Nicholas DeRenzo
Dec 2020
Credit: Alamy

Go surfing at Playa Grande

Known for its reliable and consistent waves, this beach on the northern bend of the Nicoya Peninsula is a favorite among surfers, who crowd its shores by day. At night, they’re replaced by leatherback turtles, which come back to nest here between October and February.

Credit: Alamy

Soak in the Tabacón hot springs

Owing to its location in the shadow of Arenal volcano, this private reserve is fed by thousands of gallons of thermal mineral water every minute. Pools and terraced waterfalls are built directly into the river, making for a spa-like experience right in the middle of the rainforest.

Courtesy Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Stroll through the treetops at Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Get a monkey’s-eye view of the jungle flanking Arenal volcano at this adventure park, which features 16 hanging bridges (ranging up to 368 feet long and 148 feet high), as well as a hummingbird garden, a waterfall and a horseback riding trail.

Credit: Alamy

Go whale watching in Marina Ballena National Park

Because the Pacific waters off Costa Rica attract humpback whales from both the north and the south, you have double the chance to spot these playful, musical creatures, which can be seen in these parts from July all the way through April.

Credit: R. Richardson

Take it slow at the Sloth Sanctuary

Located south of Limón on the Caribbean coast, this facility is the world’s first sloth-only rescue center for injured, orphaned or abandoned sloths. After visiting with the slow-moving residents, take a canoe ride through their natural jungle habitat.

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