Why Costa Rica is One of the Best Places for Summer Vacation

Last updated on September 1st, 2023 at 08:35 am

Casting an eye across the globe for summer vacation ideas? Look no further. With so many adventurous and wonderful things to do, it’s time to visit Costa Rica, a gem of a country that has rightly earned its spot as one of the best places for summer vacation. Think of every ideal summer image you hold; Costa Rica checks them all and adds its own unique spin, its own ‘pura vida’, or, pure life. This isn’t just a catchphrase, it’s a way of living that becomes infectious to every summer traveler who steps foot in this vibrant nation.

Take a walk on the wild side across Costa Rica’s pristine beaches, where the Pacific and Caribbean coasts serve up a visual feast of turquoise waves lapping against golden sands. These amazing beaches aren’t just postcard-perfect, they’re gateways to an underwater world that’s as fascinating as the one above.

Speaking of above, gaze inland and you’ll understand why Costa Rica frequently tops the list of best summer vacations. From the tropical rainforests of northern Costa Rica to the misty mountain ranges, this country boasts a biodiversity that makes it one of the world’s most diverse habitats. Whether you’re an avid bird-watcher or a plant-lover, prepare to be amazed.

Costa Rica is more than a destination, it’s an invitation – an invitation to immerse yourself in a culture where summer is a state of mind and life’s pace adjusts to the rhythm of the surf. If you’re seeking the best summer getaway, Costa Rica might just be your answer. Come and uncover what a ‘pura vida’ summer vacation in Costa Rica feels like.

The Amazing National Parks of Costa Rica

Immersing yourself in the tapestry of vibrant biodiversity, the national parks in this alluring country invite you on an unforgettable adventure. Begin your journey in the rain-soaked forests in the south, where nature’s grand opera unfurls across an untamed wilderness, teeming with a multitude of unique species.

Journey on to a tranquil beach, revered as one of the world’s key nesting sites for a particular type of sea turtle. Here, in the heart of this peaceful retreat, you’ll find every vista whispers tales of nature’s awe-inspiring spectacle.

The journey continues across the country, touching upon wildlife-rich parks offering a paradise for hikers and animal lovers alike. One such location, devoid of cars, offers a fully immersive experience into nature’s embrace through the tranquil activity of boating or kayaking.

Don’t miss the laid-back beach towns along the coast, providing a soothing haven for surfers and families seeking to unwind. It’s a mere stone’s throw away from a national park boasting magnificent views. For the adventurous souls, a region home to an active volcano and enchanting hot springs beckons. If you have time to spare, the mystical cloud forests further north are certain to leave you awe-struck.

Each national park in this biodiversity-rich land offers a unique escape into nature’s grandeur. From snorkeling, hiking, bird-watching, to just plain relaxation, the assortment of activities is endless. Deciding where to spend your day might be a challenge, but by night, a selection of cozy accommodations await. Exploring these amazing parks isn’t merely a visit; it’s a deep dive into the splendid diversity of our precious Earth.

Arenal Volcano National Park

Costa Rica, with its collection of gorgeous parks, is an idyllic stage for perfect summer vacations. Take Arenal Volcano, for instance. Nestled in La Fortuna, in the northern part of Costa Rica, this natural spectacle stands as a highlight. This dormant giant whispers tales of its fiery past to summer travelers, inviting nature lovers on its hiking trails to explore hot springs and an incredible wildlife display. From elusive jaguars to vibrant tree frogs, it’s a veritable Eden. A visit to this national park is the perfect Costa Rica destination, etching unforgettable memories into the grand narrative of your summer escapades. Don’t forget to visit the gorgeous nearby La Fortuna waterfall.

Tenorio Volcano National Park

Journey just an hour north-east of Arenal, and Costa Rica unfurls another masterpiece – the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Imagine walking on hanging bridges, each step inviting a chorus from the ever-buzzing rainforest canopy below. In the heart of the Central American country, it’s a visit in Costa Rica not to be missed.

Venture deeper into one of Costa Rica’s prime national parks, and you’ll be rewarded with vistas of the stunning Celeste Waterfall, a spectacle that embodies the very spirit of the green season. Hot springs sprinkle the area, soothing the feet of wildlife lovers who come to experience so much wildlife that this paradise holds. Truly, one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica, Tenorio Volcano National Park paints the perfect picture of a summer adventure.

