Collected by Ann Shields , AFAR Staff
Villa Nueva, Quepos, 2 km de la escuela, Provincia de Puntarenas, Naranjito, Costa Rica
Villa Vanilla is a spice plantation where farmers grow allspice, black pepper, cacao, Ceylon cinnamon, turmeric and, of course, vanilla. Visitors end a tour of the grounds with a stop in the gift shop, where spices can be bought for giving (or...
Av. Pastor Díaz, Provincia de Puntarenas, Jacó, Costa Rica
When traveling, it's hard to resist the temptation to purchase beautiful, locally made crafts. Enter Tico Pod Art House & Gifts, which has both traditional and contemporary objects fashioned by Costa Rican artisans. Whether you want a "Pura Vida"–...
Av Principal de Ojochal, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica
The menu at Exotica, designed by the French-Canadian owners and influenced by French and Vietnamese cuisine, offers flavors and dishes that aren't typical on other Costa Rican tables, including pho. Getting to the small thatched-roof restaurant,...
Pueblo del Rio, Main Street Dominical, Off main highway entrance, Provincia de Puntarenas, Dominical, 60504, Costa Rica
A favorite hangout for expats, this café located in a thatched palapa on the bank of the Barú River serves locally grown coffee, along with tea, kombucha, cold-pressed juices and craft beer. There's also a vegetarian menu that features specialties...
320, Provincia de Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Manicured gardens lush with the colorful flora that define the tropics are the obvious attractions that draw visitors to Pura Vida Gardens. Among the most beloved species here are orchids, which are abundant in this Central American country. Once...
Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Birders won't want to miss Carara National Park, a critical habitat for Costa Rican birds, including the gorgeously plumed scarlet macaw that's spotted here frequently. The park is a transition zone, marking a boundary between the tropical rain...