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The Best Things to Do in Costa Rica

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During a first visit to Costa Rica, the nature-watching options alone threaten to overwhelm. But there's no reason to worry because you really can't go wrong when it comes to spending time in nature in the country. Watch for animals in the Monteverde Cloud Forest or choose any of, well, loads of wildlife refuges. Head out on hiking trails around La Fortuna or just plunk yourself down on some white sand beaches and ... ahhhh. Of course, there's more to the country than nature outings. Enjoy a wide variety of museums in San Jose.
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36, Limón Province, Costa Rica
Even if you don't consider yourself an animal person, it's hard to resist the odd charm of the sloth, one of the most easily spotted mammals in Costa Rica. Easiest of all, though, is spotting them at this Cahuita sanctuary dedicated to their care....
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Cartago Province, Turrialba, Costa Rica
It was the first volcano i have seen in my life. This was awesome to experience and it felt amazing to see the beauty of Costa Rica. It reminds me of the tall buildings back in Chicago, but the volcano was way taller. It looked like it was active...
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Cartago Province, Turrialba, Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s largest archaeological find was uncovered in the late 1800s as laborers cleared land to plant coffee. The 540-acre site, believed to have once been home to 10,000 people, was abandoned before the Spaniards arrived. Its ancient...
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700 meter west of national park Tenorio, Alajuela Province, Rio Celeste, 21502, Costa Rica
Nature has blessed Costa Rica in its gorgeous landscapes, fertile fields, and a thousand other bucolic miracles. Río Celeste, for example, is like no other river in the world. This stream gets its sky-blue color from...
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Alajuela Province, Alajuela, Costa Rica
At this dairy outside Fraijanes, a one-of-a-kind bilingual tour opens a window onto local farming. The two-hour experience flies by, taking visitors from the milking stations all the way through the process that transforms milk...
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Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, Costa Rica
Early morning smoke from the active volcano
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The cultivation and export of coffee have shaped Costa Rica’s economy since the 19th century, when the world began to crave the country’s coffee varieties and their unique aromas, textures, and tastes. At the Vargas...
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Costa Rica, like most of the rest of Central America, is volcanically endowed. Climbing up to the summit of one seems to be on everyone's list--who doesn't want to stare into a steaming crater? Do this easily near San José. The Volcán Poás...
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Fraijanes, Provincia de Alajuela, Alajuela, Costa Rica
This enchanting corner of Costa Rica, blessed with a superb climate, provides visitors with a chance to experience an ideal rural setting. If you’d like some action with your relaxation, you’re well positioned to hit...
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Heredia Province, San Rafael, Costa Rica
Famed as one of Heredia Province’s hidden jewels, San Rafael is a sleepy rural town that mixes luxury real estate and old-style farms with a host of other contemporary delights. Surrounded by verdant highlands and cypress trees, it is known...
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La Paz Waterfall, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica
Anyone who has the opportunity to visit Costa Rica -- great, do it! We hiked the waterfalls in Alejuela. Once you come back down, then the drive up to Arenal is well worth it. This one of Costa Rica's volcanoes is still active. On the drive up you...
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Watching the surfers as the sun sets on Playa Jaco.
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Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Monteverde sits high atop Costa Rica’s continental divide offering a lush rainforest for adventurers’ to explore. Take a stroll through the magical cloud rainforest at the Cloud Forest Reserve. The wildlife starts at the entrance,...
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Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Wetlands everywhere are at risk due to global warming, and the private wildlife refuge known as El Viejo Wetlands was created to protect some of these ecosystems. Among the thrilling sights you’ll see on a boat tour of the refuge that...
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Guanacaste’s beaches are well worth exploring. The pink-sand shoreline of Playa Conchal, for example, is blanketed with almost three million tiny shells. Playa Flamingo is home to Costa Rica’s most extensive marina; hotels there offer...
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Cuesta de Moras, San José, Costa Rica
The walls of the National Museum still bear the scars of cannonballs. The museum, formerly the Bellavista barracks, was where prisoners were jailed, in cells that can be visited by those interested in how prisons and dungeons...