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Vacationing in Costa Rica: A Suggested Itinerary

Imagine lying in bed at night and watching as red-hot lava rolls down the side of a volcano, hiking along a coastal rain forest trail as monkeys frolic in the trees overhead, or soaring high above the jungle canopy on a narrow cable a half-mile long. These are some of the experiences of a vacation in Costa Rica. This peaceful democracy, which boasts the highest standard of living in Central America, has been a haven for eco-minded tourists for at least the last two decades. Spectacular scenery, bountiful natural resources (more than a quarter of the nation's lands are protected), and friendly people combine to make Costa Rica an exceptional vacation destination.

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

Where to Go in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has so much to offer the adventure-loving traveler that the hardest part about planning a vacation in Costa Rica is deciding where to go and what to do while you're there. San José, the capital, will be the starting point for most travelers entering the country, and its markets and museums are worth exploring. But the best the country has to offer lies far beyond the city's reaches.


San José will be the starting point for most visitors to Costa Rica.

San José will be the starting point for most visitors to Costa Rica.

Beaches

Do you want to catch some waves and some rays? Costa Rica's two coasts provide many choices for a beach vacation. Options include the popular beach scenes in Dominical or Jacó on the central Pacific coast or one of the many surf towns on the Nicoya Peninsula, like Playa Tamarindo or Mal País. If you're looking for a laid-back Caribbean vibe, head to Cahuita or, for more of a party scene, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the country's southeastern Caribbean coast.

Mountains

If you're up for a more rugged adventure, Turrialba in the central highlands is the place to go to experience the world-class white-water rapids of Rio Reventazón and Rio Pacuare. If you'd rather remain on dry land, hike the remote Talamancas Mountains in southern Costa Rica and test your limits with a two-day hike to the country's highest peak, Cerro Chirripó.

Parks

Even less adventurous souls can get a thrill exploring the cloud forests, jungles, and wetlands that comprise Costa Rica's vast national park system. Some of the most popular spots are in the northwest region: the Monteverde cloud forest reserve, the Palo Verde wetland sanctuary, and the active Arenal volcano.

Costa Rica's most popular park may well be Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, which is one of the smallest, on the central Pacific coast. There you can hike through the rain forest to stunning beaches and see lots of wildlife along the way, but you'll need to fight the crowds. If you really want to get away from it all, head to Parque Nacional Corcovado on the remote Osa Peninsula where you will be off the grid in one of the most "biologically intense" places in the world, according to National Geographic.


A view of the jungle canopy from above.

A view of the jungle canopy from above.

When to Go

Costa Rica weather is best during the dry season, from December through April. This also is the busiest and most expensive time for travel, especially December through February when Costa Rican children are on school holiday.

The rainy season, what the locals call invierno (or "winter"), lasts from May to November. For less crowds and lower prices, travel in May. It's early enough in the rainy season to avoid the worst of the flooded rivers and muddy roads that come later in the season.

The rainy season also is known as the green season in Costa Rica.

The rainy season also is known as the green season in Costa Rica.

Planning Your Stay

In order to maximize your Costa Rica experience, plan an extended stay of at least 10 to 14 days so you can visit two or three different places. Plan to spend at least three to five days at any one place to allow for plenty of exploration and enough down time to sit back and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.

Once you decide where to go, you'll have to figure out how to get there. Renting a car in San José is one option. If you do plan to drive, be aware that Costa Rica is notorious for its bad roads. For one thing, the country is split in two by central mountain ranges. Narrow roads, hairpin turns, fog and steep drop-offs make for harrowing travel between the capital and the coasts. Adding to the difficulties are unpaved roads that traverse rivers; these often become impassable during the rainy season.

Another option is flying on one of Costa Rica's two domestic airlines, NatureAir and Sansa. Both offer short flights on small passenger planes from San José to a number of popular locations throughout the country. Allow plenty of time between connections, especially before your international flight home, because flights are often delayed or cancelled due to inclement weather. And pack light, because baggage generally is limited to 30 pounds per passenger. You will pay a high premium for overweight baggage, if it even is allowed on the plane.

