Rufous-tailed hummingbird in flight.

Jonathan Gregson

Northwestern Costa Rica

What did you come to Costa Rica for? To lounge on pristine beaches and ride glorious waves? To hike up volcanoes and soak in geothermal springs? To spy on birds and monkeys and get lost among ancient trees? The northwestern corner of Costa Rica packs in all this and more. Unlike any other part of the country, Guanacaste – in the far northwest – is a wide, flat expanse of grasslands and dry tropical forest, where savanna vistas are broken only by windblown trees. Further east, the Cordillera de Guanacaste rises majestically out of the plains in a line of sputtering, steaming volcanic peaks that beg exploration. Further south, higher altitudes create misty, mystical cloud forests, teeming with life. What did you come to Costa Rica for? Here it is...

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Spotting Costa Rica's 'Little Five'

Jul 31, 2012 • 3 min read


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