Beaches and biodiversity, Costa Rica is a land of volcanoes, rivers, and jungles that teem with exotic fauna. Throw in the friendly Ticos (as Costa Ricans are known) and you can see why they dub living in Costa Rica pura vida — the “pure life.”
If you’re looking for a taste of Costa Rica’s highlights but want to keep things spicy with a sampling of hidden treasures, we have an action-packed 16-day trip that tops the menu.
Curiosity piqued? Here’s some of the highlights, put together with our friends at G Adventures.
More than a quarter of the total land area is protected and the country’s tropical ecosystems are home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the world. One of the most thrilling ways to experience such a place is in the footsteps of conservationist, researcher, and animal advocate, Dr Jane Goodall.
More than a half-century ago, Dr Goodall began her pioneering research with chimpanzees in Tanzania, and her legacy has left an enduring mark on scientists and wildlife lovers alike.
The Jane Goodall Collection offers travellers the rare opportunity to visit the planet’s wildest places for close-up, larger-than-life encounters with animals — while ensuring that their natural habitats are protected. G Adventures follow a strict Animal Welfare Policy as an essential part of their commitment to responsible tourism.
For fun non-animal adventures, Costa Rica is packed with tons of exciting activities. Boat rides, zip-lining, jungle walks, kayaking, coffee farm tours, cooking classes, rafting, and waterfall rappelling — not to mention simply relaxing in a pool, hot springs, or a comfy hammock — are all on the agenda.
Manuel Antonio is often considered one of the most biodiverse parks in the world, with a population of 109 types of mammal and 184 types of bird, among other species. Visitors are also likely to spot capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, coatis, raccoons, iguanas, toucans, dolphins and, sometimes, even migrating whales.
This 45-year-old park is a direct result of Costa Rica’s burgeoning tourism industry — but not in the way you might think. At the time the park was created, foreign businesses were interested in building up the area as a major tourist centre, but locals were worried this would mean they’d lose out on enjoying the landscape and incredible biodiversity. So, they pressured the government to protect the region, leading to the park’s creation in November 1972.
Manuel Antonio’s incredible biodiversity doesn't just comprise of animal life. There are 346 plant species to be found within its borders, and several different types of habitat, from lush rainforest, to beautiful beaches, to volcanic-sedimentary rock formations.
The park even extends into the Pacific Ocean, adding another 250 km2 of marine landscape to its area. This includes 12 small islands and a number of coral reefs, making it a top snorkeling destination too.
Looking for something more adrenaline-boosting? Scuba diving is a big draw here, try spending some time underwater with some of the most intimidating and fascinating creatures of the sea: sharks.
An eco-tourist's dream, Costa Rica has become synonymous with all that an unspoiled tropical paradise can be. Rarely does reality measure up to hype, but Costa Rica certainly comes close.
Abbotts Travel work closely with G Adventures, an adventure travel pioneer, offering the widest selection of affordable small group tours, safaris and expeditions to more than 100 countries on all continents.
Their award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation, exotic cuisine and local transport putting travellers on a first-name basis with the planet's people, cultures, landscapes and wildlife. This intimate and sustainable approach to small-group travel introduces the highlights of a destination whilst offering the freedom to explore it independently.