With more than two million visitors each year, Costa Rica is currently — and consistently — one of the hottest vacation and adventure-travel destinations in Latin America. Despite its popularity and mass appeal, Costa Rica remains a place rich in natural wonders and biodiversity, where you can still find yourself far from the maddening crowds. The country boasts a wealth of unsullied beaches that stretch for miles, small lodgings that haven't attracted hordes of tourists, jungle rivers for rafting and kayaking, and spectacular cloud forests and rainforests with ample opportunities for bird-watching and hiking. In addition to the country's trademark eco- and adventure-tourism offerings, you will also find luxury resorts and golf courses, plush spas, and some truly spectacular boutique hotels and lodges.

Having lived in Costa Rica for more than 20 years, I continue to explore and discover new spots, adventures, restaurants, and lodgings — and my "best of" experiences keep on coming. We've selected the very best of what this unique country has to offer. We give you an overview of the highlights so that you can start planning your own adventure.