In this amazing country, everyone will find experiences that, just like a kaleidoscope, make up an exciting journey.

Despite its modest size, Costa Rica has impressive gems – unique flora and fauna, two coasts with picturesque beaches, and a blend of indigenous and colonial cultures.

Arenal Volcano

For nature enthusiasts…

it is a real paradise. Costa Rica covers only 51,000 square kilometers, yet the country accounts for 5% of the planet’s biodiversity! A quarter of the territory is occupied by national parks, such as Manuel Antonio, Corcovado, Cahuita, Marino Ballena, Tortuguero, Monteverde… But you will not find anything like an African car safari in Costa Rica. Its main treasure is the unique rainforests, which are best explored on foot, slowly and attentively, preferably with a spotting scope or telescope lens. And then you will spot a new animal or bird every day. Forests cover two-thirds of the country, growing along roads and on hotel grounds. This means that macaws can be seen shouting at each other at the hotel reception, spider and squirrel monkeys swing from wires and scurry across the bungalow roofs, and coatis beg for food at the cafe tables.

Ara parrot

The national animal of Costa Rica is a sloth. These funny animals live high up in the trees, and it is hard to see them. It’s best to go to special sloth-watching sites with experienced guides, for instance, to La Fortuna. If you want to get a closer look at their smiling faces, visit the sloth sanctuary in Cahuita. The biologists there will gladly show you around and tell you everything.

Hanging bridge in the Arenal Mistico park

For beach lovers…

the beach season on both coasts is all year round, despite the rains from May to November that are usually brief and do not happen every day. The Pacific coast offers incredible diversity. All-inclusive lovers should go for the beaches of the Papagayo Gulf, beginner surfers prefer Tamarindo, fans of pristine white sand can choose Conchal beach in Guanacaste and Manuel Antonio coastline, while party people hang out in Jaco with its bustling bars and nightclubs.

Marino Ballena National Park

The Caribbean coast feels like a completely different country with its Jamaican vibes. Cahuita is great for diving and snorkeling, Nosara is a place for advanced surfers, and the beaches of Puerto Viejo are quite unlike the typical Caribbean ones thanks to their dark gray and black volcanic sand. And if you are tired of people and crave solitude, stay in a small lodge hotel near the town of Limon. Here, among wild coconut palms, alone with the sea, it is easy to feel like Columbus.

La Fortuna Waterfall

For art connoisseurs…

it is worth spending time in San Jose, the capital city. You can admire Pre-Columbian art in the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum (Museo de Oro Precolombino) and the Jade Museum (Museo del Jade). These museums display fascinating indigenous jewelry and ritual objects, as well as images of people and exotic animals made of gold, jade, volcanic stone and clay, dating back to 500 BC. The small Costa Rican Art Museum (Museo de Arte Costarricense), housed in a charming neocolonial building that used to be the country’s first airport, showcases more than 6,000 artworks by local and foreign artists from the 19th–21st centuries. There is also the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MADC) in the capital, where you can see the extensive collection of Francisco Amighetti’s works. And don’t miss the National Theater, even if it’s just for a tour. The theater, which opened its doors in 1897, was inspired by the Paris Opera. The pink marble lobby, magnificent columns and statues, the auditorium glittering with gold, lavish chandeliers and mirrors… The walls of the cafe in the lobby are decorated with Belle Époque style frescos, and the air is filled with the divine aroma of local coffee, one of the best in the world.

National theatre of Costa Rica