Your rainforest villa has no walls or windows so you wake with the dawn chorus of howler monkeys. Your walk through one of the many national parks is punctuated with spotting sloths and toucans. Your view of the verdant rainforest from the zipline is literally a high-light of the trip. Your stretch of beach is pristine. Welcome to Costa Rica, where ecotourism is the norm thanks to biodiversity like nowhere else on earth.
Where it is
When to go
November to May
Why go there
What to see
Relish the exotic wildlife
The rainforests of Costa Rica are bursting with life from spider monkeys and red-eyed tree frogs to sloths and macaws. Have your camera ready.
Chill beside a volcano
This could be the most Costa Rican thing you do: lie back in the hot springs and watch smoke puff out the cone of Arenal volcano.
Relax by the ocean
Costa Rica has some divine beaches, like those at Papagayo and Manuel Antonio, whether you want to swim or surf or simply relax.
Travel in Costa Rica
Although it’s a small country (much the same size as Switzerland), getting around on public transport is challenging. After arriving in the capital, San José, you’ll probably need to take internal flights and/or hire a 4WD as the roads can be terrible. Travel is harder in the wet season (May to November) so we recommend avoiding it if possible. Ecotourism is popular and successful in Costa Rica so ask us about the best eco-lodges, wildlife spotting, rainforest tours and sustainable travel.
Costa Rica facts
Costa Rica is sometimes called ‘the Switzerland of Central America’ but it’s a very loose comparison. Yes, the country is surprisingly mountainous (the highest point is Cerro Chirripo at 3821m) and peaceful – the army was abolished in 1948. But there are also active volcanoes, tropical rainforests and two coastlines: the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Not forgetting that the population is about half that of Switzerland at only 4.5 million.
12 hours from Switzerland
Costa Rican colon