1. CAÑO NEGRO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a trip down the Amazon, a boat ride through this vast network of marshes and rivers 62 miles north of La Fortuna is an affordable alternative. Eagle-eyed guides will point out Caiman and crocodiles in the water, lizards and monkeys along the shore, and abundant bird life including jabiru storks, herons, egrets and roseate spoonbills.
2. MONTEVERDE BIOLOGICAL CLOUD FOREST PRESERVE
This lush mountain-top preserve among the clouds is like a taste of Eden, surrounded by lush verdant greens, brilliant tropical colors and all manner of wildlife. Their canopy tours are world-renowned, providing treetop views of birds such as the gorgeous quetzal and toucan as well as capuchin, howler and spider monkeys.
Where To Stay In Costa Rica
Below you'll find links to Eco Hotels in Costa Rica we recommend. Using the link, you can search all the top booking websites (e.g., Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc.) to find out which one offers the best price for your specific dates.
A pioneer of ecotourism in Monteverde, Hotel Belmar was the second hotel ever built in the cloud forest. Recent renovations marked a major upgrade, with sustainability initiatives earning 5-Leaf recognition from CRTI. Their Chalet rooms put guests in the heart of the forest, with a spa, farm-to-table food, and nature hikes making the hotel a Monteverde must-see.
3. PLAYA MONTEZUMA
This former hippie haven on the west coast’s Nicoya Peninsula is one of the country’s most distinctive beach towns. Miles of little-frequented white sand beaches, gorgeous blue Pacific waters, abundant wildlife and the sort of majestic waterfalls you only see in the movies make it a budget traveler’s dream, and nearby Cabo Blanco Nature Preserve is the country’s oldest conservation area.
Set in the Guanacaste region northeast of Liberia, this area of rugged beauty centers around the 6,159-foot tall volcano for which it is named. Hire a guide and a horse for a day of exploring the park’s geysers, waterfalls, hot springs, mud baths and jungle swimming holes, with excellent bird-watching along the way.
Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this beachfront boutique hotel offers a remote romantic getaway that mixes nature and luxury in equal measure. Amenities include restaurant, spa, several pools, and an uncrowded, picturesque beach. Families can rent out their spacious villas, which offer stunning views of the Pacific's crashing waves.
5. TABACÓN HOT SPRINGS
Tired after a long morning of hiking through the jungle? Sooth your aching bones in these naturally-heated thermal springs, surrounded by lushly landscaped gardens offering a perfect view of the active Arenal Volcano. The strongest stream flows over a sculpted waterfall, providing the perfect hydraulic shoulder massage. The resort’s impressive spa also offers professional massages and mud masks. –Bret Love
This family-friendly resort in La Fortuna offers a full-service spa, relaxing hot springs on-site, and tour packages to nearby attractions such as Arenal Volcano and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. The resort participates in the Sustainable Tourism Education Program (STEP), and is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
(Arenal Volcano )
This rustic retreat offers stunning panoramic views of Arenal and the surrounding mountains. Choose from cozy cabins, spacious villas, and the one-of-a-kind Hobbit House, all of which feature quaint, eco-friendly decor. The property is a working farm, with horseback riding, yoga, and a farm-to-table restaurant on-site.