Best of Costa Rica 2020 – 2021 Travel

Best time to visit
August, September, October

Costa Rica is an excellent choice for safe travel in 2020.

Epic landscapes provide solitude and keep you away from crowded places. Extraordinary moments include turtles, volcanoes, cloud forests and beaches. Very few people are currently traveling and even famous destinations like Arenal are quiet.

On 1st August Costa Rica reopened to visitors from Europe and Canada. To enter the country you need a negative PCR test from within 48 hours of your arrival.

This experience is an example of what you can do safely in Costa Rica, a journey that incorporates iconic highlights and the local ideal of pura vida (pure life).

Day 1 - San Jose

Only a couple of airlines have restarted their routes to Costa Rica and these are in and out of capital city San Jose.

San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose City Culture Tour

Costa Rica

Bustling city streets. Global attitude. European-inspired architecture. Arts and culture. San Jose is Costa Rica’s national capital and the largest city in the country. See the best it has to offer.Meet your guide in the lovely Sabana Park, then walk through the historic National Theatre, the city’s cultural heart, before sampling the most impressive museum collections to be found in Central America. Explore the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court, and a number of other institutions that fortify the nation.This is a whirlwind tour of impressive architecture and will leave you with a deep sense of the city’s brilliant soul.

Day 2 - Poas Volcano

Get out into the wilderness and a spa beneath a volcano.

Poas Volcano, Costa Rica

Poás Volcano Day Trip from San Jose

Costa Rica

Poás Volcano is a contender for Costa Rica’s most impressive and active volcano.You will enjoy an interpretive trail that winds upward through cloud forest and delivers you to a breathtaking viewpoint. The stunning vista encompasses a 1.5 kilometer-wide crater and its two crater lakes, one of which is startlingly bright—and one of the most acidic lakes on earth.The 2,708-meter stratovolcano has erupted 40 times in the past 200 years. Even on its calm days, volcanic gases spew from vents, contributing so much sulfur to the air that it’s not recommended to remain at the observation area for more than 20 minutes.

El Silencio Lodge_Spa, Costa Rica.

El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Poas Volcano

Costa Rica

Voted the best resort in Central America, El Silencio Lodge & Spa is an eco-conscious luxury hotel nestled amongst 500 acres of private cloud forest near Poas Volcano.This is more than a hotel—El Silencio is a bundle of the best Costa Rica traditionally has to offer, wrapped in contemporary luxury. Think tumbling falls, candlelit dinners, delicate hummingbirds, blissful silence, and exciting zip-lines. Whatever you need to recharge and revitalize, you’ll find it here.

Day 3 - Tortuguero

Travel privately to the Caribbean coast and some time with the turtles.

Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

Tortuguero Day Trip From San Jose By Private Plane

Costa Rica

Tortuguero is a remote national park on Costa Rica’s less-visited Caribbean coast. Home to jaguars, manatees, and nesting green turtles, it’s a jewel well worth exploring.From San Jose, board a private plane and fly northeast over the forested slopes of Braulio Carrillo National Park. Touch down at an airstrip and set off into Tortuguero’s mysterious wetlands. Keep your eyes out for the park’s elusive animals and enjoy the serenity of calm waters.Afterward, walk the beaches of Tortuguero village and witness the life of locals in this laid-back enclave with a passion for sea turtle conservation.

Sea turtle diggin in the sand to put her eggs on August 2010, in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Experience Tortuguero Turtle Nesting With a Naturalist Guide

Costa Rica

Tortuguero means “Land of the Turtles”—a fitting name for a location regarded as one of the most important on earth for sea turtle nesting.Depending on the time of year, you might see green sea turtles, leatherbacks, hawksbills, or loggerheads struggling up pebbled sand beaches.They come here, on Costa Rica’s north Caribbean coast, to lay their eggs. While the sight of any turtle emerging from the tide is incredible to behold, the green sea turtle is singularly impressive. Tortuguero is one of the 400-pound turtle’s most important nesting grounds.Journey out onto a dusky beach and see one of nature’s great wonders.

Days 4 & 5 - Arenal

Costa Rica's most famous destination is very quiet right now.

Sky Walk, Costa Rica

Arenal Sky Walk

Costa Rica

Connect with nature by wandering the Sky Walk, three kilometers of well-maintained trails high in the rainforest.A private naturalist guide will accompany you to explain and identify species of snake, birds, and even more examples of Costa Rica’s abundant wildlife.Cross several suspension bridges, erected to make this elevated hike possible, and to allow you to look down on the jungle below. Along the way, make use of scenic balconies that provide panoramic views featuring cascading waterfalls, Arenal Volcano and Lake.

