Nestled on a slender isthmus between Nicaragua and Panama, with the Caribbean to the east and the Pacific to the west, Costa Rica boasts an upbeat attitude that has earned it recognition as one of the globe’s happiest countries. This delightful reputation, along with bountiful, unspoiled beaches, lush tropical rainforests, towering mountains, and one of the most biodiverse environments in the world make Costa Rica the ultimate haven for serenity and well-being seekers of all kinds.

Travelers need only a little time in Costa Rica before quickly learning that pura vida (the good life) isn’t just a phrase – it’s a way of life. This means living a healthy lifestyle by eating smart and enjoying plenty of outdoor activities with family and friends. In fact, a 2004 study by the University of Costa Rica found that mortality among those living here of 90 years of age is 10% lower in the country’s northwest Nicoya Peninsula. Simply put, if you are looking for the ideal place to improve your mental and physical well-being, adopt healthy habits and activities into your lifestyle, liberate your soul and return home a new person, then Costa Rica should be next on your travel list. 

Eco-minded adventure seekers and anyone looking to soothe mind, body, and soul can find their perfect paradise here. Wellness includes activities abound and include everything from easy to strenuous mountain trekking in the country’s interior, phenomenal surfing and watersports, thrilling wildlife viewing, yoga retreats, and more. For the ultimate in well-being, there are also a number of spa experiences throughout the country that incorporate innovative relaxation techniques such as body wraps in which volcanic mud, coffee, tropical fruits, and chocolate are used to moisturize the skin.

A large part of what Costa Rica makes an ideal setting for escaping the daily grind is that nearly a quarter of the country’s land is designated as parks and reserves, protecting an extraordinary variety of ecosystems, flora and fauna. Every plant you’ve ever nurtured on a warm windowsill grows here in wild profusion – yuccas and ficus form dense hedges, monstera, philodendron, and dieffenbachia string along in jungle proportions. Busy Lizzie's coat roadside banks, dense blankets of black-eyed Susans clamber over posts. Trees are hanging gardens of orchids and bromeliads.

Brilliant green hummingbirds hover over purple bougainvillea, heliconias spill out their red, orange and yellow flowering stems that resemble lobster claws. Parrots chatter, monkeys swing from branches, sloths peer down with beneficent smiles, sea turtles lay their eggs on a 22mile sandy beach. There are rain forests and cloud forests, towering volcanoes and colorful birds that seem straight out of picture books.

To help you find the perfect area for your Costa Rica getaway, here are a few of our favorite regions in the country to explore…


Costa Rica’s Caribbean side is everything travelers dream about – gorgeous beaches, sparkling water, and plenty of vibrant sea life. The region extends from the San Juan River to the Sixaola River along the Panamanian border, with the city of Limón located in the center.

In the northern sector of the region, green tortoise nesting grounds along the beaches of Tortuguero National Park and Barra del Colorado National Wildlife Refuge are the main attraction. This area is also known for sport fishing of sea bass, shad, and other species. The aforementioned is complemented by a river system that joins the port of Moín with Barra del Colorado. Visitors have many nature-based activities to experience here, particularly fauna observation since the area is known worldwide for its bird and turtle watching.

Overall, the country’s Caribbean side exhibits a unique mix of beach, natural resource, and Afro-Caribbean culture in surrounding areas like Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, and Gandoca-Manzanillo. Here there are fantastic beaches where you can find a mix of activities involving adventure and natural history, which uniquely complement the local culture, gastronomy, and music. The area is also known for its coral reefs, multi-colored sand beaches (black, yellow, and grey), coastal vegetation, and medium-high forests.



With a total of 5,921 square miles and more than 400 miles of coastline, the Guanacaste area comprises the Pacific Coast area from the border of Nicaragua to the Bongo River estuary in the Nicoya Peninsula. This region of the country is home to a very important section of Costa Rica’s cultural and natural heritage and boasts a significant number of protected areas including water, land, mountain, and coastal ecosystems that are teaming with life.

The incomparable beauty of its landscapes, which range from tropical dry forests to lowland mountain forests, its warm climate, as well as its flourishing nature has made Guanacaste one of the most heavily visited areas by locals as well as international travelers.

All along Guanacaste, there are a number of beaches where you can swim in warm Pacific Ocean waters. Again, the coastal landscape here is exceptional as there is an array of white-sand beaches and calm, intense-blue waters.


A particularly great place to unwind and reconnect with family, friends, and yourself is in the South Pacific region. Encompassing the entire Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce region, southern Costa Rica offers wellness seekers a great selection of world-class activities and accommodations. The town of Drake Bay makes a great base camp for exploring the region’s Corcovado National Park, the Reserva Biologica Isla del Cano, Piedras Blancas National Park, and the Reserva Forestal Golfo Dulce. 

Nature lovers will love staying closer to Corcovado National Park, noted by National Geographic as the most biologically intense place on Earth. Staying in such close proximity to the park is an experience in itself as there are no real roads here. 

To get a better feel for the region, head on across the Golfo Dulce to the town of Golfito. This sportfishing hotspot offers a range of accommodations that range from ecolodges to first-class resorts set amidst lovely tropical gardens. Nearby is Piedras Blancas National Park, known for its stunning diversity of flora and fauna.

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