The best Costa Rica natural wonders are must-see attractions because of their breathtaking scenery, of course, but also because some of the best natural wonders in Costa Rica can’t be seen anywhere else on earth. First time visitors to this unique Central American destination will want to budget enough time and money to see as many of these best Costa Rica natural wonders as possible.
Northeast of Liberia in Guanacaste the Rincon de Viejo Volcana looms over an area of such lush scenery that it has been preserved and protected as one of Costa Rica’s natural wonders. Rincon de Vieja National Park includes the amazing active volcano, as well as geysers, hot springs, cool swimming holes, waterfalls, and hot mud baths. Hire a guide to take you through the park on horseback, and don’t forget your camera and binoculars.
The Rio Sarapiqui Region is one of Costa Rica’s natural wonder located just north of San Jose between Guanacaste in the west and the Caribbean coast in the east. Sarapiqui features prime tropical forest and amazing ecologtical diversity. Book a room at any of the excellent ecolodges near Braulio Carillo National Park and spend the day discovering exotic plants and animals in their native habitat.
The Arenal Volcano is easily the most popular of all the Costa Rica natural wonders, and Tabacon Hot Springs, located at the foot of the volcano, is the perfect place to stay. Although not the most economical accommodation in Arenal, Tabacon is by the far the most memorable. Having the opportunity to soak in a natural hot springs pool and watch the volcano spark and rumble right next to you is well worth the splurge.
Monteverde Biological Cloud Forest Reserve appeals to the magical and mystical in everyone. This Costa Rica national wonder, located northwest of San Jose, is at its best first thing in the morning, when walking in the clouds among exotic birds, flowering orchids, and hanging moss is like entering another world. After exploring the Cloud Forest paths, book a canopy tour out of Santa Elena or the town of Monteverde and experience the thrill of swinging from tree to tree.
The Costa Rica natural wonder of Manuel Antonio, near Quepos on the Central Pacific coast, could easily be called ‘monkey central’. Families with children will not want to miss this magical place, which is filled with every species of Costa Rican monkey, including the endangered squirrel monkey. A great place for bird watching and spotting other rare mammals, Manuel Antonio is a photographer’s dream. For a break from the forest, relax on one of the many white sand beaches on the uninhabited islands just offshore.
The Osa Peninsula is a remote and ecologically rich Costa Rica natural wonder located in south. Hard core eco-tourists, biologists, and students will love the jaguars, crocodiles, and scarlet macaws that call this wild place home. First time travelers may want to sharpen their jungle skills on a more tourist-friendly Costa Rica natural wonder first.
Finally, Tortuguero Village and the jungle canals that surround it draws visitors year after year to see endangered green turtles nest, as well as three types of monkeys, a variety of water birds, and sloths. You’ll have to fly in, but while you’re visiting Torugero you’ll have access to some of the best Caribbean cuisine and fresh seafood in the country.