Attractions

Top Choice Notable Building in San José

Teatro Nacional

On the southern side of the Plaza de la Cultura resides the Teatro Nacional, San José’s most revered building. Constructed in 1897, it features a columned neoclassical facade that is flanked by statues of Beethoven …
Top Choice Wildlife Reserve in Reserva Santa Elena

Reserva Santa Elena

The exquisitely misty 310-hectare Reserva Santa Elena offers a completely different cloud forest experience to Monteverde. Cutting through the veiled forest, the 10km of dewy trails see much less traffic, retaining …
Top Choice Waterfall in Tilarán

Viento Fresco

Driving between Monteverde and Arenal, there is no good excuse for skipping this stop. Viento Fresco is a series of five cascades, including the spectacular Arco Iris (Rainbow Falls), which drops 75m into a refreshi…
Top Choice Museum in San José

Museo de Jade

Reopened in its brand-new home in mid-2014, this museum houses the world’s largest collection of American jade (pronounced ‘ha-day’ in Spanish). The ample new exhibition space (five floors offer six exhibits) allows…
Top Choice National Park in Parque Nacional Isla del Coco

Parque Nacional Isla del Coco

Remember the opening shot of Jurassic Park, where the helicopter sweeps over the sea to a jungle-clad, mountainous island? That was here. Around 500km southwest of the Costa Rica mainland, Isla del Coco is a pristin…
Top Choice Gardens in Parque Nacional Volcán Poás

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

This storybook garden complex just east of Volcán Poás offers the most enchanting day trip in the Central Valley. Guests walk 3.5km of trails to five scenic waterfalls, and can also wander around a butterfly conserv…
Top Choice Beach in Cahuita

Playa Negra

At the northwest end of Cahuita, Playa Negra is a long, black-sand beach flying the bandera azul ecológica, a flag that indicates the beach is kept to the highest ecological standards. This is undoubtedly Cahuita’s …
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Sierpe

Sitio Arqueológico Finca 6

This site offers the best opportunity to view the mysterious pre-Columbian spheres created by the Diquís civilization between 300 BC and 1500 AD, in their originally discovered locale, near culturally significant mo…
Top Choice National Park in Parque Nacional Chirripó

Parque Nacional Chirripó

While much of the Cordillera de Talamanca is difficult to access, Costa Rica’s highest peak, Cerro Chirripó (3820m), is the focus of popular two-day ascents from San Gerardo de Rivas. The only way up the peak is on …
Top Choice Gardens in San Vito

Wilson Botanical Garden

Covering 12 hectares and surrounded by 254 hectares of natural forest, world-class Wilson Botanical Garden, established by Robert and Catherine Wilson in 1963 and thereafter becoming internationally known for its co…