The Central Pacific area of Costa Rica is mostly known as Puntarenas province. Here you will find towns like Jacó beach, Quepos, Manuel Antonio and in the farthest north, the town of Monteverde. It covers different life zones, from the cloud forest, transitional tropical dry, mangrooves, to the tropical humid, besides of many marine protected areas.
The largest resort in this area is Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Herradura bay with a nearby marina and an array of attractions just a few minutes away. If a boutique accommodation is more appealing,
Villa Caletas and Zephyr Palace can be your getaway! While travelling southeast, you will find other high end hotels like Parador Resort & Spa and Los Altos Resort in Manuel Antonio.
01. Carara National Park
For nature lovers, there is a couple of national parks well worthy to visit. Carara National Park encompasses a transitional life zone from the tropical dry of the North Pacific to the tropical humid, while being home of the Scarlett Macaw. Carara is an indigenous word meaning river of crocodiles, nevertheless it is just next to Tárcoles river, quite famous for the high population of this kind of reptiles. This protected zone offers different trails best suited for a guided naturalist walking tour.
02. Manuel Antonio National Park
Manuel Antonio National Park is probably the most visited park in Costa Rica, while being onenof the smallest ones and protects land and sea areas. It’s a must see for many visitors, as you will find a tropical very humid forest next to white sand beaches. Opportunities of seeing wildlife are high. Animals live in the wild and many do not fear humans, but are more likely curious, like the white capuchin monkey, howler monkey and even the endemic squirrel monkey. Other species of mammals that can be found are the two and three toe sloths, besides of many birds and reptiles… don’t be surprise if you find a caiman in the mangrove shallow waters. You can relax and enjoy the blue waters and white sand beaches too. Just keep in mind that Mondays, it’s closed to allow wildlife to recover from human interaction.
Another life zone well worthy to explore is the cloud forest. Monteverde is located in the continental divide from the Caribbean and Pacific slopes. This area was first populated by Quakers who migrated to Costa Rica back in 1950s, and named the area as such meaning green mountain. Nowadays, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve is the first private area for the conservation of wildlife founded in Costa Rica in October of 1972. This conservation area has led to a development of many activities, from canopy or zip line tours, to hanging bridges, butterfly farms, chocolate and coffee tours in the more cultural side, along with nature hikes, horseback riding and much more. This provides visitors of an assortment of experiences to explore the cloud forest at its best!
04. Jungle Cruise Bird Watching & Crocodile Safari
For those birdwatchers and wildlife fans that want a soft adventure, the Jungle Cruise BirdnWatching & Crocodile Safari is their right fit! Board a roofed motor launched boat and cruisennTárcoles river and explore the mangrove as well, with a naturalist guide and boat captain whonare using their best skills to look for the hidden inhabitants, like birds, monkeys and lizards. Justnkeep your eyes open to discover the small creatures in this ecosystems.
05. Canopy Zip Line & ATV
Adventure for all ages can be found at Vista Los Sueños Adventure Park. Canopy Zip Linenadventure starts with a tractor ride up the mountain to enjoy the beautiful view of Herradura bay.nSlide from the first platform located at ground level to the next one secured to a tree… it’s justnanother way to enjoy the forest from a different perspective! If you are more of an expeditionary,nyou can try the ATV or buggy vehicles in the off road trails thru the mountains, past villages andncreeks on your way to the river and waterfalls!
06. Horseback Riding
Also you can enjoy the premises horseback riding to one of the nearby waterfalls and takingnsome time to relax and swim! You can experience just one adventure or event two on the samenday, with the advantage that these are so close to the resort in Herradura bay that you can stillncome back and enjoy the pool and facilities!
07. Pacific Rain Forest Aerial Tram
The Pacific Rain Forest Aerial Tram is another possibility of exploring the forest at differentnlevels of the forest while taking a leisurely ride on a gondola with a naturalist guide. For thosenseeking adrenaline, a combination of the tram ride and zip line will be ideal, as you go up to the highest tower of the tram on the gondola, and then descending zig-zagging from cable to cable at the zip line.
08. Tortuga Island
The Mid Pacific is a great spot to admire the sunset. Nevertheless, a day trip to Tour to Tortuga Island might be your choice. Board a comfortable catamaran from the marina and cruise towards Tortuga or turtle island in the Gulf of Nicoya for about one hour and a half. Spend the day snorkeling, beach combing, relaxing and enjoying great food served on the island.
09. Outriggers & Sea Kayaking
If you want to perform a more physical activity whilst exploring the coast, try the Hawaiianncanoes departing from Agujas beach. Outriggers & Sea Kayaking in combination with snorkel time, will warm you up, as you paddle along the coast to Limoncito beach for some exploration and relaxation, before paddling back.
10. Inshore and offshore Fishing
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is well-known for its great fishing spots, while inshore fishing isnconstant year-round, the Mid Pacific (like Quepos and Marina Los Sueños) is best for offshore fishing from October through early May. Deep Sea Fishing, whether half or full day fishing charters, the thrill of fighting with a Sailfish or Marlin can make you proud! The above is just a small selection of the top 10 experiences that you can discover from the Central Pacific of Costa Rica, from the ground to the top of the trees, as you slide from one platform to the next one, while swimming in the warm waters of the Pacific ocean or cruising to your next fun destination! Costa Rica has it all!