The Central Pacific region is probably Costa Rica´s most popular area, goes from north of Jacó to south of Manuel Antonio. This narrow coastland is surrounded by beautiful beaches and lush forestation, giving travelers the perfect combination between adventure and relaxation.
This region is one of the most accessible in the country, it takes a bit more than an hour from San José, the capital, to get to this tropical paradise, which works as an excellent transit point, if you are heading to South pacific area later on.
The temperature is this area remains similar all year round, on average, across the coastline 25–34˚C (77–93˚F), but at higher elevation, temperatures could drop down considerably.
Precipitation varies by month, being December through April the driest. However, during the raining season, it usually rains during the afternoon while you still get dry mornings with the loveliest sunrises.
Located in Quepos, with its green mountains, sandy beaches and exotic wildlife this place makes the promise to captivate your senses. This is where the jungle meets the beach and offers you a very unique scenery.
Manuel Antonio is a picturesque little town, which offers a variety of hotels, restaurants, nightlife, culture and nature activities as well as the famous National Park.
This is the protected area in the country that welcomes the most tourists, national and international in Costa Rica.
This tropical forest is home of endangered flora and fauna. Discover white sandy beaches, a mangrove swamp as well as a 14-hectare lagoon. The Park offers trails to the most experienced hikers but also for beginner level explorers.
Along every step of the way this exotic place surprises with its wildlife, visitors can see monkeys, sloths, deer, birds and reptiles.
Tarcoles River is formed by the convergence of the Virilla River and the Grande de San Ramón. This river helps irrigate important agricultural areas along the country and even generates electricity.
It is home of many species, sloths, monkeys, herons, and of course the most notable one, which is the American Crocodile. This reptile gets as big as 3 meters long, the river is one of the most density populated by crocodiles in the world, which pretty much makes it a mandatory visit for tourists traveling in this area. Crocodiles can be seen from the bridge, though there are river safaris available as well. Obviously, not a good place for swimming.
Near the bridge, they are souvenir stores, restaurants and other interesting shops.
This small but highly develop town offers a 4 km long bay, dark sand beach and a very attractive spot for surfing and sport fishing.
Is one of the closest beaches from San José, it takes about 1 hour and 30 min to get there. Visitors will find a variety of restaurants, and an intriguing nightlife.
Carara National Park
This National Park is 90 km from San José, its name means “River of lizards” in the indigenous Huetar Language. Its location makes it perfect to stop by, weather you are traveling in the area or as a one-day visit.
What makes this national park so interesting is that is the only Transition Forest in the Central Pacific region, resulting in a variety of dry-humid forest species of flora and fauna.
Carara is a very well know birdwatching destination, with the distinctive Scarlet Macaw (Lapa Roja – Ara macao, an endangered species.
This town is famous for two things: amazing orange sunsets and off course great surfing!
The beach is surrounded by jungle, every so often you can hear the howler monkeys at distance and depending on where you are staying, they could even be your personal awakening service call. The dry season goes from November to April. Though it could rain for days during the rainy season, on average the mornings are sunny followed by heavy rain in the afternoons or evenings. If you are not afraid of the rain, keep in mind that surfing conditions might improve significantly during the rainy season.
If you have never surf but you are looking to learn, Santa Teresa is a solid spot to do so. There are several surf camps, and shops that offer lessons and all the equipment necessary to start this adventure.
Santa Teresa beach is surrounded by people from all over the world, some are tourists, others fell in love with the place and decided to make it their home. This cultural mix offers an interesting variety of restaurants: Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, Argentine food and of course traditional Costa Rican cuisine.
To travel to this area you could take a local flight to Tambor or by land from San Jose to Puntarenas (1 h 30 min ), then 1 hour ferry to Paquera, and after that is a bit more than an hour ride. The ferry offers an interesting glimpse of Costa Rican’s culture. Though the fastest way to get there is for sure on a taxi boat, which departures from Herradura or Jacó in the Central Pacific coast.
A tropical retreat with rain forest!
Montezuma is a small beach town full of life. This little village is known for its surf, astonishing waterfalls and rocky pools.
One of the highlights is visiting the turtle sanctuary, the female turtles nest every 2 to 3 years, laying between 80 to 100 eggs to increase the chance of survival. Before the eggs hatch some are eaten by other wildlife or poached by locals. There is voluntary group that looks after the eggs, they take them to a nursery to protect them. After 45 to 55 days they exhumed the turtles, which are taken down the beach and then release to make their way in to the ocean, witnessing their first walk is simply magical.
There are three cascades along the Montezuma River. The tallest part of the fall is 24 meters, (79 feet), tumbling into a refreshing large river pool. This place offers a beautiful scenery, walking trails, natural pools and for the ones who dare to jump from any of the waterfalls a big rush of adrenaline. Please notice this area is not regulated for safety.
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