Spectacular and unspoilt, Costa Rica's sun-kissed Pacific Coast is a delightful blend of golden beaches and dense forests dotted with waterfalls. And, right along its 1,000-kilometre length, it's a treasure trove of wildlife wonders, from breeching whales to nesting turtles and forest canopies alive with playful monkeys and brightly coloured birds. Good transportation links and a well-established tourism infrastructure make the North coast a popular beach-holiday destination, while those who head south will discover a more intimate and enticing side of Costa Rica.
Peninsulas north & south
This is a coastline dominated by peninsulas, with the Nicoya Peninsula to the north and Osa to the south. The sheltered bays and gulfs provide welcome shelter for some of the Pacific Ocean's more endangered nomadic creatures, amongst them whale sharks, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales. They also provide some truly idyllic spots in which to simply relax, with a smattering of boutique spa resorts, often fronted by delightfully secluded sandy stretches, offering the perfect place to simply chill out and watch the natural world go by.
Spectacular national parks
The coast's concentration of wildlife isn't limited to its bays and reefs. The inland forests are as biologically diverse as anywhere in Costa Rica, and both Manuel Antonio and Corcovado National Park are both rightfully popular stops in this vibrant and varied Pacific region. And, for those that prefer to step further off the beaten track, the quieter Carara Biological Reserve is the place to spot scarlet macaws resting among the mangroves as peccaries and coatis forage through the undergrowth.