Arenal Volcano Hike, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano NP Hike Plus Tabacón Spa and Dinner

Costa Rica

Tour along hiking trails on the northwest side of Arenal while your guide interprets the impressive sights and sounds of this active volcano and its attendant biodiversity.Marvel at lava rock formations. Spot white-faced capuchin monkeys and parrot snakes. Watch the lava-red sun set over the serene waters of Arenal Lake.Afterward, unwind at Tabacon Resort, a serene retreat that features both natural hot and cold pools, unique to the Arenal area.Drink in the surroundings while you bathe in water heated by Arenal’s volcanic heart.End your day with dinner at the Tucanes Restaurant, which serves up tasteful gastronomical experiences in the resort’s impressive rainforest atmosphere.

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Costa Rica

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Costa Rica

Tabacon Resort is a serene retreat that features the largest network of natural springs in the country, with both hot and cold pools.The resort sits on land painstakingly restored from pasture to its natural state, featuring botanical gardens and, of course, the famous pools. Drink in the surroundings while you bathe in water heated by Arenal’s molten heart.Lounge in the restorative Shangri-La Gardens before ending your day with dinner at the Tucanes Restaurant, which serves up tasteful gastronomical experiences in the resort’s impressive rainforest atmosphere.

Days 6 & 7 - Monteverde

Now the cloud forest, where you can so far away from other people.

Rio Celeste Waterfall, Costa Rica

Hiking the Rio Celeste in Tenorio Volcano NP

Costa Rica

Featuring iconic milky turquoise water, several hot springs, and an impressive waterfall, Rio Celeste is among Tenorio Volcano National Park’s main attractions. Your private guide will bring you on a hiking tour, following the river up into the park.Learn how natural aluminum, silicon, and acids combine to give the water its heavenly hue. Pass areas of the river which literally bubble with the output from volcanic hot springs.Your magical hike culminates at the base of the river’s large waterfall. While swimming in the river is prohibited within park boundaries, you can relax after the hike in a nearby hot spring.

Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

Selvatura Canopy Tour in Monteverde

Costa Rica

Monteverde’s cloud forests are world-renowned for their beauty and bounty of life. Most of that life is in the canopy, where the air is heavy and full of vibrant sounds.Take advantage of Selvatura Canopy Tour’s network of zip lines and hanging bridges to get up close and personal with resplendent quetzals, bats, monkeys, and an endless parade of reptiles and amphibians. Enjoy the thrill of soaring through the air along steel cables 300 feet above the forest floor. Fourteen platforms allow for a lengthy zip line journey. Or appreciate the serenity of the cloud forest by strolling along kilometers of elevated walking trails connected by airy suspension bridges.

El Trapiche Experience, Costa Rica, CREDIT

El Trapiche Farm Experience in Monteverde

Costa Rica

Experience Costa Rican culture and connect with real locals through a private tour of a Monteverde family farm.Interact with a local family as your private guide shows you through their farm, which encompasses banana, coffee, and sugarcane plantations, as well as plots of arracacha, macadamia nuts, and oranges.Learn the function of local agricultural tools and the processes involved in growing and harvesting these crops. Watch coffee being made, from peeling beans to roasting them. For the full experience, travel by traditional ox-cart.Throughout the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to sample incredibly fresh crops, including fresh-cut sugarcane.

Days 8 & 9 - Manuel Antonio National Park

End your luxury Costa Rica vacation on the Pacific coast.

Nauyaca waterfall, Costa Rica

Horseback Ride to Nauyaca Waterfall in Manuel Antonio NP

Costa Rica

Nauyaca Waterfalls are a collection of majestic multi-tiered falls near Manuel Antonio National Park. Witness clean mountain water tumbling over 120 feet into deep crystal pools, which positively invite adventurous swimmers.Enjoy the spectacular falls and skip the arduous hike in by traveling on horseback.Tuck into a traditional Tico breakfast at the ranch, meet your horse, and set off with your private guide. Immerse yourself in the region’s impressive rainforest and later in the pools beneath the falls.

Costa Rica Night Jungle Tour

Jungle Night Walk in Manuel Antonio NP

Costa Rica

Exploring the jungle by day only provides access to half of the spectacle.Encounter Costa Rica’s nocturnal wildlife at the Amphibian Aquatic Garden. This refuge houses native species in their natural habitat, providing researchers and visitors with opportunities to study the creatures.See the elusive kinkajou, red-eyed tree frog, glass frog, armadillo, and other animals you’re unlikely to spot in the daytime. Learn about the behaviors and special adaptations that allow them to flourish while the rest of the jungle sleeps.

dolphin having fun out of the water in Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio Dolphin Watching Sailing Tour

Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio is Costa Rica’s smallest national park but also its most beloved. Regularly praised as one of the most beautiful national parks on earth, Manuel Antonio packs an incredible degree of biodiversity into its narrow borders, and that abundance of life does not stop at the shoreline.Board your private sailboat for an unparalleled adventure along the coast and around nearby islands.See marine birds nesting along towering cliffs, sea turtles swimming in crystal-clear waters, and spotted dolphins leaping and playing in the warm surf. Cap the day off with a sampling of appetizers crafted from local ingredients in a secluded bay.

Day 10 - Departure from San Jose

Travel back to San Jose and depart.

This experience was created by
Stephen John
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