Photo by Nacho Such / Shutterstock.com
A vacation packed with scenic wonder and urban sophistication? It’s a combination that can be found in Costa Rica, where you can explore lush rainforests teeming with wildlife, and a vibrant capital alive with a traditional market, international cuisine and theater.
With a new deal through our partner ShermansTravel, you can depart from New York City and spend four, five or six days immersed in the natural splendor of Costa Rica, dividing your time between guided tours and your own adventures.
Wonders of the rainforest
Ivan-Kuzmin / Shutterstock.com
Start with a visit to Tortuga Island, a spectacular paradise of protected rainforest and wildlife. This archipelago is ringed by palm trees and sandy white beaches that open onto clear emerald waters. Take a refreshing swim or relax — and keep your eyes trained for spider monkeys and other creatures.
You’ll also travel north to view the majestic Arenal Volcano and lounge in the luxurious Tabacon hot springs, nestled deep in the rainforest. Claim a spot among cascading waterfalls, and bask in mineral water heated by magma from the volcano.
Ancient art and new cuisine
Mihai-Bogdan Lazar / Shutterstock.com
Your home base during this adventure will be Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, a destination in itself.
Here you will find museums that showcase Costa Rica’s history and culture. Learn about the nation through pre-Columbian art and other artifacts from as early as 500 B.C. San Jose prides itself as one of the safest cities in Central America, so feel free to stroll and relax in one of its lush parks. In the evening, take in a show at one of its historic theaters.
If you’re hungry, snack your way through San Jose’s vast 138-year-old Mercado Central, where you can buy everything from fresh fish to leather goods and dresses. Try a local favorite — vanilla ice cream with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Corner cafes offer traditional dishes, and San Jose also has a thriving international dining scene, where chefs are creating new cuisine by combining local herbs and spices with European cooking techniques.
Two essentials: beer and coffee
Tati Nova photo Mexico / Shutterstock.com
For the beer drinkers among us, San Jose has a growing craft beer scene to explore. And of course there’s award-winning coffee. Drink the best, and tour a coffee plantation to see how it’s grown and harvested.
By the end of your Costa Rican adventure, you’ll have postcard-perfect memories of a beautiful slice of Central America. Learn more about this travel deal here.
But maybe a trip to New Orleans or the Amalfi coast of Greece is more your speed. Be sure to explore the other travel bargains on our travel page, powered by ShermansTravel.
Have you been to Costa Rica? Share your favorite experiences and any tips with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.