Best cities to stay in Costa Rica
Puntarenas is great for a surfer’s, snorkeler’s or diver’s vacation. This scenic location offers some of the finest dining cuisine along with a plenty of water based sports including kayaking and sports fishing. Beyond that, there are spectacular tours and excursions to fascinating sites such as Tortuga Island and a series of waterfalls on the Waterfall Canopy. What better way to release tension and stress than hiking along a fantastic array of diverse flora and fauna as well as stunning biodiversity? Whether it’s simply strolling along the picturesque nature trails or surfing along one of the Nicoya Peninsula's top rated beaches, visitors can break a sweat however they'd like in Puntarenas.
One of Puntarenas’s prime destinations is Jaco. Located in the North, Jaco is a bit more upbeat hub for exciting nightlife. This excellent location is known for several international surfing championships and boasts some of the best waves in the region. Carara Biological Reserve is another prized destination. A treat for nature and animal lovers, the Carara is a wildlife reserve especially known for its extensive population of native birds. Then there is the City of Puntarenas, a bustling seaport that offers colorful nightlife as well as exciting festivals and celebrations that you will be lucky to pounce upon.
La Fortuna de San Carlos
La Fortuna is a small rural city located in San Carlos and is most famous for its nearby Arenal Volcano which stands at 1,633 m and has experienced several volcano eruptions over the period of 1968 to 2011. As such, it is noted as being Costa Rica's most active volcano. While La Fortuna has become quite a bustling little town, there are plenty of accommodations, hotels and resorts here to suit every budget. Many rooms here offer some of the best views of the Arenal. Visitors often witness small eruptions during the day and fireworks of bright red rocks tumbling down the volcano’s sides during the night.
Beyond the Arenal routinely gushing with lava and ash, there are several other awe aspiring geographical wonders that will amuse the adventurous traveller. Catarata de La Fortuna is a slender waterfall pouring from a dizzying height of 70 meters and is indeed well suited to picture perfect moments. Then there is the Tabacon Hot Springs that offers the perfect combination of temperature and mineral content, fit for a relaxing evening or a regulating spa treatment amidst stunning lush flora. In addition, there are several activities on offer hat take place on the outskirts of the city, such as water rafting, hiking excursions, horseback riding, kayaking, canoeing and canopy tours. These and other attractions provide an amazing retreat into Costa Rica’s natural features and a blissful experience that only a tropical paradise could provide.
Guanacaste's hot, dry climate makes the region a popular escape for those enduring the cold winter months in the north. Guanacaste has gained a name for its awe inspiring geographical features including a pristine shoreline, beautiful mountain ranges and a number of volcanoes. With such grand sites, visitors to the region often indulge in volcano hike as well as exploring refreshing waterfalls and other natural attractions.
There are several opportunities for outdoor recreation here, including the diverse and exotic with unparalleled wildlife that owns the amazing landscape. For travelers looking to experience wildlife in the natural habitat, Guanacaste is the place to do it.
This bustling port-city is home to extravagant open-air markets that buzz with commerce and fascinating architecture. According to The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012, San José is the sixth most important destination in Latin America. That’s quite a designation for a low key city.
San Jose province is small, but this region is the most populated in Costa Rica with more than a million people. San José hosts the bustling port-city and capital of the same name. It’s not the most beautiful of cities, but it’s a fantastic place for those who like the urban life.
The great advantage with this option is that as the capital, staying here allows you to get to wherever you need with little to no hassle. This includes plenty of shopping centers, bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels, museums and colorful markets. Furthermore, if you are looking for somewhere that’s a bit a more quiet and serene, then consider La Sabana, Rohrmoser, San Pedro or San Antonio de Belen. These suburban areas are located just about approximately 30 minutes from downtown and offer tourists a more tranquil setting.
San Jose is a city of rich European colonial past and an indigenous heritage. This can be seen in the city’s old colonial buildings, railroads, bridges, theatres, museums and houses in the city center. Historically appreciative visitors take their time poking around the more historic neighborhoods, where most old colonial mansions have been converted into contemporary art galleries, gift shops, international restaurants and boutique hotels.
Read more about where to stay in San José.
Limón Province spans far south in an arc from Nicaragua to Panamá and is considered to be one of the most pristine and lush regions of Costa Rica. In many ways, a trip to visit Limon alone is a good enough reason to visit Costa Rica. Spanning a wide landscape and including some of the country's most popular tourist attractions, Limon offers plenty to do and see.
In particular, Limon is the country's most geographically diverse region and features everything from swampy mangrove wetlands to savannah plains. As such, tours featuring sights of the region’s scenic landscapes is a particularly popular activity. One tempting experience is the Aerial Tram ride at Rain Forest. This offers the chance to see a one thousand-acre nature reserve from hundreds of feet above the ground. The best part is, unlike the adrenaline pumping ride with helicopters, the Aerial Tram rides travel silently and slowly, so guests can see all there is to witness at a timely pace. It’s truly a unique experience from the towering treetops.
Apart from air, land and sea tours, Limon also allows for the exploration of untouched prehistoric rainforests. This is especially great for those who like adventure and or the muses of natural history. Boat rides are particularly popular here. With these tours, visitors get a chance to sail by the region's rich flora and fauna stretching from Moin to the Colorado River near.