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Lovebirds looking for a romantic retreat will be delighted with a trip to Costa Rica. Start each morning by waking up in a charming ecolodge, nestled in an idyllic forest or by the beach with stunning views of the sunrise. No matter where you stay, wildlife surrounds you. The country is home to 6.5% of the world’s biodiversity, offering couples many opportunities to share memorable encounters and experiences.
Protected parks allow you to be intimate with nature. Discover a multi-colored underwater world or spend the day hiking in a rainforest and zipline above its canopy. When you want to slow down, pamper yourself with a relaxing couples massage, stretch out on a sunny beach, and enjoy a sunset on a coastal cruise.
Whatever activities you choose, an unhurried romantic getaway to Costa Rica will leave you feeling rejuvenated and carefree. When creating the perfect itinerary, don’t overlook these interesting destinations.
Manuel Antonio National Park
If you’re inclined to miss the sunrise, a vacation to the country’s Pacific coast will ensure you at least have a romantic sunset or two. Cliffside accommodations in the Manuel Antonio area are surrounded by huge forest trees and offer stunning ocean and sunset views. The eco-friendly lodges are well-appointed for a romantic getaway, with options like an en-suite hot tub, shower for two, expansive private terrace, and on-site amenities like an infinity pool, gourmet restaurant and fitness and yoga classes.
Although Manuel Antonio National Park is one of the smallest parks in Costa Rica, it is full of things to see and do. Many scenic hiking trails wind through the land, some ending at the beach. If you’re keen to see wildlife, trek through the rainforest to meet sloths, monkeys, and a spectacular array of birds. Then, take a dip in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. The sparkling clear sandy beaches of Playa Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur Beach are popular resting spots for sunbathers.
A catamaran cruise is a delicious way to enjoy a different view of this wooded coast. Onboard activities include snorkeling in the Pacific and exploring the surrounding waters in search of dolphins and whales. For the more romantic option, choose a sunset excursion.
Tortuguero canals and national park
A stay near the remote Tortuguero National Park, on the country’s Caribbean coast, will immerse you more in nature. A network of ecosystems, from rivers to tropical forests, creates a rich biodiversity like nowhere else. The winding canals can only be explored by boat, kayak or canoe. Leave the steering to a pro while your lovebirds sit back, relax and enjoy a peaceful excursion. There is plenty to see along the way, including great blue herons, egrets, kingfishers, sloths, iguanas, monkeys and several species of sea turtles.
Nearby, Cerro Tortuguero overlooks the region. It’s not a short walk to this now dormant ancient volcano. The hike is tough, but also a memorable accomplishment to achieve together. You’ll spot birds and other wildlife along the way. At the top, at 1,280 feet above sea level, you can enjoy a peaceful respite while being rewarded with stunning views of Tortuguero National Park.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
This must-see paradise for nature-loving couples is home to half of all the flora and fauna of Costa Rica. A daytime visit under the mist covered canopy is a must. The spectacular height of the cloud forest of Monteverde, teeming with life, is a marvelous sight.
A private hike with a bilingual guide will give you the opportunity to see stunning orchids, vibrant hummingbirds and quetzals, cheeky monkeys, sloths, wild cats like margay and more. Listen carefully to the daytime music of the forest, it will take on a different tone after dark.
Return at sunset for an evening guided tour. The sounds and ambiance of the Cloud Forest transform as its nocturnal residents emerge. There is something magical about Monteverde at night, with sparks of fireflies and glowing phosphorescent mushrooms. Naturalist guides are adept at locating all kinds of animals and insects, like kinkajous, olingo, armadillos, tarantulas, bats, small tree frogs, and even sleeping birds.
If you’re looking for a tropical paradise for your romantic retreat, head to Costa Rica’s southernmost peninsula. National Geographic hailed the Osa Peninsula as “the most biologically intense place on the planet.”
This beautiful destination is dotted with ecolodges nestled in the dense jungle and adjacent to the Corcovado National Park, which protects almost half of the peninsula. Staying in these accommodations gives you the opportunity to spot birds and other wildlife while having tea on the terrace. At night, make yourself comfortable with your partner and gaze at the stars against an unspoiled night sky.
Golfo Dulce to the east of the Osa Peninsula separates it from the mainland and is one of the few tropical fjords on the planet. Dolphins can be seen swimming in its warm waters year round. Humpback whales migrate to Golfo Dulce seasonally, from the northern and southern hemispheres. They travel to these protected waters to mate and give birth. If you want to experience a wildlife encounter worth telling your grandchildren someday, don’t hesitate to jump into Golfo Dulce. Its calm and warm waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
This northwestern province of Costa Rica is particularly known for its stunning beaches, mountainous views, and spectacular sunsets on the Pacific coast. It’s a perfect backdrop for a relaxing and romantic getaway to Guanacaste’s famous spas and wellness resorts. Treat yourself to spa treatments as a couple and make yourself comfortable around a campfire on the beach. Those looking for a therapeutic retreat can choose from yoga, meditation, and healing options that will cleanse the mind and body.
Guanacaste is also home to many cattle ranches and hence the country’s cowboy culture. Where there are cowboys and cowgirls, or in this case Sabaneros, there is a plethora of romantic equestrian activities in store. Join a guide for a private horseback ride on the beach, through hidden trails and rainforests. Along the way, you will spot interesting wildlife and picturesque waterfalls. After the hike, opt for a mud bath followed by a relaxing soak in the volcanic hot springs. Or for a little thrilling action, grab a zipline and sail above the forest canopy.
Before leaving, make the Pura Vida pledge
By choosing Costa Rica for your vacation, you are supporting a country that is an international leader in the preservation and conservation of the environment. The Costa Rican Tourist Board encourages visitors to travel in a sustainable manner by making the Pura Vida pledge, which promotes responsible tourism. Choose one of its five pillars to engage with while you enjoy your vacation in the green heart of Central America.
- Select accommodations, restaurants and tour operators with Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). There are over 400 companies across Costa Rica that are CST certified.
- Offset your carbon footprint by donating to FONAFIFO. Use the online calculator to estimate the potential greenhouse gas emissions to which you will contribute during your vacation. Then make a contribution to FONAFIFO which will be invested in national environmental projects.
- Volunteer for a few hours during your vacation, whether it’s teaching English or supporting a conservation program. Volunteering your time in rural areas and through organized programs has been shown to have a positive impact on the local community.
- Respect the environment by not disturbing wildlife, refraining from littering and taking other actions that positively impact the natural world.
- Support organizations that have adopted standardized health and hygiene protocols. The World Travel and Tourism Council has recognized Costa Rica’s efforts in quality assurance with the Safe Travels seal, the world’s leading indicator of safety and health. Dozens of companies across the country have also received the Safe Travels seal. Make a commitment to support these companies during your travels.
Find out more on the Pura Vida Pledge and UK tour operators supporting the initiative.