Costa Rica Map

Suggested Itinerary: An Arenal to Osa Adventure

First time travelers to Costa Rica can get a taste of all the great things the country has to offer with visits to Arenal Volcano, located northwest of San José, and Corcovado National Park on the remote Osa Peninsula. From geological wonders like volcanoes, hot springs and waterfalls, to pristine beaches and abundant wildlife, this itinerary has it all.

The lush rainforest around Arenal Volcano

The lush rainforest around Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

La Fortuna was just another quiet farming community until July 29, 1968. That was the day nearby Arenal Volcano erupted after lying dormant for 400 years, taking out several small villages in its path. Now the town is a top tourist destination in Costa Rica, drawing visitors from all over the world who come to see the still-belching volcano and take a soak in one of the steamy hot springs. Accommodations are plentiful, as are things to do. Activities include hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park, swimming at the La Fortuna waterfall, wind- or kite-surfing on Lake Arenal, and taking a zip-line canopy tour in the rain forest.

Get to La Fortuna from San José via rental car or shuttle bus (travel time is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours). NatureAir also offers short flights daily.

View of Arenal Volcano's lava flow from Lost Iguana Resort

View of Arenal Volcano's lava flow from Lost Iguana Resort

Arenal Volcano Area Recommendations

Lost Iguana Resort

This upscale jungle resort is located west of La Fortuna's hustle and bustle, near the Arenal Lake dam, and offers spectacular volcano views. All rooms have private balconies from which to enjoy volcano's nightly show and several have outdoor whirlpool tubs. During the day, hike the resort's challenging but well-maintained trails, relax in the beautiful double pool, or treat yourself to a massage in a thatched hut at the Golden Gecko Spa. A restaurant on the property offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The resort is remote, so if you don't have a car you will need to rely on buses or taxis to get to and from town, but the friendly resort staff will be happy to arrange transportation or excursions for you.

Zip-line Canopy Tour

Costa Rica Sky Adventures offers a sky tram/sky trek tour in the privately-owned Arenal Reserve, located near La Fortuna in the mountain village of El Castillo. An open air gondola tram delivers visitors to an observation deck at the highest point of the reserve, offering great views of the volcano and lake. From there, you can ride the gondola back down or, for the thrill of a lifetime, strap on a harness and make your way back down on a series of eight zip-line cables covering nearly two miles in length. At the highest point you will be suspended 660 feet above the canyon floor, with the tops of the trees far below.

Hanging Bridges of Arenal

For a different sort of canopy tour, the Hanging Bridges of Arenal, adjacent to the Lost Iguana Resort, provide views from above with your feet firmly planted. The private reserve is located on 600 acres of protected rainforest with two miles of trails and over a dozen canyon-spanning bridges from which to view the jungle canopy. Hike on your own or take one of the daily guided bird watching or natural history tours.

Eco Termales Hot Springs

Sessions at this elegant hot springs complex are by appointment only and only 100 people are allowed during each four-hour slot (but the actual count likely will be much less than that). Relax in a series of progressively hotter, natural-looking pools while sipping a cool drink from the bar. When you've had enough soaking, enjoy a homestyle meal served in an earthenware pot.


The pool at Lost Iguana Resort

The pool at Lost Iguana Resort

Zip-lining in Arenal Reserve

Zip-lining in Arenal Reserve

One of the Hanging Bridges of Arenal

One of the Hanging Bridges of Arenal

Lake Arenal

Lake Arenal

Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park

Leave the crowds behind for the second part of your Costa Rica adventure and head to the most remote corner of the country. Getting to Corcovado National Park on Osa Penisnula is no easy feat, but you'll be glad you made the effort.

