Monteverde is a must-see destination of Costa Rica, mainly for the best zipline of the country! I suggest you Selvatura, that allows you to speed among the trees instead of above them!
In the package you can’t do a walk among the hanging bridges, and see the cloud forest from a slower pace! Beware of the heavy rains in Monteverde, otherwise you will literally drawn like we did!
On the way down from Monteverde, you could stop to Puntarenas for a 1-day tour to beautiful Isla Tortuga, a small island famous for snorkeling and water sports. Best way to visit it is with the beautiful catamaran of Calypso Cruises:
On the way down from Puntarenas you can’t miss a crocodile tour in Rio Tarcoles, a national park along the massive river Tarcoles. You really can see them from an extremely close point of view and watch the guides feeding them, watch the video on here!
Next stop is Marino Ballena National Park, the best spot in Costa Rica for whale watching, and worth sleeping 1 night.
On the way down to Corcovado National Park, you should stop to have what I considered the best meal in Costa Rica, in a very nice restaurant along the way down, called Ballena Bistro.
Corcovado National Park is one of the most remote places you can visit in Costa Rica, but it is definitely worth while. Main village to access there is Carate Beach, a group of hotel and hostel right on the beach. Here you can mainly chill out in the jungle and walk along the endless volcanic beach: beware that you cannot swim here, at all!
If you are lucky, you can witness the green turtle nesting right on the beach, without any tour or ticket entrance, just right there on the beach. We’ve been that lucky, and this is what we saw right when we arrived in Carate:
The 1 day hiking activity to Corcovado National Park allows you to see different wildlife, according to your luck. Consider an 6-7 hours of walking, under a very warm climate, so be prepared.
Most beautiful sightings of the place are macaws, in Carate there are tons of them, and you can see in the sky always a couple of them flying around. Or even upclose like below
During the walk in Corcovado we were followed by menacing, angry White-headed capuchin monkeys, marking their territory:
We also spotted colorful frogs:
And a tarantula spider:
From the solitude of Carate Beach we went back north to Manuel Antonio National Park, one of the most famous parks in Costa Rica. The beach in the main town is mainly for water sports, not so good for swimming, while the beaches inside the national park are quite beautiful.
There is an high chance of spotting sloths, which I found the most funny and interesting animals of Costa Rica!
Last stop of the travel was Tortuguero National Park: the main reason to visit it is to spot the turtles nesting during the night, and visiting the river canals around. Honestly, since we experienced a turtle nesting in front of us in Corcovado, this part of the trip was not particularly exciting.
On the long way from San Jose to Tortuguero (bus+boat) we stopped for another species of sloath, smaller and cuter than the usual ones!
Best thing for us was the night tour for spotting nocturnal wildlife, and the presence of beautiful red frogs!