Jungle adventures for first-time Tarzans (and Janes)
Jungle adventures for first-time Tarzans (and Janes) come true in compact Caribbean-to-Pacific Costa Rica, Latin America’s most tourist-friendly destination. The common entry point, San José, is that rare Latin American capital city with ample reason to linger: the chic nabe San Pedro offers the best nightlife, and day trips reach nearby volcanoes, like Poás Volcano. Some stick with the beachfront condos and luxury jungle eco-lodges, but even curmudgeons find plenty to enjoy, like the swingin’ canopy lines over the jungle tops, hoisted cocktails and surfboards at relaxed beach towns like Playa Tamarindo on Pacific-facing Nicoya Peninsula or Puerto Viejo de Talamanca on the Caribbean. And then there’s the other wildlife, with scores of macaws, "poison arrow" frogs, and howler monkeys to be seen on mountain and jungle trails. Four hours’ north from San José, Monteverde is mountain-central, where you can hike volcanoes or take guided jungle walks in the eerie night. Over on the Caribbean coast, in remote Tortuguero National Park ("Costa Rica’s Amazon"), you can take canal boat trips to sea turtle nesting sites.