"It's Tico time!" Costa Rica by mad4travel

Costa Rica Travel Guide: 5,963 reviews and 13,931 photos

The Switzerland of Central America

Costa Rica has been likened to the Switzerland of Central America. Compared to its troublesome neighbours it has benefitted greatly from having a stable democracy, no army and money used for heath and Education.
Because of that however, it is a bit of a sanitised version of what you get to know and love in say, Guatamala or Nicuaragua.

But, it is a fantastic place. having the foresight to preserve its best asset the countryside and therefore the wildlife.

The countryside is varied and very pretty, flowers grow along the roadside which makes it colourful and the scenery is very varied, from the low lying Caribbean coast with its canals and black sandy beaches t o the misty hills and coffee plantations, to the highlands and volcanoes and the gorgeous white pacific beaches its all fantastic.

Jungle Critters

Of course, with the scenery comes the wildlife. After a stint in the Peruvian Amazon I was apprehensive that I would barely see any animals, but how wrong I was.

Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast was a fantastic trek by boat where you could creep up on the wildlife and get really close.

Monteverde Rainforest was magical and again full of animals

and the most beautiful - Manuel Antonio, on the coast with azure coloured sea and white sandy beaches and very cheeky monkeys!

See my tips for more critter pics and stories....

Lots to do

They pack a lot in for such a small country. Theres a lot to do.

San Jose the capital is not that great, it does not have any real stunning architecture as some other central american cities but it does have a good museum thats worth a look.

Tortuguero national park has lots of jungle treks, boat trips and Turtle watching.

Monteverde has forest walks, canopy bridge walks above the trees, zip lines over the forest and a host of animal related places like a butterfly sanctuary and frog centre.

Arenal has walks around a grumbling (and often erupting volcano)

Manuel Antonio National Park has forest walks, white sandy beaches, good restaurants and is a great place to chill out.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great Scenery and Wildlife
  • Cons:Quite Americanised
  • In a nutshell:More than just tree frogs and sloths!
  • Last visit to Costa Rica: Mar 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

Comments (5)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2008 at 5:18 AM

    Great wildlife photos - I loved the purple hummingbird (my favourite colour!), golden viper & tree-frog. Also wonderful crater shot. Costa Rica is definitely on my wish-list :)

  • Turtleshell's Profile Photo
    Sep 3, 2007 at 12:16 PM

    The picture of this unique cloud both fascinated and scared me.

  • vtveen's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2006 at 5:40 AM

    What a wonderful picture of the crater. Reminds me of White Island in New Zealand.

  • penumbra's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2006 at 7:36 PM

    Wonderful luck to be near the volcano when it erupted.

  • Helga67's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2006 at 1:20 PM

    Excellent tips and nice pics. It brings back nice memories. I visited the same place one year earlier.


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