Millions of tourists from all over the world visit Costa Rica each year to experience what this country has to offer. If you are looking to relax in paradise on the beautiful beaches, visit jungles in the national parks, practice extreme sports, share quality time with your loved ones, and enjoy the night life with Friends Costa Rica is the destination you should visit. We assure you that you will keep coming back.
Costa Rica Natural Tours invites you to discover the best destinations of Costa Rica.
San Jose is located in the heart of Costa Rica; it is the capital, and largest commercial and industrial city, with an area of 170 square km2 and a population of 2,000,000 inhabitants.
San Jose is located at an altitude of 1.170 meters (3838.58ft.) above sea level and is located in the central valley, surrounded by beautiful mountains and majestic volcanoes. The temperature ranges between 18°C (64ºF) and 24°C (75ºF)
The nights are cooler. San Jose accumulates an annual rainfall of approximately 2200 mm and the rainiest months are May, September, October and November. The rest of the year is quite sunny, and some days have short periods of rain.
San Jose is a city where visitors from around the world gather. From the city, visitors can choose from a variety of day tours, to different national parks that are located near the Central Valley.
The international airport of Costa Rica, San Juan Santa Maria, is 30 minutes from San Jose; it is located in the province of Alajuela. The Capital offers cultural and natural tourist attractions such as museums, theaters, churches, volcanoes, and national parks.
Some of the best attractions in San Jose include: Central Park, Morazan Park, Spain Park, the National Park, Plaza de la Democracia, and the Jade Museum (some of its exhibits include pieces of gold, stone and pottery from the pre-Columbian era).
Among the most important tourist attractions are: the Poas, Irazu and Turrialba Volcanoes; Braulio Carrillo National Park; the Pacuare, Reventazon and Savegre rivers; the Talamanca Mountain Range and many more. One of the most picturesque towns is Sarchí, popularly known as “the cradle of wooden handicrafts”, which attracts visitors to take home a souvenir or craft.
San Gerardo De Dota
San Gerardo de Dota, a picturesque city located in the Cerro de la Muerte, within Los Quetzales National Park, lies just 85 kilometers (52.82 miles) southeast of the capital, San Jose, on the Panamerican highway. This is one of the most beautiful places in Costa Rica, it has an incredibly impressive habitat with an abundance of flora and fauna, and was created to protect a large area of cloud forests, rain forests and swamps in this area that are some of the most biodiverse areas of Central America.
San Gerardo de Dota is a small farming community, located in the narrow valley of the Savegre River, a great place to fish for trout. The season here is from May to June, while lure fishing is at its best from December to March. Sitting at an altitude of 2,200 meters (7217.85ft.) above sea level, this city offers tourists the fresh mountain air, lush cloud forests and some of the best points for observation of birds in the country, so it is an unforgettable vacation destination.
This amazing place is visited by birdwatchers, especially lovers of the Quetzal, one of the most famous birds of Costa Rica, and one of the most attractive in the world.
The climate is warm and mild. There is rainfall throughout the year. This cloud forest has been declared, by birdwatchers, as the best place in the country to see the quetzal all year round. In other forests of Costa Rica, the quetzal can be seen only in certain seasons.
Activities that can be done in the area: bird watching tours, especially observation of the Quetzal; fruit tours, riding tours and sport fishing.
San Gerardo De Rivas
Located only 20 kilometers from San Isidro de El General, the second largest city in the province of San Jose, San Gerardo de Rivas is a small village in the Cordillera de Talamanca. The city is popular with adventure travelers, desiring to climb the slopes of Mount Chirripo, the highest mountain in the country, or simply to explore the near valley of the Chirripo River. San Gerardo de Rivas is a coffee-producing community. Visitors of this precious place can explore the Cloud bridge nature reserve, the home of beautiful orchids, an impressive variety of birds and many waterfalls. Many travelers take the opportunity to visit the Gevi hot springs.
Jaco Beach is one the most important and popular tourist destinations on the pacific coast of Costa Rica. It’s the city with the easiest access to the beach, located approximately an hour from the airport in San Jose. This is one of the internationally preferred destinations for surfers, which has given its beaches a privileged spot in the international community of lovers of this exciting sport.
Here, the food scene is extensive; you can find almost anything from small cafes to a large range of restaurants. Night life is exciting and offers a great variety of bars and clubs.
