The Resorts, Volcanos + Cloudforests of Guanacaste + The North

The Resorts, Volcanos + Cloudforests of Guanacaste + The North Travel Guide

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.

Wood sculptures by locally renowned artists are the specialty of this upscale gallery. The carved, stylized figures of Central American animals and rainforest flora have traditionally played an important role in the lives of Costa Ricans and local lore.

Nearly 5,000 feet above sea level—and reached via a four-hour, precipitous, unpaved drive from San José—this 25,700-acre, amazingly biodiverse preserve is the most popular tourist attraction in Costa Rica.

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.

The Arenal volcano region in north central Costa Rica has always attracted pilgrims to the natural hydrotherapy provided by the hot springs and waterfalls.

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

While this Pacific stretch’s notorious breaks are mainly for experts, novices can learn to hang ten along the calmer shores of Manuel Antonio Beach.

A lively mix of locals and globals gather at this casual beach bar to lounge in leather rocking chairs on the open-air patio and sample from an exquisite cocktail menu (more than 90 concoctions are on the list).

Just south of Quepos on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica are a series of wide, white-sand beaches backed by dense, tropical forest, mangrove swamps, and lagoons that serve as the home for hundreds of species of animals such as sloths, iguanas, and rare squirrel monkeys.