Best Photography Spots in Western Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an immensely beautiful, tropical country. Located in Central America, Costa Rica has the best of both worlds when it comes to jungle, city, and beaches. The country is pretty distinct when it comes to landscape with locations on the eastern side of the country being reminiscent of that of the Caribbean Islands while the Western side has unique spots to explore in terms of volcanoes, cloud forests, and waterfalls. While it’s easy to want to see the entire country in one go, sometimes it isn’t the most feasible thing.
This is why we recommend hitting the key points on each coast and coming back for more in the future. Here is a list of all the places you need to include on your travel and photography list on the western side of the country.
The gear we recommend is a good camera and the holy trinity. A wide-angle lens. 14-24mm or something similar. A 24-70mm or something similar and, of course, a 70-200mm or something similar.
If you do not have these particular lenses, do not worry; something similar will be just fine. It would be best if you also had a tripod.
1. Monteverde Cloud Forest
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is unique because it is one of the most diverse and beautiful places in the world. There are endless varieties of flora and fauna nestled in these ecosystems that are not found anywhere else. Visiting the cloud forest already gives you plenty of photography must-captures from orchids to sloths to the elusive resplendent quetzal bird. While you can take your time exploring on your own, it’s worth it to go with one of the knowledgeable guides who are great at spotting wildlife.
2. Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano is one of the best-known volcanoes in the area and is one of the volcanoes in the country that is still active. It can be seen for miles around from all sides, however, for those who are hiking in the national park, also be sure to take note of the different layers of the forest that come with surrounding a volcano site and keep an eye out for interesting wildlife like the colorful vipers.
Best Photography Spots in Western Costa Rica
3. Manuel Antonio National Park
There is not much that can’t be found in Manuel Antonio National Park. People come for the beaches but there are also sights to be seen and captured on the boardwalk trail. Look out for deer, howling monkeys, crabs, and many more on the forest trail. Once you have gotten your shots taken, make sure to try out different sides of the park because the sand feels different depending on where you are. Try to book tickets in advance as the park can get full quickly.
4. City of San Jose
San Jose is teeming with life from the daily routines of Costa Ricans who live by the motto, “Pura Vida”. There’s lots of interesting architecture to capture in the city as well as things like markets, graffiti, and even a panoramic view of San Jose with the mountains in the background.
There is one thing that Costa Rica is not lacking in and that is wildlife which can pretty much be found anymore. The jungles, and even some resorts, are home to the two varieties of sloths. You can find colorful parrots and hummingbirds in gardens or even at rest stops. Coatis, which are similar to raccoons in the States, are found roaming in groups in the forest and even along the highway.
6. Irazu Volcano
Irazu Volcano is another active volcano in the country and is located in a national park you can hike in too. This area is interesting to visit and capture because of the plants and the views. You can find the “poor man’s umbrella” along the trail to the volcano as well as endless black ash sands. There’s also a mesmerizingly beautiful crater lake that is bright green and blue.
7. La Fortuna Waterfall
This tall waterfall is located in the town of La Fortuna and is not only great for pictures but also for swimming. The waterfall can be reached in multiple ways, by car, bus, or even horseback! Once you are there, you head down a couple of hundred stairsteps to reach your final destination and enjoy the cool waters of La Fortuna.
Best Photography Spots in Western Costa Rica
8. El Jardin, San Ramon
El Jardin is actually the name of a restaurant located in San Ramon but the beauty of this hidden gem is the garden located behind it. This extensively well-kept garden is very colorful and has endless flowers and shrubs that create beautiful pictures and words like that of wildlife and popular sayings.
9. National Theatre
The National Theatre is located in the city of San Jose and is a magnificently constructed building that features intricately decorated gold leaf walls, large doorways, detailed ceilings, and bronze lamps. This capital tourist attraction is well worth a visit and you can spend time examining each of the fine details of the building.
10. Hot Springs
With so many volcanoes in the country, you can’t expect to not find hot springs. The country has multiple natural hot springs that are safe enough for visitors to enjoy. These locations usually have beautiful garden scenery as well as amazing views of the forests and volcanoes in the area.
11. The Beaches
The beach is always a great idea, and the Costa Rican beaches are stunning. Specially during sunrise or sunset.
These are the Best Photography Spots in Western Costa Rica.
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