At only 19,370 square miles, Costa Rica only occupies a third of a percent of the total landmass of the planet. But, within that third of a percent, Costa Rica has some of the most stunning natural features in its twelve climactic zones which feature coastline on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, tropical rainforests, deciduous forests and cloud forests. The most amazing statistic about Costa Rica’s area, however, is that within that third of a percent of the earth’s total landmass is four percent of the total species of the planet. If all of this wasn’t impressive enough, hundreds of these species in Costa Rica are endemic to the region – meaning they exist nowhere else on the planet. While there are a huge number of ways to experience the diversity of Costa Rica if you travel there, one of the best ways in my book is to hike it, because over twenty-seven percent (27%) of the country is protected in National Parks. Assuming you have the time, starting in San Jose, one can traverse a hiker’s loop around the country, starting on the Atlantic Coast, and ending on the Pacific Coast before returning back to the capital. If you don’t have the time to do the whole loop listed herein, this list also serves as a great starting place for whatever area you are visiting, or could provide you with ideas on where you want to go.
Costa Rica is a land of innumerable wonders, from the popular (Monteverde Cloud Forest) to the remote (Tortuguero National Park). With so many amazing natural features to choose from, it is nearly impossible to pick the “top” or “best” feature of the country. Having placed that disclaimer first, let me say that if I was forced to pick the most amazing feature of Costa Rica, I would pick the Rio Celeste. The Rio Celeste is an awe-inspiring river that is located in the remote northern reaches of Costa Rica in Tenorio National Park.