If the thought of a nine hour drive over the mountains doesn't appeal to you, book an 80 minute domestic flight from San José to Puerto Jimenez. From there, you will take a 30 mile dirt road around Cabo Matapalo at the mouth of the Golfo Dulce, traversing several rivers along the way (bridges are few and far between in this part of the world), to the tiny village of Carate. If you don't want to make the bumpy drive yourself, you will find public transportation and taxi service in Puerto Jimenez, or many resorts will send a driver in a jeep to fetch you from the airport.

Carate, which consists of nothing more than a grass airstrip and a corner grocery store, is the end of the road and the southern gateway to Corcovado National Park. The park entrance lies another 45 minutes by foot down the beach. Horse carts trek up and down the beach throughout the day, toting guests' luggage to and from tent camps located at the edge of the park. The guests themselves must walk.

A horse cart on the beach in Carate

A horse cart on the beach in Carate

Hiking in Corcovado

Corcovado is one of the largest and perhaps the wildest of Costa Rica's national parks. It covers approximately 100,000 acres and contains several distinct habitats, including coastal rain forest, cloud forest and mangrove swamps. It is home to more than 850 kinds of trees, 140 species of mammals, and 375 species of birds. The wildlife is so abundant and close at hand that a hike through Corcovado is almost like being in a zoo, except there are no cages or barriers separating you from the animals.

Within Corcovado's boundaries, you will find many endangered species like the giant anteater and Baird's tapir. Other unfamiliar mammals include the collared peccary (a distant relative of the pig), the coati (a type of raccoon with a long snout), and the tamandua (another type of anteater). Costa Rica is home to four species of primates and all four can be found in Corcovado: the howler monkey (named for the bellowing noise it makes), the white-face capuchin monkey, the spider monkey, and the endangered squirrel monkey. Harder to find but still present are the wild cats – ocelots, jaguars and pumas.

Birders also have a lot to look for in Corcovado. The park boasts a huge population of scarlet macaws, which are easy to find feasting on the almond trees that grow along the coastal trail. Toucans, several varieties of heron, and the rare harpy eagle are among the hundreds of species of birds found in the park.

Jungle Safety

When hiking in Corcovado, remember that you are in a jungle and take appropriate precautions for your safety. The biggest dangers of the jungle are heat exhaustion and dehydration, so carry plenty of water. Don't drink from the streams; you can refill your water bottle at the ranger stations. Insect repellent and sunscreen also are musts.

The wildlife you encounter can be dangerous; don't get too close to or try to feed any animals you encounter, watch for sharks and crocodiles at river crossings, and keep an eye out for snakes on the trail (always hike in closed-toe shoes).

Inexperienced hikers are advised to hire a local guide. Even if you plan only a short day hike along the beach, a guide will be invaluable in helping to spot and identify wildlife. For longer, overnight treks, a guide will keep you from getting lost and protect you from the dangers of the jungle. If you don't have a guide, at least travel in small groups and carry a compass, flashlight and plenty of food. Check in at the ranger stations and let them know your route.


White-faced capuchin monkey

White-faced capuchin monkey

Endangered squirrel monkey

Endangered squirrel monkey

Tamandua anteater

Tamandua anteater

Coati

Coati

Peccary

Peccary

Scarlet macaw

Scarlet macaw

La Leona Ranger Station

La Leona Ranger Station

Corcovado Accommodations

If you want to stay in the park itself, be prepared to rough it. Camping is permitted at, and only at, the five ranger stations within Corcovado. Campsites are primative and include only potable water and latrines. The Sirena Ranger Station, about a 12 mile hike from Carate, has basic dormitory-style lodging, including meals, which must be reserved in advance. All other food must be packed in and all trash must be packed out.

If primitive camping isn't quite your style, the La Leona Eco-Lodge and Tent Camp, located near the beach just outside the park's southern boundary, offers a camping-like experience in twenty platform tent-cabins, many with private baths. Accommodations are rustic; the tent camp is designed to have minimal environmental impact. Meal plans are available from the lodge's solar-powered restaurant.