Manuel Antonio National Park

Welcome to Manuel Antonio, a small beach town nestled on Costa Rica’s scenic Pacific coast. A crown jewel in the realm of summer vacations, this vibrant spot beautifully blends nature’s bounty with the rhythm of the pura vida lifestyle. As the sunny weather bathes the town in its warm summer glow, you’ll soon know why this place ranks among the best summer vacation spots in Costa Rica.

At the heart of your summer trip lies the magnificent Manuel Antonio National Park. Stay at a luxury private villa like Vista Hermosa Estate, then head into Manuel Antonio National Park to explore the lush rainforests and some of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica like the white sand beaches of Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Espadilla Sur. This natural sanctuary is a paradise for outdoor ventures. Trek through its lush forests for scenic views and wildlife spotting, home to a plethora of wildlife, including howler monkeys, white face monkeys, two types of sloths, toucans, crocodiles, scarlet macaws, and the serene green sea turtles. Let the symphony of nature serve as your soundtrack as you navigate the trails, a bird-watching paradise.

Follow the path less traveled, and it will lead you to several of the most popular gorgeous beaches in Costa Rica. These gorgeous beaches boast white sands caressed by azure waters, an ideal place to enjoy the warm weather of the summer season.

As the sun dips below the horizon, the vibrant nightlife in Manuel Antonio stirs to life. A blend of friendly locals and international visitors paints a colorful picture of Costa Rica’s renowned hospitality. In this small town, every aspect, every moment is an invitation to embrace the best summer vacations. It truly is one of the best places to visit for a summer trip.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve

imagine the ideal setting for the best summer vacations and you’ll likely imagine sunny beaches and sparkling waters. But in Costa Rica, another scene steals the show. Enter Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the top summer vacation spots that flips the typical script with its enchanting cloud forests.

A favorite among most visitors, this biological haven envelopes you in an ethereal charm, where low-level clouds gently cloak the forest canopy. These unique conditions craft a surreal spectacle, attracting roughly 70,000 awestruck visitors each year to its expansive 10,000 hectares.

The cloud forest, though seemingly otherworldly, perfectly encapsulates the biodiversity and distinct ecosystems prevalent throughout Costa Rica and Latin America in general. If you’re in search of an extraordinary summer escape, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve stands as a great place, demonstrating Costa Rica’s profound magnificence beyond its sunny coastlines.

Other National Parks to Consider

Corcovado National Park Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park

Delve into the heart of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast with a visit to Tortuguero National Park. Located north of the town of Puerto Viejo, the park is one of Costa Rica’s premier eco-tourism destinations. Not only does it play host to a diverse array of fauna and flora, but it’s also a key nesting site for olive ridley sea turtles. Getting there is a unique experience, with access via a beautiful boat ride or a tiny plane, providing gorgeous views of this stunning rainforest area.

Santa Rosa National Park

Venture north to the province of Guanacaste, where Santa Rosa National Park sits proudly as a testament to Costa Rica’s natural beauty. Established to preserve the site of the Battle of Santa Rosa, the park offers both historical significance and biodiverse landscapes. Dry season brings a unique charm with adventures like hiking and surfing; while the rainy season turns the park into a lush, vibrant lush sanctuary.

Corcovado National Park

Nestled on the southernmost tip of the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. From its wild, untouched beaches to its dense, vibrant rainforests, Corcovado offers something for everyone. It’s the ultimate retreat for nature lovers seeking to experience Costa Rica’s biodiversity at its finest. Spotting tapirs, coatis, or hundreds of bird species here is a regular occurrence, adding to the charm of this Pacific park.

Cahuita National Park

A stone’s throw from the Panama border on Costa Rica’s Caribbean side, this National Park is a paradise for those who love to relax by the gentle waves. This park, famous for its beautiful coral reefs and colorful wildlife, offers an array of outdoor activities. Swim, snorkel, or just chill by the beach, you can do it all while being surrounded by nature’s beauty. It’s the perfect place to unwind, embracing the pura vida lifestyle that Costa Rica is renowned for.

San José

Trading the cloud-kissed forest canopies for big city vibes? Make your way to the heart of Costa Rica, to the bustling capital city of San José. This vibrant hub, teeming with life and cultural institutions, is a kaleidoscope of experiences that many airlines conveniently fly into via the well-known San José International Airport.

San Jose, set at the core of Central America, pulsates with a dynamic city life. Stroll down its lively streets to explore the country’s history and culture at famous landmarks such as Plaza de la Cultura, Parque Central, or the National Museum. These sites stand as vibrant testimonials to Costa Rican heritage, reflecting the charm of the country against the backdrop of big hotels and great restaurants.

