The Amazing Costa Rica Destinations Guide: Where to go after Tortuguero?

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The Amazing Costa Rica Destinations Guide: Where to go after Tortuguero?

Turtle season is coming! The green season is marked by amazing downpours, an infinite array of green shades in our landscapes, an abundance of wildlife sightings, and the beauty of nature at its best.  It is also turtle and whale season. Costa Rica receives the Southern Hemisphere humpback whales and the Caribbean Green Sea Turtles from July to September.  Find here all you need to know about the amazing destinations you can select after enjoying Tortuguero.

Through the months of the green season, itineraries usually start in Tortuguero, as the green sea turtle season starts in early July and goes all the way down to September. We have covered all the information on Tortuguero in this article. Now, what comes next?

We can make several choices:

  • South Caribbean
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Turrialba region
  • Osa Peninsula (by local flight)

South Caribbean:

The South Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica is a hidden gem with stunning wildlife, adventures, cultural activities, and great accommodations. The province of Limon covers Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, from the Panama border to the northern San Juan River. It includes three major regions: the North Caribbean, the Port of Limon, and the South Caribbean. The North Caribbean features the Refugio Barra del Colorado and Tortuguero National Park, while the South Caribbean is more attractive from Cahuita southwards to the Panama border. Key areas include Cahuita, Punta Cocles, Puerto Viejo, and Manzanillo, offering surfing, diving, snorkeling, and wildlife rescue volunteering.

Cahuita National Park is a highlight, protecting coral reefs and diverse wildlife. Puerto Viejo is famous for its beaches, wildlife, and Salsa Brava waves, which attract surfers and digital nomads. The Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, near the Panama border, protects endangered habitats and species, including turtles, manatees, and monkeys.

Accommodations in the South Caribbean include rainforest lodges, such as Hotel Aguas Claras, where nature is ever-present. The region’s culture blends Costa Rica’s Pura Vida spirit with Caribbean vibes and international influences. Local cuisine features coconut-based dishes and exotic fruits, while music includes calypso, reggae, and carnival rhythms.

Arenal Volcano

The Arenal Volcano Area in Costa Rica was once a small village with gravel roads, but it became a popular tourist destination through the decade of the nineties when people from everywhere in the world came to observe and be in awe of the continuous eruptions of the volcano.

The region, a progressive livestock and agriculture area, rapidly reacted to the visitors and developed a great local infrastructure with fantastic hotels, hot springs, amazing adventures, and breathtaking rainforests framing the incredible volcanic activity.

By the time the Arenal Volcano stopped the eruptions in 2010, the region had already become an adventure and nature observation hub for Costa Rican visitors.

The area offers hot springs, ziplines, rappelling, waterfall rappelling, horseback riding, hanging bridges, organic touristic farms, spas, Keel Billed Toucan, rainforest hikes, bird watching, river floating tours, and the beautiful Arenal Waterfall. Other activities include paddleboarding, wind surfing, rainforest aerial trams, river tubing, pineapple and chocolate tours, and more.

The Arenal Volcano area is home to over 340 species of birds, including the Passerini’s Tanager, Keel-billed Toucan, and Oropendola Montezuma. The area also features wildlife sighting rivers and the beautiful and pristine Arenal Waterfall. The list of activities in the area is almost infinite, with some of the most popular ones listed by travel consultants.

Turrialba

Turrialba is a rural town in the lush central highlands of Costa Rica, about 60 km from San José. The area is known for its beautiful mountain scenery, rivers, and agriculture, mainly cattle ranches, dairy farms, and plantations growing coffee, sugarcane, and macadamia nuts. A famous attraction is Turrialba Volcano and its national park, located just 15 km from town.

The Turrialba volcano is active and has had a lot of activity in recent years. So much so that Turrialba National Park has been closed to tourists on many occasions, and San Jose International Airport has been closed because of its eruptive ash periods.

Another popular sight is Guayabo National Monument, the largest archaeological site in Costa Rica, with ancient roads, bridges, and aqueducts preserved. The area is also renowned for world-class whitewater rafting and kayaking on the challenging Pacuare and Reventazón Rivers. Many tour operators are based in Turrialba.

An educational highlight is CATIE, a tropical agriculture research and learning center with botanical gardens and plantations open to visitors. Other tourist activities include horseback riding, birdwatching, canopy tours, hiking, and canyoning. With its natural beauty and wealth of sights and outdoor adventures, Turrialba offers much to appreciate for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike.

The Osa Peninsula from Tortuguero is a choice for those completely focused on the amazing Costa Rican nature and rainforests. This is a possibility that can be enjoyed by taking two flights with a connection in San Jose.

About the Osa Peninsula

Osa Peninsula, located on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific coast, is a remote and extraordinary area known as the most biologically intense place on Earth’.

The region is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including army ants, Baird’s tapirs, scarlet macaws, and monkeys. National parks and reserves, such as Corcovado National Park, protect one of the most significant primary rainforests in Central America and create a biological corridor around Golfo Dulce.

The peninsula also attracts dolphins and breeding whales to its calm waters, making it an impressive scuba diving site. Visitors can enjoy nature by hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and horseback riding along secluded beaches. The region is a must-visit for those interested in Costa Rica’s wildest experiences.

As a conclusion

Tortuguero is a wonderful start for a vacation in the green season, and the possibilities afterwards are many more than the ones we are listing here. Contact the Amazing Costa Rica team and create your own customized vacation to include the best for you to enjoy and share with loved ones.

Contact us now, and we’ll make it happen together!

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