Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions

Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions

       Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west and south and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica, which means “Rich Coast,” constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranked 62nd in the world in 2010, and is cited by the UNDP as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels. The country is ranked 3rd in the world, and first among the Americas, in terms of the 2010 Environmental Performance Index. In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced plans for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. According to the New Economics Foundation,Costa Rica ranks first in the Happy Planet Index and is the “greenest” country in the world.

  1. Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

    The Reserva Biológica Bosque Nuboso Monteverde (the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve) is a Costa Rican reserve located along the Cordillera de Tilarán mountain range within the Puntarenas and Alajuela provinces. Named after the nearby town of Monteverde and founded in 1972, the Preserve consists of over 10,500 hectares of tropical rainforest, which is visited by roughly 70,000 visitors a year. The Preserve consists of 6 ecological zones, 90% of which are virgin forest. An extremely high biodiversity, consisting of over 2,500 plant species (including the most orchid species in a single place), 100 species of mammals, 400 bird species, 120 reptilian and amphibian species, and thousands of insects, has drawn scientists and tourists.
    Links: Top 100 Flowers, Animals, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Frogs/Toads,
  2. Area de Conservación Guanacaste
    The Area de Conservación Guanacaste, is a World Heritage Site in the northwestern part of Costa Rica, which comprises Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, Rincón de la Vieja National Parks and the Junquillal Bay Wildlife Refuge. It formally became part of National System of Conservation Areas in 1994. The area of the parks combined totals 1470 square kilometers as of 2004.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten North American National Parks,,
  3. Cocos Island National Park

    Cocos Island is an uninhabited island located off the shore of Costa Rica. It is located in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 550 km (340 mi) from the Pacific shore of Costa Rica. With an area of approximately 23.85 km² (9.2 mi²) and a perimeter of around 23.3 km, this island is more or less rectangular in shape. Surrounded by deep waters with counter-currents, Cocos Island is admired by scuba divers for its populations of Hammerhead sharks, rays, dolphins and other large marine species. The extremely wet climate and oceanic character give Cocos an ecological character that is not shared with either the Galapagos Archipelago or any of the other islands in this region of the world.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten North American National Parks, Top Ten Islands, Top Ten Places to Scuba Dive,,
  4. Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad International Park

    The Cordillera de Talamanca is a mountain range that lies on the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Much of the range and the area around it are included in the La Amistad International Park, which is  also shared between the two countries. This range contains in the south of Costa Rica stretches from southwest of San José to beyond the border with Panama and contains the highest peaks of Costa Rica and Panama, among them the Cerro Chirripó with 3,820 m and the more accessible high peak of Cerro de la Muerte. Much of the Caribbean areas of the range are still unexplored. The La Amistad International Park is a Transboundary Protected Area in Latin America, management of which is shared between Costa Rica and Panama.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten North American National Parks, Top 100 Birds, Top 100 Flowers, Top Ten Beetles,,
  5. Poás Volcano Crater

    Poás Volcano National Park covers an area of approximately 16,000 acres (65 km²). One of the attractive features about Poás is that you can get all the way to the edge of the crater. The volcano is located in the Central Volcanic Conservation Area located in the Alajuela Province near the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, which encompasses the area around the Poás Volcano. The main crater is 950 feet (289 m) deep and is quite active with frequent small geyser and lava eruptions; however the last major eruptions were during 1952-54. Two more craters make up parts of the park, the extinct Von Frantzuis crater and the Botos crater. Botos is a beautiful cold, green water crater lake with a diameter of 1,200 feet (365 m). The Botos crater has not erupted for about 7,500 years. Well-marked trails will take you to see the two inactive craters. The park is frequently closed to visitors because of sulphuric gas emissions. There are a number of indications that the volcano is slowly building towards a new eruption over the last decade.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten North American National Parks,,
  6. Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles

    Links: Top Ten Basilicas,
  7. Links: Top Ten Costa Rican Hotels/Resorts, Top Ten Costa Rican Restaurants,,

Recommendations for Cruisin’ Through Costa Rica