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Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, Bild: Simon Dannhauer / shutterstock

Travel in Costa Rica

South and Central America are increasingly becoming the focus of tourism around the world. Costa Rica is becoming increasingly popular: In 2017, Costa Rica recorded over three million tourists throughout the country.

It is not for nothing that the growth rates in this area are constantly in the upper range. But what is there to visit in Costa Rica, which regions are particularly attractive and what is the best time of year?

General, weather and temperatures in Costa Rica

Rio Celeste
Rio Celeste Waterfall, Image: William Berry / shutterstock

Although Costa Rica does not have the geographical area of Brazil, Argentina or Chile, the country still has a lot to offer with the area of Lower Saxony.

The weather there is tropical and therefore never really cold like in Europe. The high humidity contributes to the fact that flora and fauna thrive at a breathtaking pace. In the months of May to October, the majority of the precipitation of the whole year falls, so holidaymakers should pay attention to waterproof clothing and include the rain on excursions.

Costa Rica had a very species-rich and colorful flora and fauna, which stretched from the beaches of the Caribbean to the mountains and into the tropical rainforest. A little anecdote: The Spanish navigator and explorer Christopher Columbus already recognized the treasure that the country held and called the coast where he arrived “rich coast”. In Spanish, it means Costa Rica, so the name speaks volumes.

Places of interest in Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
The Arenal Volcano, Image: Parkol / shutterstock

Nature is probably the largest and most fascinating monument that can be visited here. The diversity of geography and landscape alone is enough to fill entire weeks with experiences. Below we present 4 particularly charming places that you can take with you on your trip through Costa Rica.

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1. The Tortuguero National Park

Snorkeling Costa Rica
Snorkeling on Tortuga, Image: Joan Vendrell / shutterstock

This unusual piece of nature is located directly on the coast towards the Caribbean Sea and cannot be reached via highways. Only visitors by plane or ship can visit the park, and intensive attention is paid to the protection of its local flora and fauna.

One of the most famous species in Tortuguero Park are turtles, which also gave part of its name to the facility; “la tortuga” is the turtle in Spanish. During the mating season and the following egg-laying, visitors to Tortuguero can watch the animals on the beach, a spectacle that is only visible in a few places.

Another popular aspect of the park is extensive excursions by boat or on foot in the jungle. Here you can observe the diverse, colorful and exotic flora, with a bit of luck you can even see caimans, various species of monkeys, colorful macaws or anacondas.

2. The Puerto Viejo region

Ballena Bay
Ballena Bay, Image: Tami Freed / shutterstock

This area is also located on the paradisiacal beach of the Caribbean coast and is traditionally a melting pot of different nations. Immigrants from Jamaica, Europe and other South American countries settled here, bringing their culture, gastronomy and music with them.

The result today is many small cafes, taverns, bars and squares where festivals and music events take place and attract people from all over the region. Reggae fans in particular get their money’s worth here. Another attractive point are the numerous beaches, some of which are untouched and outside the tourist influx.

The Caribbean Sea is particularly popular with snorkelers, divers and avid swimmers, as it is home to many exotic fish and other marine animals. Among other things, dives and supervised snorkeling trips to small reefs or sunken ships are offered. Here you can admire the colorful and, in the best case, intact underwater world of Costa Rica, in which rays, clownfish, moray eels, small sharks and other marine animals cavort.

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3. The Manuel Antonio region

Landscape Costa Rica
Image: SeSm / shutterstock

Here you are on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, the province includes spacious white sandy beaches and a national park, the Parque de Manuel Antonio.

The beaches are particularly popular with European and US tourists, as the water here is turquoise and clear and the coast slopes gently into the sea. The directly adjacent rainforest provides the basis for the livelihood of the local population. Many of the Ticos (as Costa Ricans are colloquially called) live from guided tours of the country, from their own restaurants or from renting authentic accommodation to visitors.

A particularly large number of sloths and tapirs live here, these animals are cute and have already become accustomed to humans through the many visitors. This may give you the chance to get up close and personal with one of the animals and get a special snapshot!

4. The capital San José

National Theatre Costa Rica
The National Theatre in San José, Image: Mihai-Bogdan Lazar / shutterstock

San José is the largest in Costa Rica and at the same time the economic and political center. Surrounded by volcanoes and the Talamanca mountain range, the surrounding area offers a fascinating view of the metropolis, which is home to over 300,000 people. Popular attractions are the central square Plaza de la Cultura, where life flourishes especially in the evening, the colonial-style Melico Salazar theatre or the municipal park Parque Central. There, many of the residents take a break and enjoy the silence in the midst of green plants and colorful hibiscus bushes.

Costa Rica undoubtedly has tremendous riches in terms of tourist destinations and local nature. There are many travel guides that deepen special topics such as dives or jungle tours and give interesting tips. Especially outside the rainy season, a round trip through the Central American country is particularly recommended, as all places can then be visited with dry feet. Vamos a Costa Rica!