The Jaco zone offers a great number of recreational activities designed to make our stay an unforgettable experience:
– Though surfing is the most attractive activity, the beach is ideal for sun-bathing, horse-back riding, or taking part in other aquatic activities such as kayaking or snorkeling. An excellent way to explore Jaco is with a guided tour on an ATV, or renting bicycles.
– Relax on a cruise out to the island of Tortuga known for its beautiful beaches of white sand, crystalline waters, tropical fish, and exuberant nature.
– Have fun and feel the adventure with these 2 exciting tours:
First, the Canopy Zip Line, an eco-adventure ride that offers a unique experience in the tropical jungle, traveling across cables up to 120 meters above the ground. Second, there is also a cable-car ride through the jungle, running above the trees for close to two kilometers. Both activities offer incredible views of the tropical jungle.
– For fishing lovers, this destination is developing into a more-and-more important sport-fishing center. Some of the spectacular fish to see in the zone include: marlin, swordfish, barracuda, red snapper and dozens off more species.
– If you’re a golfer, trips to Jaco Beach aren’t complete without a visit to Los Sueños Marriot Golf Resort.
– Don’t miss out on visiting the marvelous natural attractions nearby to Jaco such as the bridge over the Tarcoles River, the best observatory for viewing crocodiles in Costa Rica. Carara National Park is one of the preferred locations for bird-watching, sanctuary of the Red Macaw.
– About an hour and a half away is the Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most gorgeous parks in the country, with almost 3000 hectares of flowers, fauna and white sand beaches. One can’t visit this fascinating location without at least buying some souvenirs. There’s a large variety of local art, clothes and crafts.
We invite you to visit Jaco Beach, with its beautiful beaches and hundreds of tourist attractions.
Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the most visited destinations in Costa Rica, and one of the largest national parks of scenic beauty in the country. The area is famous for its beautiful national park; easily accessible because it is located a short distance from the capital, San Jose. Undoubtedly, Manuel Antonio is one of the most famous places in the country.
Manuel Antonio is located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Puntarenas. It is located about 157 km (97.56 miles) south of San José by road, and 7 km (4.35miles) south of the city of Quepos; covering a land area of 1,625 hectares (4015.46 acres), and 55,000 hectares (135907.75 acres) of ocean.
The Park protects 12 islands that serve as excellent refuges for several seabird species. It has excellent beaches: Espadilla Sur, Manuel Antonio and Puerto Escondido, and an important attraction – very humid tropical forest where species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction reside: the raccoon, coati, the agouti, the two-toed sloth, the white-faced monkey and marmosets, for example. This park also protects patches of primary and secondary forest, mangroves, beach vegetation, marine environments, islands and a lagoon.
The climate is characterized by high temperatures with an annual average temperature of 27° C (81ºF), and a minimum temperature of 20°C (68ºF). Average annual precipitation is 3,875 mm. The dry months are January, February and March; the rainiest are August, September and October.
This area has the most beautiful white sand beaches, and trails where you can appreciate the nature of tropical forests.
Tourist activities that you can participate in: fishing, diving, snorkeling, whale and dolphin tours, bird watching tours, biking, guided hiking in the National Park and protected areas, white water rafting in the Naranjo and Savegre river (levels II, III and IV – half-day or full day), and horseback riding in private forests with waterfalls.
The Osa Peninsula
This is the farthest region of the country, and is located in the South Pacific. It is the second largest peninsula of Costa Rica, and its main product is ecotourism.
The most natural peninsula the country has, it holds the highest percentage of land devoted to national parks and forest reserves, with a larger biodiversity than any other part of the country.
It is one of the most impressive parts of the country for its vast areas of jungle. The three main jungle areas of the South Pacific (the Corcovado National Park, Dominical and Uvita) reside here, as well as the mountainous Chirripó National Park and La Amistad International Park
The Osa Peninsula is considered one of the most virgin areas of the country. Corcovado National Park is one of the most important attractions of the Osa Peninsula with almost 50,000 hectares (123552.5 acres), and thanks to buffer forests, Corcovado hosts unmatched wildlife as biodiverse as any other place in the world.
In the South Pacific, it is very humid, registering an annual rainfall of 6,000 mm, which in combination with the isolation of the area, has contributed to the high diversity of species of plants and animals; including many that are endemic.
The two seasons are well defined, being a little shorter than the North Pacific. The dry season, begins in late December and ends in April. The rainiest month is October; while the driest is February, though it is not quite as dry as in the North Pacific.
In this region, you can see amazing scenery and do adrenaline-fueled activities! Especially, when we think of destinations such as the Corcovado National Park, Caño Island or Diquís Delta, with its enigmatic stone spheres.
