Everyone who’s visited Costa Rica on vacation knows of the popular tourist destinations like Manual Antonio, Monteverde Cloud Forest, volcanoes and the lavish resorts of Guanacaste – but here are three vacation spots you likely never knew existed.

herradura de rivas

Herradura de Rivas

    is a tiny village nestled in the shadowed valley of Mount Chirripo. The mountain is claimed to be the tallest summit in Central America at 12,033′ feet above sea-level. The village residents are almost all family of one another and this lends itself to fantastic immersion experience in one of the most remote locations in Costa Rica. Chirripo National Park is just a stones throw away.

Herradura de Rivas is the preferred starting location for climbers and hikers who want to get to the top of Mt. Chirripo by a path less traveled – the back way up Chirripo which requires an extra day as opposed to the more common front side route of San Gerardo de Rivas.

The areas around Herradura offer up a plate-full for those seeking a more natural experience including mountain trout fishing, thermal hot springs and of course the experience of climbing/hiking the tallest peak of Central America…Mount Chirripo.

marino ballena

Marino Ballena National Park

    is one of the best kept secrets of Costa Rica’s southern region. Famous primarily for the migration of the humpback whale, the area has plenty to offer.

Situated in what is quickly becoming known as the Southern Zone, the Marino Ballena National Park has become a hotspot for adventure. For it is here you can take in a whale watching tour in the morning and by the afternoon you could be swimming in a waterfall overlooking the majesty of Mother Nature’s creation…the Whale’s Tail.

The Whale’s Tail is a natural formation where two beaches converge to form what appears to be the perfect rendition of the tail of a humpback whale. When the tide is low one can walk to far end of the tail and enjoy the views from all around including lush rain forested mountains and of course the blue waters of the Pacific with beaches lined with palm trees.

Really is a sight to behold.

mal pais

Mal Pais

    is a tiny seaside village located in the Nicoya Peninsula in Northern Costa Rica. Reachable via the ferry from Puntarenas or by land over the Puente Amistad – a gift from Taiwan to Costa Rica, Mal Pais is renowned for its surf.

Each year surf enthusiasts come to the region to experience a world-class break and consistent year-round surf conditions.

Common amongst long-boarders it’s not uncommon to find shorties ripping up the surf with their acrobatics. Developments around Mal Pais and Santa Teresa remains quite sparse leaving the area still quite quaint. Perfect for the surfers who want a more “authentic experience”.

So those are the top 3 Costa Rica vacation spots you likely won’t find in any tour guide book. For more information on vacation destinations around the country, contact us toll free at 1-800-906-4278. Relax…we got this!