The massive Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica


Travelers cannot but marvel at the natural wonders in Costa Rica, which is known for its tropical beaches and its dense foliage. Although small (the country is only 19,652 square miles), Costa Rica packs a lot into its limited acreage. A visitor can easily travel from end to end in just three hours by car, or 45 minutes by plane. Traveling to Costa Rica from the United States is not a bank breaker, and travel deals can usually be found in the $350 round trip range if you book early.


Traveling to Costa Rica and want to see it all? Here are some can’t miss attractions.


Beaches: Known for the quality of its beaches, seashells and surfing options, Costa Rica has over 700 miles of coastline: most are surrounded by forests which add to their mystery and enigma. Some popular beaches where visitors can enjoy surfing include Esterillos, Jaco, Hermosa, and Boca Barranca. For a truly authentic experience, surfers can experience the “long lefthander wave” in the Golfito region, near the Marino Ballena National Park.


Volcanoes: Home to several volcanoes, Costa Rica offers particularly dramatic ones in the Northern Plains, home to the Tenorio Volcano (located in the park), Arenal, and Miravalles. The country features the most active volcano formations in the world, and Arenal particularly is known for its activity. This magnificent natural wonder is 5,358 feet tall, and its crater alone is 460 feet. Photographers can get a good shot of the hot lava rocks bubbling and cascading down the volcano.


Lakes: The rich biodiversity and magnificent natural wonders awaiting passengers on flights to Costa Rica include its lakes. Lake Arenal and the adjoining Dam comprise the largest hydroelectric project in the country, and several lakes in Costa Rica make for great day trips. Lake Arenal is especially renowned for its scenic backdrop and a good place to visit for fishing, mountain biking, windsurfing and boat tours.


Monteverde Cloud Forest: This is a forest that is one of many in Costa Rica, but is most well known because of its six distinct ecological zones and several hiking trails. Here, you can literally “walk among the clouds.” The Cloud Forest is situated five hours from San Jose by car. There is a particular eerie mist and dampness of a cloud forest that is inspiring and enigmatic.


Rain Forests: No trip to Costa Rica would be complete without a visit to the country’s Rain Forests. The Braulio Carrillo rain forest is a protected area spanning 44,000 hectares and also features seven biodiversity zones. Visitors can enjoy immense waterfalls, winding streams and marvel at specific flora and fauna unique to Costa Rica.


Flickr: ggallice

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