Cruise & Travel Depot has earned a Certification for Sustainable Tourism from the Government of Costa Rica. Did you know that 23.4% of the land in Costa Rica comprises of national parks and protected areas? In the heart of Central America, this accessible country is flanked by both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Paradise for the eco-tourism enthusiast, Costa Rica boasts white and black sand beaches, unique rainforest and aquatic eco-systems, and a dense array of biodiversity. Sustainability is a key factor in the Costa Rica’s tourism industry, not surprising given that this where zipline canopy tours originate from.
Taking a road-trip is one of the most delightful experiences in Costa Rica, as you will come across roadside produce stands along the way. These will give you the chance to talk to locals and sample some of the amazing fresh tropical fruits with depth of flavor that can only be produced by rich volcanic soil. Costa Rica’s unique menu of exotic fruits includes caimito, rose apple, nanzi, loquat, tamarind, anona, rambutan and zapote. Roadside vendors will gladly slice off the top of a new coconut and put in a straw so you can rehydrate with fresh coconut water straight from the source.
“I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.”
– David Attenborough
LA FORTUNA – This bustling town is a gateway to many natural wonders of the northern region. Showcasing a dramatic view of Arenal Volcano, it offers plenty of activities such as hiking, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, ATV treks, horseback riding, and canopy ziplining. To relax after an active day, take a soak in one of many thermal hot springs. Swimming in the circular pool at the base of La Fortuna Waterfall is another popular highlight of the area.
HEREDIA HIGHLANDS – Thick forests teeming with tropical flowers blanket mountain-tops shrouded mysteriously by cloud. This flourishing environment echoes with the calls of hundreds of exotic birds; if you stand still long enough, you are bound to see some. The beautiful La Paz Waterfall Gardens are well worth a visit. With the rich soil bestowed upon the region by Poas Volcano, it is no wonder that this is one of Costa Rica’s premier coffee-growing districts. If you decide to take a tour of the Café Britt plantation, please bring some back for us!
SAN JOSE & SARCHI – San Jose, the country’s capital, has many museums and historical buildings. Add to that a thriving culture of markets, outdoor dining and night life, and you have a truly vibrant city. The nearby town of Sarchi, nestled amidst vast coffee plantations, is an art-lover’s dream come true with its array of crafters offering traditional custom pieces such as carved animals, handmade furniture, and intricately painted ox-carts that are a national symbol of Costa Rica.
GUANACASTE – Blanketed in dry tropical forest, this World Heritage Site is home to over 200 bird species, including many colorful parrots, plus an array of mammals such as ocelots, anteaters, jaguars, white tailed deer, margays and several different kinds of monkey. Guided tours are available via a number of different mediums – just don’t forget your camera!
MANUEL ANTONIO – This national park is one of Costa Rica’s most popular beach destinations. Here you can see two- and three-toed sloths, coatis, pacas, toucans, hummingbirds and a variety of monkey species, all in their natural environment. The area is renowned as an excellent snorkeling destination.
SOUTH PACIFIC COAST – Dominical is a beautiful surfing hotspot where mountains rise straight out of the ocean. Not far from there, Marino Ballena National Park contains a perfect harmony of three different habitats: rainforest, beach and coral reef. With its stunning mountainous background, this is a lovely place to partake in snorkeling, whale-watching, dolphin observation or some good old-fashioned swimming.