The Southern Pacific Coast in Costa Rica’s southwest corner stretches from Dominical to the Osa Peninsula at its southern end. The rugged coastline in the Dominical-Uvita area is famed among surfers seeking great waves, warm water and long uncrowded beaches. In season, area tours can be arranged for watching migrating whales and dolphins. The 100,000 acre wilderness park of Corcovado offers ancient forests, scarlet macaws, all four of the nation’s monkey species (the only park that does so), plenty of other wildlife and the slight possibility of encountering a jaguar-or more likely jaguar tracks crossing a trail. Although this region is remote and the rainforests pristine, attractive area nature lodges make one’s visit comfortable.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest in the Tilaran Mountains of northwest Costa Rica is one of the world’s premiere destinations for naturalists. A cloud forest is an especially beautiful and rare type of rain forest created by frequent mists from low-lying clouds. This cool and moist environment is characterized by massive trees covered by thick “carpets” of small plants. Much of the resident wildlife is endemic to these habitats. In addition to forest hikes, visitors can enjoy many other area attractions including horseback riding; dining in numerous restaurants; live frog and butterfly exhibits; bird watching; crafts and gift shopping; “zip line” tours and bridge walks in forest canopies; a visit to a native orchid garden and more.