Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast packs in an incredibly diverse combination of nature, isolated beaches, hip party spots, smart restaurants and stylish lodging. Here are the main areas in this gorgeous region.

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Jacó
A real estate boom has transformed Jacó from a surfer village into the country’s premier beach city. You can find a sophisticated mix of restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets, and shops around the area. The beach is long and wide, great for surfers and swimmers alike. The drive from San José on the old Aguacate route is scenic but winding and takes around two and a half hours. If you take the new toll road, that time is cut to around an hour and a half.

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National Park: Carara
This tiny park has massive importance due to its unique position as a transition area between the tropical wet forests of the south and the tropical dry forests to the north. Birding is the main activity in Carara, and you should go at the crack of dawn – with an experienced guide if you’re a novice. Hanging just outside the park at dawn or dusk is a memorable experience, watching the flocks of scarlet macaws head in and out of the park. Ten of Costa Rica’s most famous trees for commercial wood also grow within the park’s borders.

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Quepos/Manuel Antonio
Synonymous with tropical relaxation, Manuel Antonio has become Costa Rica’s premier beach destination. White-sand beaches border turquoise waters and lush rainforests, which house an amazing variety of wildlife.

It is around this natural sanctuary that the country’s largest tourist infrastructure grew. One can find accommodations ranging from camping and seaside cabinas to exclusive five-star resorts. A huge range of excellent restaurants satisfy any hunger pangs, and one’s sense of adventure can be quelled by any number of tour operators.

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National Park: Manuel Antonio
Hit the park in the morning, since the number of visitors is limited to 600 during the week and 800 on weekends. The park is closed Mondays. Morning is the best time, easy to avoid crowds take advantage of open space and sunny skies.  Hike to the third beach once in the park; it may be the most spectacular beach in Costa Rica, with verdant, coco-lined white-sand beaches.  

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Central Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica