Costa Rica has some of the most beautiful scenery anyone will encounter. It also has a vibrant culture and plenty of things for anyone to do. No matter the reason for visiting Costa Rica, you should take time to see these five hidden gems.
In Playa Sámara, there are romantic hotel rooms, family-friendly rooms, and great values galore. In a spot that's been called the "black hole of happiness," people have said that when they step into Playa Sámara, they never want to leave.
What you'll immediately notice about this beautiful destination is that it's an easy-to-navigate beach setting where you can relax and take in the scenery. The sea is calm enough for all ages to swim. Close by, there are also several hidden beaches that you can visit to enjoy the ocean in seclusion.
That's not all there is to do in Playa Sámara, though. It's also a great destination for people who love to hike and explore nature. There are several trails for visitors to trek, zipline adventure parks, and a biological reserve. The longer you spend here, the less likely you will be to leave.
With some of the most beautiful sunsets in all of Costa Rica, Playa Coyote had to make this list. The wildlife is truly spectacular and can be easily viewed at the Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary and Refuge, where you'll be able to see various types of macaws, sloths, spider monkeys, and tapirs.
Playa Coyote beach is a great place for people learning to surf as well as those who are more experienced. The staff is well-trained and experienced. They are ready and willing to teach anyone how to surf. The beaches are also fairly secluded for easy learning and privacy.
When in season, you can take in the unique experience of watching sea turtles. For centuries leatherback, black, green, hacksbill, and olive ridley turtles have been laying their eggs on the coast of Playa Coyote, and during certain seasons, you can watch the babies hatch and return to the sea.
Piscina de los Pobres
Right next to the giant Tabacón resort, there is a small area that everyone should visit. Not many tourists are aware of Piscina de Los Pobres, making it a great location for romantic getaways or family relaxation. It requires a hike to get to, but once you arrive, it's a site to behold.
The sea is beautiful, but the current is a little strong, so it's suggested that you do not let children swim. There are places to hike that will keep you busy, but the main draw of the area are the hot springs formed by two thermal rivers.
Barra Honda National Park Caves
About 25 miles east of Nicoya, you'll find the Barra Honda National Park and its cave system that instills wonder and awe in people of all ages. There are 42 caves in Barra Honda National Park with only 19 having yet been explored.
Most of the caves are only a few feet deep, but one in particular tunnels an amazing 780 feet underground. The cave system is not used for tourism because the government hasn't developed the area to support it. However, if you're heading to this area, you definitely need to check it out. The caves aren't something you're likely to regret seeing, and the experience will be remembered for a long time to come.
Cerro de la Muerte
Cerro de la Muerte, literally meaning "Summit of Death" or "Mountain of Death," is about 30 minutes by car from San José and is something all hikers should check out. Don't be fooled by the name! Cerro de la Muerte is fantastic for hikers of all levels and even has a wonderful lodge to visit where hummingbirds often buzz around. You can easily watch them all day. Cerro de la Muerte is also a great place to take in quetzal, a brightly colored bird that can only be seen in Central and South America.
If you can make it to the top, the mountain has a breathtaking view that will literally excite any hiker or scenery enthusiast. However, make sure you're a fit hiker before starting the trek as some of the trails can be dangerous.