Costa Rica has developed something of a reputation as an action and adventure destination in Central and South America. Adrenaline junkies will not want for things to get their heart racing – go white water rafting down the Pacuare River, test your nerves walking along hanging bridges in Monteverde, or swing Tarzan-like on a zip line in Arenal Volcano National Park. Prefer to take things slower? Go on a coffee tour of one of the country’s plantations with a chance for sampling or take to the water for leisurely sailing and snorkelling off the Pacific coast.
Costa Rican cuisine can be summed up as unpretentious, yet filling and tasty. Across the country, in any soda (small restaurant) you’ll find casado on the menu; this staple combines bean, white rice, fried plantains a salad and meat – everything you need on one plate! A popular breakfast dish is gallo pino (rice and beans) – on the Caribbean coast you’ll find rice n’ beans, essentially the same booked cooked with coconut milk. Unsurprisingly, coffee is a staple throughout Costa Rica, drunk either black or with milk and sugar; refrescos are a smoothie-type drink made from tropical fruits.
Costa Rica’s main attraction is its abundance of wildlife. Known for its biodiversity and eco-tourism, travellers to this Central American country can see leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles hatch in Tortuguero, go whale watching in the Osa Peninsula and spot toucans, sloths and howler monkeys in Corcovado and Manuel Antonio National Parks. Relax in the hot springs (where you’ll find swim up bars and waterslides) in Arenal, visit the 12 metre high Catarata Llanos de Cortes waterfall and see an impressive collection of gold at the Pre-Colombian Gold Museum in San Jose.
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