From its lively party atmosphere to its hearty food scenes at great restaurants, San San José is a city that both locals and travelers love. Whether it’s your first visit or you’re returning to the familiar bustle, you’ll find the country’s essence resonating in every corner. Come, experience a different flavor of Costa Rica’s rich palette.

Costa Rica Outdoor Adventures

Embrace the thrill of adventure activities in the great outdoors when you step into Costa Rica, a paradise that connects the Pacific coast to the Caribbean coast. With the world as your playground, Costa Rica offers an array of outdoor activities that’ll let you immerse in the country’s lush greenery and diverse landscapes.

Whether you’re here for a few days or planning an extended stay, there’s an adventure off the beaten path waiting for you. Both tourists and locals alike find joy in exploring, no matter if its dry season or wet season.

Eager to uncover a great way to delve into Costa Rica’s natural wonders? Hire a local guide. They’ll add a layer of richness to your experience that’s simply incomparable. Unleash your inner adventurer and make the most of Costa Rica’s captivating outdoors.

Scuba Diving

Seeking adventures below the surface? Costa Rica’s coastline, straddling both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, offers breathtaking spots for underwater exploration. Renowned for eco-tourism, the country’s scuba diving scene beckons travelers with the allure of turquoise waters teeming with vibrant marine life.

Dive into the Pacific side, where the big blue paints a mesmerizing canvas filled with everything from playful dolphins to majestic green turtles. Meanwhile, the Caribbean side presents a unique symphony of color with its coral reefs and a myriad of tropical fish.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or trying it for the first time with your friends, scuba diving in Costa Rica promises an unforgettable immersion into a fascinating aquatic world.

Horseback Riding

Seeking a dash of adventure infused with Costa Rica’s raw natural beauty? Saddle up for a horseback ride that’s more than just a trot on the sand. It’s among the family-friendly activities that serve up fun with a generous side of awe-inspiring views.

Picture this – you’re ambling along scenic beaches, the white sand beneath, a lush green tree tops above, and secluded coves just waiting to be discovered. The natural surroundings create a breathtaking tableau, made even more spectacular as the setting sun paints the sky in hues of fire and gold.

The best time for this? Well, any time you’re ready for fun activities on one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful beaches and enjoy an immersive, unique journey into the heart of this stunning paradise.

Boat Tours

Coastal waters teeming with life, whispering inland streams, Costa Rica offers boat tours that are simply unforgettable. Imagine a sunset cruise up or down the coast, casting the perfect way to conclude your day with ocean views, while keeping an eye out for graceful sea turtles.

Eager for something more? Costa Rica ranks among the best destinations for whale watching. Imagine the thrill as humpback whales breach in their natural habitat, creating a spectacle most people only dream of.

Yet, perhaps the best thing about these tours is the chance to kayak or canoe through Costa Rica’s serene mangrove forests. A popular time? Anytime. It’s an adventure that just can’t wait.

Adventurous Opportunities

Costa Rica Pacific coast adventure activities

White Water Rafting

In this spirited land of volcanoes and rainforests, white water rafting takes the crown as one of the most thrilling ways to get your blood pumping. The mighty Pacuare River, located in the heart of the country, serves up a heaping helping of adventure, with rapid-fire whitewater rafting opportunities galore. No need for experience here; plenty of adventure tours cater to beginners as well as advanced rafters. A day spent racing down roaring waterfalls, your eyes drinking in the lush greenery of the rainforest surrounding you, is a day well spent in Costa Rica.


No list of adventurous things to do in Costa Rica would be complete without mentioning surfing. This action-packed water sport draws thousands to its shores every year, from beginners looking to catch their first wave to advanced surfers seeking the thrill of the perfect ride. Playa Tamarindo, on the Nicoya Peninsula, and Playa Hermosa, in Guanacaste, are among the best surf spots, offering great waves and beautiful beaches. For those who are less experienced, surf lessons are easily accessible in the areas.

Waterfall Rappelling

Waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica is the kind of adventure that becomes a highlight of your visit, and you can’t miss the chance to descend a roaring waterfall in the midst of the jungle. Among the most popular places for this thrill is the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, where visitors are treated to the exhilarating encounter of rappelling down a waterfall, surrounded by some of the country’s most gorgeous views. And remember, no previous experience is required – just a love for a heart-throbbing adventure.

Zip Lining

Last but not least, Costa Rica offers zip lining excursions that will give you an incredible bird’s eye view of its diverse landscapes. Canopy tours are one of the better ways to take in the panoramic views of the country’s mountains, rainforests, and even volcanoes. Santa Elena, nestled in the highlands of the Monteverde region, and the Arenal Volcano area are among the most popular ziplining destinations. Whether you’re a group seeking a fun activity or a solo traveler looking for your next thrill, ziplining is sure to make your stay in Costa Rica unforgettable.

