In a relatively small area, Costa Rica has everything one could want in vacation paradise. There are secluded white sand beaches with great surf and amazing SCUBA diving. There are active volcanoes and towering rain forests. And, eco-tourism is a speciality of the house. Getting around is easy via rental car, plane or public bus, and the warm and friendly people make travel safe and fun. Some of the principal mountain ranges are volcanic, and visitors can easily access many of these areas. In the province of Cartago, for example, which is not far from the capital of San José , you will find Irazú volcano which erupted in the early sixties. Poás volcano, located in the province of Alajuela, has one of the largest active craters in the world. And, Arenal volcano, in the northwestern region, treats thousands of visitors each year to a constant stream of red, hot lava rocks tumbling down its slopes. Beautiful forests grow in the crater of the dormant Barva in Heredia. Arenal, a young volcano in the northern part of the country, is constantly active (and is the site of a spa with natural hot springs). The country’s highest peak, Mount Chirripó, is not volcanic; it measures 12.412 feet (On a clear day one can see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from atop Mt. Chirripo). The bulk of Costa Rica’s borders, sixty-five percent, is made up of coastline. Costa Rica has some of the world’s most beautiful and idyllic beaches. Although the coast is not heavily populated, a variety of tourism projects provide access to a great deal of the nation’s beach areas… Within Costa Rica, the longest distance you will ever have to travel to get to a beach is 75 miles. So in a way, the country is like a large tropical island. The capital of San José is the starting place for exploring the country. It is conveniently located in the centre of the country and all the bus lines stop here. The port of Limon on the Carribean Coast has quite a different atmosphere from the capital. Life is more laid back; reggae is the favorite kind of music. It is a good starting place to explore some of the beaches on the Carribean. San José is located in the Central Valley region of the country. Evenings in San José can be cool do to the high altitude, but you won’t forget that you’re in a tropical place even in this bustling city. The city itself is busy and filed with traffic. There are many things to do, but travelers often miss these sites choosing instead to head straight from the airport to beaches or rainforests. Although San José is not the most beautiful city in the world, it is generally safe and has a lot to offer tourists.