Lauded throughout the country as its most beautiful and idyllic Costa Rica island, Tortuga island -— Turtle Island, in English -- is a favorite destination of day-trippers. The Costa Rica island boasts innumerable diversions to fill a sunny day, from kayaking and peering through glass-bottom boats, to snorkeling and swimming, to hiking through the forested hills. There’s even a canopy tour and ziplining course for adventurous souls to enjoy. Most boats head to Tortuga from Playa Jaco, although it’s also possible to book a trip from Puntarenas or Playa Montezuma.
Isla del Caño
Costa Rica’s Isla del Caño, right off the Osa Peninsula, is a compelling place for many reasons. Because the Costa Rica island is a biological reserve, its waters simply swell with sea creatures, perfect for snorkeling and diving. Sea turtles, dolphins, and pods of whales are frequently seen gliding through the channel. Fascinatingly, mysterious stone spheres are scattered over the island—the largest weighs two tons! Their archeological significance still isn’t known, although it’s certain the island was used as a burial ground by coastal indigenous tribes.
Cocos Island is probably Costa Rica’s most well-known and popular island destination—the extensive boat ride is more than worth it. Located 340 miles from the Pacific Coast, the island is in the same class as the Galapagos Islands, which lie on the same underwater volcanic ridge. Jacques Cousteau called Cocos “the most beautiful island in the world” for a reason. Numerous plant and animal species are endemic to Cocos, and along with the translucent waters, forests, rivers, and tumbling waterfalls, the island is a extraordinary place for natural discovery. Treasure hunters, pay special attention: the remote Costa Rica island was once a favorite hideout of pirates.