Animals of Costa Rica

Take a walk on the wild side and see an endless array of monkeys, majestic whales, nesting turtles, one of a kind birds, and sloths you’ll want to take home with you.

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Roatan Island, Honduras

Roatan Island, Honduras

Located between the islands of Utila and Guanaja, 37-mile-long Roatan Island is surrounded by one of the world’s largest barrier reefs. It’s a great destination for snorkelers and divers who can experience face-to-face encounters with marine life, including sea turtles and eagle rays. We recommend spending an hour or 2 walking along the beautiful beach near Turquoise Bay. 960 1280

iStock  

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

Hike a path that leads to impressive lava flows from the still simmering but young Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity has been decreasing and explosions have become rare. Enjoy the picturesque scenery and take a fun road trip around Lake Arenal located nearby. 960 1280

iStock  

Cangrejal River, Honduras

Cangrejal River, Honduras

Feeling adventurous? Experience the rapids of the Cangrejal River, one of the best places in Central America to go white-water rafting. Experienced rafters can brave the river’s challenging class IV and V rapids. 960 1280

Andrew Baskett, flickr  

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

The Concepcion and Maderas volcanoes form Isla de Ometepe, a jungle island that’s home to 35,000 people, countless birdlife, cattle and howler monkeys. The island is sacred ground. Archeology buffs will enjoy spotting rocks carved into figures and pre-Columbian petroglyphs found all around the island, including its lush tropical forest. 960 1280

Eric Molina, flickr  

Barrier Reef, Belize

Barrier Reef, Belize

Belize’s most popular tourist attraction is its 190-mile series of coral reefs. The Belize Barrier Reef is a hot destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, attracting half of its 260,000 visitors each year. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Panama Canal, Panama

Panama Canal, Panama

Visit the site in Panama City where the Atlantic Ocean intersects with the Pacific Ocean. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects, the 48-mile Panama Canal was built as a safe shortcut instead of taking the Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America. 960 1280

iStock  

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

The Iglesia de La Merced stands high above Granada’s multicolored one-story cottages and townhouses. We recommend taking a stroll along the town’s cobblestone streets to see the opulence and history of the old Spanish Empire. 960 1280

nakashi, Wikimedia Commons  

Costa del Sol, El Salvador

Costa del Sol, El Salvador

Sample fresh seafood at a restaurant while witnessing an amazing sunset in Costa del Sol, El Salvador. It’s the largest beach in the country and there several activities to keep beachgoers active, including sailing, horseback riding, jogging and playing a couple rounds of beach volleyball. 960 1280

Andrew Griffith, flickr  

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize

Travelers visiting the islands in the western Caribbean should not miss Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize. Go kite surfing in Caye Caulker, snorkeling in Shark Ray Alley, bird-watching at Lalas Bird Sanctuary and golfing at Caye Chapel Golf Resort & Marina. End the day by sitting on the pier while the waves lap at your toes. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Once a funky beach town, Tamarindo is now a prime spot for commercial development, including a variety of shops, bars and hotels. Most tourists and locals flock to the town’s beaches. We recommend heading to Playa Langosta or Playa Grande for swimming and surfing. Other outdoor options include diving, sports fishing, wildlife watching and canopy tours. 960 1280

Tamarindowiki, Wikimedia Commons  

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Guatemala’s Dulce River flows out of Lake Izabal and is a popular destination for sailboats. Surrounded by a lush forest, the entrance to the river is the Castillo de San Felipe de Lara, a Spanish fort once built to stop pirates from entering the lake from the Caribbean when this part of Guatemala was an important shipping port. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua has several ruins of colonial churches as well as well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture. Visit Cerro de la Cruz for the best view of the city or mingle with the locals around the newly reconstructed water fountain located in the city’s Parque Central (Central Park). 960 1280

Thinkstock  

La Libertad, El Salvador

La Libertad, El Salvador

Experience the gritty vitality of La Libertad, El Salvador. The small port town has a steady flow of tourists because it is known as the country’s surf capital, hosting regional and international surfing championships. The town has a serious drug problem and in some cases, foreigners are easy targets for theft and assaults. So keep your guard up and travel in numbers when possible. 960 1280

