15 best sights Costa rica

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

The Republic of Costa Rica is located between Nicaragua and Panama, its the southern and western shores are washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and the eastern – the Caribbean. The state covers an area of ​​just over 50 thousand square kilometers. With such a modest size, Costa Rica boasts a level high enough for a given region life, in this indicator it is in second place after Panama. The name of the country translates from Spanish as “rich coast, “and in many ways this is consistent reality. It has a rich culture and history, but its most important asset is the fantastic diversity of nature. Dense rainforests cover two-thirds of the territory of Costa Rica, in they grow a huge number of rare trees and are found hundreds of thousands of species of animals, birds, and insects. Here you can see formidable caimans, huge sea turtles, miniature hummingbirds, exotic butterflies. Residents are rightfully proud of their wildlife protection program, in total there are about 25 national parks and reserves.

Costa Rica is very attractive in terms of tourism, for the year from one to three million tourists visit it. Besides magnificence of untouched nature, the state has a developed hotel and entertainment infrastructure. Guests who decided spend a vacation here, waiting for about three hundred sandy beaches, a large number of water sports and, of course, extensive excursion program. The country reigns almost all year round mild climate with an average temperature of 23-26 degrees. An important role is played by the low crime rate – it is one of the safest Latin American countries. IN Costa Rica has a ton of attractions, both natural and man-made. We invite you to find out about the most interesting of them.

Top Costa Rica Attractions

Nomination a place Sight rating
Top Costa Rica Attractions 1 Manuel Antonio National Park 5.0
2 Venado Caves 4.9
3 Arenal Volcano 4.8
4 Museum of gold 4.7
5 Hot Springs 4.7
6 Tamarindo 4.7
7 BayDrake 4.6
8 Las Baulas National Park 4.5
9 Cathedral of San Jose 4.4
10 Coconut Island 4.4
11 La Fortuna Waterfall 4.4
12 Tortuga Island 4.3
13 Costa Rica Stone Balls 4.2
14 Monteverde National Park 4.2
15 Guayabo 4.1

Manuel Antonio National Park

Attraction Rating: 5.0

National Park Manuel Antonio

The park is 132 kilometers from the capital, near the Pacific the country’s coast, the territory it occupies is slightly larger 16 square kilometers. Although this is the smallest of all national parks of Costa Rica, every year it is visited by up to 150 thousand people. The main reason is the amazing biological the diversity that can be observed here. Manuel Antonio serves home to over a hundred species of mammals and nearly two hundred species birds. Walking through the park, you can meet howler monkeys, tenon-tailed iguanas, white-skinned coatis and other unusual animals. IN coastal waters often swim dolphins and even whales seasonal migrations.

Guests are invited to contemplate nature on foot, by a kind of cable car running between the crowns of trees, or from suspension bridges laid at breakneck heights. IN the park has four sandy beaches, water activities represented by surfing, boat trips or catamarans, sport fishing. Interesting fact – Manuel Antonio is open to visits only until 4 p.m., as the tide floods let them go, but at night they often swim here crocodiles.

Venado Caves

Attraction Rating: 4.9

Venado Caves

Venado caves exist from the Miocene period, their age totals approximately twenty million years. Significant part of this time they were hidden under water, but thanks to tectonic activity were on the surface. Even now in the rainy season the caves are sometimes partially flooded, and the rest of the time a shallow, winding river flows. Once here they tried to settle down locals, but constant humidity forced them over time leave these underground shelters. Today, the permanent inhabitants only spiders and a colony of bats remain in the caves.

Underground passages are rich in beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, petrified corals and the remains of marine animals are also found – at every step the underwater past of this place is noticeable. Though tourist excursions in Venado caves are quite frequent, lighting is not provided here and travelers have to use flashlights.

Arenal Volcano

Attraction Rating: 4.8

Arenal Volcano

Due to being in a zone of high volcanic activity Costa Rica is rich in volcanoes, there are 120 in total in the country, 70 of them are still active. The most famous is Arenal, active stratovolcano located in the province Alajuela, 90 kilometers northwest of the capital. The volcano has regular conical shape, its height is 1670 meters above sea ​​level. By geological standards, he is quite young, he about seven thousand years.

According to scientists, the earliest volcanic eruption lasted for 35 years. Since then for arenal have been explosive eruptions that happened once in a hundred or more than years. Since the XVI century, the volcano remained in a dormant state, while in 1968, a large-scale eruption provoked an earthquake. Rapidly moving pyroclastic flows led to the deaths of 90 people, and pouring over a few days lava buried almost 15 square kilometers of the surrounding area. The village was completely destroyed Tabacon, also a disaster, partially affected the city of Pueblo Nuevo. IN our time of major eruptions is not expected, however the volcano constantly active, giving out almost every day small lava flows. Such eruptions look especially impressive in the evening, the top of the mountain seems to be illuminated from the inside. Tourists visiting the surroundings of the volcano are offered as walking walks and the opportunity to admire the Arenal from above balloon

Museum of gold

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Museum

The Pre-Columbian Gold Museum is located in the central part the city of San Jose, near the cathedral. As it should from the name, the exposition is a collection of gold Native American artifacts. Finds previously discovered by archaeologists of gold were stored in the bank, however, due to the constant increase in their The authorities decided to build a special museum. IN the collection presents valuable household items, jewelry articles, objects related to Native American religious rituals and ancient art objects. The total number of exhibits exceeds two thousand units.

