3 Destinations in Costa Rica That NEED to Make It to Your Travel Bucket List

Planning a trip to Costa Rica? Here's 3 places that you NEED to visit whilst there! - Words & Pictures by Hayley...


Is Costa Rica on your travel bucket list? If not, I need to ask WHY? Although.. Rewind  a few weeks ago it was always somewhere I wanted to visit but it wasn't top priority - but having explored the country for the last 8 days, it's changed EVERYTHING! I was really nervous to visit; in not really sure why, I just knew that our itinerary involved lots of adventure; anyone who knows me also knows that I'm the most un-adventurerous person probablyyyyyy ever! It's not that I don't enjoy it because once I'm doing it, I actually do - but I'm petrified of heights and I have this really cool ability to scare myself out of stuff unnecessarily *rolls eyes at self*. So, I always kind of knew this trip for me would be a massive walk outside of my comfort zone but oh my god am I glad I went; I pushed myself to do things I never thought I would have before and have come away not only feeling proud of myself, but I can hand on heart say it was one of the best weeks of my life!

From zip lining in the rain Forrest, to kayaking in canals, walking a tight rope across the Forrest, hiking through terrain with huge spiders and snakes (eek!) - I LOVED everything about Costa Rica and I absolutely know you will to! So, without further ado, my top three places in Costa Rica that you NEED to visit...



The Arenal volcano is located in the La Fortuna district of Costa Rica, around 90km north west of San Jose and it's well worth a trip! Firstly, the volcano itself will literally take your breath away, I've never seen anything like it before and I'm unsure I'll ever see anything like it again - what a site! There's plenty of hotels located close by to Arenal, we stayed at the beautiful Lomas del Volcan where prices start from $150 for a double room based on two people sharing. The lodges were so stunning and wow, what a view to wake up to!

What to do in Arenal? Whilst there be sure to visit the local hot springs heated naturally by the volcano. We spent the afternoon lazing around in the hot springs and it was lovely! Also during your stay make sure you visit the La Fortuna waterfall, with just over 500 steps down through lush terrain to the waterfall; it's so worth the walk down (and back up!) as it will be one of the most breathtaking sites you've ever laid your eyes on!



We arrived in Tortuguero by charter plane (as there are no roads - how amazing?!), from the moment we touched down I knew that I was already in love! Tortuguero is a protected wilderness area on the northern Caribbean coast, and famous for being rich in wildlife! Probably the lushest, greenest, most beautiful place I've ever had the pleasure of visiting! During our visit we stayed at the Pachira Lodge hotel, prices start from $279 per person for a 2 day, 1 night stay and includes transport to/from San José, boat transfers into Tortuguero, all meals, visit to Tortuguero National Park, tour of Tortuguero town (amazing experience!), tour of the canals by boat and bilingual tour guides!

What to do in Tortuguero? During our visit to Tortuguero, we spent time kayaking and spotting nature at it's finest; including sloths, monkeys, caymans and some beautiful bird species. We spent one evening watching Green turtles hatch their babies on the beach of Tortuguero then awoke at 4.30am the next morning to watch babies hatch and make their way to the ocean and it was such a stunning experience! Guys, Tortuguero is a must when visiting!



Puerto Viejo is a coastal town in south eastern Costa Rica (on the Caribbean side) and houses some of the most stunning beach views that I've ever laid eyes on. The coastal town is lined with palm trees, like something from the movies - framed with blue skies, soft sand and fresh coconuts for sale on every corner, this is definitely a must-see for beach lovers (AKA moi!). During our stay we stayed at the Hotel Namuwoki where prices start from $111 for a double room based on two people sharing. 

What to do in Puerto Viejo? So, if lazing on the beautiful beaches soaking up the views wasn't quite enough then don't forget to try out the delicious local cuisines, then take an incredible journey to visit the indigenous tribes of Costa Rica. We spent the day visiting the Bri Bri tribes, emerging ourselves in their culture and listening to their amazing tales over a home cooked lunch by the locals… a day I'll never forget!



Earlier this year British Airways launched a nonstop direct service between Gatwick and Costa Rica's San José airport that operate three times a week. Prices start from £496 return in World Traveller, £868 in World Traveller Plus and £1,696 in Club World including all taxes and charges. To book, visit ba.com/costarica or call 0344 493 0787.

Have you been to Costa Rica before? If so, where did you stay? I'd love to know! Is Costa Rica somewhere you'd like to visit?


    • Hayley 6th November 2016 / 12:13 pm

      It really was such a stunning place, the kind of place where you have to pinch yourself because you can’t quite believe that it’s actually real! x

  1. Jayd Alice 3rd November 2016 / 1:35 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing and I find it hard to believe that places like this actually exist! I’m not lucky enough to have ventured far out of Europe but I hope to expand my horizons and perhaps visit Costa Rica one day. Lovely photos chick x

    Always, Alice

    • Hayley 6th November 2016 / 12:18 pm

      Thank you gorgeous! Same, I genuinely couldn’t believe my eyes and the photos don’t even do it full justice – it’s just so, so beautiful! x

    • Hayley 6th November 2016 / 12:18 pm

      Yes lovely you do – it’s stunning! x

  2. Lauren 3rd November 2016 / 5:04 pm

    I love this! Best memory of Costa Rica was when my partner & I got left at a lake with a canoe while the guy went off without a trace. Then a complete thunderstorm happened and all the alligators came out to play. We were sinking, terrified and I think I cried. Yes I definitely cried. Haha such an experience! Going back at Christmas and am going to visit Arenal this time. Can’t wait!
    Thanks for the tips Hayley!

    • Hayley 6th November 2016 / 12:19 pm

      OMG babes, I would have cried too – I’m so glad that didn’t happened otherwise I definitely would have lost it haha! Yes do, you’ll bloody love it! x

  3. Gabrielle 4th November 2016 / 11:56 am

    Arenal Volcano has now been added to my travel wishlist; your photos of the place look incredible and great tip to visit the local hot springs 🙂


    • Hayley 6th November 2016 / 12:19 pm

      Thank you lovely! It’s so beautiful definitely try to visit, you’ll love it! x

  4. The Dame International 26th November 2016 / 3:10 am

    Just got back from 3 weeks in Santa Teresa and had an amazing time! Truly soul-refreshing! Highly recommend and would definitely do it again! BA on the other hand, not such a great airline :/

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