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Costa Rica Travel guide

Costa Rica;Tropique - Playa Conchal Colourful house facades in Arenal District. Hummingbird.
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Costa Rica : Michelin's recommendations


Costa Rica stretches from the Pacific to the Caribbean, between the Talamanca cordillera to the south and Nicaragua to the north. This magnificent ecological sanctuary in the heart of Central America is bursting with energy, including five active fire-spitting volcanoes out of a total of 116 (don't miss Arenal and its almost daily pyrotechnics). And although the wildly diverse and exuberant natural environment here is surrounded by national parks, it remains untamed and largely unexplored. Costa Rica can be explored by 4WD, kayak, taxi-boat, pirogue, horseback and over walkways connecting the treetops of the rainforest canopy. The adventures awaiting you here range from Río Sarapiquí, a foretaste of the Amazon, to the vast plains of Guanacaste, a set from a Western dotted with haciendas, and the trails of the Corcovado, once trod by gold-diggers. They continue in the sultry tropical rainforest, on the slopes of the Valle Central covered with coffee trees and in the languorous Caribbean region fringed with deltas and lagoons, as you cross paths with monkeys, large felines, macaws, quetzals and caymans.
Lastly, the coastline holds some lovely surprises in store for you! There are dozens of dreamy beaches where you can bask in the sun, rest after surfing or diving, and admire the thousands of turtles on some of the islands - as pristine as paradise.
Ecotourism has taken off in this superb and invigorating destination - ideal for nature trips.

Costa Rica - See all cities and regions

Costa Rica : Must-see towns and regions

  • San José

    San José has all the trappings of a capital: skyscrapers, shopping, museums (Museo Nacional, Museo del Oro, Museo del Jade), and fine residences dating from the coffee boom of the 19C. Its two emblema...

  • Heredia

    A discreet scent of prosperity envelops Heredia, founded in 1706. Life here revolves around the university, the Parque Central and the Baroque cathedral (1796). Its nickname of City of Flowers is not ...

  • Puerto Jiménez is the main town in the Osa Peninsula. This gateway to magnificent Corcovado used to attract gold diggers before becoming a Mecca for adventure sports enthusiasts (kayaking in the mangr...

  • Puntarenas

    Once a large port, now a fishing port and embarkation point for the islands of the Gulf of Nicoya, Puntarenas (or "sandy tip") trumps neighbouring spots thanks to its superb bay. San José (115km) resi...

  • Puerto Limón

    A distinctly Caribbean atmosphere: colourful, languid, and perfumed by the wares on sale at the central market. Puerto Limón, a working port, is also reminiscent of New Orleans with its finely worked ...

  • Montezuma

    Montezuma, with its colourful wooden façades, stands at the foot of hills furrowed with waterfalls and is surrounded by magnificent beaches. A young, globetrotting crowd frequents this cosmopolitan li...

  • Guaitil

    Authentic pre-Colombian pottery continues to be made in Guaitil, a rural town entirely dedicated to this craft. Stroll from courtyard to courtyard to admire the traditional Chorotega potteries, blesse...

  • Cartago

    Cartago, the former colonial capital, has been razed many times by the Irazú Volcano. It is now the epicentre of Costa Rican Catholicism and religious fervour is concentrated in the Basílica Nuestra S...

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