Although Costa Rica boasts of a booming tourist industry, it still offers destinations that are not on the routine itineraries. Here are a few of the pristine spots in Costa Rica that are a treat to the visitor.
Barra Honda National Park
A less frequented park, the Barra Honda national Park has beautiful limestone caverns. Visitors need technical guides and climbing gears to enter and explore the caverns.
The caverns offer a horde of rock formations including stunning stalactites and stalagmites. The park also offers camping sites and bunk beds for those looking for budget places to spend the night.
The hiking trails leading to the limestone caverns wind through a rare ecosystem, the tropical dry forests. Discover cactus and capuchin monkeys along with deer, howler monkeys, peccaries, raccoons, agoutis, anteaters and kinkajous in this rare habitat.
Lankester Botanical Gardens
Located east of San Jose, the Lancaster botanical gardens can be visited during the day trip to Volcano Irazu. The gardens host a tropical dry forest with an arid environment. It offers habitat to many species of plant particular to the arid ecosystem including a range of cacti. The garden also boasts of many varieties of orchids.
Santa Rosa National Park
Another tropical dry forest environment, the Santa Rosa national Park is the result of a crusade initiated by Daniel Janzen and his spouse Winnie Hallwachs.It is the only park, that strives towards protection and restoration of this rare habitat. It offers campsites for outdoor lovers.
The campsites at Playa Naranjo and the headquarters are starting point for other exploration hikes. The Witches Rock stands guard to a surfer’s paradise. The park also has an important historical attraction in La Casona.
It is an isolated and sleepy beach town offering many adventures. Located between Golfo Dulce and salt water mangrove lagoons it is a thin band of land.
The small cabins at Cabinas Los Cocos, are equipped with kitchens and are embarking points for a lot of fun. Enjoy sportfishing, surf sessions at Pavones or opt for Zancudo Boat Tours. Day trips to Tikista Jungle Lodge and Wilson Botanical gardens are perfect for passionate botanists.
Rincon de la Vieja Volcano
Tourists often ignore this unexplored natural beauty, along with its namesake park. The national park offers challenging hikes, volcanic mud deposits, sulfur hot springs and stunning jungle waterfalls.
The Las pailas hike is relatively simple and showcases volcanic Fumaroles ( holes spewing volcanic gases and smoke) and mud pots ( witness boiling topsoil).
The challenging hike to la Cangreja and blue Lake ends with a picture perfect forest waterfall pouring into a turquoise lake. It is a breathtaking picnic spot with the opportunity to have some fun in the cool water.