Costa Rica is geographically compact - comparable in size to Denmark - but its biodiversity is jaw dropping and the variety of landscapes will take your breath away. This natural paradise is rich with jungles and beaches, volcanoes and rivers, and as it is all so accessible, it’s the perfect destination for a soft, wildlife focused adventure. Here are a few of the highlights you can expect to see:
1 — Rainforests and Cloud Forests
More than half of Costa Rica is covered in forest, and here you will find an uncountable number of species of plants, birds, insects, and animals. Costa Rica only takes up 0.03% of the planet’s surface, but hosts more than 5% of the species in the world. Visit Corcovado National Park on Costa Rica’s remote Osa Peninsula, where you are likely to see endangered animals such as spider monkey, tapir, and tanager. Take a guided walk along a rainforest trail, or enjoy a boat trip along the river to see the forest environment from a different perspective. For spotting jaguar, coati, and anteater, Piedras Blancas National Park is a fantastic choice.
2 — Birdlife
It is really difficult to think of a more impressive place on Earth than Costa Rica for birding: although the country is small, it has more bird species than the US, and Canada combined. 12 of the world’s 18 life zones are here, with a variety of climates, and you can easily spot 150 species of birds in a day. Plan your birding itinerary to incorporate both the Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Arenal Volcano National Park. You will get the most out of your visit if you explore with an expert naturalist. The birding guides at the Monteverde Lodge and Gardens are positively buzzing with passion and knowledge, and their enthusiasm is contagious even if you only have a general interest in birds.
3 — Diving
Now not all the treasures of Costa Rica are on the land: there are remarkable sights beneath the waves, too. If you snorkel or dive, a whole other world opens up to you. There are possibilities off the coast to swim amongst hundreds of hammerhead shark, and to dive deeper and explore the shipwrecks. The marine area around Cano Island attracts many bigger marine animals such as dolphin, manta ray, orca, and humpback whale. The name Costa Rica translates as “Rich Coast” and it definitely lives up to its name.
4 — Beaches
Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, Costa Rica benefits from thousands of kilometres of coastline. This includes some 300 beaches, which vary from secluded coves to surfing hotspots. The entirety of Cocos Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; a wetland of international importance, it is also rated as one of the 10 best scuba diving sites in the world. Journeysmiths offers some gorgeous boutique properties along Costa Rica’s beaches. One of our absolute favourites is Cala Luna, where you can spot exotic wildlife from the terrace of your villa, then wander down past the swimming pool to a quiet cove on the Pacific coast.
Journeysmiths’ destination specialists have a burning passion for Costa Rica and its wildlife, and would be delighted to share it with you. Browse our website for ideas, then call us on 01604 637332 and we’ll create an unforgettable itinerary for you to explore the country and its many natural wonders.