Costa Rica

Grab a cocktail, flick open your favourite book and lay back and relax in the beach-lovers’ heaven presented by holidays in Costa Rica. Unless, that is, you fancy ziplining through the rainforest, climbing volcanoes or riding the waves on a surfboard – Costa Rica has that covered too.

The Central American country, nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, is a guidebook writer’s dream. Not only is there plenty of thrilling adventure to be had, but there are stunning, postcard-perfect pictures to accompany the words.

Hikers will love the challenges presented by Costa Rica’s numerous volcanoes and cloud forests. Monteverde Rainforest is the most popular cloud forest in the country, where long suspension bridges provide sensational treetop views, plus thrill-seekers can get a buzz from ziplining through the trees.

Arenal Volcano isn’t Costa Rica’s tallest peak, but as an active volcano – which last erupted in 2010 – it’s an exciting one to climb, with stunning views across the Arenal Volcano National Park, Lake Arenal and nearby town of La Fortuna as the reward. In the vicinity, you can also visit the Lava Fields, Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, Venado Caves, hot springs, La Fortuna Waterfall and even take part in a rainforest chocolate tour.

For beach holidays in Costa Rica, many head to the Pacific Coast, where the surf is also lively. Manuel Antonio National Park boasts four dreamy white-sand beaches and it’s not unusual to spot monkeys in the trees framing the beach.

But don’t neglect the Caribbean Coast for beaches which are a little more untouched. Limon is blessed with the likes of Playa Cocles and Cahuita National Park – which itself has two stunning tropical beaches and amazing coral reefs to explore too.

And if all that isn’t enough to keep you busy, the bustling capital of San Jose is chock-a-block with galleries, museums and bars where you can soak up the culture and atmosphere.

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