Arenal is an active volcano. When it erupted years ago, large areas were buried in lava. Near the volcano is the town of La Fortuna, named for its luck – when the big eruption occurred, it was unharmed, as the other side of the mountain was hit. The town serves as the local tourism base; it has dozens of hotels and motels of various standards and many guided tours leave from there.
San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and also its big central city. The international airport is here, so most of the tourists pass through the city, but many tourists don't stay, opting to travel from there to other places in the country. This is because San Jose is supposedly boring and not very safe. It's only unsafe compared to the rest of Costa Rica, which is incredibly peaceful. I do recommend staying in the city for a while. You can safely tour the city in the daytime or tour the nearby Poás Volcano.
In this article you will find information on travel attractions in the Pacific coast of Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio, Corcovado National Park and Tamarindo.
♦ Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica, but also one of the most beautiful and popular ones in the country. The park is 6 kilometres from the town of Quepos. The 6-kilometre stretch of road is lined with hotels and other lodging places. At the entrance to the park is a huge, amazing beach – an enormous strip of white sand and turquoise waters where you can learn to surf.
Monteverde is a small town in the middle of the cloud forests of central Costa Rica. It is relatively close to Arenal but most of the road between them is dirt road so it takes around three hours to travel between there. The town is smaller than and not nearly as busy as La Fortuna, but it too has plenty of lodging options. It has a beautiful view of the area and of the river near Arenal. But most importantly, you can tour the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve and see the great plant life and wildlife there. The park has a 3-kilometre recommended trail on hanging bridges, from which you can see the cloud forest from a different angle, and see many birds, monkeys and raccoons.
Tortuguero Located on the east shores of Costa Rica, where you can see lots of sea turtles and their natural incubation process as well as many other animals.
A tour to Tortuguero National Park starts from port of Matina / Caño Blanco. The tour start by boat (maximum load allowed on the boat per person is ~13kg), sailing in the river and through the canals parallel to the coast until Tortuguero National Park. On the way you will have an excellent chance to take a close look at the wildlife.
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