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Costa Rica

12 expert recommended attractions

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Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Costa Rica 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Although the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio covers a mere 16km2, it abounds with diverse natural landscapes and species. You might spot toucans, macaws or sloths in amid the islands,... — Michelin Guide

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is the country's smallest (just 19.83 sq km) and most popular national park. A clearly marked trail system winds through rainforest-backed white-sand... — Lonely Planet

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Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal

Costa Rica 96 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In the heart of the Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal, not far from picturesque La Fortuna, stands the splendid Arenal (1 650m), a volcano whose shape calls to mind a Japanese print. Admire... — Michelin Guide

From 1968 until 2010, Volcán Arenal was an ever-active and awe-striking natural wonder, producing menacing ash columns, massive explosions and streams of glowing molten rock almost daily.... — Lonely Planet

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Parque Nacional Marino Ballena

Costa Rica 94 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This stunner of a marine park, with a wide beach shaped like a whale's tail, protects coral and rock reefs surrounding several offshore islands. The lack of tourist crowds means that you... — Lonely Planet

The warm waters of the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena are inhabited by humpback whales, which breed here every year between December and April (Islas Ballenas). The sea also teems with... — Michelin Guide

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Hacienda Baru

Costa Rica 92 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Consisting of pristine beaches, riverbanks, mangrove estuaries, wetlands, primary and secondary forests, tree plantations and pastures. — Lonely Planet

This wildly family-friendly, comfortable eco-lodge makes a great base for exploring vast tracts of surrounding forest, both primary and secondary, plus mangroves, and a beach with nesting turtles — Fodor's

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Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia

Costa Rica 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This small, 28-sq-km reserve encompasses most of the steep hills surrounding Golfito, though it's easy to miss. There are no facilities for visitors, save some poorly maintained trails.... — Lonely Planet

The Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Ostional is one of very few nesting grounds of the Olive Ridley sea turtle. Only a couple of sites in the world play host to the arribadas. Time... — Michelin Guide

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Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja

Costa Rica 91 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja (over 14 000ha) is most renowned for its grandiose volcanic area, Las Pailas, with its abundance of fumaroles, geysers, sulphur springs and craters,... — Michelin Guide

Given its proximity to Liberia – really just a hop, skip and a few bumps away – this 141-sq-km national park feels refreshingly uncrowded and remote. — Lonely Planet

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Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo

Costa Rica 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Enter this under-explored national park and you will have an idea of what Costa Rica looked like prior to the 1950s, when 75% of the country’s surface area was still covered in forest. It... — Lonely Planet

Stretching over 480km2, the Parque Nacional Braulio Carrillo is one of Costa Rica's vastest, most diverse and most fascinating parks: it comprises five different forest biotopes, with an... — Michelin Guide

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Playa Grande Surf Camp and Surf School

Costa Rica 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Like neighbouring Tamarindo, Playa Grande, located to the north of the Nicoya Peninsula, attracts experienced surfers. It is also a nesting ground for leatherback sea turtles. They gather... — Michelin Guide

About 7km north of town, Playa Grande is the best surf beach in the area. It's a 3km-plus stretch of waves and sand, which never gets too crowded as it requires a 30-minute hike to get... — Lonely Planet

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Parque Nacional Carara

Costa Rica 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Marking the transition from rainforest to tropical dry forest, the Parque Nacional Carara has an astonishingly diverse range of habitats and wildlife. While the king of the forest is... — Michelin Guide

Straddling the transition between the dry forests of Costa Rica’s northwest and the sodden rainforests of the southern Pacific lowlands, this national park is a biological melting pot of... — Lonely Planet

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Las Baulas National Marine Park

Costa Rica 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Las Baulas national marine park encompasses the entire beach at Playa Grande, as well as the adjacent land and 220 sq km of ocean — Lonely Planet

Marino Las Baulas National Park is a protected area compising Playa Grande, Ventana and Langosta — Afar Magazine

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Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica

Costa Rica 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

About 10km northwest of Cahuita, bordering the Río Estrella, the Arroyo family runs this private 88-hectare wildlife sanctuary dedicated to caring for injured and orphaned sloths. — Lonely Planet

Sloth rehabilitation center in the jungle of Costa Rica.  — Atlas Obscura

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Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls

Costa Rica 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Manicured gardens lush with the colorful flora that define the tropics are the obvious attractions that draw visitors to Pura Vida Gardens — Afar Magazine

This private botanical garden offers great vistas of Manantial de Agua Viva cascading down the side of a cliff, and there are some pleasant hiking trails where you might see nesting toucans. — Lonely Planet

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