Having visited Costa Rica on two occasions, I can say honestly it is one of my favourite destinations, and one I would return to again and again!! There are many reasons and highlights that come to mind, but here are my five best Costa Rica experiences.
1) Manuel Antonio National Park – seeing a sloth in a tree – and understanding what calling someone “slothful” actually means! The white faced monkeys playing…I wonder what they think of us looking up at them, in THEIR natural habitat. The view of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the El Parador Hotel – lovely!
2) Arenal Volcano – the view of the steamy volcano is amazing and unforgettable. Even better is the feeling of the volcanic waters as you step into hot pools and enjoy the relaxing mineral soak. Free time at the hotel is really enjoyable – be on the lookout for humming birds visiting the flowers in the beautiful gardens, or in our case, the bush just outside our hotel room door!
3) Monteverde – our hotel, set on a mountainside with an amazing view (not sure how many photographs we took). With the many different levels of buildings, golf carts take us up and down the steep hill (or walk, if you prefer….). The Cloud Forest is amazing – listen closely for the grunting of the howler monkeys – always made me laugh. Our walk came to a complete stop when a quetzal was spotted. We all took turns looking through the telescope – a beautiful bird – (but not easy to spot).
4) Tortuguero National Park – climbing into a boat to cruise the canals, and spotting the wildlife along the way – so many photographs to take! Keep an eye out for anhinga birds, great blue herons, the long legged white egrets, the pink long billed roseate spoonbills (a comical looking feathered friend) – so many colours – so many birds!
5) Visiting the different regions of Cost Rica, and having 2-night stops everywhere is amazing. I liken it to waking up in a different country every few days. From the urban in San Jose, to the rustic in Tortuguero; the plains of Saripiqui (including learning amazing things about bats) to the volcano region and the mountains at Monteverde. All different landscapes in one tour – with some wonderful free time sprinkled throughout the tour to relax, soak up the sun and simply enjoy!