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Things to do in Costa Rica

754 contributors

The top 377 attractions in Costa Rica

Nature Reserves in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park
Awesome place. We used Airbnb to find a place to stay for only 68 dollars a night. We found a very comfortable apartment/ studio close to Manuel Antonio National Park, 5 minute walk, the beach and several restaurants. You have to go early in the morning to the park in order to see all the fauna. The park is open from 07:30am till 4:00pm. Tickets as of October 2016 cost 16 dollars for foreign visitors. A guide charges another 20 bucks per person. You really need a guide in order to see all the animals. They have telescopes so you can see them and take pictures.
Volcanoes in La Fortuna
Arenal Volcano
The way of life in the lush Central American country of Costa Rica is best exemplified by the popular phrase 'Pura Vida!' It is easy to see why, as there is an abundance of natural wonders such as rainforests, beaches, volcanoes, rivers, and wildlife. On top of that, the wonderful people of Costa Rica go out of their way to share with you the best of what their country has to offer. This laid back country is a gem not to be missed.
Nature Reserves in Tortuguero
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park is a fantastic natural park and a must-see if you're in Costa Rica. If something surprises you at this park it'll be the diversity of animals, birds and the famous nesting turtles (tortugas). To get to the park you can only get there by water, there's no way to get to it by land. So the entry took a boat gave us a ride around the park all morning. My recommendation is to stay an extra day to sleep because that way at night you can see the spawning (at about 3:00 in the evening) and can stay in the lodges (if you have budget for it) or the cabins, which are much cheaper.
Historical Monuments in San Jose
National Theatre of San Jose
Without a doubt, the National Theatre of Costa Rica, located in the capital of San Jose is one of the most important buildings in the capital. Situated in the very heart of the city, the nearby streets enjoy a hectic urban lifestyle not seen in the rest of Costa Rica.
Nature Reserves in San Pedro
Poás Volcano National Park
The Poás is two-thousand seven hundred and eight meters high. The Poas Volcano National Park has a geyser-like crater which is the largest in the world and which happens to be one of the largest craters in the world. It has been active for around seven thousand and five hundred years. It also has very accessible trails for anyone, information centers, offers medical support for any situation, is in a very safe area and is among the most visited national parks in Costa Rica. It is located in the Central Mountain Range, Poas, Alajuela, Costa Rica ...
Rivers in La Fortuna
Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort
The Arenal Volcano hot springs are literally in the volcano itself, and heat of the water comes from the lava. It's wonderful to be bathing in the waters as you look up and see the erupting volcano. You even have a restaurant there at which you can dine whilst staying in the water.
Cities in San Jose
San José
So magnificent !! love every experiencia in there, friendly people everywere, beyond delicious food and the views are outrageous
Squares in San Jose
Plaza de La Cultura
The Plaza de La Cultura is almost as full of pigeons as the Piazza San Marco in Venice. The Central Market isn't too far from this spot, so you can go and buy a bag of corn and have some fun feeding the birds, which is what a lot of the locals do at the weekend. The square isn't exactly spectacular: it's really just a concrete slab so the best thing to do is feed the pigeons and the continue on your way through the pedestrian streets of San Jose, or head to the Museo de Oro which is located just beside the square. Don't forget to go to the market for your bag of corn before making your way to this square!
Airports in San José
Juan Santamaria International Airport
This airport has green spaces all around it where you can lie on the lawn and enjoy the planes landing and taking off. You can also go to the fence along the perimeter and to view the aircraft up close. In that area there are mobile ice cream vendors, if the temperatures are hot.
Nature Reserves in Puerto Jimenez
Corcovado National Park
