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Northem Plains
Costa Rica Travel
Northem Plains

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The climate in the region goes a long way in making the northern plains so special. Misty cloud forest environments, verdant rolling hills and a fantastic lake make the region a must on any visit to Costa Rica. The landscapes as we drive along twisting roads make for incredible photographs. The mild 70F weather you'll find here is refreshing, especially when arriving from the coast.

A striking characteristic of this area is the dramatic contrast in topography. The Cordilleras, or ranges, of Tilarán and Guanacaste set off the beauty of the Guatuso, San Carlos and Tortuguero Plains. Several small and medium-sized rivers that range throughout the plains make the region very fertile. Fruit trees, rice paddies and cattle ranching are practiced by the residents. Yet there are many expanses of protected areas dotting the region.

Of the 850 bird species identified in Costa Rica, 600 are permanent residents in this region. Don't forget the binoculars!

Lake Arenal**(4)

As soon as you see shimmering waters being sliced through by windsurfers, you'll know you're on the shores of Lake Arenal.

Not only is the man-made lake spectacular but the surroundings  Arenal  Lake Viewvjust can't be beat. Photographic opportunities are available ad infinitum. Emerald carpeted sloping hills with dense copses of forest run throughout. The mornings are dew laden and the days are perfect for filling with adventure.

Winds have been clocked at up to 40 miles per hour. These gales account for the sleek, aerodynamic windmills you may spot on slopes high above the lake. For a drier approach to speed, hike the index with a ride through the forest canopy.

Arenal Volcano **(3)

It rises 1,633 meters above sea level and casts an almost flawless silhouette on the land below it. Arenal VolcanoeArenal's last explosion was in 1969 but this volcano is far from dormant. Its constant rumblings are Arenal's most popular characteristics. Often spewing ash and smoke, the volcano provides a striking backdrop for photographs and video. There are several excellent look out points along the highway.Thermal water

After nightfall the spectacle of Arenal's bright red lava coursing its way down from the cone is an awesome sight indeed. Many visitors to the area enjoy the show from the luxurious surroundings.

La Fortuna

This is a quaint picturesque town and is an ideal place to stop when driving to Arenal Volcano. After taking your day trip, take a few time to explore La Fortuna. The residents are friendly and hospitable. The town square is an ideal place to sit and practice your Spanish since many locals gather here to exchange news of the day's events.

Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge

Found in the Alajuela province, Caño Negro is the perfect place to enjoy natural sightseeing. Since the refuge is found in the low-lying northern plains, water is the key word. During the area's dry season, the refuge can be accessed by a road, but during the wet season - boats are the answer. Our guides will be quick to point out a snake that is making its way through high grasses as well as a crocodile as it retreats from the bank into the depths of the river.Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge

Caño Negro lake does a disappearing act during the dry season but is quick to come back once the rains start. In the area of the lowlands keep on the look out for sloths and anteaters in the treed areas, while blinders will find a variety of subjects for their binoculars. White cranes and ducks abound in the shallows along the rivers.




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