It's truly remarkable how much this small Central American country packs in, from shimmering beaches to live volcanoes to mysterious cloud forests. Despite pockets of overdevelopment, it's still an eco-tourism wonder. As they say in CR, "pura vida!"

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12 Terrific Eco/Adventure Experiences in Costa Rica

  Matthew Paulsen   Beginning in the 1990s, this small Central American country essentially pioneered the ecotourism boom that has spread across the globe. Besides its vaunted Pacific and Caribbean beaches, packed into just 19,730 square miles -  a good bit smaller than West Virginia and a bit over twice the size of Wales - Costa Rica boasts 29 national parks, 19 wildlife refuges, eight biological reserves, and an additional slew of protected areas. And here are a dozen of its most prized eco…

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Monteverde Cloud Forest: a magical tourist attraction which doesn't encourage tourists?

Florent MECHAIN/   The last 18 miles of the road leading to the Monteverde is full of ruts and potholes by design, and takes over an hour and a half to bump your way in. The locals like it that way, and they choose not to fix it because then it would be a little too easy then for tourists to visit. That may not sound all that hospitable, but it illustrates the emphasis Costa Ricans place on conservation. And the cloud forest, which I visited prior to Covid as part of an Overseas…

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Santa Teresa Beach's 'swimming pool in the ocean'

When I stay at Pranamar Oceanfront Villas & Yoga Retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, on Costa Rica's on the southern Nicoya Peninsula of mid-Pacific coast, one of my favorite things to do is to swim in the giant tide pool down the beach about five minutes from the hotel. This shallow sea water swimming pool - larger-than-Olympic size - is one of the best-kept secrets of the area. It is located between Pranamar Villas and El Peñón ("Big Rock"), where Santa Teresa Beach turns into Hermosa Beach…

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