In the shadow of the iconic Arenal Volcano, the 1,140-meter Chato Volcano is often overlooked by visitors to Arenal Volcano National Park, but its forested slopes and abundant wildlife make it an enticing prospect for hikers, especially since it makes an easy day trip from La Fortuna. While climbing the notoriously volatile Arenal is strictly prohibited, hiking Chato Volcano offers a fun challenge, as well as spectacular views over the national park from its summit.
Marking its declaration of independence from Spain in 1821, Costa Rica celebrates on September 15th, along with the rest of Central America. Costa Rica’s Independence Day is the most patriotic of the year, with parades and celebrations taking place all around the country.
As a backpacker haven and one of Costa Rica’s busiest beach resorts, the popularity of water sports in Jaco is no surprise, and the small town is among the best and most affordable destinations for thrill-seekers to take to the water.
Costa Rica is known for its beaches and its coffee … but what of its forests and chocolate? The country is littered with national parks, and 25% of its landmass is protected — the highest in the world — making the country a treat for jungle enthusiasts. Costa Rica was also at the southern tip of the cacao-producing region of colonial Mesoamerica, meaning it’s rich in chocolate culture. Fusing the two seemed like the only sensible thing to do, so I went on a Rainforest Tropical Adventure with Chocolate Tasting from San José.
With more than 125 miles of powder-fine white sands, crystalline waters and crashing waves, Costa Rica’s northwestern coast is like one gigantic beach resort. Many of the beaches of Guanacaste are among the best in the country.
With the majestic peak of Arenal Volcano omnipresent and more than 7,000 acres of wild rainforest to explore, it’s hardly surprising that hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park ranks high on most travelers’ itineraries, offering dramatic views of the country’s most active volcano.