Levison Wood’s time in Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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Follow in the footsteps of Levison Wood on an adventure like no other in

Costa Rica

Follow in the footsteps of Levison Wood…

Fly into San Jose, the capital 

Fly into San Jose, Costa Rica’s sprawling, hilly capital where you can soak up the bustling atmosphere, dine alongside locals at authentic eateries, stroll the parks and explore the museums.

Nicoya Peninsula 

The Nicoya Peninsula is the place to go for a dose of Pura Vida, the pure life. This wild part of Costa Rica is home to big surf, yoga retreats, huge swathes of forest, spectacular sunsets and some of the oldest people in the world. There is a reason the locals here live such happy and healthy lives…

La Fortuna 

La Fortuna is a small town northwest of the capital and is most famous for the Arenal Volcano and its namesake national park. Head here for thrilling adventures such as zip lining, kayaking and waterfall hikes, or soothe your soul and muscles in the healing natural hot springs.

Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica is home to 6.5% of the world biodiversity and 3% can be found in Osa. This lesser-known corner of Costa Rica is located on the South Pacific coast and is the perfect place to turn off your phone and immerse yourself in the unspoilt natural beauty all around.

The Nicoya Peninsula

Find the elixir of life in the Blue Zone

Want to know the secrets of a healthy, long and happy life?  The Nicoya Peninsula is one of just five Blue Zones in the world, and it’s not unusual for the inhabitants here to live to the age of 100. Meet some of these locals at the Matambu Indigenous Reserve where you can enjoy a guided walk along ancient trails and have a chat about the secrets of living a long, good life. No doubt they will tell you that it’s down to ‘Pura Vida’, the pure life, a mantra for Costa Rica throughout the whole country which symbolises the Costa Rican mind set and positive way of life.

Practise yoga 

Looking to practise your downward facing dog in full view of the ocean? Head to the northeastern Nosara region which is world-famous for its wellness retreats. And with its long golden beaches and thick forests, you’ll find it easy to relax. Many hotels here allow you to combine yoga with other wellness activities such as sound therapy, reiki, forest bathing and meditation. You’re bound to leave feeling rested and rejuvenated. 

Hit the surf 

The Nosara Peninsula is also popular with surfers and whether you’re a pro or have never stepped foot on a board before, this rugged coastline offers the perfect place to practise. Small surf towns can be found all over the coast with local surf schools where you can book lessons. Playa Tamarindo makes for an excellent beginner beach, while Playa Avellanas has the space and the waves for all different levels.

Meet the cowboys

Costa Rica is home to Sabaneros – Costa Rican cowboys. Don a cowboy hat and join them on horseback to herd cattle: a hands-on way to experience their way of life and gain an understanding of the deep connection they have with nature. Help them to wash and feed the horses before hearing more stories of this fascinating culture around their dinner table. Hacienda El Viejo in the northern wetlands is a good place to start.

Soak up the sunsets

After a day of adventure in the Nicoya Peninsula, where better to relax than on the beach front, drink in hand watching the sky and waves turn orange under a sinking sun? The sunsets here are so mesmeric that each night locals and visitors gather on the beaches to watch the spectacle. 

Not only is Costa Rica always ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world, it’s also one of the most peaceful and safest countries in the world. It really rubs off and I think that’s one of the reasons I love coming back to this country. It’s my sanctuary, it’s about the sense of relaxation and living the pure life. The world needs more Pura Vida.
Levison Wood

La Fortuna

See Costa Rica’s most famous volcano 

Costa Rica is home to six active volcanoes, but the most photogenic is La Fortuna’s Arenal Volcano. Standing at 1,657m and with a perfect symmetrical shape, you’ll want to have your camera ready. Whether you’re trekking through Arenal national park, paddling in a kayak or whizzing through the air on a zip line, chances are you’ll have a view of Arenal.

Relax in a natural hot spring 

Costa Rica’s position on the Pacific Ring of Fire means it has an explosive history and volcanic topography. The result of all this geothermal activity? Natural, mineral-rich hot springs where you can relax and feel your aches melt away into the bath-like water. A good place to relax in the hot springs is along the Tabacon River where a series of deep pools allow you to have a warm soak while listening to the sounds of the jungle. 

Zip line above the canopy 

Those looking to get their heart pounding should look no further than Sky Trek, a thrilling zip line circuit that will whizz you above the wildlife-filled forests of Arenal National Park. You’ll get to enjoy seven cables – some of which are 200m heigh and 750m long – and will reach speeds of up to 40mph. 

Chase waterfalls

It may take a 530 step climb to reach it, but the trek to the La Fortuna Waterfall is worth it for the view. The 20 metre cascade frothing into a pool of emerald water looks as though it has been ripped right out of a fairy tale. Once you’ve finished drinking in the view, cool off with a swim in the natural pool, surrounded by  the sights and sounds of the forest. 

Meet the locals 

With all that natural wilderness to explore in La Fortuna, it can be easy to forget to seek out Costa Rica’s cultural experiences. La Fortuna’s Maleku Indigenous Reserve is a great way to get to know about the local culture, and meet some of the indigenous peoples who call this part of the country home. On a small group visit, you will explore the three different towns within the area, meet some of the 1,000 people who live here, and learn of their way of life and traditions that have been kept alive for generations. You’ll even have a chance to enjoy a traditional Maleku meal. 

Costa Rica is the perfect place to unwind, relax and read and write, and that’s one of the things I do if I’m looking for inspiration to write a new book or just a journal. 
Levison Wood

Osa Peninsula

Watch whales 

Drake Bay in the Osa Peninsula is one of the finest places in Costa Rica to spot whales and dolphins, and it’s a particular hot spot for huge humpback whales. Between mid-July and October each year, humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Drake Bay to give birth and nurse their young. Head out on a boat tour for a chance to spot them. Seeing that mermaid-like tail appear above the surface before clapping back down to the water with a splash is a moment you’ll likely remember for the rest of your life. As well as humpback, you may also see spotted and rough-toothed dolphins as well as the incredibly rare Bryde’s whale. 

Go wild in Corcovado National Park 

Corcovado National Park is the largest national park in Costa Rica and has 3% of the world’s biodiversity making it home to some of the most unique wildlife in the world. Head out on a guided trek to see everything from all four of the monkey species found in the country and four types of turtles to more than 40 species of frogs, more than 100 species of butterflies and 400 plus types of birds including hummingbirds and scarlet macaws. If you are incredibly lucky, you may even spot the park’s most elusive inhabitant, the jaguar.

You can get so close to the wildlife, there’s such diversity in this place, it’s amazing. 
Levison Wood

Discover Drake Bay 

Drake Bay offers all kinds of adventures in nature. Divers should head to Drake Bay’s Cano island to see an underwater world of bright corals, eels, reef sharks and sting rays. Or head out on a kayak to explore the rivers, paddling under the shade of ancient mangrove trees to spot birds, lizards and monkeys. Back on dry land, hit the hiking trails with a guide to uncover the wildlife-rich forests. Or simply lay in a hammock on the beach and listen to the cacophony of insect sounds. 

It’s probably one of the most stunning jungle environments I’ve ever seen, it’s just pristine.
Levison Wood
It’s a real photographer dream wherever you look. There’s amazing people, the sense of colour and character of the culture, there’s amazing wildlife. 
Levison Wood