The main activities are the beach and marine resources, including whale and dolphin watching, mangrove landscapes, reptiles, sport fishing, surfing, hiking, professional diving, botanical gardens, stunning waterfalls and many others.
This area extends from Limon to the frontier with Panama; Limon is the primary tourist center, and functions as the logistical center.
The Southern Caribbean is an area famous for its beautiful beaches and afro culture – it invites relaxation, peace and quiet. Its unique features are its Afro Caribbean flavor and spicy food, which makes this the perfect place to visit.
A paradise between the Caribbean Sea and the jungle, the coasts of the Caribbean are known for their lush rain forests, and abundant beautiful beaches.
The beaches are beautiful, covered with tropical vegetation. A mixture of activities like adventure and natural history, definitely complemented with culture, gastronomy and music. Coral reefs, multicolored sand beaches (black, white, yellow and gray), coastal vegetation and forests of medium height.
The Cahuita National Park and Gandoca Manzanillo Reserve have worldwide recognition, not only for their natural beauty, but also because they are become unique locations in within the Gran Caribe.
The weather is generally rainy, characteristic of the area, but with mostly warm weather. Rainfall decreases between January and April, and late September to early October. Temperatures range between 25°C (77ºF) and 27°C (81ºF) in the months of January and February, dropping to a minimum of 20°C (68ºF) and a maximum of 30° C (86ºF) during the months of April and May.
Main tourist activities: Cycling, boat tours, snorkeling, surfing, canopy tours, hiking, horseback riding, visiting Indian reservations, among others.
Some attractions: Cahuita National Park, Gandoca Manzanillo Refuge, Puerto Viejo, Kekoldi Indian reserve, Yorkin Indian Reserve Yorkin, and many more.
This park is located in the northern Caribbean region of Costa Rica, between the Parismina and San Juan Rivers, on the border with Nicaragua. It is a popular destination for eco-tourists and adventurers.
Tortuguero National Park was created to protect nesting areas for turtles. It is a destination worth visiting – world famous for these turtles nesting on the beach.
Wildlife is abundant and varied – about 160 species of mammals, many of them endangered including cats, monkeys, sloths and manatees; 400 species of birds and 52 species of freshwater fish; including the gar fish, considered an endangered living fossil.
Tourism is the main economic activity of the area, followed by fishing and agriculture.
To reach the park you can go by boat, or by plane from San Jose. However, most hotels in the area offer packages that include transportation from San Jose by land and boat.
Tourism activities occur day and night: hiking, enjoying the sun and the beach, observing the biodiversity, boating or kayaking through the canals of Tortuguero, or enjoying typical local Caribbean life.
Barra Del Colorado wildlife refuge is located in the north-east zone of the country, on the Caribbean slope, province of Limon, bordered by Nicaragua and the San Juan River, and 35 kilometers north of Tortuguero National Park. This is a destination for virgin nature and perfect for travelers looking to escape the bustle of the cities.
This magnificent place shares the climate of Tortuguero National Park. Its temperatures vary between 25 and 30 C, with precipitation in the range of 6000 mm annually. Humidity hovers around 88%, making for an elevated sense of heat. Barra Del Colorado wildlife refuge is one of the largest refuges in Costa Rica, with more than 31 kilometers of streams, canals, lakes and marshes. The small city of Barra holds a few houses, a commercial center, various souvenir stores and a small landing strip for those who arrive by plane. Most of this town is joined up by small dirt roads, so those travelers who would like to explore the zone should stay in hotels that offer all-inclusive packages. Barra Del Colorado is also world-renowned as a sport-fishing destination.
Wildlife is abundant in this region due to the landscape, and remoteness of the zone. It’s the habitat for tapir, toucans, caiman, crocodiles, iguanas, jaguar, puma, howler and capuchin monkeys, ocelot, jaguarondi, and three-toed sloths. One can also enjoy a unique and incredible experience in this spectacular location, appreciating the presence of the West Indian manatee, or sea cow, a species difficult to observe in other regions.
This peaceful creature swims through the canals, rivers, and lakes; now unfortunately an endangered species. Due to the wealth of water in the zone, Barra Del Colorado can only be accessed by air or sea. Domestic Airlines, Nature Air or Sansa, fly to this destination daily from San Jose, a flight of only 30 minutes.
