Some places to go while on vacation in Costa Rica are Manuel Antonio National Park, Tortuguero National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and the Arenal Volcano. For beach-lovers, the Guanacaste region on the Pacific coast is renowned for its golden sands and clear waters. The capital city San José, with its interesting museums and colonial buildings, offers a good central base for exploring the country.
Costa Rica, located in Central America between Nicaragua and Panama, has both a Caribbean and a Pacific coastline. The Manuel Antonio National Park, also about two to three hours from San José, offers secluded, sandy Pacific beaches bordered by rainforests full of monkeys. The Tortuguero National Park is located in Costa Rica's northeast Caribbean coast. To get to the park, visitors catch one of the daily domestic flights from San José with Nature Air or travel via road and ferry. A good way to explore the park is to take a guided boat tour through the network of canals with a knowledgeable local who can point out the monkeys, snakes, frogs, lizards and birds that inhabit the banks and trees.
Inland, the Monteverde Cloud Forest, located a three-hour car trip away from San José, offers hiking trails, sky walks along suspension bridges and zip lining tours. The active Arenal Volcano is just 12 miles from Monteverde. Visitors take a trip to the Arenal Observatory Lodge for a good view of the volcano and enjoy bathing in some of the many natural hot springs, such as the Tabacón Hot Springs, that cascade down the volcano slopes in waterfalls.