The Coast and Nature, just a few hours
|Just a few hours away from the capital city
is the Central Pacific region, the closest beach area to San
José. The area offers beach amusement centers and popular
places to practice surf and sport fishing, as well as tropical
forests rich in wildlife species, islands full of exotic vegetation,
fishing towns and endless stretches of soft sand beach, ideal
for those who wish to rest. The lodging and cuisine are equally
diverse, due to the existence of some of Costa Rica's best
boutique hotels, as well as international hotels.
|The observation of wildlife is
one of the region's most attractive activities. Two hours
from the capital, in Carara National Park, lies one of the
country's largest populations of scarlet macaws, which can
be observed at sunrise or at sunset. The park itself constitutes
a biological jewel by representing a transition area between
the Pacific humid forest and the dry forest. Nearby the delta
of the Rio Tárcoles, has become a must stop to observe,
enormous crocodiles resting beside the river banks.
||Continuing along the coastal highway, its possible
to observe the endless lines of African palm, whose oil is
used in cosmetics and other products. These Palms show the
way to one of the most visited national parks in the country:
Manuel Antonio, home of numerous wildlife species such as
the small Titi monkey and the capuchino monkey. (white face?monkey)
The park offers the opportunity to explore its tropical humid
forest, its mangroves, islands and marine life.
|Many of the region's beaches are ideal to surf
on, such is the case of Esterillos, Jacó, Hermosa,
Boca Barranca and the beaches that skirt Puerto Caldera.
On the other hand, Puntarenas, the largest city in the
region, offers visitors its port atmosphere. Puntarenas
is literally a point of sand that points toward the Gulf
of Nicoya and one of the main areas for the arrival of cruises
and ships. The city possesses the only marine park of the
country and is considered the best place in Costa Rica for
the realization of international biathlons. It also has
many festivities such as the carnivals, in February, and
the Festival Virgin of the Sea in July.
|Anchored in the Gulf of Nicoya, the Guayabo,
Negritos, Pájaros and Tortuga islands offer those who
navigate their proximities, a natural display in which large
flocks of frigate birds, brown pelicans, and parrots and the
stand out. Isla Tortuga is one of the most visited destinations
due to its white sand beach and natural landscape.
After crossing the Gulf of Nicoya hidden
beaches, waterfalls and wildlife preserves areas such as
the Reserva Absoluta Cabo Blanco, offer the visitor a variety
of activities to enjoy.
In the Pacific lies an island that marks the furthest
reach of the country at 535 kilometers from Cabo Blanco,
rises the Coco's Island, declared by UNESCO, a Patrimony
of Humanity. A former refuge for pirates and treasure
legends, Coco's invaluable wealth resides in its natural
life, especially the marine life that presents abundant
species of great attractiveness for divers, such as hammerhead
sharks, marine mammals and the coral reefs.