What to see in Costa Rica?

24 main attractions in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a small, but quite developed for Central America country. It is worth going there not only for the incredible nature, fun vacations, safe walks, pirate treasures and beautiful architecture of the capital city. You can come to Costa Rica for happiness! According to a 2012 study, Costa Rica has the happiest people. They don’t have advanced technology, highways and huge skyscrapers. So what brings happiness?

Costa Rica has a pleasant climate. Many points in the country rise a thousand meters above sea level. It also offers great surfing and beach vacations, whether with kids or with a rowdy crowd.

Volcanoes are a must-see in Costa Rica. Not to go down into the crater of the volcano Turrialba and not to see the magical fire show Arenal is not to see the country, not to feel its breath. Costa Rica has many national parks. Some of them remain almost untouched, and in some, it is said, there are even hidden treasures. The pirate island is also worth a visit. Who knows, maybe you will be the lucky one to find the looted riches of robbers.

What to see in Costa Rica?

The most interesting and beautiful places, pictures and brief description.

City of San Jose

The capital and largest city of Costa Rica. San Jose is located at an altitude of 1200 meters, surrounded by valleys and mountains. It is home to about half the population of the entire country. The city’s residents are friendly and sociable, the streets are fairly clean, and the center has beautiful pedestrian streets, parks, old buildings, museums, and shopping centers. You can also buy real, aromatic coffee in San Jose.

The city of San Jose.

Arenal Volcano.

This is the youngest and most spectacular volcano in Costa Rica. The last major eruption of Arenal was recorded in 2000. It has a height of 1,657 meters, on its territory there is a national park and a lake of the same name. Now the volcano periodically produces small lava eruptions, which in no way threaten the population, but serve as a very spectacular show for tourists.

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The Arenal Volcano.

Manuel Antonio National Park

The park is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. It was founded in 1972. Manuel Antonio occupies a little over 16 km², but despite this, it becomes a destination for 150 thousand tourists every year. The park is known for its four beautiful beaches and hiking trails. It also has many tide pools suitable for snorkeling.

Manuel Antonio National Park.

Cocos Island.

This is the largest uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. Its area is 24 km². It is located 600 km from the west coast of Costa Rica. The island is known for the legend that says that it hides an incredible treasure, which no one has found. The entire island is covered with wild jungle, Mount Roundel-Con is in the center, and the coastal waters are lush with algae and inhabited by sharks.

Cocos Island.

Lake Arenal

This is the largest lake in Costa Rica. It is located 90 km from San Jose. The area of the lake is 80 km². This is the size it reached after the construction of the dam for the hydroelectric power plant in 1979. Depending on the season, the depth of the lake varies from 30 to 60 meters. Around the lake is a beautiful tropical forest, and during the period from April to November the lake attracts thousands of tourists who want to take advantage of windsurfing.

Lake Arenal.

Volcano Turrialba

It is an active volcano located 30 km east of San Jose. Its highest peak is 3340 meters high. It is the only volcano in the country whose crater can be descended into. There is a constant process of lava formation that can be seen by tourists. From the high peaks of the volcano offer amazing panoramas of tropical forests.

Turrialba volcano.


On the southern slope of Turrialba volcano is the archaeological site of Guayabo. While excavated its small part, its size is 218 hectares. But already on it it is possible to judge the importance and level of development of the city. It was inhabited since 1000 B.C., in 800 A.D. there were about 10 thousand people, and in 1400 the city was abandoned. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of stone streets, aqueducts, and the foundations of wooden houses.

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Corcovado National Park

The park is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, on the Osa Peninsula. It includes 4,500 hectares of nearly untouched rain forest with incredible flora and fauna. The park’s nature consists of at least eight ecosystems. It is home to more than 500 species of trees and is home to many animals. The main attraction of Corcovado is the Salsipuedes Cave. According to legend, Francis Drake left a treasure in it.

Corcovado National Park.

Irasu .

This volcano is located 31 km from the city of Cartago. It is located at an altitude of 3700 m above sea level. One of its craters used to contain a salt lake that changed color from red to green, but after an earthquake it disappeared. But the volcano hasn’t lost its beauty. It offers incredible views, and while climbing the volcano you just have to have time, take pictures of everything.


National Theater of Costa Rica

The theater began to be built back in 1891, and opened in 1897. The money for the construction was found by the coffee magnates: they imposed a tax on the export of coffee. Thus, the national theater became a symbol of the economic prosperity of the state. For its construction took the Paris Opera House as a model. The theater was built in the Renaissance style and decorated with statues. Once the expensive interior was damaged by an earthquake, but was restored.

National Theater of Costa Rica.

Poas Volcano

The volcano area is a national park of Costa Rica. It was founded in 1971, and its area is 65 km². The maximum height of the volcano is 2700 meters. Poas has three craters, of which two are inactive. The crater of one of them is a picturesque ice lake. Its diameter is 360 meters. In the park, you can meet many animals and plants. Among them are beautiful magnolias and orchids.

