The perfect cone of Arenal volcano dominates the surrounding area and is one of the most active in the world. Throughout the day and night the sounds of eruptions boom across the valley, whilst frequent eruptions throw magma into the air and glowing hot lava snakes down the flanks.
Monteverde is the best possible example of cloud forest – an astoundingly fertile environment that is teeming with life. The near 100% humidity means that from forest floor to leafy canopy, it’s just layer upon layer of plant life, inhabited by myriad mammals, birds and insects. Wandering the trails in the early morning feels like you are in a timeless primordial world.
The most exclusive beach retreats of Costa Rica are to be found on the Nicoya Peninsula. Remote, pristine beaches are lined with jungle offering a perfect place to relax and enjoy the dry, sunny climate.
Comparable in grandeur to the Amazon basin, Corcovado National Park boasts 46km of untouched coastline and a vast tract of virgin tropical wet forest. This is Costa Rica’s last frontier, often cut off in the rainy season and only recently opened up to visitors.
Costa Rica’s one true city lies in the Valle Central and is ringed by volcanic mountains and small colonial towns. This is where most Costa Ricans live, favouring the climate afforded by its elevation of 1,150m.
Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero National Park protects 200,000 hectares of tropical rainforest – one of the largest areas left in Central America. Another of Costa Rica’s eco-tourism success stories has seen a transformation from a village dependent on logging, fishing and turtles to one dedicated to preserving nature, particularly the beaches where the nesting sea turtles return each year.
With some stunning views of Costa Rica’s rural countryside, Turrialba is a charming little town in the lush and beautiful rolling green hills of the Central Valley. It’s just over 50 km east of San Jose, so it’s a great stop off on the way up to Tortugero National Park.
Belmont House, 23 New Street, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BP