This National Park comprises one of the most visited destinations in Costa Rica, and is the ideal place for any traveler. Containing an area of 12 hectares (29.65 acres), it is located in the northwest of the country, between the foothills of the Mountain Range Tilarán and the plains of San Carlos. The park is formed by the Arenal Volcano, the Cerro Chato and Arenal Lake.
The Arenal Volcano with its perfect cone shape, and clouds surrounding the highest part of the volcano, is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world. The Arenal Volcano is located 7 km (4.35miles) from Fortuna. Its 33 kms2 (12.74 miles2) protect a wide variety of flora, including a number of orchids, ferns and bromeliads.
The climate of this region is diverse, and has influences from both the Pacific and Atlantic. Annual temperatures range between 21°C (70ºF) and 28°C (82ºF). The average annual precipitation is 3,500 mm to 5,000 mm. Rainy season occurs from May to January, and the dry season from February to April.
There are different tourist attractions in the area: Lake Arenal, which generates 40% of the hydropower in Costa Rica, (the country’s largest hydroelectric project); other areas of interest include: Cerro Chato, Fortuna Waterfall, River Tabacon spa, hiking, mountain biking, adventure activities, touring the canopy, whitewater rafting, Venado Caves, the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, bird watching, fishing and more.
Monteverde Biological Reserve was founded in the 50s by a group of Quakers from the US; it is currently administered by the Tropical Science Center. It covers an area of 10,500 hectares (25946.4 acres). Located northwest of Costa Rica, in the provinces of Alajuela, Puntarenas and Guanacaste; within the Cordillera de Tilarán, it is a roughly three-hour trip from the Central Valley of Costa Rica. It is considered the best known cloud forest in the world due its biodiversity and its contribution to conservation and scientific research. Undoubtedly, the Biological Reserve of Monteverde Cloud Forest is one of the most impressive natural reserves worldwide.
Monteverde Biological Reserve has an impressive flora and fauna; it is home to more than a thousand species of plants and animals! Discover the flora and fauna, including jaguars, toucans, lions, monkeys and red-eyed tree frogs – just like in the brochures for Costa Rica! There are also 420 species of orchids, and 200 species of ferns.
The Quetzal is the most striking bird of the area, and its habitat – the rainforest, as well as bellbirds and the umbrella bird; also, you can admire the hummingbirds and finches among others.
Monteverde’s climate is very cool and rainy, so we recommend bringing warm and waterproof clothing.
Monteverde Biological Reserve attracts a considerable number of tourists and naturalists interested in mountain and tropical biodiversity.
The most significant activities for Monteverde tourism include: Birdwatching, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, zip line canopy tours, hanging bridges and many more.
A tropical paradise north of the country, it is one of the largest and most popular provinces of Costa Rica. The Guanacaste area is divided into North and South Guanacaste. Guanacaste is one of the flatter lands of Costa Rica, famous for having a dry tropical forest, beaches, scenic beauty, national parks and impressive volcanoes.
North of Guanacaste there are beaches like Tamarindo, Punta Islita, and Flamingo. It also houses an important portion of the Costa Rican cultural and natural heritage. This region contains the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, from the border with Nicaragua to Punta Cerritos (located 22 km (13.67 miles) west of the town of Santa Cruz). It covers an area of approximately 100 km (62.14 miles) of the Pacific Coast. North Guanacaste is an important cornerstone in the tourist development of the Gulf of Papagayo because of the Daniel Oduber International Airport; which receives many international flights, especially from the United States.
Southern Guanacaste includes the southwest coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. It extends from Punta Cerritos in the north, to Río Bongo in the south; with a coastal length of about 110 kilometers (68.35 miles). The main tourist center is the city of Nicoya, located about 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) from the coast. The secondary tourist center is the town of Samara. Its main resources are the beaches, and one of the most important natural phenomena – the arrival of Lora turtles, in the National Wildlife Refuge Ostional. This place can be visited all year round being; busiest months are from August to October for the nesting season.
Climate: Any time of year is conducive to visit the North Pacific; the weather is generally warm and dry (the driest region of the country), with an average of 28°C (82ºF) in the months of May to February – from February to April, the temperature can increase almost 10°C (50ºF), the driest, hottest time of the year.
The seasons are defined as dry from December to March, and rainy from April to November; April and November are transitional months.
The highest rainfall occurs during the months of June, September and October.
Among the main attractions of the area are: Santa Rosa National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park, Palo Verde National Park, Ostional National Wildlife Refuge, Las Baulas National Marine Park, Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge, and La Amistad bridge – among others.