Costa Rica Is Beautiful [PHOTO ESSAY]

Rio Celeste Waterfall Costa Rica

Rio Celeste Waterfall

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a vibrant country full of incredible natural beauty. Here are some photos of it’s waterfalls, jungles, volcanoes, and wildlife.

Costa Rica has seduced me with her charms. I secretly want to keep her all to myself, but that would be selfish! So I’ve decided to share her with you. After viewing them, you’ll know why I fell in love with this fascinating Central American country.

From pristine cloud forests, remote beaches, exotic wildlife and giant volcanoes — Cost Rica has a bit of everything for the adventurous traveler.

So sit back and enjoy a photo tour of Costa Rica. Pura Vida!

Coati Corcovado Costa Rica

Coati Eating a Halloween Crab

Bridge Monteverde Costa Rica

300 Ft. Canopy Bridge

Volcano Irazu Costa Rica

Volcano Irazu Crater Lake

Crocodiles Rio Tarcoles Costa Rica

Crocodiles in the Tarcoles River

Coastline Corcovado Costa Rica

Corcovado Coastline

Mushroom Monteverde Costa Rica

Bright Red Mushroom

Beach Seed Corcovado Costa Rica

No Idea What This Is…

Hammock Camping Costa Rica

Hammock Camping in the Jungle

Pink Bug Costa Rica

Bright & Colorful Pink Bug

Monteverde Cloud Forest Costa Rica

Monteverde Cloud Forest

Tiger Heron Costa Rica

Tiger Heron

Bairds Tapir Corcovado Costa Rica

Funny Looking Bairds Tapir

Rafting Pacuare River Costa Rica

Rafting the Pacuare River

Poison Dart Frog Costa Rica

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Further Reading:

Making Friends With Wild Rainforest Animals!” – Expert Vagabond
Fairytale Magic: Costa Rica’s Rio Celeste” – Expert Vagabond

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Hi! My name is Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for 3 years. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel more with entertaining stories, beautiful images, and money saving tips. Please join thousands of others who receive exclusive monthly updates!

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Comments & Questions

  • Cat

    I’ve always been drawn to Costa Rica but seeing these amazingly gorgeous photos has renewed my desire to go!

    • Matthew Karsten

      That’s great Cat. You’ll love it! Tons to see & do there.

  • kimolsonphoto

    I’m partial to the coati, but in truth all of your images paint a gorgeous picture of Costa Rica. You captured CR very well and saw so much more than I did many years ago that it makes me want to go back! :)

    • Matthew Karsten

      Thank you Kim. It’s a hard place not to love. :)

  • Kiersten

    Titled appropriately I must say! Incredible photos! Stunning stunning stunning

    • Matthew Karsten

      I was working too hard on finding the right headline. Decided to simplify it. :D

  • Dani

    Great photos! The tapir is my favorite, I am dying to see one! Where did you see that one – on the Osa peninsula? We had such a great time here in 2011 that we returned for a housesit that was offered to us – the wildlife is just spectacular … haven’t been anywhere else where there is so much wildlife like in Costa Rica.

    • Matthew Karsten

      Hi Dani! Yeah, I found him at Corcovado. Came crashing through the trees as the sun was going down. He began munching on leaves at the edge of the beach. Scared the crap out of me at first. They are huge!

  • Ava Apollo

    I love Costa Rica, especially the Arenal area I’m recognizing in your photos. So freaking beautiful.

  • Garrett

    Awesome pics. I love the red bridge one. I’m planning a trip to CR in January on as tight a budget as possible. Do you have any tips on saving money or know of any good articles on the subject? Any help would be much appreciated.
    P.S. I don’t mind camping/roughin’ it.

    • Matthew Karsten

      Hi Garrett. For general advice, just use the bus system to get around, stay at little family guest houses, and eat street food. Remember that you don’t always need to pay for guides/tours, walking around on your own works great.
      Camping helps too. I averaged about $32 a day for the month I was there.
      Maybe my trip-report will help you out:

  • Bama

    I have never considered Costa Rica as one of the main destinations that I have to visit when I set foot on Central America. But it has changed now. Thanks to your pictures, I am aching to go!