On my second day at Corcovado Park, after a day on the beach accompanied by monkeys and birds, I had to cross one of many rivers. And after several days of rain, it was pretty rough and quiet an effort. I had to pair with a companion for safety's sake. We walked through the jungle for about 4 or 5 hours, taking advantage of the fact that we were the only human beings in this preserve. We looked for pumas and jaguars, kings of the park, before realising the truth that we were alone and defenceless! With with the help of the tides we crossed other river and entered the rainforest. It was extremely wet and difficult to put together the tent at night. In the camp we weren't able dry anythin, noor could we prepare hot food being short of electricity and gas, but after awhile the local guards let us boil some water for pasta. Everyone comes on foot too, and with loaded backpacks, enough to spend 15 days! You will be able to point out where animals were last seen, and how best to cross the rivers, as well as how to best to enter and exit the park. If you change your itinerary, as we recomment, you will make friends you never knew before.
Volcanoes in Alajuela
Poás Volcano
I loved the care taken of the place, the cool weather, hummingbirds and peace! A wonderful, magical place where you can connect with life! It is easily accessible and minutes from the capital San Jose, on the banks of the street toward the volcano where you can buy many types of fruits, souvenirs and local things.
Markets in San Jose
Central Market (Mercado Central)
A visit to San Jose wouldn't be complete without visiting the labyrinthine central market for a spot of shopping. This market is popular with locals, and apart from the odd t-shirt stall, there are hardly any souvenirs on offer. You're bound to get completely lost here, but don't worry - it just means that you'll find some surprises! It's also one of the cheapest places to eat in the city, with bars and taverns scattered around the area.
Waterfalls in La Fortuna
La Fortuna Waterfall
One of the falls on the foot of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna where you will find a lot to make excursions to the waterfall. I do recommend one that is riding , it lasts for 3 and a half hours by horse, You rest at the cataract and can throw yourself relaxed in the water . It will cost $ 45 per person
Museums in San Jose
National Museum of Costa Rica
Siatued at Fort Good View and next to the Plaza de la Democracia. Formerly a military headquarters, so in a wing of the fortress they preserve the stances of the fort and explain with pictures how it used to be, and you can visit the dungeons, the booths and toilets. The museum traces the history of Costa Rica and its people. I recommend it. The price in 2007 was 4 dollars. Inside is a part of natural history and you can see a butterfly garden next to the craft market.
Beaches in Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Puerto Viejo is a charming village in the South Caribbean part of Costa Rica located in the province of Limón. Its main feature is its people who are Afro-Caribbean. Their reggae music, nightlife and colorful streets are what make this village great. It is small in size but full of good vibrations and a variety of stalls. It´s an ideal place to spend a few days, have fun, eat well and meet the locals. You can visit Cahuita National Park if you have a car or swim in the Caribbean beaches of Punta Uva (very close) and eat lobster in Manzanillo. Recommended 100%!
Cathedrals in Cartago
Our Lady of the Angels Basilica
The Basilica of Los Angeles is a Catholic church where, according to tradition, someone from the slum, Puebla of the Browns, found an image of Our Lady of the Angels in 1635, which is attributed to many miracles. A chapel was built there, which replaced after stronger temples and capacity, especially in 1675. The basilica was erected during the episcopate of Bishop Anselmo Llorente y Lafuente. The earthquake of May 4, 1910 ruined the temple, which was replaced by another of considerable size, in Byzantine style. Building started in 1912. The architect in charge of designing it was Lluis Llach called Llagostera. It is the main center of religious pilgrimage in Costa Rica, especially on the occasion of the feast of Our Lady of the Angels, which is celebrated on August 2.
Flea Markets in San Jose
Mercado Nacional de Artesanías
A prefect place to shop for handicrafts in Costa Rica. It's the cheapest place we saw the entire trip as the last days were spent in San Jose, we stocked up at this market. It is in the Plaza of democracy, outdoors, next to the National Museum. I've attached a link for the National Museum http://www.Minube.Com/rincon/museo-nacional-de-costa-rica-a118831
Rivers in Bijagua
Celeste River
A beautiful river located in the Tenorio Volcano National Park, its waters are a stunning blue color due to the volcano pouring salt in the river. To get there you must walk about 2 hours, but it is well worth the effort! Along the way you will also find a waterfall about 10m high, with pristine blue waters, it is a beautiful site!