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Volcano Poas.

Monteverde National Park

This is one of the richest reserves in the tropical belt. It is located at an altitude of 1400 m, so it is constantly shrouded in a misty haze. There are hotels for tourists within the park. Walking around Monteverde, you can see more than 400 species of orchids, 400 species of birds and 2,500 species of plants. Among the activities in the park is the descent on a rope. Wearing insurance, you can fly at a height of 40 meters and look at the park from a height.

Monteverde National Park.

La Fortuna waterfall

This picturesque waterfall is located in the Arenal National Park. The height from which the stream of water falls is 70-75 meters. There is a path to the top, which can be climbed on foot or on horseback. There is also an observation deck, which offers an incredible view of the waterfall and the moss-covered rocks and canyon. The pool of the waterfall has cool water in which you can swim.

La Fortuna waterfall.

Tortuga Island

It is an island in the Caribbean Sea, famous for the legends of pirates. In the old days, this piece of land was a haven for generations of sea robbers. Pirates sailed to it to repair ships, to sell their loot and jewelry, to relax and have fun. Nowadays the island attracts adventurous tourists.

Tortuga Island.

City of Jaco

The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. It takes 1.5 hours to reach it by car from San Jose. This is a youth resort that attracts active and fun-loving tourists. The beaches of Haco have excellent surfing conditions, and a beginner can find a place here to learn how to stand on a board. Haco never sleeps at night. There are lots of bars, clubs and restaurants. Souvenirs are sold on every corner at low prices.


La Amistad International Park.

The park is located on the border of Costa Rica and Panama. Its total area is more than 5,700 km², which are covered with picturesque tropical rain forests. It is the largest protected area in Central America. At the same time, the park is home to four indigenous Indian tribes. It also contains the remains of human activities that lived in the 10th century B.C.

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La Amistad International Park.

San Jose Museum of Gold

The museum is located in the capital of Costa Rica, not far from the Plaza de la Cultura. It displays gold jewelry and products created by Indians. Some of the exhibits were created in the 5th century B.C. In all, the museum shows 2,000 gold items. Among them are figurines, gold shields, and everyday objects. But this is not all of the Indian heritage, much of it has been destroyed or melted down.

Museum of gold in San Jose.

Guanacaste Conservation Area

This is an area in northwestern Costa Rica that includes five parks. Their total area is more than 1,400 km². The national parks, taken under the protection of the state and UNESCO, are important natural complexes. They have not yet been fully explored, but they surprise with rich fauna, flora and beautiful scenery.

Guanacaste Nature Preserve.

Santa Teresa Beach

Santa Teresa Beach is called one of the most beautiful civilized beaches in Costa Rica. It has snow-white sand, clear water, all conditions for surfing. Those who wish a quiet and relaxing holiday here will find nice bungalows, beach restaurants serve delicious food, and in the evenings there are no noisy discos. In the village near the beach you can find everything you need a tourist.

Santa Teresa Beach.

Basilica of Our Lady of Angels in Cartago

After the earthquake Cartago was destroyed. The only building that survived was the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels. It is located on the central square of the city. Inside you can see the miraculous statue of the “Black Madonna” and admire the amazing stained glass windows and figures with which the basilica is decorated around the perimeter.

Basilica of Our Lady of Angels in Cartago.

Braulio Carrillo National Park

The park was founded in 1978 and was named after the president of the country. Its area is about 44 thousand hectares. Most of the park occupy beautiful mountains, densely covered with tropical forests. Also of interest are two extinct volcanoes. Because of the sharp differences in height in the park a variety of flora and fauna. Just the trees in it have more than 600 species.

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Braulio Carrillo National Park.

Naujaka Falls.

This is not promoted by travel agencies waterfall, which is very fond of the locals. From the parking lot to the water you will need to walk several kilometers through the forest. But it is not too tiring route, because there is very beautiful nature around. The waterfall falls with great force, forming a pool of very cold water. You can also catch tiny frogs in the waters of the waterfall.

The waterfall of Nahuaca.

Wenado Caves

These are limestone caves that were created about 15-20 million years ago. Inside them, stalactites and stalagmites create an amazing interior. There are no lights or anything to entertain tourists inside the caves. There is water on the floor almost everywhere, so tourists feel like real explorers. You can wander with a flashlight through the narrow passages as much as you like.

Caves of the Venado.

Simón Bolívar Zoo

The zoo is located in the city of San Jose. This is the largest zoo in Costa Rica. It is home to many felines and has a large serpentarium that holds colorful snakes. Many of them are poisonous. The main thing the zoo boasts is a huge collection of colorful parrots collected from all the forests of the country.

The Simón Bolívar Zoo.

Complete the article by describing your impression of the city (country) or individual attraction.



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