A platform tent at La Leona Eco-Lodge and Tent Camp

A platform tent at La Leona Eco-Lodge and Tent Camp

Luna Lodge

If you would prefer to avoid the 30 to 40 minute walk across the beach that is required if staying at La Leona, consider Luna Lodge, which is perched on a steep hillside above Carate and accessible by jeep. This Zen-like hideaway with a strong commitment to sustainable tourism is the perfect place for eco-conscious travelers to call home while exploring the wonders of Corcovado.

Take a wildlife or eco tour led by one of the lodge's knowledgeable guides, explore the grounds to find the private waterfall and swimming hole, or simply chill by the pool and enjoy the tropical garden surrounding you. Accommodations include individual thatched bungalows with private decks and garden showers or platform tents with private baths. Rates include three delicious meals a day served family-style in the beautiful open-air restaurant. Early morning yoga classes, led by owner Lana Wedmore on a breathtaking platform at the top of the resort, are the perfect way to start your Osa day.


A bungalow at Luna Lodge

A bungalow at Luna Lodge

The private waterfall on the grounds of Luna Lodge

The private waterfall on the grounds of Luna Lodge

Poll: Your Costa Rica Adventure

A family of white-faced capuchin monkeys hanging out in Corcovado

A family of white-faced capuchin monkeys hanging out in Corcovado

Additional Reading

My Trip to Costa Rica by Mary615

Comments

Alexa Rain from egypt on November 23, 2017:

Great, hope to travel their some days.

Great hub.

Sam Shepards from Europe on December 14, 2015:

Seems like an excellent destination. Been to a couple of places in Middle America but never been to Costa Rica. Will put it on places to go to. Thanks

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on November 19, 2015:

I hope you are doing well, Mary. I would love to return someday, too.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on November 19, 2015:

Thanks, Linda. And I obviously am very behind in replying to comments. :)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on November 19, 2015:

Thanks, RTalloni. Would you consider making the trip some day? I highly recommend a visit to Costa Rica.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on November 19, 2015:

Glad we were able to see the volcano erupt. It was a highlight. I would like to go back to see some of the other places you mentioned. It was hard narrowing down what we wanted to do in 10 days. Thanks for the comment.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on November 19, 2015:

Thanks, Kristin. The zipline was exhilirating!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 03, 2015:

I'm happy your Costa Rica Hub won HOTD. I loved it when I first read it, and I'm thrilled you included a link to my Hub on Costa Rica!

It is truly a beautiful country, and I'd certainly like to return.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on September 03, 2015:

Congrats Deb on your HOTD! A wonderful tribute to Costa Rica!!

RTalloni on September 03, 2015:

Congrats on your Hub of the Day award for this interesting tour of Costa Rica. This would be very useful to anyone considering a trip.

Virginia Kearney from United States on September 03, 2015:

We returned from a late July trip to Costa Rica (2015) and I should point out that they have a mini dry season in late july/early August which is a terrific time to travel. We did encounter some rain, but only had one really raining day that made for an interesting mountain horse back ride. We went to Arenal and I should point out that the volcano stopped errupting a couple of years ago, so don't expect to see that. We stayed in El Castillo in a rental home which is remote but offered terrific birding. Ziplining and white water riding is excellent. While I'm sure the beach you talked about was wonderful, people might want to consider the beaches around Dominical or Manuel Antonio, which are about half the distance and can be driven in one day. From there, it is an easy day's drive through a different sort of forest (cold cloud forest) back to San Jose.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on September 03, 2015:

Great hub Deb. The zipline looks like fun. Excellent hub for this travelogue! Congrats on HOTD!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on September 03, 2015:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Readmikenow and pstraubie. My husband and I are talking about paying another visit to Costa Rica, perhaps this winter. There is so much more of that beautiful country left for us to see!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 03, 2015:

Beautiful and definitely a spot my family and I would enjoy visiting. We have been to some of the islands and plan to return. The photos are superb.

