Northern Region

Sweeping northwest from San José, the mountains of the Cordillera de Tilarán and Central create a number of irresistible opportunities. The Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí loop takes in good scenery, a host of outstanding wildlife opportunities where you can get muddy and mucky, and adventurous pursuits. Volcán Arenal, overshadowing the small town of Fortuna, is the perfect symmetrical volcano, standing clear and tall against the horizon, puffing fumes, exploding against a fine blue sky (if you're lucky), with the expansive Lake Arenal in the foreground. Among the lowland towns to the north, Los Chiles close to the Nicaraguan border stands out with the profuse wildlife of the Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve nearby. A few hours south of Lake Arenal or heading east from the Pan-American Highway bumpy roads climb through simple dairy communities to the cloudforest reserves of Monteverde and Santa Elena and a search for the resplendent - but elusive - quetzal.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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