Corcovado National Park#4 in Best Things To Do in Costa Rica
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Travelers come to this 160-square-mile misty rainforest for its diverse wildlife. Buzzing insects and chirping birds can be seen and heard as you stroll through the verdant jungle. Trek along the hazy trails and you're likely to spot macaws, tapirs, jaguars, spiders or howler monkeys.
Recent visitors suggested arriving early in the day (7 to 9 a.m.) to increase wildlife sightings, but no matter when you go, there will be plenty to see. To fully experience all of Corcovado's sights and sounds, you'll want to carve out two or three days for exploring. If you need a break from hiking, head to the 23 miles of beaches, but be warned the sand is hot.
Corcovado National Park is located along Costa Rica's South Pacific coast; the three closest towns are Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez and Carate. The park can be accessed through a variety of park entrances that are marked with a ranger station. The three main entry points are San Pedrillo, Los Patos and La Leona. These are conveniently spread out at different edges of the park. Corcovado National Park's ranger stations are in operation daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission costs $15 for adults; permits are required. Permits can be obtained through a tour operator. Past visitors spoke highly of Osa Wild and Corcovado Info Center.
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#1 Nicoya Peninsula
The Nicoya Peninsula's sparkling 80-mile shoreline boasts beach-centric towns with cream-colored shores and dense forests. Half of the peninsula is found in the Guanacaste province, while the other half sits in the Puntarenas province. Nosara Beach's powdery sands line the Nicoya Peninsula's western edge. You'll also find fishing and cattle-ranching communities east of the rustic coastline. After a significant rise in tourism that began in the 1970s, an influx of restaurants and hotels have enticed visitors to the peninsula's sandy coast.
Recent travelers highlight Nosara Beach's gorgeous sunsets, colorful fish and turquoise waters as ideal for surfers and beach lovers alike. But be warned: shade is minimal (and it gets hot!) and the undertow can be challenging; sunset walks on the beach are highly encouraged. Other hot spots include Mal País and Montezuma, a charming coastal town that boasts affordable hotel accommodations and untamed splendors, like magnificent waterfalls and gentle cerulean waves.
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