Congratson HOTD Angels are headed your way this morning ps

Readmikenow on September 03, 2015:

I've known people who have really enjoyed visiting Costa Rica. I also know some people who are planning to move there. Good information. Enjoyed reading it.

Shauna from The Beautiful World on December 29, 2014:

Yes, quite :)

As I've written about myself, the biodiversity of Costa Rica is factually the richest in the entire world!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on December 29, 2014:

Thanks, greenteatravels. I saw so many incredible animals during my time in Costa Rica. It was like being in a zoo without cages!

Shauna from The Beautiful World on November 28, 2014:

Wow, so many beautiful pictures! Costa Rica has such a diverse wildlife, it's incredible. Also, the Volcano? Lovely. It's like a tropical trip back in time :)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on October 06, 2014:

We loved Osa, VirginiaLynne. I hope you enjoy it, too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Virginia Kearney from United States on October 03, 2014:

We are planning a family trip this summer to Costa Rica. Thanks for all of your information and tips. I don't want to go where it is too crowded, so I will check out Osa Peninsula.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 13, 2014:

Thank you, vocalcoach and georgescifo, for reading and commenting (and for returning for another look around, vocalcoach). My husband and I keep talking about when we are going to get back to Costa Rica. We have a lot more there to explore!

georgescifo from India on March 12, 2014:

Costa Rica looks to be an amazing place to be and almost have striking similarities with Kerala in India, when it comes to geographical features. Thanks for sharing this amazing hub.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 11, 2014:

Came back for another visit. These photos are just spectacular! I sure hope to go here someday soon!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 11, 2014:

My pleasure, DDE.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 07, 2014:

A Costa Rica vacation sounds wonderful and the photos are so beautiful. Thanks for following me.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on December 15, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting, Unknown Spy. Costa Rica is a beautiful place. I hope you get a chance to visit some day.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on December 05, 2012:

WOW AND WOW AND WOW!!! this is so amazing and naturiffic! i love the photos i love the nature and all. amazing article

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on October 24, 2012:

Get there, Julie! Thanks. : )

Jools Hogg from North-East UK on October 24, 2012:

The more I see of Costa Rica, the more I want to visit, great hub Deb!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on October 24, 2012:

Thanks for stopping back, Mary, and for sharing. I know you and I have enjoyed visiting many of the same places.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on October 24, 2012:

Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your kind words and the share!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on October 24, 2012:

I just came back for a reread to remind myself of this wonderful place, and to share with my followers. I loved Costa Rica!

Mike Robbers from London on October 24, 2012:

Wow ,, I felt like I traveled and stayed to Costa Rica :) .. You did a fabulous job with the layout and presentation of this informative and visually appealing hub.

thanks a lot Deb, shared!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on September 28, 2012:

Thanks to you all for your comments. I hope I get back there some day. There is so much more to see and do. Glad you all enjoyed the photos. There were many, many more I could have added but I had to narrow them down somehow!

And for those of you thinking about ziplining, I encourage you to give it a try (unless, of course, you are scared of heights). It was an incredible experience.

newusedcarssacram from Sacramento, CA, U.S.A on September 27, 2012:

Wonderful hub DeborahNeyens!

Nice content, Awesome pictures and interesting information.

great job...voted up!

Joshua Nyamache from Kenya on September 27, 2012:

I really love those photos, beautiful. Voted you up!

BlissfulWriter on September 27, 2012:

I should go visit there someday. Costa Rica was ranked the top in the "Happy Planet Index". Reference: https://blissfulwriter.hubpages.com/hub/what-best-...

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 27, 2012:

OMGosh - I want to go here. I'm moving Costa Rica to the top of my bucket list. I enjoyed the tour very much and those photos are amazing!

