The dense cloud forest around Monteverde is home to over 400 bird species, including the famous resplendent quetzal and many mammals such as Baird's tapir, coatimundis, jaguars and ocelots.
Costa Rica offers a great range of activities from guided walks, snorkelling and boat excursions for the relaxed traveller, to whitewater rafting, zip-lining, mountain biking and horse-riding for the thrill-seekers out there.
The wildlife in Costa Rica is both vibrant and diverse, from large morpho butterflies, colourful toucans and quetzals, to noisy howler monkeys and bright green basilisk lizards. Explore's trained guides will help you observe some of the most interesting birdlife, animals and insects, including the huge leatherback turtles that nest on the coast. Be sure to check inside the small well of rainwater which gathers in the bromeliads as there may be a small ‘blue jeans’ frog hiding.
Eco-tourism at its best
Costa Rica is on the road to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral country, with the majority of their energy coming from sustainable resources. Hotels are rewarded for their green business practices, so as a guest you’ll be contributing to the preservation of the country’s eco-system.
Costa Rica has over 100 volcanoes, including the easily accessible Poas Volcano, near San Jose. With its classic conical shape, Arenal Volcano is a must-see; currently in a resting phase, until 2010 it was one of the Costa Rica’s most active volcanoes. Head to the Guanacaste region for Rincon de la Vieja volcano and surrounding areas, renowned for its cattle ranches and cowboys.
Corcovado National Park
Covering a larger area and receiving fewer visitors than some of the country’s other national parks, Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica is wild and untamed, where virgin rainforest spills on to deserted beaches – paradise!
After all those activities and wildlife watching trips, you’ll be ready to make the most of the country’s beautiful beaches. Check out Puerto Viejo for its distinctly Caribbean vibe or Mal Pais on the Nicoya Peninsula for pure relaxation. Just a few hours south of San Jose is Manuel Antonio or further south combine the Osa Peninsula beaches with the incredibly remote Corcovado National Park.
Meet Hannah Cuss, Tailormade Product Executive
"I loved the range of landscapes found in Costa Rica – rugged beaches, towering volcanoes, mysterious cloud forests, overgrown rainforests, canal networks - a lot more variety than I was expecting. My highlights include a canopy walkway in Selvatura in the cloud forest and waking up to the noise of howler monkeys. But my favourite memory was seeing a green turtle nesting on the beach in Tortuguero. She covered her eggs with sand then headed off out to sea. The greeting 'Pura Vida', or 'pure life' cannot better describe the environment and way of life in Costa Rica, where responsible tourism is second nature for guides and hoteliers."