Costa Rica travel guide
This small settlement is the laid back alternative to popular beach town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Here in Cahuita the Afro-Caribbean people still outnumber the expats and the parque central consists of one big tree. The attractions is the few dusty roads and the long gorgeous coast line. The biggest decision will be whether to take a stroll in the black sand at Playa Negra north of town or explore the white sand in Parque Nacional Cahuita in the south end of town. And if it all gets too stressful, do as the town sloth, find a shady place and chill out.
Another pretty area in Costa Rica. A beautiful lake with islands and bending shores covered in jungle with patches of ochre red clay. There are plenty of arty shops and accommodation around the northern side of the lake, though a day trip semi circulating the lake will give more views than most can handle. The winding road goes up and down like a roller-coaster ride through dense forest and open pastures, and can be a part of the trip to Monteverde cloud forest from the Volcano Arenal area.
Be prepared for some wet and misty weather here in highlands of Costa Rica. Dense cloud forest are covering the hills and two nature reserves are taken up a good part of the area. Great jungle walks criss-cross the reserves, but keep in mind that catching sight of anything slightly exotic like a quetzal or toucan need patience and luck (a good nature guide also helps). It is a great place to escape the heat down at the coast for it gets chilly up here. The adrenalin junkies can enjoy the forest a bit from above by flying through the canopy hanging from wires on one of the many canopy tours, don't miss the "Super Man" (head first slide).
No one will claim that Costa Rica's capital is beautiful or even slightly enhancing. Drab concrete monsters will insult your aesthetic senses, while most of the colonial leftovers are worn down or neglected (or both) with a few splendid exceptions. The streets are bustling with people without being lively and the range of shops doesn't leave much reasons to have a browse. It's a place you go to do stuff and even that is probably best done elsewhere. It is therefore a refreshing blow to your face when you have seen too much of groomed tourist Costa Rica and need a kick of "real" Costa Rica.
It is almost a joke how picture perfect this volcano is. Beautiful cone shaped, foot hills draped in lush jungle and a top covered in ash and black lava rocks. Frequently outburst makes sure the summit always has some red lava flowing down, though clouds often obscure the view. One a clear night head to the west side for the best view of the lava flow or with a cloudy sky enjoy the lava heat in one of the luxurious hot springs outside La Fortuna.