Where to go and what places to visit in Costa Rica?

Besides the question on ” When is the best time to go?” that we shared our opinion a couple of weeks ago, the ” Where to go and what places to visit?” is the other question among the TOP 10 that guests ask our reservations agents at the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Resorts.

View from Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort
Beachview of Manuel Antonio from www.arenasdelmar.com

This is a very subjective topic and everybody has different tastes and interests. But here is what we think is some of the best that Costa Rica has to offer especially if you are looking for sustainable, eco or green travel at the highest levels of hospitality and with a touch of luxury.

Make sure you arrive into San Jose”™s Juan Santamaria Airport.   The town of Liberia in the north of Costa Rica has good connections from the US as well, but the northern Guanacaste area has become more of a sun and beach destination in the past year and the ” real” Costa Rica of biodiversity, boutique lodging and authentic experiences is down south”¦

When you arrive, stay two or three nights at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn located just 25 minutes from the airport.   This beautiful Coffee Plantation Inn on the foothills of the Poas and Barva Volcanoes is the perfect base to explore cloud forests, waterfalls and volcanoes.   Some might recommend trips to Monteverde and Arenal but if you are short on time, we think that you can skip the high transportation costs and idle time spent in ground transfers.

Barva National Park in the Central Highlands
Cloud Forest Excursion near www.fincarosablanca.com

The claim to fame at Finca Rosa Blanca is the coffee tour that is probably the best in the region, but you can easily arrange day or half day tours to nearby Volcanos (Poas) and Cloud Forests (Barva).   The tour to Barva National Park is probably one of the Central Highlands best kept secret.

Most guest head to the beach from here.   If you are looking for the authentic eco lodge experience, there is no way around the Osa Peninsula and Corcovado National Park.   This is the place to go and the best wildlife in the country by far.   A model eco lodge that offers guests great interpretive rain forest experiences is Lapa Rios.    If you are looking for a more luxurious destination not so far out but still with the best that Costa Rica has to offer in terms of tours and activities to observe the local flora and fauna, we recommend either the Manuel Antonio or Uvita area.   Many of our guests also combine any of the three Cayuga Collection hotels, resorts and lodges the area for the perfect vacation in Costa Rica.

Jaguar in Corcovado National Park near Lapa Rios Ecolodge. Photo by Jaguara.

United Airline”™s Hemisphere”™s on board magazine featured Lapa Rios Ecolodge and the southern part of Costa Rica as the place to spend the ” perfect three days“ in Costa Rica.   On the way back to San Jose, don”™t miss a quick visit to the Central Market, the Gold Museum and a meal at the Grano de Oro Restaurant.

If you are more interested in the northern part of the country, we recommend hotels and resorts that are a bit off the beaten Tamarindo and Playa de Coco ” path”.   Look into a stay in Nosara / Guiones or Santa Teresa a bit further south on the Nicoya Peninsula.   And if you are looking for a great experience that not a lot of people have been able to enjoy, visit Nicaragua.   We run a great eco resort on an island in Lake Nicaragua.   By the way, yes, Nicaragua is safe to travel.

Should you need more advice on planning your travels, let us know.   We are happy to direct you in the right direction.   Just drop us a note to [email protected].

Bungalow view from Lapa Rios Eco Lodge near Corcovado National Park
Hammock on eco lodge deck at www.laparios.com

The Cayuga Collection consists of  eight eco lodges, eco resorts, and sustainable hotels  in different regions of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.  All of them specialize in creating the symbiosis of sustainability and luxury always providing a sense of place taking into account local culture and customs.

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