After spending nearly a year at home due to stay-at-home orders, it’s perfectly understandable to want to travel. An exotic destination that is within flying distance from anywhere in the U.S. is Costa Rica. Best of all, it is a vibrant and ecologically diverse country that is perfect for anyone looking for an adventure.

Traveling to Costa Rica is easier than it has been in a year since the country no longer requires a negative COVID test upon entry, as well as no mandated quarantine period. Travelers simply need to purchase travel health insurance with $50,000 limits in medical expenses and $2,000 limits in housing expenses. Once that is complete, some of the world’s most biodiverse and beautiful rainforests, volcanos, and jungles will be explorable.

It is best to have access to a car in Costa Rica, as some of the best sites are far away, and renting a taxi or tour bus can get expensive over time. Here are some of the best locations to visit while in Costa Rica.

Arenal Volcano National Park
La Fortuna is the nearest town to this national park, which offers plenty of housing and food options for a stay to visit the volcano. The park itself also offers various exciting activities, including whitewater rafting, ziplining, and rappelling down waterfalls. Many of the resorts near the park also have natural hot springs, great for unwinding after a long day of jungle adventures.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
At this popular destination in Costa Rica, visitors can walk on bridges that extend through the trees, exploring the canopy from where the birds live. It’s a long drive from Arenal but well worth the trip. There are zip lines in this jungle as well, some of the longest in the country. It’s a paradise for conservationists, bird watchers, and thrill-seekers alike.

Manuel Antonio National Park
This park is a popular destination for people looking to enjoy the famed beaches of Costa Rica. It’s best to hire a guide for this park to get inside information on the jungle creatures. The beaches start where the jungle ends, and it’s not uncommon to see whales off the coast, so be sure to pack a lunch and enjoy the aquatic show!