I’m just going to put this out there: Costa Rica has it all. It’s home to beautiful Caribbean beaches (some of the best in the whole of Latin America), lush rainforests, national parks bursting with towering volcanoes, a selection of the world’s most exciting wildlife (toucans, jaguar, sea turtles, oh my!), and more adrenaline sports that you can shake a stick at.

See? I wasn’t exaggerating.

This country’s diverse beauty and nature need to be celebrated. In fact, it seems only fair to slap Central America’s little gem with a big High Five. As if you needed any more convincing, here are five reasons to put Costa Rica at the top of your travel wish list.

This guy is just one reason to pay Costa Rica a visit

1. GO WILD

No other country in the world has such a diverse variety of flora and fauna as Costa Rica – fact. Happily, it means that the country is teeming with national parks and pretty awesome wildlife.

Head to eco-tourism spot Tortuguero to spot howler monkeys, sloths, toucans, reptiles and more, while a night-walk in the Sarapiqui Rainforest could see you spotting vipers, frogs and bats. But the country’s most popular wildlife area has to be Monteverde, dubbed one of the most outstanding wildlife reserves in the tropics. Immerse yourself in the cloud forests and keep your eyes peeled for monkeys! Fancy it? Our Costa Rica Adventure tour includes all of these top eco spots and more!

Feel a world away in Monteverde | Image courtesy of J. L. Levy

2. GET YOUR ADRENALINE PUMPING

If getting your adrenaline going is your thing, then Costa Rica won’t disappoint. The country’s numerous rivers make for great white water rafting. Traverse your way down the whitewater of the tropical Pacuare River, go surfing in the beautiful turquoise waters at the Manual Antonio National Park, ride a horse through the Sarapiqui Rainforest, or fly through the Monteverde cloud forest on a zipline. Hey, if you’re going to get your blood pumping, it might as well be in some of the most breathtaking spots in the world, right? Check out our Costa Rica Quest for a trip that combines the sights with some serious adventure sports.

3. SAVE THE TURTLES

They’re one of Costa Rica’s most famous species, but the sea turtle is in danger of extinction. Join a sea turtle conservation project and you’ll be doing your bit to help save the species, as well as getting up close to tiny baby sea turtles – what could be better than that?!

Spend a little time helping to save him | Image courtesy of Heiko Kiera

You’ll work to help improve the chances of survival for sea turtle hatchlings – you could be cleaning up the beach, assist with the placement of man-made turtle hatcheries to protect turtle eggs, and join in beach patrols to keep poachers at bay.

4. DIVE DEEP

Costa Rica’s diverse eco-system doesn’t stop on dry land. The country is a prime diving destination thanks to its crystal clear waters teeming with aquatic life. Cocos Island, 300 miles off the mainland, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site regarded as one of the world’s best dive spots – if you’re lucky, you might even spot a whale.

If you don’t fancy such a lengthy trip, try the Islas Murciélago (or the Bat Islands) in Northwestern Costa Rica, where you can hope to spot whale sharks, tiger sharks and manta rays, to name just a few.

5. GET UP CLOSE TO AN ACTIVE VOLCANO

Hiking around an active volcano may sound a bit daunting, but trust me, it’s gotta be done. Costa Rica has six active volcanoes, the most popular of which is the Arenal Volcano.

Active volcanoes = cool | Image courtesy of NancyS

It’s worth the hike to see the top glowing an eerie red . Don’t worry though, the volcano is in its resting phase right now, so you can relax and enjoy rafting, kayaking and biking in nearby La Fortuna, then reward your aching limbs with a soak in the hot springs. Bliss.

Feeling inspired to make your own trip to Costa Rica? Check out our cheap flights there, as well as our whole range of adventure tours in the country. If you’ve already been to Costa Rica, I want to know what you think! Let me know your own tips in the comments thread below.