Top Destinations in Costa Rica

Updated: Jan 27

La Fortuna

La Fortuna is probably my most favourite destination in Costa. The mountains here are just crazy beautiful. Lots and lots of waterfalls, beautiful hanging bridges and Arenal volcano is just unreal! 

I recommend visiting Mistico hanging bridges park, La Fortuna waterfall and any hot springs there. 

Rio Celeste

This place has the most magical waterfall. The turquoise water is just very mesmerizing. It was actually really hard to get to Rio Celeste. I did a lot of research before going to make sure I know how to get there, however Google map definitely didn't show the correct way. I had to turn around many times and ask many different local people to find the way there. You might find it helpful to do some research and ask some local people there just to save you sometimes. 

I’ve heard crazy things about the hike up to Rio Celeste, such as that it was a long and difficult hike, very muddy, it takes about 4-5 hours back and forth but honestly these were just rumours for me. It took me 1.5 hours back and forth including the time I spent to take pictures!! It took around 30 minutes to the waterfall, and just 15 minutes down to the beginning of the 2 rivers where they merge together. I admit I walked quite fast, and sometimes ran during the hike, but it definitely won’t take that long for the entire trip! Also I was wearing a romper and flats but I didn’t get dirty at all. I was confused of how many people didn’t like the hike, I thought it was a very nice and fun hike and I would definitely do it again if I get a chance in the future. 

Monteverde (Clouds Forest)

I am surprised that not a lot of travellers go here. To me, Monteverde is such a stunning place. You won’t see any beaches or waterfalls, but the cloud forest is just mesmerizing. As the name indicated, you will see lots and lots of clouds surrounding the mountains, and sometimes it seems almost unreal. I love the drive there a lot and I enjoyed staying there. The town is small enough for you to walk around and enjoy many great restaurants. My most favourite in Monteverde is “The Tree House”. Yes it is a real tree house, a house built on top of a tree! The food there was amazing, but a little pricey. This restaurant is rated as one of the best bizzard restaurants in the world. 

What to do in Monteverde?

You can do many things here, such as horseback riding, zip lining, tarzan swing and also night walk. To be honest, I just enjoyed the town up in Monteverde so much that I’m okay just walking around and eating there all day! Give it a try for at least 1-2 days, I’m sure you won’t regret it! 

Papagayo Peninsula 

Before going here, I had no idea this place is a private island. I went there, just ask the guard nicely (I said I’m a visitor) and he let me in the island no problem. I went all the way to Four Season Costa Rica and just parked my car in the parking lot. They pay close attention to everyone in the resort so be prepared to dress nicely to fit in with the tourists there haha. Upon arrival I headed straight to the beach, took a few pictures then left right away as I knew I wasn’t a guest there. After that I was lucky enough to take a few drone shots and drive around. It was such a unique experience. If you can afford a night at those hotels on this island, I would definitely recommend staying there.

Tips for your next trip: 

  1. It gets dark really quick in Costa Rica (sunset is at around 5:00pm), and when it gets dark, there are not many things to do. Try to get up early and get to many places as you possibly can before it gets dark. It also rains a lot after 3:00pm in the summer, so going around in the morning is your best bet! 

  2. It is quite crazy to drive around there so avoid driving at night as it will be pitch black everywhere, except for the city. 

  3. Avoid busy places like restaurants right in front of the beach as they are very overpriced. 

  4. Carry a good amount of cash because you will need it, unless you are staying in the main cities like San Jose. 

  5. Attractions are usually not free in Costa Rica, if you are looking to travel on budget, make sure you do research ahead of time and decide which ones to go to.  

I hope these tips help you all, and please comment down below if you have any questions for me. 

Lots of love, 

Annie Pham

About Me

A professional photographer, music examiner and teacher who is passionate about exploring the world and inspire others to do the same. 

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