Museum visitors are most impressed with the created with incredible detail bird figures, erotic figurines, huge golden shields and human-made sculpture warrior. Some of the artifacts date back to the fifth century BC. era. It is worth noting that the museum has collected only part of the treasures Indians. After the conquest of Central America by the conquistadors a huge amount of looted gold was simply melted into ingots and sent by sea to Europe. But even what’s left provides insights into rich culture and craftsmanship indigenous peoples of Costa Rica. Gold Museum shares room with numismatic collection, where you can see the coins of the state, starting from the 15th century. Interestingly, with tremendous value stored collections, the museum building in the entire history of its existence has never was attacked or attempted robbery.

Hot Springs

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Hot Springs

Costa Rica’s most famous hot springs are located on the resort of Tabacon, 13 kilometers from the city of La Fortuna. Here there are seven large thermal pools and many smaller ones baths, as well as cascades of miniature waterfalls. Bodies of water with hot water surrounded by dense vegetation of a tropical garden, beyond which The staff at the nearby Tabacon Grand Spa are caring. Thermal springs are heated due to volcanic activity, the temperature in them ranges from 40 to 25 degrees. His they owe their existence mainly to the Arenal volcano. Water contains dissolved minerals washed from underground rocks, and magma particles. There is no pungent smell in Tabacon sources hydrogen sulfide, characteristic of many other hot springs.

Tamarindo

Attraction Rating: 4.7

Tamarindo

Tamarindo Village is located in the province of Guanacaste, on peninsula of Nicoya. This is a once modest fishing place. Today, it is very popular among ecotourists and surf lovers. The sandy beaches of Tamarindo have gentle entrances to water, they are ideal for inexperienced swimmers and beginners surfers. There are places with active currents and large waves, and more quiet areas. Extreme people prefer ride a board off the coast of Pico Peceno or near the mouth of the El River Estero. In the winter months, the height of the waves a little further from the coast can reach four meters. Schools are here for beginners surf, there are also various water rental centers equipment.

For those who are not interested in conquering the waves, Tamarindo has a large number of other types of recreation and entertainment. For tourists diving, sport fishing, horse riding, walking tours of the dense and filled with exotic wildlife the jungle that surrounds the coast. Like any place pilgrimage surfers, the resort is famous for its rich nightlife life.

Drake’s Bay

Attraction Rating: 4.6

Bay of Drake

Drake Bay is located on the Osa Peninsula. This is one of the most beautiful, calm and secluded places of Costa Rica, real tropical paradise surrounded by pristine nature. On the coast there are long sandy beaches around the bay, a little distance from them there are small hotels and cozy guest houses. Own the name of this place was in honor of the famous pirate Francis Drake, who was here in the XVI century. Legend has it that he hid somewhere nearby some of his innumerable wealth, stolen from the Spaniards.

Drake Bay is perfect for both beach holidays and for diving – there is a whole network of underwater caves. Territory Gulf includes Corcovado National Park, featuring its biological diversity. The park is inhabited by many rare species of birds and animals, most of which are found only in this part of the world.

Las Baulas National Park

Attraction Rating: 4.5

Las Baulas National Park

Las Baulas is known as one of the largest on the coast. Pacific nesting leatherback turtles. The park is located near the border with Nicaragua, in the province of Guanacaste, its the territory is approximately 220 square kilometers. Earlier sea ​​turtles were found here by the thousands, but because of the wide the popularity of their meat and eggs, animals were almost completely exterminated. Only after the establishment of the National Marine Park and taking leatherback turtles under enhanced protection, their Pacific the population began to recover gradually. Nowadays the number of this species is about two and a half thousand individuals.

Leather turtles go ashore only during the snoozing period eggs, and therefore you can see them from November to April. These are beautiful animals are known for their slowness when traveling by land and huge sizes – some of them can reach two meters long and weigh over 500 kilograms. Tours in the park is conducted exclusively with a guide to minimize the impact of tourists on the ecosystem.

Cathedral of San Jose

Attraction Rating: 4.4

San Jose Cathedral

The Cathedral is one of the main attractions the capital of Costa Rica. It stands in the central part of the city and It is a simple, but at the same time majestic building, combining two styles in its architectural form: neoclassicism and baroque. The cathedral was built in 1860, before that on its place was a small Catholic church. In 1871, the building suffered serious damage after the earthquake, and had to restore again. Another reconstruction took place after 20 years in honor of a visit to the city of San Jose by the Pope.

The entrance of the temple is decorated with numerous columns, internally the space is striking in the richness of colorful stained-glass windows. On the main the altar you can see an old statue of Christ made of tree. The cathedral is open to all comers, it is visited daily a large number of tourists. Religious Mass is held three times in day, in English and Spanish.