World-Class Resorts in Costa Rica

When exploring Costa Rica, stepping foot into its world-class hotels is akin to walking into an oasis of tranquility. Whether it’s a secluded romantic hotel in the rainforest or a grand, stylish hotel perched on the edge of pristine white sand beaches, this vacation hotspot doesn’t disappoint. These luxury accommodations, boasting swanky resorts and chic hotel rooms, are nestled in the best places to visit in the country. Here, you’re not just booking a place to stay – you’re signing up for a slice of paradise. With direct access to secluded or lively beaches, there’s hardly a better place to surrender to Costa Rican bliss.

Makanda By the Sea

Nestled amidst the tropical jungle, the adults-only Makanda By the Sea is an epitome of tranquility and romance, located near Manuel Antonio National Park. This resort has become an esteemed spot for couples planning their special honeymoon or anniversary vacation in Costa Rica. The accommodations are beautifully decorated and each offers private plunge pools with breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean. It’s a place where you can feel the sun’s warmth while you dine at their top-tier restaurant, offering an eclectic range of dining options to suit all cravings, truly adding to your luxurious vacation.

JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Guanacaste Province
Offering a five-star resort experience, JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa is located near the famous beach town, Tamarindo, on the Pacific Coast. The resort features an immense pool and an upscale spa where you can wind down. Their on-site restaurant brings to table a real taste of Costa Rican cuisine, along with a broad array of international delicacies. With the beach just a stone’s throw away, the luxurious accommodations, and the exquisite dining options, it’s undeniably one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica.

Baldi Hot Springs Resort Hotel & Spa

Tucked in the picturesque town of La Fortuna is the Baldi Hot Springs Resort Hotel & Spa, one of the largest hot springs resorts in the country. Providing a serene environment, the resort boasts 25 thermal pools wherein small crystalline waterfalls cascade around you. Each room is spacious and well-appointed for a rejuvenating stay. Plus, the on-site restaurant presents a multitude of dining options to satiate your taste buds. It’s an all-inclusive destination that seamlessly combines relaxation and exploration in the heart of Costa Rica.

Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa

Secluded in the verdant Costa Rican jungle near the Caribbean coast is the adults-only Oxygen Jungle Villas & Spa. It’s just a short trip from the remote Osa Peninsula and the vibrant town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Each luxury villa at this boutique resort offers a private plunge pool and stunning views of the ocean. Here, you get a chance to encounter the natural beauty of Costa Rica while enjoying the best of luxury accommodations. Their on-site restaurant offers a fusion of local and international cuisine, providing a perfect dining experience in the midst of an adventure-filled vacation.

Visit Costa Rica for its National Parks, Unique Culture, and Endless Attractions

Taking a vacation in this magnificent country of Costa Rica is not just a passing event; it’s an experience that will etch indelible memories into the canvas of your lifetime. It’s where you will find yourself marveling at the diversity of natural wonders, from active volcanoes to secret waterfalls and crystal-blue seas that twinkle under the gorgeous climate.

From the sea turtles finding their way home in Santa Teresa to the exotic wildlife peeking through the foliage of dense rainforests, Costa Rica reveals a world of wonder, stretching from its secluded beaches to its biodiverse national parks. The country offers a retreat into nature, with its countless hiking trails leading you away from the beaten path and straight into a haven of peace and breathtaking vistas.

It’s not just about the raw beauty of nature, though. Costa Rica’s inviting coastlines are adorned with hotels that redefine the meaning of luxury. These accommodations promise more than just a place to rest your head. They offer an immersive journey into the pura vida lifestyle, where every moment is cherished, and relaxation is part of the daily routine.

Whether you’re a solo adventurer, a family with kids, or a couple seeking a romantic escape, this is a destination that accommodates all. From observing nesting sea turtles to lounging on the great beaches, the wide array of activities cater to tourists alike.

Planning to visit for your next summer vacation? Trust us, start packing and be sure to start a vacation savings account as there’s no better place to indulge in the spectacular views, enjoy hiking amidst wildlife, and relax under the warmth of the Costa Rican sun. It’s more than a vacation; it’s a love affair with a country that epitomizes charm and tranquility. Come and bask in the richness of this part of the world. Costa Rica is waiting, and its vibrant pulse will leave you enchanted, we promise.


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