Central Highlands, Costa Rica
Blessed with a lush interior that could rival Hawaii and a tropical setting that’s home to three types of monkeys, slow moving sloths, vibrant colored scarlet macaws, toucans, and 45 different species of hummingbirds, it should come as no surprise that Costa Rica has become an increasingly popular family getaway. A perfect introduction to the landscape is the often overlooked Central Highlands on the verdant back slopes of Poas Volcano, less than a 90-minute drive from the international airport in San Jose. In the small farming community of Bajos del Toro, horseback ride on meadows that climb the hillside. Or take a hike to three waterfalls hidden within the cloud forest on the grounds of the resort, El Silencio. In the neighboring Sarapiqui River region, Tirimbina Biological Reserve houses a cocoa plantation smack dab in the middle of primary rainforest. Cross an 866-foot long canopy bridge, the longest in the country, past flowering bromeliads and orchids to sample chocolate.