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News Your Guide to a Romantic Escape in Costa Rica

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Your Guide to a Romantic Escape in Costa Rica

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Lovebirds in search of a romantic retreat will be enchanted by a trip to Costa Rica. Start each morning waking up in a charming ecolodge, nestled in an idyllic forest or beachside with an unspoilt sunrise view. No matter where you stay, wildlife surrounds you. The country shelters 6.5% of the entire world’s biodiversity, providing couples with plenty of opportunities to share memorable encounters and experiences. 

Protected parks allow you to be intimate with nature. Discover a multicoloured underwater world or spend the day hiking through a rainforest and zip lining above its canopy. When you want to slow down, pamper yourselves with a relaxing couples massage, recline on a sun-drenched beach and enjoy a sundowner on a coastal cruise.

No matter which activities you choose, an unhurried, romantic escape to Costa Rica will leave you feeling rejuvenated and carefree. As you create the perfect itinerary, don’t leave out these worthwhile destinations.

Manuel Antonio National Park

If you’re prone to miss sunrise, then a holiday on the country’s Pacific Coast will ensure you at least catch a romantic sunset or two. Cliff-side accommodations in the Manuel Antonio area are surrounded by towering forest trees and offer breathtaking ocean—and sunset—views. 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, fine-dining restaurant and fitness and yoga classes.

Although Manuel Antonio National Park is one of Costa Rica’s smallest parks, it’s packed with plenty to see and do. Numerous scenic hiking trails snake through the land, with some ending at the beach. If you’re eager to see wildlife, trek through the rainforest to encounter sloths, monkeys and a spectacular array of birds. Afterward, splash in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. The sparkling, light sands of Playa Manuel Antonio and Espadilla Sur Beach are popular resting spots for sunbathers.

A catamaran cruise is a delightful way to enjoy a different view of this forested coast. On-board activities include snorkeling in the Pacific and scanning the surrounding waters for dolphins and whales. For the most romantic option, choose a sunset excursion.

Tortuguero Canals and National Park

A stay near remote Tortuguero National Park, on the country’s Caribbean coast, will draw you further into nature. A network of ecosystems, from waterways to rainforests, create a rich biodiversity unlike anywhere else. Curving canals can only be explored by boat, kayak or canoe. Leave the steering to a pro while you lovebirds sit back, relax and enjoy a peaceful excursion. There’s much to see along the way, including great blue herons, egrets, kingfishers, sloths, iguanas, monkeys and several species of sea turtles.

Nearby, Cerro Tortuguero looms over the area. It’s not a short stroll up this ancient, now-dormant volcano. The hike is strenuous, but also a memorable accomplishment to achieve together. You’ll catch sight of birds and other wildlife along the way. At the summit—1,280 feet high—you can enjoy a peaceful respite while being rewarded with sweeping views of Tortuguero National Park.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve

This must-visit paradise for nature-loving couples houses half of all of Costa Rica’s flora and fauna. A daytime visit under the mist-covered canopy is a must. The dramatic height of Monteverde Cloud Forest, brimming with life, is a wondrous sight. 

A private hike with a bilingual guide will give you the opportunity to see stunning orchids, vibrant hummingbirds and quetzals, cheeky monkeys, lazing sloths, wild cats like the margay and much, much more. Listen closely to the daytime music of the forest—it will take on a different tone after dark.

Return at sunset for a guided nighttime tour. The cloud forest’s sounds and ambiance morph as its nocturnal residents emerge. There’s something magical about Monteverde at night, with sparks of light from fireflies and luminous phosphorescent fungi. Naturalist guides are skilled at locating all sorts of animals and insects, like kinkajous, olingo, armadillos, tarantulas, bats, tiny tree frogs and even sleeping birds.

Osa Peninsula

If you’re in search of a tropical paradise for your romantic retreat, head to Costa Rica’s southernmost peninsula. National Geographic hailed Osa Peninsula as “the most biologically intense place on earth.”

This beautiful destination is dotted with ecolodges that are nestled in the dense jungle and adjacent to Corcovado National Park, which protects almost half of the peninsula. Staying in these accommodations gives you the opportunity to spot birds and other wildlife whilst just having tea on the terrace. At night, cozy up to your partner and stargaze into an unspoilt night sky.

Golfo Dulce on Osa Peninsula’s east separates it from the mainland and is one of only a few tropical fjords on the planet. Dolphins can be seen swimming in its warm waters year round. Humpback whales migrate to Golfo Dulce seasonally, coming from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They travel to these protected waters to mate and give birth. If you’re keen to experience a wildlife encounter worth telling your grandkids about one day, then don’t be shy about jumping into Golfo Dulce. Its calm, warm waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. 

Guanacaste

This province in northwestern Costa Rica is especially known for its gorgeous beaches, mountainous views and dramatic Pacific coast sunsets. It’s a perfect backdrop for a relaxing and romantic getaway to Guanacaste’s famed wellness spas and resorts. Indulge in couple’s spa treatments and cosy up to an evening beach bonfire. Those seeking 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, therefore, the country’s cowboy culture. Where there are cowboys and cowgirls, or in this case Sabaneros, there are a multitude of romantic horseback riding activities in store. Join a guide for a private horseback trek on the beach, through hidden trails and tropical forests. You’ll spot interesting wildlife and picturesque waterfalls along the way. After the trek, go for a mud bath followed by a relaxing soak in volcanic hot springs. Or for a little heart-pumping action, grab hold of a zip line and sail above the forest canopy.

Before You Leave, Take the Pura Vida Pledge

By choosing Costa Rica for your holiday, you’re supporting a country that is an international leader in environmental preservation and conservation. The Costa Rica Tourism Board encourages visitors to travel sustainably by taking the Pura Vida Pledge, which promotes responsible tourism. Select one of its five pillars to commit yourself to while you enjoy your holiday in the green heart of Central America.

  1. Select accommodations, restaurants and tour providers that hold a Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST). There are more than 400 companies across Costa Rica that are CST certified.
  2. Offset your carbon footprint with a donation to FONAFIFO. Use the online calculator to estimate the potential greenhouse gas emissions you’ll contribute to during your holiday. Then make a contribution to FONAFIFO that will be invested in domestic environmental projects.
  3. Volunteer for a few hours during your holiday, whether it’s teaching English or supporting a conservation program. Donating your time in rural areas and through organized programs has been shown to have a positive impact on the local community.
  4. Respect the environment by not disturbing wildlife, abstaining from littering and taking other actions that have a positive impact on the natural world.
  5. Support organisations that adopted standardised health and hygiene protocols. The World Travel & Tourism Council recognised Costa Rica’s efforts in quality assurance with the Safe Travels stamp—the world’s first global safety and hygiene indicator. Dozens of businesses around the country have been given the Safe Travels stamp as well. Commit to supporting these companies during your travels.

Find out more about the Pura Vida Pledge and UK tour operators supporting the initiative.