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  • Central Pacific Coast

    Central Pacific Coast travel guide

    Overview

    The Pacific is more developed for tourism than the Caribbean, but it still holds a good mixture of luxury resorts and deserted beaches. Some of the Costa Rica's best beaches are in this region. Costa Ricans use the perfectly suited phrase ' ', meaning 'pure life', to describe the country and examples of this are evident everywhere along the Pacific coastline.

    Strung along the coast are scores of seaside villages and picturesque towns, exotic beaches and several protected reserves or national parks. Visitors will find an abundance of accommodation, seafood, and local souvenirs.

    Puntarenas is the largest town and was the main port, but is now mainly used as a base to catch ferries to the Nicoya Peninsula. Further south, the Tarcoles Bridge is a renowned spot for watching the alligators in the river below.

    Package-holiday tourists stream to the beach resort town of Jacó, one of the best places to surf and with a reputation for being a party town. There is plenty of accommodation and restaurants as well as a lively night scene after a relaxing day on the beach.

    There are many activities in the area including surfing, kayaking, and swimming in the azure waters of the Pacific. There is also hiking, birding, and wildlife-spotting in the forests of the national parks as well as beach walks, volleyball, and horseriding.

    Beautiful parks like Manuel Antonio National Park and Absoluta Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve have pristine white beaches as well as birds and animal life. The tiny fishing hamlet of Montezuma near the entrance to Cabo Blanco is surrounded by pretty coves and is a relaxed place to hang out for a few days.

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    Manuel Antonio is the smallest national park in Costa Rica but also one of the more popular because of its beautiful white beaches, rocky headlands, and tropical rainforest. Among this varied landscape are typical Costa Rican animals like sloths, agoutis, monkeys, and iguanas. It has a well-developed trail system solo explorers, but knowledgeable local guides are also available at the park entrance. Picnic areas are situated along the coastal trails, and can admire the views from clifftop lookouts. Friendly Quepos is the nearest town to the park and is also the sport-fishing centre in the region. Sailfish and marlin are the sought after deep-sea prizes. Apart from fishing, there are zip line tours of the jungle canopy which are thrilling and fun and there is even a surf school located in the park. There are also a few spas located on the outskirts for those who want some pampering after an active day in the jungle.

    Manuel Antonio National Park Manuel Antonio National Park roaming-the-planet

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