Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most popular tourist destinations. It boasts a great climate, beautiful Caribbean coastline, abundant jungles, and good infrastructure and tourism facilities. Costa Rica is a friendly, relaxed country that welcomes visitors with open arms and a greeting of ‘pura vida’, an affirmation of the national motto: ‘pure life’.

The capital, San José, is a dynamic city with markets, cafés, and great shopping to offer the visitor. It has some wonderful museums and many hotels to suit every budget and taste. San José also offers some world-class cuisine as well as the ubiquitous fast food joints.

One of Costa Rica’s main attractions are its beaches, and it offers both Pacific and Caribbean choices. Golfito is a great starting point for exploring the Pacific coast which offers dramatic scenery, jungle accommodation, surfing, rainforest, and access to Isla Tortuga. The Caribbean side of Costa Rica offers a different experience, characterised by eco-tourism at one of Costa Rica’s many national parks and wildlife refuges. The main town is Puerto Limón, from where the Parque Nacional Tortuguero can be accessed. The Creole beach paradise, Cahuita, also has a nearby national park with beautiful beaches, reefs and rainforest.

Of course the incredible national parks are one of the main tourist attractions for Costa Rica and there are many to choose from. Volcàn Arenal National Park is globally recognisable for its perfectly conical volcano, which is still active, and puts on spectacular displays occasionally. Or visitors can see the full range of stunning flora and fauna Costa Rica has to offer at the country’s oldest and best-developed park, Península Santa Elena.

San José’s has its own international airport, Juan Santa Maria International Airport, which provides service for flights arriving from many North American cities. It also offers flights to other Central and South American cities. For those on a budget, vacation homes, condos and cabinas offer the most reasonably priced accommodation but hotels are also widespread.