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Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

Beauty & the beach

Coast Rica's Pacific Coast holidays

Introduction

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.

Beach on the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica

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.

Squirrel monkey, Corcovado National Park


Top itineraries in Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

Birds & Beaches of Costa Rica

10-day itinerary from £2,395 pp incl. flights

Take in the best of Costa Rica's beaches, birdlife and wildlife-viewing hotspots as you travel to the beautiful Turrialba Valley and on to San Gerardo de Dota – one of the world's great bird-watching destinations – ending with the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park.

Costa Rica Classic

13-day tailor-made journey from £3,030 pp incl. flights

Costa Rica is a land of spectacular volcanoes, wildlife-filled cloud forests, fast-flowing jungle rivers and tropical jungles. Explore its natural-world highlights in Arenal and Monteverde before kicking back on the beaches of Manuel Antonio National Park or Guanacaste.

Costa Rica: Sarapiqui and the Osa Peninsula

11-day tailor-made journey from £3,535 pp incl. flights

Let expert guides introduce you to two Costa Rican gems – the rainforest of Sarapiqui and towering Arenal Volcano. You'll then enjoy a full-board stay at the Lapa Rios Ecolodge, hidden among the wildlife-filled rainforests of the Osa Peninsula.

Costa Rica Self-Drive

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,710 pp incl. flights

Travel passed farmlands, forests, lakes and volcanoes to Arenal, the cloud forests of Monteverde and the wildlife of the Palo Verde and Rincón de la Vieja National Parks. Top it all off with a relaxing stay on the palm-fringed bays of Guanacaste on Costa Rica's North Pacific Coast.

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Top places to stay in Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

Parador Resort & Spa, Manuel Antonio

Contemporary hotel

In an exceptional location on the doorstep of Manuel Antonio Park, this hotel offers eco-tourism on a luxury scale, with several swimming pools and restaurants making it ideal for both families and honeymooners.

Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula

Contemporary eco-accommodation

This luxury eco-lodge is located in the remote Osa Peninsula deep in the rainforest, offering open air bungalows and ocean views for guests to truly immerse themselves in nature.

Hotel Punta Islita, Nicoya Peninsula

Contemporary eco-accommodation

This upmarket beach resort is built along the Pacific coastline of Guanacaste, with rugged eco-luxury and spectacular views of the coastline.

Lagarta Lodge, Nicoya Peninsula

Contemporary lodge

This boutique eco lodge sits on the Nicoya peninsula surrounded by winding rivers, turtle-dotted sandy beaches and tropical rainforests teeming with biodiverse flora and fauna. Enjoy timber-roofed suites, private decks, exquisite gastronomy and endless opportunities for wildlife spotting.

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Where to go in Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

Corcovado & Osa Peninsula

The Osa Peninsula is one of the best-kept secrets in Costa Rica. Described by National Geographic as 'the most biologically intense place on earth', it's unarguably the most pristine of all Costa Rica's ecosystems.

South Pacific Coast

Costa Rica's South Pacific Coast is dominated by the Osa Peninsula. The Golfo Dulce separates this spit of land from the mainland; its divorced location has helped preserve the area's natural vegetation, creating forests so dense you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the Amazon Basin instead. …

Manuel Antonio National Park

Don't be deceived by the size of Manuel Antonio National Park. Although one of the smallest of Costa Rica's national parks, it's also rated as one of its best.

Central Pacific Coast

The Central Pacific is a slightly rockier stretch of coastline but these rugged cliffs only add to the beauty of this area, contrasting spectacularly with the region's beaches and tranquil bays.

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When to go to Costa Rica's Pacific Coast

Corcovado & Osa Peninsula
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Costa Rica's Pacific Coast articles

Just back from: Costa Rica

Wexas Latin-America specialist Alison Nicolle reports back from one of 2018's hottest destinations – Costa Rica. Expect everything from volcano rainforests to sloth beaches.

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