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Costa Rica is a peaceful country where conservation of its richly diverse wilderness has been a priority for decades. Protected national parks and wildlife refuges cover more than a quarter of the country, making it a renowned ecotourism destination where visitors can explore volcanic mountains, tropical forests and pristine coastal waters teeming with exotic species in their natural habitat. It's also a top destination for beach holidays.


Luxury hotels extend along the Pacific coast, where tourist development is carefully balanced with respect for the natural environment, and many hotels in Costa Rica overlook its beautiful beaches. Costa Rica abolished its military in 1948 after a devastating civil war, and since then conservation has been its main mission.

Gulf of Papagayo

Seclusion and luxury are the hallmarks of this carefully planned tourist area, where Costa Rica's finest hotels are nestled in the forested landscape along Culebra Bay. White sand and gentle surf make for ideal beach holidays. Hotels in Papagayo offer all the upscale amenities you would expect, along with secluded swimming spots and shady havens for relaxation. Adults-only hotels cater for couples looking for a romantic getaway, where sparkling waters are perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and sailing.


Day trips to the mountains of Guanacaste offer breathtaking views of volcanoes, forests and wildlife. Papagayo hotels in Costa Rica are close to nature, but without sacrificing comfort. The modern airport and excellent paved roads make it easy to get to and from the resort.


This coastal town is the perfect setting for a holiday spent indulging in beach activities such as swimming, sunbathing and walking along the stretches of white sand that surround these Costa Rica hotels. Playa Langosta is an excellent surfing spot and is famous for its powerful waves. Nearby Las Baulas National Marine Park shelters the nesting sites of the endangered leatherback turtle, the largest sea turtle in the world. During the nesting season, visitors are almost guaranteed to see them coming ashore to build their nests. It's even possible to see them underwater by snuba diving, a new form of diving where divers breathe through an air tube attached to a raft. This makes it easier than scuba but offers many of the same thrilling views of turtles, whales, fish, and octopus.

Tambor Beach

Tambor is located at the southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula at the head of Ballena Bay, a horseshoe-shaped body of water with volcanic sand beaches and calm surf. Tambor hotels offer a relaxed atmosphere with tempting extras such as outdoor massages, evening shows, tennis and golf. Boat trips are enormously popular on the bay, which is dotted with islands and has an almost lake-like tranquillity. Crossing Nicoya Bay by ferry is an hour-long trip that opens up views of beautiful coves and inlets along the coastline. A top-rated day trip is sailing on a catamaran to Tortuga Island, which has white sandy beaches and clear water perfect for diving. An excursion to Curú Wildlife Refuge promises sightings of Costa Rica's iconic animals: monkeys, agouti and sloths.

San José

Costa Rica's capital city blends a vibrant urban centre with beautiful natural landscapes. To the north, a chain of volcanoes towers over the Central Valley. To the south, the Talamanca Mountains stretch into Panama. San José is full of impressive Victorian architecture. A stroll through the city reveals outstanding examples, especially in Barrio Amón. The imposing National Theatre is a prime example of neoclassical style, and a tour of its ornate interior is time well spent. The Museum of Gold is in a subterranean museum complex beneath the city's central plaza. It houses a rare collection of ancient artefacts crafted in solid gold. A day trip to Arenal Volcano takes sightseers into the shadow of the famous peak, and natural hot springs provide many opportunities to bathe in the warm waters.