Voted up and across and sharing of course :)

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on September 26, 2012:

Hi Deborah,

What an incredible travel hub on stunning Costa Rica! This is definitely all you need to read for an insight guide when planning to visit!!! Truly amazing - loved all your pics, zip lining looks serious fun and loved the diversity you can experience on a trip here. I always was interested in this part of the world, you just gave me a BIG reason to put Costa Rica on my bucket list!! Voted everything up ans shared!:-)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 23, 2012:

We visited Costa Rica almost 10 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. The beauty of the place is unforgettable. You've chosen some great photos of your trip. Now I want to head back there! We visited a volcano and spent most of the time at the beach. I've always wanted to do ziplining and the sky tour though we didn't have the opportunity. Great information! Voted up and shared.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 20, 2012:

Thanks, MMP. I would love to go back some day. It's a beautiful place.

MyMastiffPuppies on August 20, 2012:

Thanks for the view into Costa Rica! We have not visited yet but would love to go. Your hub is inspiration to figure out a way to make it happen, Thanks! Voted up across the board...

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 09, 2012:

Thanks, Keith. Costa Rica is fairly inexpensive, as long as you avoid the high-end resorts, so maybe you can get there sooner than you think. It's well worth it. I appreciate the comment, vote and pin!

KDuBarry03 on August 08, 2012:

I've always wanted to visit Costa Rica. Once I get the money, I'll definitely be buying a ticket with some friends and revisit this hub once again :)

Thank you for the information! Voted up and pinned :)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, rcumple. Maybe you'll get another chance some day. But why on earth would you want to capture a fer-de-lance? We actually saw one while zip-lining. The guide pointed it out at the base of a tree. I am deathly afraid of snakes, especially poisonous ones!

Rich from Kentucky on August 08, 2012:

Almost went there hunt and capture the Fer-de-lance many years ago. Just couldn't get time away from work to do it.

Great Hub and beautiful photos. Makes me sorry I didn't go, now!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, Jenn-Anne. I hope you get there some day.

Jenn-Anne on August 08, 2012:

Amazing hub with tons of detail! I've never really thought about a Costa Rica vacation before but I certainly am now! Voted up!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, sgbrown. I know what you mean. We had friends who lived in Mexico City for a few years and traveled all through the country. We never went to visit and regret that now they are back in the states. I hope you get a chance to visit Costa Rica some day. Appreciate the comment and votes!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on August 08, 2012:

One of my husband's brothers and his wife lived in Costa Rica for about 3 years. We always talked about going there to visit them, but never did. Seemed like we were always so busy back then. We were just taking about how we regret missing such a wonderful opportunity. They have moved back to the states now. This was a wonderful hub and your pictures are awesome! Voted this up and more!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Hi Mary. I think I told you before that Costa Rica comes out ahead of Puerto Rico for me, but they are both wonderful places to visit. I will look for your hub on Costa Rica and link back to mine. And of course you are welcome to do the same. Thanks!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, Janine. It definitely belongs on your bucket list. It was one I really enjoyed checking off mine! Thanks for the share.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on August 08, 2012:

Thanks, Sunshine. This is my favorite of all the travel hubs I've written. It was so hard to narrow down which photos to include!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on August 08, 2012:

Hi, Deorah, you are talking about my 2nd favorite place to visit (after Puerto Rico). You did a beautiful Hub here with your info and photos. It truly is a wonderful place to vacation. I saw orchids growing in forest and this is where I zip lined (scared to death)!

I did a Hub on Costa Rica, too. Maybe we can link together?? I'm linking now to mine, is that OK??

I voted this Hub UP, and shared. Mary

Janine Huldie from New York, New York on August 08, 2012:

Deborah, this truly looks like an amazing place to visit after reading your article and now this too would appear to be on my bucket list. Have voted and shared too.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 08, 2012:

Fabulous photos and details! Well done Deb! I could tell you had a wonderful vaca! :)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on May 23, 2012:

It's definitely a must-see, CookwareBliss. Thanks for stopping by!

