Top things to do

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 Fusion in Tortuguero Village

Wild Ginger

On a dirt path near the beach north of town, the simple, tucked-away place could be straight out of California or Portland (the owner has lived in both cities). It's dimly lit with paper lanterns, has a striking pai…
Top Choice European in San José

Park Café

At this felicitous fusion of antique shop and French restaurant, Michelin-starred chef Richard Neat offers an exquisite menu of smaller sampling plates (Spanish tapas–style), normal-sized mains, and a thoughtful win…
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 Breakfast in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Bread & Chocolate

Ever had a completely homemade PB&J (with bread, peanut butter and jelly all made from scratch)? That and more can be yours at this dream of a cafe, serving sandwiches, soups and salads, and (of course) the trea…
Top Choice Market in San José

Feria Verde de Aranjuez

For a foodie-friendly cultural experience, don't miss this fabulous Saturday farmers market, a weekly meeting place for San José's artists and organic growers since 2010. You'll find organic coffee, artisanal chocol…
Top Choice International in Nuevo Arenal

Gingerbread Hotel & Restaurant

Don’t miss the chance to eat at one of the best restaurants in northwestern Costa Rica, right on the lake. The larger-than-life, New York–trained Israeli chef turns out transcendent meals from the freshest local ing…
Top Choice Seafood in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Laszlo's

Whaddya get when you take a champion sport fisherman, born and raised in Transylvania, and transplant him to Puerto Viejo by way of New Jersey? Answer: an amazing, eclectic eatery with no sign and no menu that only …
Top Choice Seafood in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Mopri

You'd never know it from Mopri's dingy facade and cheap plastic tables, but this place serves some of the best seafood in Puerto Viejo. Choose your star ingredient – whole snapper, calamari, lobster or prawns. Then …
Top Choice Cafe in El Castillo

La Ventanita

La Ventanita is the ‘little window’ where you place your order. Soon enough, you’ll be devouring the best chifrijo (rice and pinto beans with fried pork, capped with fresh tomato salsa and corn chips) that you’ve ev…