Top things to do

Top Choice National Park in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is the country's smallest (just 19.83 sq km) and most popular national park. A clearly marked trail system winds through rainforest-backed white-sand beaches and rocky headlands, the w…
Top Choice French in Parque Nacional Volcán Poás

Colbert Restaurant

At this charming restaurant 6km east of Poasito, the toque-clad, mustachioed French chef Joël Suire looks like he’s straight out of central casting. Naturally, the menu is loaded with traditional French items such a…
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 Waterfall in Montezuma

Montezuma Waterfalls

A 40-minute river hike leads to a waterfall with a delicious swimming hole. Further along the trail, a second set of falls offers a good clean 10m leap into deep water. Reach the 'diving platform' from the trail: do…
Top Choice Point in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Punta Catedral

Geography fun fact: this isthmus that's the centerpiece of the park is called a tombolo and was formed by the accumulation of sand between the mainland and the peninsula beyond, which was once an island. At its end,…
Top Choice Beach in Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Playa Espadilla Sur

The exposed Playa Espadilla Sur is to the north of Punta Catedral and swimming here can be dangerous. The beach is a half-hour hike from the park entrance.
Top Choice Cafe in Turrialba


This bright-walled cafe serves up one of the best coffee treats in the country – a frozen caffeine concoction with gooey maracuyá (passion fruit) syrup and crunchy seeds. Dishes include veggie wraps, creative salads…
Top Choice Latin American in Montezuma

Cocina Clandestina

The secret is out. The hottest new restaurant in Montezuma is this awesome, artistic place in the trees at the butterfly gardens. Look for innovative takes on Central American standards, such as daily changing taco …
Gardens in Heredia Area


At this excellent, wheelchair-accessible botanical garden, run by the nonprofit National Biodiversity Institute (INBio), visitors can admire the country's native plants and animals in miniature habitats. Other attra…
Cafe in West End of Laguna de Arenal

Café y Macadamia

We should start by acknowledging that $4 is a lot for a muffin, BUT these banana macadamia nut muffins are irresistible, especially when accompanied by a cup of Costa Rica coffee and a spectacular view over Laguna d…