Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel Guide

Float quietly past the howler monkeys, green iguanas, crocodiles, and toucans that reside on the thickly forested banks of Guanacaste’s Tenorio River while rafting. Expert guides can lead you through adrenaline-pumping rapids or slower, meandering waters. half-day trips from $95

The oldest and most reputable adventure outfitter in the country (founder Michael Kaye left his native New York to open the biz in 1978), Costa Rica Expeditions runs multiday packages to all the country’s wildest natural places.

This long established agency can organize botany, birding, or photography tours, and more.

Functional, beautiful objects made from rainforest woods are created on site at this small store and wood shop run by American craftsman Barry Biesanz. Among the offerings are painstakingly made and richly colored humidors, jewelry boxes, credit card cases, and comb sets.

Coffee is king in Costa Rica—and of the nearly 150,000 large and small coffee fincas (plantations) that dot the Costa Rican landscape (most in the Central Valley), Café Britt is the best place to learn about it.

With its zip-line canopy tours, Selvatura brings you eye-to-eye with birds that occupy the rainforest treetops—and lets you fly like one yourself.

Corcovado’s 127,000 acres of lush primary rainforest protect an extraordinary array of wildlife.

Take a spectacular sunset, throw in a sexy clientele, live music on the beach, finely mixed cocktails, and a reliable party-food menu, and you have The Backyard: one of the Pacific Coast’s better spots for a beach fiesta.

Years as agent: 13. Specialties: Costa Rica, Soft adventure. Consulting fee: None.

The reserve protects 815 acres of coastal rain forest. Look for capuchin monkeys, toucans, and three-toed sloths along the reserve's well-groomed trails.

One of the most remote areas in Costa Rica, this 47,000-acre coastal preserve—which encompasses an intricate series of jungle canals, lagoons, and beaches—is reachable only by boat or plane.

With nearly 200 different shops and studios selling painted boxes and trays, jewelry, furniture, textiles, and carved wood utensils, the town of Sarchí is Costa Rica’s crafts hub.

Many of the nearly 400 bird species at Rara Avis can be found nowhere else in the world. Costa Rica’s first reserve, this is the place that kicked off the country’s ecotourism movement when it opened in 1983.

A 1.7-mile zipline network in the Monteverde Reserve operated by Costa Rica Sky Adventures gives airborne guests close-up glimpses of forest-dwelling mammals, like the fuzzy brown martilla, as well as views of the smoldering Arenal Volcano.