Mother Nature has outdone itself when it comes to creating Costa Rica. This Central American country is characterized by luscious rainforests, simmering volcanoes, rapid rivers and vast stretches of soft sandy beaches surrounded by looming palm trees. Perched just north of the equator, Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse destination on the globe.
Kick-start the trip by heading over to the capital - San Jose. Some of its must-see attractions is the Teatro Nacional, the Legislative Assembly and the Catedral Metropolitana. It is a delight for architectural fiends. Those who are interested in museums ought to visit the National Museum and the Museum of Pre-Columbian Gold. Take a trip to Santa Elena which can be used as a base to explore the magnificent Monteverse Cloud Forest. Some of the activities that can be undertaken there are: canopy walking through the cloud forest on a series of rope bridges and platforms high above the ground. Try to catch a glimpse of wild-life for it is home to over 3000 species of animals and plants.
Do take a trip to the Arenal Volcano National Park for the imposing Arenal used to be one of the most active volcanoes in Costa Rica. Do drop by at the La Fortuna - a small town next to the base of the volcano. One can also check out the gorgeous Hot Springs, a heavenly paradise where folks can rejuvenate and detox. Speaking of relaxation, stop over at Tamarindo for its beautiful beaches with translucent emerald waters and balmy weather make for a striking location.
Head over to the isolated and secluded Osa Peninsula to Drake Bay. It is said to be the ideal location for whale watching, with the longest humpback whale season in the planet. From August through to March, humpback whales are seen migrating from both the north and south via Drake Bay, along with bottlenose and spotted dolphins. Spend some time at Tortuguero National Park for it is one of the perfect locations to go turtle spotting, with the eggs being laid from March to October, and hatchlings emerging till November.
If you're a coffee connoisseur, then do visit the various coffee plantations in the country. One of Costa Rica's main exports is coffee and do go on a guided tour of the fields and processing factories. Heredia is one of the most significant coffee regions, with local plantations showcasing visitors how their beans are picked and roasted. Those who are interested in adventurous activities can visit Puerto Viejo for it offers everything from world-class surfing, snorkeling and diving to mountain biking and horseback riding.
When it comes to shopping, be on the look-out for items such as wood and leather rocking chairs, carved masks, ceramics, gold pre-Columbian replica jewellery and leather handicrafts. As for cuisine, do sample some of the delicious delicacies such as Sopa negra - Black bean soup with a poached egg in it or Picadillo- Meat and vegetable stew.
The stay options in Costa Rica are abundant with the best luxury accommodations, cheap guest houses and budget hotel apartments are available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their requirements and taste.
Costa Rica experiences tropical climate year round. The best time to visit would be from December to May during the dry season and the temperatures are relatively pleasant.