Once ruled by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s, Costa Rica today evokes thoughts of lush, emerald rainforests, lofty, mist-capped mountains, and a bounty of some of the earth’s rarest and most fascinating wildlife. Travel from plunging river valleys to some of Central America’s most beautiful beaches to the cool-weather mountains in a matter of hours, creating an array of options across a swath of biologically diverse landscapes. From charming, colorful towns to volcanic landscapes and grounds scattered with nesting turtles, Costa Rica will rattle your senses in the most enchanting way.
9. Jaguar Rescue Center Foundation
Visiting the Jaguar Rescue Center Foundation in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an essential experience for anyone wanting to support the basic foundation of eco-tourism. Offering wildlife rescue services and a center, visitors can explore the trusted facility knowing animals aren’t used as entertainment but as an educational tool while being properly cared for and released back into the wild. Dedicated to the rehabilitation of orphaned, mistreated, confiscated and injured animals with the sole mission to rehabilitate and return animals to their natural habitats, the husband and wife duo who founded the center were moved to open it after receiving an infant jaguar whose mother was believed to have killed two goats on a local farm and was killed. Meet jaguars, ocelots, sloths, howler monkey, exotic birds, and many other native wildlife recuperating at the center.