Sunset in Costa Rica, iStock.com/GreenReynolds
Safe, secure and simply stunning with so much to offer all types of traveller – from incredible ecotourism and water sports to simple relaxed beach holidays and gorgeous cuisine, Costa Rica has it all. Plan your trip now for the mid-December to end of April high season.
1. Manuel Antonio National Park
One of the smallest but arguably the jewel of Costa Rica’s national parks, Manuel Antonio is famed for its idyllic combination of exuberant forest, white-sand beaches, and rich coral reefs. It’s one of the last remaining habitats for the red-backed squirrel monkey, and is also popular for its howler monkeys (like deer, male howler monkeys are judged on the tenor and volume of their calls), two- and three-toed sloths and exotic birds. Its coastal location at Quepos, Puntarenas, means you can go snorkeling, skin diving, surfing and fishing and there’s simply nothing like jumping into the refreshing ocean after a hot and sweaty visit to the rain forest.
2. Horseback Ride Across the Nation
What better way to see this diverse country than by horseback. Yep, you can travel sea-to-ocean on a gorgeous criollo steed, tackling different terrain daily from silky soft Caribbean sand at the outset to the lush rainforest as you continue inland before entering the tougher highlands. The latter might be the hardest challenge but passing through them over the back of Central America and reaching journey’s end down at the Pacific coast will be the thrill of a lifetime.
3. Surf Paradise
You’re not a pro but you want to learn and you want to do it somewhere in the tropics with stunning beaches and palm trees where the jungle canopy creeps up to the sand from behind. Costa Rica is that chilled out destination and the crescent-shaped bay at Playa Guiones in Nosara one of the best options, with relaxed surf schools and lots fellow wave lovers to commune with.
This chic, Bohemian town is one of Costa Rica’s best kept secrets. Located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula it’s small but lively and easily accessed from the two international airports by water taxi, helicopter transfer or small plane. Montezuma has plenty of secluded coves for incredible swimming and surfing too.
5. Corcovado National Park
We’ve mentioned Manuel Antonio but we can’t leave out Corcovado National Park. Covering one third of the remote Osa Peninsula jutting into the Pacific Ocean, an area National Geographic called ‘the most biologically intense place on earth’, Corcovado is hard to reach but nothing less than stunning when you get there. There are no roads in the park’s 100,000 acres, the rainforest is virgin, beaches deserted and rivers snake through the jungle. Over 140 species of mammals live in the broad range of habitats including tapirs, ocelots and cougars and it has the largest remaining population of scarlet macaws. A must-visit.
6. Lizano Sauce
It’s the salsa sauce to beat all salsa sauces and it’s made in Costa Rica. A combination of herbs and spices blended to perfection and deliciously hot we can guarantee you’ll be purchasing bottles and bottles to take home with you so make sure you’ve got space in your luggage.
7. The Best Private Villas in the World
Mead Brown Costa Rica’s thrilling Water Villa at the Elements in Hatillo, Dominical
The stunning Villa Magayon in Peninsula Papagayo, Guanacaste from Papagayo Luxury Villas Costa Rica
To say that there are some of the most beautiful and exquisite private villas in the world available to stay in here would be an understatement. And there really is no better way to experience Costa Rica than basing yourself in one. Spend days relaxing in luxury by the pool while a professional chef prepares a gourmet evening meal for you or wonder down to your own private beach of a morning before returning for a relaxing massage in the privacy of your villa.
For the best places to stay and the best experiences to be had in Costa Rica check out Mead Brown Costa Rica’s selection of beautiful properties here and Papagayo Luxury Villas Costa Rica’s selection here.