Costa Rica’s Northern Zone has very different types of landscape to offer. From the steaming mountains of Arenal Volcano to the misty cloud forests of Monteverde or the rich evergreen forests and rich biodiversity of Sarapiqui’s river region, there are a huge number of outdoor activities and tours suited for eco travellers, thrill seekers and families with children alike.
Vacations in the Northern Zone can be activity packed or laid back and relaxed, depending on guests’ personal preference and the type of vacation package booked. There are many guided tours to nature reserves available. Hotels and lodges offer activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and are happy to advise on local attractions. Some will arrange for transportation from and to San José International Airport, others will arrange for car or local boat hire for guests wishing to go on fishing trips on Lake Arenal or watch caimans and monkeys from the comfort of their boat floating on Rio Sarapiqui.
The steaming, lava spewing Arenal Volcano is best viewed from your own private balcony or terrace. Arenal hotels offer spectacular views as well as modern, spacious rooms and excellent facilities like their own hot springs, Jacuzzi and swimming pools in extensive grounds with lush tropical gardens, where guests can go for a gentle stroll or go hiking on the hotels’ own grounds. Nature reserves like Arenal Volcano National Park offer canopy tours and natural history tours. Other activities are mountain biking, horseback riding, tours to coffee plantations and visits to the craters of extinct and dormant volcanoes. Wildlife like owls, hawks, parrots and hummingbirds pose for pictures!
Vacations to Monteverde in the Northern Zone will appeal especially to eco tourist and thrill seekers. The misty cloud forests in the Monteverde Nature Reserve offer the perfect opportunity to watch the rich wildlife in the area and canopy tours some 110 ft. high up above the tree tops will delight anyone out for an adventure. The stunning views across the misty rain forests with its bird life, monkeys and sloths will utterly delight. Hotels provide delicious locally grown fresh produce in their restaurants and staff will be happy to arrange for transportation to nearby attractions or advise on public transport like buses linking some of the larger towns.
Sarapiqui in Costa Rica’s Northern Zone is a major eco tourism area with many opportunities to get involved in conservation projects like planting trees or visiting the La Selva Biological Research Station, an international facility, for guided tours exploring wildlife in the forests. Hacienda style hotels, cabins and lodges provide good value for money accommodation with many local tours and activities like hiking, canopy tours, rafting on Rio Sarapiqui, horseback riding and mountain biking. Some hotels organise activities for children and many tropical birds and other wildlife can be observed from the safety of the hotels’ gardens in Sarapiqui’s year round mild climate.