Costa Rica – Top Sites to Visit

Costa Rica is popular as an outdoor and eco-travel destination for tourists from around the world. The country offers amazing beaches, tropical rain forests and a wide array of eco-friendly tours and attractions. High adventure activities such as rafting, trekking, diving and surfing are also very famous. The capital of San José is full of cultural attractions, museums and other points of interest for visitors.


Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

The National Theater of Costa Rica is located in central San José. Considered the most famous historical structure in the city, the theater is known for its beautiful interior inclusive of many lavish furnishings. Originally opened in 1897, the site is today one of the major tourist attractions of San José. The regular season includes regular performances by the National Symphonic Orchestra (NSO) whereby visitors can enjoy music composed by both Costa Rican and foreign composers.

Address: Avenida 2, C. 5, Catedral, San José, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2010 1100
Operating Hours:
– Monday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Tuesday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Wednesday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Thursday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Friday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm
– Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm
Admission Cost:
– All: ₡1,695
Website


Central Market

Formally titled Mercado Central, this is the largest market in San José. Originally opened in 1880, it is located only 250 meters from the Parque Central. Including more than 200 shops and restaurants, vendors sell everything from meat to coffee, boots, flowers and more. It is often very crowded, with more than 10,000 visitors daily. Visitors may also consider the short walk to Mercado Borbón – located two blocks to the north and offering butchers, fishmongers and various fruit vendors.

Address: C. 8, Paso De La Vaca, San José, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2222 5981
Operating Hours:
– Monday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Tuesday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Wednesday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Thursday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Friday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Saturday 8:00am–6:00pm
– Sunday Closed
Admission Cost:
– FREE
Website


Tortuga Island

One of Costa Rica’s most famous attractions, Isla Tortuga is a small island located only 1.5 hours from the mainland by boat. Beautiful beaches offers snorkeling and SCUBA diving options, as well as beautiful white sand beaches perfect for relaxing. Various hiking trails are located on the island, but visitors should be aware of the wildlife which includes monkeys. The best time of the year to visit is between December and May, the dry season offering the best weather and blue skies almost daily.

Address: Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Operating Hours:
– Open 24 Hours
Admission Cost:
– FREE
Website


Arenal Volcano

Located 90km northwest of San José, the Arenal Volcano is a conically shaped volcano that is estimated to be around 7,500 years old. It goes by various local names including “Canaste” and “Volcan Costa Rica” and last erupted in 1968. The volcano has been dormant since 2010. Visitors can enjoy a 5.3 trail hike that is suitable for all skill levels. Hiking, walking, and bird watching can be enjoyed here, as the trail is well maintained. It is common for hikers to enjoy a picnic along the trail when the weather is clear.

Address: Alajuela Province, San Carlos, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2200-4192
Operating Hours (Visitor Center):
– Monday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Tuesday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Wednesday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Thursday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Friday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Saturday 8:00am–4:00pm
– Sunday 8:00am–4:00pm
Admission Cost:
– General: $15USD
Website


Monteverde Cloud Forest

This reserve is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Consisting of more than 10,500 hectares, nearly 70,000 visitors a year enjoy hiking through the park which includes 6 unique ecological zones. 90% of the space is covered by virgin forest with a very diverse plant and animal ecosystem. Visitors can discover more than 2,500 species of plants, 400 bird species and many reptiles and amphibians. A bus service is available for visitors and the forest includes a small restaurant and gift shop on site at the information center. Various suspension bridges and zip-lines are also located throughout.

Address: Carr. a Reserva de Monteverde, Provincia de Puntarenas, Monteverde, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2645 5122
Operating Hours:
– Monday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Tuesday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Wednesday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Thursday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Friday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Saturday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Sunday 7:00am–4:00pm
Admission Cost:
– General: $25USD
Website


Manuel Antonio National Park

This national park includes a wide array of flora and fauna. Famous amongst eco-tourists, visitors must pay a small admission fee for entering. Guided tours are available as well from $65 per person, with private tours also available. Located 165 km from the capital city of San José , the park offers various trails which are well maintained and considered easy, including adaptability for people in wheelchairs. The park covers 1,950 hectares of land and 55,000 marine hectares. Visitors can enjoy rainforests, coral reefs, beautiful beaches and more throughout the park.

Address: Puntarenas Province, Quepos, Costa Rica
Phone: +506 2777-3339
Operating Hours:
– Monday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Tuesday Closed
– Wednesday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Thursday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Friday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Saturday 7:00am–4:00pm
– Sunday 7:00am–4:00pm
Admission Cost:
– Adults: $18.08 USD
– Children (2 to 11): $5.65 USD
Website