    • Matthew Karsten

      Great Bama, there is a ton to do there. And it doesn’t have to be expensive or touristy.

  • Rob

    I love those poison dart frogs and saw some myself. Great shots and recognize a few of the places.

    How long did you camp in the jungle? That’s pretty bada$$.

    • Matthew Karsten

      Hi Rob! I camped a few times in Costa Rica, but each time was just 2 to 4 nights.

  • Ayngelina

    Those are some beautiful photos, I just cannot get past the expense of Costa Rica compared to Southern Nicaragua or Northern Panama.

    • Matthew Karsten

      It was a bit more expensive, but not by too much. I stayed away from many famous towns and stuck to Mom & Pop type establishments for the most part.

      Actually, here is a breakdown of my expenses:

  • Adam at GettingStamped

    I was looking through your post to try and find some ideas for our Costa Rica leg of our RTW trip. The picture of the Rio Celeste Waterfall looks amazing, is there a decent bus route to get over to the park to hike to the falls?

    You are braver than me camping in the jungle, I would worry I would wake up 10 of those purple bug and a frog or two.

    keep up the great stories!

  • Ellen Keith

    I love these photos — stunning! Maybe I need to move Costa Rica up a few notches on my to-visit list. As for the “Don’t even know what this is” image, I saw the same flower growing on a tree in Rio de Janeiro. Could it be that?

  • Becky Padmore

    Love these photos, especially the animal shots!

  • Kaleena’s Kaleidoscope

    Stunning photos! I went to Costa Rica earlier this year and only stayed for a few days, but I was seduced by her beauty as well. Love the shot of that volcano crater lake! It reminds me of the lake at the base of the towers at Torres del Paine in Chile, have you ever been? It’s got that same eerily beautiful quality.

  • Claudia

    Such beautiful images, thank you for sharing them. I plan to go to Costa Rica soon and from what I have seen until now it seems to offer beautiful places whererver you go.

    • Matthew Karsten

      It sure seemed that way to me as well Claudia. Costa Rica is full of beauty.

  • calvin

    When you camped in your hammock, how did you fend off the mosquitoes from biting through the bottom? That always happens to me :(

    • Matthew Karsten

      You can soak the hammock in Permethrin (or spray it on). Stays on for like 6 weeks. I’ve also used organic bug spray on the bottom. DEET can melt nylon though, so don’t use that.
      Usually I’ll sleep on a cotton sheet or with a light sleeping bag, which provides extra protection.

      • calvin

        That’s a very good tip, I didn’t know about permethrin. Thanks, I’m going to do that for sure. The mosquito thing has been my only hammock annoyance.
        Happy Travels:)

  • Emily of Roads Less Traveled

    I’ve never been to Costa RIca, but it is high on my bucket list. My husband and I have been traveling full-time for the past 6 years, and 3 of those years have been spent sailing the cost of Mexico in our boat. Costa Rica is so close — but there are some treacherous waters between here and there!!!

    • Matthew Karsten

      Now that’s an adventure I’ve never tried yet, a long-term sailing journey. Some day!

  • Cristina Garcia

    These photos are awesome Matthew. The coati one is my favorite.
    Also love the tip about using Permethrin!

  • Marija

    All the pictures are beautiful, thank you for finding MY COUNTRY amazing

    • Matthew Karsten

      No worries Marija, the photos are beautiful because the country is!

  • Leigh

    You’ve brought back good memories from a trip to Costa Rica years ago that included th Corcovado Peninsula. I’m going again on Saturday for 10 days – and am looking forward to exploring Rincon de la Vieja National Park and climbing a volcano. Wonderful, wonderful photos.

    • Matthew Karsten

      Thanks Leigh! I’m actually returning to Costa Rica in December. Can’t wait!

      Have fun on your trip.

  • Laura

    I love my country! These pictures Rule!!! The Tapir or “Danta” are strange to spot! You are lucky! :)

    • Matthew Karsten

      Was very excited I got to see him. You have a beautiful country Laura!