Coconut Island

Attraction Rating: 4.4

Coconut

Cocos Island is the largest uninhabited island of the Pacific the ocean. Its area is 24 square kilometers, located It is 600 kilometers west of Costa Rica. Picturesque tropical The island’s landscapes and rich fauna made it attractive to tourists. Despite the inaccessibility (you can only get from Puntarenas port), every year he comes here on an excursion for more 1,100 people. The island’s unique ecosystem is home to many endemic plant and insect species. But the main wealth is hidden under the waters off the coast of Coconut: more three hundred species of fish and about five hundred species of mollusks. Due to the ocean currents, divers regularly meet near islands of rare stingrays, octopuses, Galapagos sharks, dolphins, sea ​​lions and many other inhabitants of the underwater world.

Several legends associated with Cocos Island the subject of treasures allegedly hidden here by pirates. Seekers at least 500 expeditions have been undertaken throughout history but not one was successful. However, a beautiful story about buried on a desert island, the treasure formed the basis of one of the most a popular adventure novel – Treasure Island, written by Scottish writer Robert Lewis Stevenson. Besides, Cocos Island became a prototype for Isla Nubar – the main place events of the book “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton, by which was later filmed a series of blockbusters.

La Fortuna Waterfall

Attraction Rating: 4.4

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Falls is located in the National Park Arenal, near the volcano of the same name. Its waters originate from the Tenorio River and break off the cliff, from a height of 75 meters, falling into beautiful emerald lake. The waterfall is surrounded by thickets of tropical trees and plants, as well as large boulders. At the very top equipped with an observation deck from which visitors given the opportunity to admire the waterfall and its neighborhood. Also, many tourists do not miss the chance to swim in a crystal clear, cool lake at the foot of La Fortuna.

Tortuga Island

Attraction Rating: 4.3

Tortuga Island

An island owned by Costa Rica located in the Caribbean it covers an area of ​​180 square kilometers. Although there are no hotels on it and developed infrastructure, Tortuga still attracts a lot number of tourists. One of the main reasons lies in its past. In the sixteenth century the island for many years served as a refuge for Spanish buccaneers to this day among locals walks many legends associated with the pirates of the island. Also Tortuga Great for a beach holiday.

The waters near the island are a real paradise for divers. In the water depths you can see dolphins, moray eels, octopuses and giant sea turtles. And on the seabed near Tortuga resting a few sunken ships. For those who want to admire on the beauty of the underwater world without scuba, an excursion to boat with a transparent bottom.

Costa Rica Stone Balls

Attraction Rating: 4.2

Costa Rica's Stone Balls

Stone balls – one of the most unusual and mysterious sights of Costa Rica. Initially, these areas were discovered at the beginning of the XX century when clearing the area under banana plantations. Believing the legends of the locals as if inside the balls gold is hidden, workers split them into pieces or blew them up dynamite. In the end, the efforts of local authorities managed to put an end to similar acts of vandalism.

You can see stone balls in several places on the island Canyo, Nikoya Peninsula, or near the mouth of the Dikvis River. Several Spheres are kept in museums, both in Costa Rica and beyond. Them the size varies widely: from a few centimeters to two meters in diameter, the weight of the largest reaches 16 tons. Scientists exploring mysterious balls could not come to a single opinion neither regarding their age, nor about their origin. The theory that such spheres could appear naturally in the result of natural forces seems unlikely. FROM on the other hand, for their creation to natives who lived thousands of years ago, not only special tools would be needed, but also extensive knowledge in the field of stone processing. Not without theories, associated with the disappeared highly developed civilizations. In any In this case, the mystery of stone balls people have yet to solve.

Monteverde National Park

Attraction Rating: 4.2

Monteverde National Park

More than a hundred species inhabit the forests of Monteverde Park mammals, about 400 species of birds, thousands of species of insects and grows to 2500 plant species. This biological reserve attracts a huge number of wildlife lovers. During walks in the park you can admire rare species of orchids, and if lucky, then even meet the symbol of Latin America – Quetzal bird, considered sacred by the Mayans and Aztecs. Quetzal remarkable not only for its bright appearance, but also amazing love of freedom: all attempts to keep her in captivity ended failure, birds quickly die after capture.

Many tourists prefer to explore the beauty of Monteverde with heights. For this, suspension bridges were laid in the park, as well Canopy tours are available. The latter are displacement on metal cables stretched up to 40 meters above ground, with the help of safety equipment.

Guayabo

Attraction Rating: 4.1

Guayabo

The most important archaeological site of Costa Rica is located on the south the slope of the volcano Turrialba. Lost Native American settlement was built more than two thousand years ago, and in 800 AD served as a major political and cultural center of the tribe. In a period of prosperity, the population of Guayabo reached 20 thousands of people. For an unknown reason, residents left the city in beginning of the 15th century.

Archaeological excavations revealed a developed urban infrastructure, including stone-paved streets, houses with stone walls, petroglyphs, artifacts with unique writing, as well as cult sculptures depicting a jaguar god and an alligator god. Of particular interest is the aqueduct system, which has retained performance to this day. It was found and a lot precious metal products, they can be seen in the National Museum of San Jose.


Attention! This rating is subjective, is not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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