CookwareBliss from Winneconne, WI on May 23, 2012:

Costa Rica looks like a beautiful place to travel to. I will have to put this on my bucket list for a place to see:)

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 26, 2012:

Thanks, Kalmiya. I hope you do get there someday. Central America is a wonderful area to visit.

Kalmiya from North America on April 26, 2012:

Thanks for your beautiful photos and great information on traveling in Costa Rica. Without doubt, the middle Americas are exotic and beautiful with a fabulous variety of plant and animal life. Your hub makes me hope to travel there eventually!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 18, 2012:

Thanks, Jason. I hope you get a chance to see its magic for yourself some day.

Jason F Marovich from Detroit on April 17, 2012:

I enjoyed your exhaustive guide of travel in Costa Rica. It seems anyone that's been there finds it to be a magical place, and I, too, hope to visit someday.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 11, 2012:

Thanks, Wesman Todd Shaw. You must put it on your list!

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on April 10, 2012:

Totally beautiful! I've got to go see that place someday.

I've never been further South than Monterrey Mexico.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 10, 2012:

Thanks, Audra. Now you'll need to go there for real some time! : )

iamaudraleigh on April 10, 2012:

Hanging Bridges of Arenal, monkeys, volcanoes...wow!!! Costa Rica looks so beautiful through your camera's lense...amazing!!! That pool at the hotel...stunning! I am so glad you had a good time! I think I just visited Coasta Rica!!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

Thank you, amithak50. It is a great place!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

Thanks for reading and commenting, SHIPPY.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

We did get rained on a little bit, onthegrind, but it was the rainforest afterall. But overall traveling in May was a good decision, especially to go to such a popular place as Arenal. It wasn't that crowded and the rain never interfered with our activities. During the worst of it, we were soaking in the hot springs at Eco Termales and it was kind of nice having the cool rain come down on us while sitting in the hot pools. Maybe next time we'll rent a car. Thanks for the read and comment.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

Danareva, I did try some local cuisine. It was okay, but not as good as some other places I have visited. The food was amazing at Luna Lodge because it was so fresh and organic, but it wasn't really traditional local cuisine. Thanks for the comment and vote.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 06, 2012:

Thanks, yoginijoy. The people were very friendly. They seem happy to share their beautiful natural resources with visitors, probably because tourism is such a big part of the economy. I hadn't heard that about the school curriculum, but that makes a lot of sense.

amithak50 from India on April 06, 2012:

The pictures are really nice and I think you made a great vacation ..Thanks for sharing with us ..costa rica is a great place

SHIPPY from INDIA on April 06, 2012:

Great hub dear, well informative.

Write one for my topics also. Visit me at :

https://hubpages.com/travel/SHIP-EXPLORER...

Thanks a Lot

onthegrind from Florida, United States on April 05, 2012:

Very thorough and informative hub. Having been to Costa Rica a couple times myself, I agree with your tip about visiting in May. I have gone in May and have experienced minimal rain, and it has definitely been less crowded. Also, if you want an adventure, rent a car and drive around the country. Lol, the roads and driving habits of the locals can make for some real excitement. Although, the roads have improved a lot in some areas over the last few years. Voted up and shared.

Dana De Greff from Miami on April 05, 2012:

Wonderful photos, it looks like a dream for anyone who likes being outdoors. I have also heard that the food is amazing...did you try any local dishes?? Voted up!

yoginijoy from Mid-Atlantic, USA on April 05, 2012:

Such beautiful photographs and excellent prose. I have always wanted to travel to Costa Rica. Did you find the people super friendly? The eco-turism sure is the way to go for them, I'm glad they protect it. I understand that school-aged children learn a great deal about the environment as part of the curriculum so they protect their land when they are adults. Very smart, those Costarricans. Voted up and awesome!

