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The Gems of Costa Rica

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

As the world begins to open up to less restrictive traveling, many are ready to leave the nest and spread their wings again. If you haven't decided on your first trip destination, I suggest you make it to Costa Rica. No Covid testing is needed to travel there, however, you will need one for your return. You will also be required to purchase insurance while you are there, which is approximately $11/day.

The beautiful country of Costa Rica is peaceful, democratic, and ranked as one of the most visited international destinations. While it may attract many tourists, Costa Rica is filled with hidden gems that will submerge you in the land's culture and breathtaking views.

Here are five places you should check out while in Costa Rica:

Catarata del Toro

This breathtaking waterfall is located near the tiny town of Bajos del Toro and is a privately-owned, ecological project. Considered one of the top 10 waterfalls of the world, Catarata del Toro stands at 270 feet and is nestled inside an old volcano crater.

While the waterfall is the main event, there is plenty to see in the surrounding area. The Catarata del Toro project offers gorgeous gardens designed to attract a wide variety of birds.

Be sure to be prepared for steep climbs and rainfall when visiting, but know that it will be worth it.

Los Heroes

An unexpected property awaits you when you visit Lake Arenal. Los Heroes is surrounded by the mountains and volcanos of Costa Rica but has the architecture of a quaint Swiss town.

The estate has a train station located behind the hotel. Visitors can ride the train up the hillside to the revolving restaurant. This location serves up a history lesson on the pre-Columbian culture of the land and delivers panoramic views of Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano.

Playa Marbella

While it is not as secluded as it once was, Playa Marbella offers beachgoers a less crowded experience. Separated from the main road by a small town, this dark sand beach feels more secluded than some more touristy beaches.

Playa Marbella is about an hour south of Tamarindo and an excellent spot for surfing with its bright blue waters and off-shore winds. The area is a bit rocky, so it is not ideal for swimming, and this is probably why this gorgeous beach has remained somewhat under the radar.

If you want to catch some waves or enjoy a quieter beach, Playa Marabella is the place to be.

Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve

Located in Sarapiquí, the Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve is a non-profit organization that invests in the scientific study of the surrounding wildlife. This beautiful reserve offers a diverse spectacle of animals that can be viewed over 5.5 miles of trail.

Tirimbina offers guided tours that range from night viewings as well as a chocolate tour. While the guided tours are informative, the chocolate tasting of the chocolate tour is a real highlight.

The land is intertwined with relatively easy trails that even children can handle. From what I heard, just make sure you are ready for the hanging bridge, roughly 800 feet long. The beautiful surroundings should be a good distraction, though.

Sand Dollar Cove

Unlike the previously mentioned spots, Sand Dollar Cove is not necessarily a tourist attraction. This community offers beachfront properties on a beautiful, private beach.

Research shows that the beach offers quiet seclusion and small (inconsistent) waves for those interested in a bit of surfing.

Step away from the crowded beaches and into your own little paradise at Sand Dollar Cove.

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