Top 5 Costa Rican Places to Visit – A Guest Post by Jason

Pulped Travel brings you Jason Mueller!  A keen traveller and writer, Jason has chosen to base himself in the Latin American paradise of Costa Rica.  I was lucky enough to visit Costa Rica in August 2015; a country that is growing in popularity as both a beach holiday destination as well as somewhere for environmentally friendly-minded tropical adventures in its magnificent rainforests and to sample the scenery and wildlife of the country’s stunning Caribbean and Pacific coastlines.  The arrival of direct flights from the UK in 2016 has put this spectacular country on the map and here, at Pulped Travel, Jason takes us through his ‘Top 5 Costa Rican Places to Visit’…

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Costa Rica, well-known for its eco-tourism credentials, has seen an increase in popularity, in the last 10 years, as more people from all over the world come to explore this amazing country.  There is so much to see and do in such a small area, making it the perfect place to rent a car and get to know all corners of its tropical beauty or to simply pick a location and just relax.  Costa Rica truly has something for everyone.

1.Manuel Antonio

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Manuel Antonio (source – FlickrCC)

The small tourist beach town of Manuel Antonio should be on the top of your list when visiting Costa Rica. This is a paradise you won’t want to miss out on. The white sand beaches mix with the blue Pacific waters making the perfect place to cool down from the tropical sun.  The town of Manuel Antonio is a great place to dine offering restaurants from all over the globe.  You will have no problem in finding accommodation ranging from hostels to luxury vacation homes.  The most popular attraction is the National Park which is the most visited in Costa Rica.  The monkeys steal the spotlight along with your lunch if you aren’t paying attention.  Manuel Antonio is a great place for nature lovers, particularly bird watchers.

2. Tamarindo

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Tamarindo (source – FlickrCC)

The province of Guanacaste is where you will find Tamarindo, lying to the north of Costa Rica and close to Nicaragua.  The Northern Pacific province is known as the Gold Coast, taking its name from the hot rays of sunlight that pound the area year round.  Tamarindo has become increasingly popular because it is a perfect place for families to have their vacation.  There is surfing and other adventure tours for the kids and monkey or crocodile nature tours for the those looking for something a little more sedate.  Relaxing on the beach or next to the pool will be hard to pass up, after all you deserve to kick back and relax.  Also, the town itself is also experiencing some redevelopment that will only add to the fun nightlife options and dining already available there.

3. La Fortuna

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The Arenal Volcano (source – Jason Mueller)

La Fortuna is where you can enjoy the fresh mountain air; rewarding you with moderate temperatures that are warm enough to still be in your shorts.  The area is the perfect place for the adventure goers to partake in an extreme tour and then relax in the hot springs later.  There is also the Arenal Volcano that can be viewed from the town and you can even catch an aerial tram or hike to get a better view of this active peak.  Close to La Fortuna is Lake Arenal where you can go for a boat ride or have a swim to cool off.  Other swimming opportunities in the La Fortuna area take advantage of the naturally occurring geothermal activity the Arenal Volcano brings in the form of hot springs and spas. Be sure to stop off at one of the tourist shops and ask about the waterfalls that you can hike to as well.

4. Rio Celeste

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The Rio Celeste Waterfall (source – FlickrCC)

It seems like this place is taken from some sort of a fairy tale.  Another location up in the mountains that you may not think to visit.  The minerals along the river mix with the water giving it a unique blue sparkle that will open your eyes to a whole new level.  There is not a lot by the way of accommodation or restaurants in the nearby town but a night or two in the woods might be just what you need if you are looking to fully relax.  The cooler temperatures make the perfect habitat for an array of wildlife that you will not encounter at the beach.  With any luck you may catch a glimpse of the elusive puma as well as other mammals, insects and birds that make the area their home.

5. Jaco

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Jaco (source – Jason Mueller)

Jaco is one of the more popular destinations for people who are looking for a little bit of everything.  The town offers really good dining and a large selection in terms of accommodation.  Many people visit the area because there is plenty to do for fun.  There is a tour suited to everyone’s tastes, ranging from eco/nature tours to the exhilarating canopy zip line adventure tours.  Jaco is also a great place to learn how to surf and for the more experienced surfers head to the beach at Playa Hermosa (only 5 minutes away) that produces world class surfing waves and has hosted several professional surfing tournaments.  In addition to this, the fishing opportunities in the area are incredible with many tournaments held around Jaco.

The most popular saying in Costa Rica is ‘pura vida’  which translates to ‘pure life’ and pretty much sums up how you will spend your time enjoying this paradise destination. The truth is that there is so much to see and do in Costa Rica once you make your first trip, you will find yourself yearning to come back for another one.

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