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Costa Rica: Caribbean coast

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Eastwards from San José and the coffee-growing highlands sprawl the banana plantations of the sultry coastal plains fronting the Caribbean Sea. Long isolated from the rest of the Latin-influenced country, this region has a predominately English-speaking, Afro-Caribbean culture: a very informal, relaxed atmosphere pervades. Here there are exquisite volcanic beaches at Cahuita and Puerto Viejo. 

Accessible only by boat is the partly submerged Tortuguero National Park, with its network of canals, lagoons and swamps defined by a profusion of tangled tropical vegetation. It’s alive with several species of monkey, iguanas, sloths, river otters, poison dart frogs and hundreds of species of birds.

Our holidays to Caribbean coast

View all holidays
Spot Wildlife in Coastal Rainforest

Signature Costa Rica and Panama: The Caribbean route

Private journey

14 days from £2,562pp

Monkey

Signature Costa Rica: Wildlife and volcanoes

Private journey

8 days from £1,661pp

Things to do in Caribbean coast

See Giant Leatherback Turtles

See giant leatherback turtles nesting at Tortuguero

River kayaking

Tortuguero kayaking and wildlife-spotting trip


White water rafting

Go white-water rafting on the Sarapiqui river

What our experts say

Much of contemporary Costa Rica is homogeneously white Latin, but on the Caribbean coast you'll be in for a surprise. Most of the coastline is uninhabited lowland mangrove, but in the far south around Puerto Viejo there is a cluster of relatively isolated settlements with very much of an Afro-Caribbean vibe. People speak English here, and the music and food also have a very Caribbean flavour. It's a magnet for surfers, and anyone who wants to party and/or laze around: the attractive beaches and laissez-faire ambiance has attracted settlers from the Us and Europe. There are black and golden volcanic beaches: Playa Cocles is one of the nicest, with a number of good hotels.   

Jamie

Jamie Swan

Travel Consultants

What our clients say

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