By Christina Guerrero
WITH VOLCANOES, RAIN forests, cloud
forests, beaches, mountains, valleys, rivers
and hot springs, it is no wonder Costa Rica is
considered one of the most biodiverse regions
in the world.
“[There are] more than 200 different spe-
cies of mammals, 300 different species of
birds and 200 different species of reptiles,”
says Jonathan Soto Morales, office manager
for Destination Services for Guanacaste,
Costa Rica, which hosts excursions for visit-
ing Costco members. “It’s a country of huge
diversity of flora and fauna.”
Guanacaste, one of the seven provinces
located in northwestern Costa Rica, is at the
top of the list of places for nature lovers to
visit, since exploring this eco-friendly country
is easy with professional certified guides.
“We try to make the people see Costa
Rica through the eyes of the local people,”
Soto says. “If a client wants to see something
we don’t have in our program, we can create
that for them.”
Several highly recommended destinations
and excursions give travelers special in-touch-
with-nature experiences, such as Rio Perdido,
Palo Verde River Ride, Arenal Volcano and
Hot Springs, and Discover Nicaragua.
The Rio Perdido excursion combines
adventure activities, such as a canopy tour,
with the beauty of a natural river surrounded
by a forest located on the foothills of the
Miravalles Volcano, one of four volcanoes
located in Guanacaste province.
The Palo Verde River Ride is a half-day
boat-ride excursion in search of wildlife on
the Tempisque River in the Palo Verde
The trip to the Arenal Volcano and Hot
Springs allows travelers to interact with Costa
Ricans by visiting cultural landmarks, such as
one of the oldest colonial-architecture-style
houses in the rain forest.
Discover Nicaragua is a day trip to the
country of Nicaragua, with history lessons
and visits to colonial houses in Granada, the
oldest city in Central America.
Other activities available in Guanacaste
include bird-watching, photography, sampling local cuisine, sport cycling, hiking,
horseback riding and diving.
Travelers may come to Costa Rica for the
flora and fauna, but quite often it’s the people
they meet who keep them coming back. The
phrase “pura vida” (pure life) is frequently
heard in Costa Rica, and the locals often use
it as a greeting in lieu of hello and good-bye.
“Costa Ricans are a warm and welcoming
people and are genuinely happy to meet newcomers,” says Jolene Schuerman, buyer for
Guanacaste is home to several deluxe
hotels and all-inclusive resorts offered by
Costco Travel, many of which are located
along the coast and provide easy access to
In addition to the beach, resorts often
provide numerous activities, such as snorkel-
ing, surfing, scuba diving, sport fishing and
boating, as well as bicycle and kayak tours
guided by friendly and knowledgeable staff.
The nearby wildlife refuges provide travelers with the opportunity to interact with
dozens of species of birds and a variety of
creatures, such as howler monkeys, coati-mundis, iguanas and more.
When traveling to Costa Rica, pack your
sense of exploration, your curiosity about
stunning wildlife and your appreciation of
extraordinary scenic splendor, and you won’t
be disappointed. Wherever you wander and
whatever you choose to do, your list of don’t-miss experiences will be a long one. C
The Costco Connection
Costco Travel offers packages to Costa Rica
as well as many other exciting destinations
around the world. For details, click “Travel” at
Costco.com or call 1-877-849-2730.
abounds in Costa Rica
Relaxing beaches and jaw-dropping
scenic wonders are part of Costa Rica’s
D FOUR SEASONS RESORT COSTA RICA AT PENINSULA PAPAGAYO