costa rica beach at sunset

I’m willing to bet we’re all dreaming of the beach right now: that feeling of the sun seeping into your pores, of soft sand against your skin, and of cool waves lapping at your feet. Costa Rica, a compact country bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, epitomises the dreamy beach scene we’ve all been craving, as well as offering a rich, diverse landscape at its centre. Celebrated as a tropical paradise, Costa Rica is also well-known for its volcanoes and for its jungle, which is teeming with diverse wildlife.

These three Costa Rican destinations are spread out across the country, each entirely diverse not only in their geography, but also in their culture and landscape. From the vibrant nightlife of Jacó to the busy streets of San José, read on to discover our 3 most incredible spots in Costa Rica.

Looking for more beach inspo? Check out our 6 favourite beaches in Europe

Jacó

A beachside town known as much for its tropical beaches as for its lively bars and clubs, Jacó is vibrant and energetic. Favoured by a youthful, active population, Jacó is particularly beloved by the surfing community, who flock to the beaches in search of the Pacific’s characteristic roaring waves. Jacó is the perfect getaway destination for those who love adventure, and offers a range of water sports and nature-based activities.

San José

Costa Rica’s capital, San José is the largest and most highly-populated city in the country, located inland at the heart of Costa Rica. Tucked just beneath the striking Irazú volcano, you’re never far from breathtaking natural beauty – even at the centre of such a bustling, cosmopolitan city. Dating back to the mid-1700s, San José is famous among other South American cities for its marked globalisation; it has, however, never lost touch with its cultural roots, housing both the country’s National Theatre and the Museo Nacional.

Limón

Across the country, perched on the beautiful Caribbean Sea, is the city of Limón. Also often known as Puerto Limón, this city is one of the most unique in Costa Rica: just a short drive inland lies the Verague Rainforest, which makes the perfect day trip. If you’re a curious traveller who loves to experience local wildlife, then the nearby Santuario de Perezosos (Sloth Sanctuary) takes care of this vulnerable species, and is open to visitors from 8am-2pm every day except Monday. The city itself acts as Costa Rica’s most important port, dating all the way back to the 1500s; the entire centre is rich in its history, with a decidedly Afro-Caribbean culture which sets it apart from other destinations in the country.

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