Costa Rica is a land steeped in myths and legends, all of which live side by side. A good example is the brujas (witches) which are found in the rich suburb of San José along with the place Escazú which is famous for witchcraft. All these rituals and myths live alongside a thriving and flourishing natural kingdom filled with hundreds of species of animals, verdant landscapes and rushing rivers. If you are thinking of vacationing in here then there are some beautiful Costa Rica vacation rentals where you can relax and stay during your holidays.
Participating in the annual Carrera de Campo Traviesa Al Cerro Chirripó (a race to the top of Costa Rica’s highest mountain) or perhaps enjoying Guaro, moonshine rum made of distilled sugar cane, there are loads to do in Costa Rica. Let’s find out some more:
- Tamarindo Estuary Kayaking Tour, Guanacaste: Coming to Costa Rica and missing out on kayaking will be a loss. In this tour, a professional naturalist will be there who will guide you through the unique estuary ecosystem as well as point out the wildlife and highlights of the area. You can carry out the tour in single or double kayaks.
- Osa Peninsula: This is the south-westernmost point of Costa Rica which also doubles as one of the largest remaining areas of tropical rainforest in Central America. Home to hundreds of species, many of which are endangered; this place is thus the perfect place for explorers because of the wide untouched rainforests and jungles. The mangrove highlights of the region are the Sierpe River Mouth of the Sierpe-Terraba Mangrove Reserve, The Diquis Delta near Drake Bay and the Golfo Dulce. You can opt for boat transportation to check out the varied ecosystem as well as indulge in some wildlife watching. Bird lovers, in particular, should check out the Osa Peninsula since it is one of the richest and most diverse tropical zones in the world.
- Las Baulas National Marine Park: Named after the leatherback turtle (baulas) which strives to protect as well as showcase, it is situated along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica. Encompassing the Tamarindo/Playa Grande Beach where those turtles come up to lay their eggs and have been doing so for thousands of years. Here you can opt for a Turtle Night Tour with the hope that you might have bought luck along with your luggage so as to see those enormous sea creatures come ashore, or if you are really lucky, you might be able to see the little turtles making a perilous journey back to the ocean. Apart from the turtle watching, you can also indulge in swimming, surfing, and kayaking here.
- Museo de Jade: This archaeological museum is located just a few blocks west of La Sabana Park in the heart of San Jose. Here you will be able to witness an impressive collection of Jade artifacts and Jewelry. Apart from the Jade collection, you will also be able to see various decorative artifacts dating back from 500BC to 800AD. If you plan to visit this museum then bring a couple of hours of free time along with you to see most of the collection. Also remember that while entrance is free, admission is possible by appointment only.
- Tortuguero National Park: Get ready to experience an intricate maze of mangrove waterways which creates a completely unique pattern of jungle undergrowth. These are perfect for kayaking and boat adventures. Known as the Amazon of Costa Rica, Tortuguero National Park is known for the sea turtles which swim ashore to lay their eggs from March to mid-October. As before, a professional naturalist will be with you on a comfortable boat fitted with a quiet motor and who will point out all the exotic fauna and flora of the area to you. You might be able to spot anteaters, howler monkeys, jaguars, sloths and over 350 of the bird species which call this region their home.
- Damas Island Estuary Kayaking, Manuel Antonio: Here you can kayak through the tangled maze of mangroves and narrow channels while being on the lookout for pumas and monkeys. Apart from animals, water and wading birds also congregate in flocks here, the numbers of which can reach into the thousands.
- Golfo Dulce Sea & Mangrove: Located on the Osa Peninsula, the Golfo Dulce is home to sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and a multitude of other marine creatures. Its clear shimmering waters are truly a sight unto itself.
- Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge: Considered to be the spot for snorkeling and diving on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica, the Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge consists of little bays, inlets, islands and, of course, coral reefs which form the perfect concoction to attract marine life. Expect to see sea turtles (from March to July), crocodiles, manatees, dolphins and many more.
- Lake Arenal Kayaking, Arenal Volcano: Another great kayaking option is on Lake Arenal which is Costa Rica’s largest lake that also gives a great view of the Arenal Volcano. The waters in here are calm and are great for beginner kayakers.
- Cahuita National Park: Located on the Southern Caribbean Coast, the Cahuita National Park has one of the largest living coral reefs with over 35 species of coral. Around 5.6-mile long trail along the shoreline, you can opt for trekking about 2.35 miles till you reach Punta Cahuita, one of the best snorkeling spots in the park. Make sure you count in the rain if you are making plans to visit or perhaps you can change up your plans and come during the drier months of September and October. As a bonus, these months are also when the colorful reggae-style festival of Carnival will take place.
Overall, Costa Rica is a land of natural treasures and if you love living and exploring the outdoors then this is the place for you. Hop on a plane and get lost in a land far away from known civilization.