highlight in the region around Arenal. One can ride on horseback through woodland and over mountain passes to Monteverde Cloud Forest where the longest zip-line in South America awaits you. After experiencing such thrills, you can head to the coast to switch off and let the sound of the gentle rolling waves send you off to sleep.
WHEN TO GO: There are many different climate patterns around the country. The dry season is from December to April on the Pacific Coast and wet from May to November. The heaviest rainfall is September to November. On the Caribbean coast, it is drier between March and September. The best months are between December and April. Please bear in mind, it can rain anytime of year!
WHO FOR: A tropical paradise, pristine national parks are ideal for the nature and wildlife enthusiast. Also an excellent destination for families thanks to the mass of activities on offer and excellent choice of accommodation.
TYPE OF HOLIDAY: Honeymoon, Family Adventure, Nature and Wildlife.
CAPITAL: San Jose
FLIGHT TIME: 9.5 hours (Direct Flight)
VISA: Not needed for UK passport holders
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT – 7 hours
COMBINES WELL WITH: Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala