These are the Places to visit in Costa Rica for a first-timer

View of the pool and ocean from Hotel El Parador, Manuel Antonio. Photo credit saretmj.

View of the pool and ocean from Hotel El Parador, Manuel Antonio. Photo credit saretmj.

Your friends and family have been raving about their holidays in Costa Rica.  You’ve finally decided to make the trip, and you have a limited time to explore the country.  Where should you go?  These tips will make your first foray to this tiny but amazing country a very satisfying one, and more importantly, they will leave you wanting more! 

Pacific Coast: Manuel Antonio National Park must be in your list of places to visit in Costa Rica.  The area has been selected one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, its beaches also voted one of the best recently by Trip Advisor.  It has several beaches, hiking paths and a waterfall to explore and its natural beauty is magnified by the ease with which you can observe the local fauna.  Where to stay?  Check out Hotel El Parador, its location guarantees breathtaking panoramic views and they are one of the top properties in the area and the country because of their comfort and quality.

One of the beaches inside Manuel Antonio National Park, photo credit daniel castillo b

One of the beaches inside Manuel Antonio National Park, photo credit daniel castillo b.

Caribbean Coast: The province of Limón has a unique personality, its residents are Afro-Caribbean descendants, many speak English and have their own dialect or “patois”.  Cuisine is inspired by local seafood and produce, coconut milk and spices, making for some delicious dishes.  Several National Parks to visit on this coast as well, notably the Tortuguero National Park in the North where turtles come to nest, and the Cahuita National Park in the South, with trails and beaches to explore and wildlife to observe.  Lodging options in Tortuguero area include high-end all-inclusive Manatus Hotel, as well as the more moderately priced Evergreen Lodge and Pachira Lodge.

Lush gardens at Pachira Lodge, Tortuguero. Photo credit misviajesporelmundo.

Lush gardens at Pachira Lodge, Tortuguero. Photo credit misviajesporelmundo.

Northern Plains:  This area allows you to be as active and adventurous as you like, or as relaxed and pampered, or both!  Activities include canopies through the forest, trails observing flora and fauna or tubing down rivers.  Relax in the hot springs, get a facial or a massage at one of the spas, and lounge in the pool or Jacuzzi while listening to the sounds of Nature around you.  Lodging options are wide and varied and include the “jungle Elegance” of Lost Iguana Resort and Spa, Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, famous for its mineral springs, The Springs Resort and Spa, and further north, Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, next to the unmissable Volcan Tenorio National Park and the crystalline waters of the Rio Celeste River.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, photo credit riocelestehideaway.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, photo credit riocelestehideaway.

Swim in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, observe breathtaking volcanoes, lush landscapes and flora and fauna and try tasty and original cuisine.  This is just the beginning, Costa Rica has many more areas to explore and enjoy and this trip will only leave you wanting more!

 

Article by Katie Widdowson

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