Susana Soto, flickr  

Panama City, Panama

Panama City, Panama

With a blend of old Baroque architecture and modern skyscrapers, Panama City’s landscape tells a tale of 2 cities. The city’s Casco Viejo neighborhood is steeped in rich colonial history whereas the city’s Punta Paitilla neighborhood is thriving with office towers, banks, hotels, restaurants and shops. We recommend visiting Playa Kobbe, a beach less than 20 minutes from downtown, and taking a stroll through Parque Natural Metropolitano to see more than 200 species of birds. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Hotel Punta Islita

Hotel Punta Islita

Tony and Dawn Psaromatis are anxious to start their long-awaited honeymoon, but first they have a tough decision to make: Where will they spend their romantic getaway? Will it be the Hotel Punta Islita, a secluded resort that’s within walking distance of the beach? Or somewhere else? 960 1280

  

Hotel Punta Islita

Hotel Punta Islita

The Hotel Punta Islita also has many activities for guests. Tony and Dawn go zip lining through the Costa Rican rainforest. 960 1280

  

Hotel Punta Islita

Hotel Punta Islita

Concierge Marvin Seas takes Tony and Dawn on a tour of the Hotel Punta Islita’s private beach. 960 1280

  

Hotel Punta Islita

Hotel Punta Islita

The pool at the secluded Hotel Punta Islita. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

The jumbo-sized master suites at Tabacon Grand Spa are the ultimate in luxury. The resort, located at the base of one of the world’s 10 most active volcanoes, has one of the most recognized luxury spas in the world. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

The view of the active Arenal Volcano from Tabacon Grand Spa. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

The 5-star luxury resort has 2 restaurants and offers the ultimate in rainforest relaxation. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

None of the thermal spas at Tabacon are man-made; everything is natural. The different pools range from 77 to 102 degrees. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tony and Dawn arrive at the Tabacon eager to see the first of the 3 potential hotels for their long-overdue honeymoon. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tony and Dawn take a dip in one of Tabacon’s spa pools. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

The bedroom of the impressive master suite at Tabacon Grand Spa. 960 1280

  

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tabacon Grand Spa

Tony and Dawn get a taste of how the other half lives while touring the enormous suite at Tabacon. 960 1280

  

Zephyr Palace

Zephyr Palace

The stunning infinity pool at Zephyr Palace is located about 1,000 feet above the resort’s private beach. 960 1280

  

Zephyr Palace

Zephyr Palace

Tony and Dawn take in the incredible view from one of the 7 suites at Zephyr Palace. So where did they ultimately decide to stay? Watch to find out! 960 1280

  

The students learn how to make prestiños, flattened sweet dough balls that are deep-fried and bathed in honey syrup. 960 1280

  

Global Compass students pose for the camera inside the kitchen of a mountaintop home. 960 1280

  

Compass student Briyanah milks a cow for the first time at the University of Georgia Costa Rica's dairy. 960 1280

  

Crossing over a suspension bridge, Russell enters the rainforest for the first time. 960 1280

  

Briyanah uses her Flip cam skills to capture fun moments at Don Juan's organic farm. 960 1280

  

D'Andre gives his best "Bizarre Foods" face as he daringly tries raw yucca root. 960 1280

  

Kyrina works with Don Juan to squeeze fresh juice out of the sugar cane. 960 1280

  

A colorful toucan says good morning from high in the rainforest canopy. 960 1280

  

Imani, Jamari, Praise, Ania, De'Angelo and Curl take a moment to pose on the beach at Tortuguero. 960 1280

  

Kyrina, Jordan, Curl, Ms. Maye, Adam and Corey share their excitement when they reach the first of 13 platforms. 960 1280

  

Briyanah identifies birds during the early- morning nature walks. 960 1280

  

Curl whirls above the rainforest canopy on the zip-line in Monteverde. 960 1280

  

The students give thumbs-up after conquering the zip-line and the Tarzan swing in the Monteverde cloud forest. 960 1280

  

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