The most amazing natural sights in Costa Rica

Arenal, photo by Ardyiii on Flickr

Costa Rica is a pacifist eco-traveler’s dream come true: it focuses on sustainable development, it is the third country in the world according to the environmental performance index, it doesn’t have an army since 1955, and it is part of the world’s 22 oldest democracies. It’s not surprising that a country like this would do its best to preserve its natural heritage and to encourage conscious and responsible tourism. The stunning landscape of Costa Rica is comprised of spectacular beaches, forests, volcanoes, mountains and lowlands, populated with unique flora and fauna, and a natural lovers will be kept quite busy visiting the most amazing natural sights in Costa Rica.

Corcovado National Park

Corcovado National Park, photo by Miguel Vieira

Corcovado is one of the remotest and inaccessible national parks in Costa Rica, but it is also the one with the best wildlife viewing opportunities. Just imagine – National Geographic said that Corcovado is the most ‘biologically intense place on earth’, with an abundance of species like no other park in Costa Rica. You can see the four species of Costa Rican monkeys, crocodiles, bull sharks, jaguars, giant anteaters or tapirs.

Arenal Volcano

The 1633 meter tall Arenal Volcano has been erupting more or less constantly since 1968 – approximately 41 times a year. Scientists are inescapably drawn to the volcano, but so are tourists who want to witness the unleashed forces of nature. A visit through the surrounding national park is a great nature-walking experience, but the best thing to see are the lava eruptions of Arenal in the evening, when the lava glows red against the darkening sky.

Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park

Rincon de la Vieja, photo by Miguel Vieira

If volcanic landscape, fumaroles, hot springs and dangerously hot bubbling sulfurous mud pits are among your interests, then you shouldn’t miss a trip to Rincón de la Vieja Volcano National Park, centered around the Rincón de la Vieja volcano. The park’s landscape can vary from the idyllic (flora and fauna are extremely rich) to places that seem out of this world.

Cocos Island National Park

The smallish island of Cocos is almost entirely covered in thick, lush jungle, and its rugged beauty makes it one of the most amazing natural sights in Costa Rica. The waters around the island are teeming with life – hammerhead sharks, dolphins, mantas and marbled rays, giant moray eels, sailfish, and sometimes even whale sharks. The jungle is sprinkled with over 200 waterfalls.

Manuel Antonio National Park

photo by Bogdan Migulski

One of the main reasons this park is so popular are the monkeys who live in the jungle covered hills. Manuel Antonio might be a small national park, but it is among the most beautiful in the world, and its biodiversity is startling. The four monkey species of Costa Rica can be found in this park, as well as several species of sloth, snake and bat species and almost 200 species of birds. Keep an eye on the coast and you might see a migrating whale!

Leave a Reply