With the winter quickly approaching, many people are looking to escape the cold. There are a number of tropical paradises where one can travel to do this, but Costa Rica is one of the best. In fact, U.S News ranks Costa Rica the number 1 winter vacation spot. If you want to enjoy warm weather, beautiful beaches and amazing wildlife, you’ll want to head to Costa Rica this winter. Here are a few of the best attractions in Costa Rica:
With its stunning beach-centric towns and dense forests, Nicoya Peninsula’s 80-mile shoreline is a must-visit. The peninsula’s western edge is lined with the powdery sands of Nosara Beach, while the area east of the coastline has fishing and cattle-ranching communities. A number of restaurants and hotels have popped up on the coast after a rise in tourism that started in the 1970s. Whether you’re a surfer or you just love the beach, you’ll want to take in Nosara Beach’s colorful fish, awe-inspiring sunsets and turquoise waters. If you’re going to take a walk on the beach, sunset is the ideal time, as there is minimal shade and the coast can get very hot during the day.
Costa Rica’s bustling capital of San José is most likely the first place you’ll want to go before exploring the rest of Costa Rica. Roam through the interconnected districts, called barrios, and take in the sights of tall apartment buildings, offices and museums. You may also want to head downtown to explore the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum and the Jade Museum. At both of the these museums, you’ll be able to see rare and beautiful pre-Colombian artifacts.
Unlike the misty rainforests found in other parts of the country, Guanacaste is known for its dry, sunny savannas. Look to the east and you’ll be able to see stunning volcanoes that make up the Cordillera de Guanacaste. Often referred to as Costa Rica’s “Gold Coast”, Guanacaste has beautiful secluded beaches that are perfect for relaxing. The coast extends all the way to the Nicaraguan border and features white sands, remote fishing villages and a number of hotels. One of the best attractions in Guanacaste is Rincón de la Vieja National Park with its beautiful waterfalls and hot springs.
Standing at more than 5,000 feet high, Arenal Volcano is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The volcano was dormant for a number of years until it became active again on July 29, 1968, creating a thunderous earthquake and an explosion of lava that wiped out three villages. The volcano reentered a non-active state in 2010, but travelers still look at the volcano from an observatory. At the Arenal Observatory Lodge, tourists can see the beautiful volcano from an ideal viewing spot. The best time to see Arenal is between February and April, as it is often covered by a thick layer of fog during other parts of the year.
There are so many incredible sights in Costa Rica that it’s hard to see them all during a vacation. But perhaps this can be your excuse to say a little longer. If you want to travel to a beautiful destination and stay away from the cold of winter, Costa Rica is the place to go.