Sea and nature around the corner
This is the closest region to the capital. It offers a mosaic of amusement and entertainment: waves to practice surfing and fishing, tropical forests, islands brimming with vegetation, and endless beaches with soft sand, inviting to rest and relax. It is a community of fishermen where the gastronomic choices, as well as the lodging, stands out for its variety. The best “boutique-hotels” of Costa Rica are there; and seafood is on the top of the list among the most appetizing dishes, apart from the international cooking.
The road to places like Quepos or Damas is usually surrounded by endless lines of African palm trees, whose oil is used in the cosmetic industry. It is inevitable for the traveler to have the feeling of coming into an unknown world, full of surprises. Near to Carara National Park, 120 minutes away from the capital city, it is easy to find flocks of red macaw, the biggest one of this species in the country, flying very early in the morning or at sunset. The park is a complete biological treasure: it represents the transition between the humid forests and the dry forests in the Pacific. Very close, in the mouth of Rio Grande de Tarcoles, you can observe, from the bridge of the road, huge crocodiles stretched out on the beaches of the river. Nowadays, it is very popular to take a short tourist trip by boat that gives you the chance to see closely how these saurians feed.
Other important parks:
Manuel Antonio, another beautiful National Park, is the home of the Titi monkey whose pranks and pirouettes set it apart from many other animals. The exploration of its humid tropical forest, its mangrove swamps, and marine life is an experience worth trying. Many beaches of this region are ideal for surfing, as is the case of Esterillos, Jaco, Hermosa, and Boca Barranca.
On the other hand, the city of Puntarenas gives visitors its cheerful port atmosphere. It is located just across the Nicoya Gulf and it is one of the main points of docking of cruises and a favorite place for international triathlons. It is also the center of traditional festivities such as the one of La Virgen del Mar, the 16 th of July, and the Summer Carnival. In the Nicola Gulf, Tortuga Island, Guayabo, Negritos, Pajaros and others exhibit their natural charm: great flocks of marine birds such as brown pelicans, parrots, and tijeretas de mar (scissors of the sea), as well as extended areas of white sand beaches in some of them.
After crossing Nicoya Gulf you can reach hidden beaches, falls, and wildlife areas. In Reserva Absoluta Cabo Blanco, you can perform a variety of outdoor activities. Among the most popular activities and sports of the region are: diving, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, ocean, and conventional kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV, canopying, and hiking.
The treasure of Costa Rica
At just five hundred thirty-five kilometers from Cabo Blanco, Coco Island waits to be discovered and explored by visitors. It has been considered Patrimony of the Human race by the UNESCO, and it has been an ancient and mysterious refuge for pirates and legends of hidden treasures. However, the real “treasure” lies in its huge patrimony of natural life. Endless school of fish (little ones or impressive hammer sharks) and marine mammals swim across a background of corals, to be admired by scuba divers.