Pyretta2 from Whitney, Ontario on April 05, 2012:

Thank you for sharing. I have always wanted to go to Costa Rica and plan to one day. I'm printing your hub and adding it to my travel file or useful information.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 05, 2012:

I am a nature lover, fjohn. That's why Costa Rica was such an awesome place to visit. Thanks for reading and commenting.

fjohn from india on April 05, 2012:

nice hub, I think you are a nature lover. keep it up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 04, 2012:

Thanks, Missilva. It was amazing. Put Costa Rica on your list for sure!

Mlssilva from Figueira da Foz on April 04, 2012:

Great hub! The photos are fantastics! And the information to, so detailed! Amazing vacation, wasn't it? No doubt, a country to visit!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 03, 2012:

Thanks, Prasetio! I hope you can get there, too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on April 03, 2012:

No one the best than natural beauty and I can found this through your hub. I am sure now that Costa Rica is beautiful with many tourist attractions. Thanks for share with us and I really enjoy all stunning pictures here. I hope I can get to Costa Rica one day. Rated up and take care!

Prasetio

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 03, 2012:

Thanks, mikey. I would love to get to Panama someday. I love what I've seen of Central America so far.

mikeydcarroll67 on April 03, 2012:

Pretty country! Love the photos! Panama is a lot the same way!

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on April 02, 2012:

Thanks, bankscottage. It's definitely worthy of a spot high on your list. I hope you make it someday!

Thanks, Vinaya. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 01, 2012:

This is very useful travel article. All the pictures are awesome.

Mark Shulkosky from Pennsylvania on April 01, 2012:

Costa Rica has been on my list and now I am going to have to move it up. Fantastic photos and great story.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 31, 2012:

Thanks, Pannonica. I'd love to be a travel writer and get paid to go on vacation! I'm glad you enjoyed your little "trip" to Costa Rica.

Freddy, that is too funny! Thanks for stopping by.

FreddyM from Everywhere USA on March 30, 2012:

I caught a big fish in Costa Rica and my buddy caught a wife. A girl 30 plus years younger than him. So I guess I would say the fishing is real good.

Pannonica on March 30, 2012:

Hi Deborah, What a fantastic impressive hub, you both write so well and display some wonderful photographs. Ever thought of submitting work to the travel industry? Thank you for the journey into Costa Rica I almost feel I've been there. Voted up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 30, 2012:

I love that picture, too, emilybee. That little monkey family was just so sweet.

Laura, you definitely need to make the trip! You, too, Audrey. Put Costa Rica on your list; it's fabulous.

Thanks to you all for your comments!

Audrey Howitt from California on March 30, 2012:

This looks like a great vacation! I had not thought about Costa Rica prior to reading your hub---great hub btw!

LauraGT from MA on March 30, 2012:

Fantastic hub. Costa Rica is at the top of our list for travel and we're hoping to make it there in the next couple of years. Will definitely mark this hub when we're in the planning stages!

emilybee on March 30, 2012:

Ok, my favorite pic was of the capuchin moneys at the end. Have you seen Night at the Museum? Reminds me of the little troublemaker Capuchin ;) Great photos and content! Voted up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 30, 2012:

Thanks, Eddy! Glad I can assist with your armchair travels. You have a great day, too.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 30, 2012:

What a great hub and another for me to bookmark into my 'Armchair Travelling' slot.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 29, 2012:

Thanks, Movie Master. I hope my hub encourages you to finally book that trip!

Movie Master from United Kingdom on March 29, 2012:

Wow Deborah, I have wanted to visit Costa Rica for as long as I can remember!

Your descriptions and photos are wonderful and this virtual visit is almost as good as the real thing!

Thank you and voted up.

Deborah Neyens (author) from Iowa on March 28, 2012:

Now that would be my dream job, billybuc, as long as they paid me to go on vacation and write about it. Can you imagine?! Thanks for reading and commenting.