It has never been easier to travel to Costa Rica! Now that British Airways fly direct, twice a week, us Brits can finally get to experience some of the remarkable fauna and flora that this small Central American country is so famous for. But in order to see it all, you may have to plan a few trips – there are just so many aspects to see here, from forests and coastlines, to volcanoes and microclimates. You certainly don’t need to be an expert or pack loads of gear as the guides at the national parks are extremely knowledgeable and have a distinct advantage with state-of-the-art telescopes that can quickly reveal the elusive toucanette or sleepy sloth. Keep in mind that some of the attractions are extremely isolated and some wildlife is seasonal so it pays to do a little homework if there are any particular critters you want to tick off that must-see list.
WHAT TO SEE
Travel in May through the Monteverde cloud forest area and you may be lucky enough to see the pretty rare quetzal birds that nest here up close.
Keep an eye out for the amazing two-toed and three-toed sloths. They rarely move so once you’ve spotted one there’s plenty of time to photograph him/her. Chances are, you can return to the same place hours later and continue to watch them ‘at leisure’ as they scratch, stretch and catnap.
Over on the Caribbean lowlands, four types of sea turtles nest on wild beaches between July – Sept at Tortuguero and it is possible to observe this phenomenal ritual discreetly in small groups. The journey to Tortuguero itself is a nature-lover’s delight: access is by boat via navigable waterways, similar to the Amazon!
It seems whatever time of year you go, the howler monkeys will wake you from around 04:30 am so there’s no need for an alarm call if you’re staying close to their habitat!
PLAN YOUR OWN COSTA RICA TRIP
No two holidays are alike in Costa Rica as it’s extremely easy to plan tailor-made trips so that you get to go where you want at a pace that suits you. And with the Caribbean Sea on one side and the Pacific Coast on the other, you’ll want to allow plenty of time to hit the beach! Browse our Costa Rica tours on our website or get in touch with one of our Central America experts by calling 02031315538.
Joanne Ellis is a product manager for the Caribbean & Mexico who couldn’t wait to experience Costa Rica, a country she had heard so much about. She recently had an amazing time discovering some of the key sights on the Classic Costa Rica tour and is already researching other parts of this diverse country as she can’t wait to go back.