From the very first time I heard the calls of howler monkeys in the pale morning light, I've been in love with Costa Rica. The Caribbean coast has a distinct West Indian and reggae vibe, with quick access to the islands of Caribbean Panama. Go inland and venture into the mountains, hot springs and grumbling volcanos at Arenal and it's another kind of beautiful. Several indigenous communities offer interesting tours and a glimpse into Costa Rica's local culture. The Pacific coast offers world class surfing and fishing from the Nicoya peninsula in the north, Manuel Antonio in between, and the Osa peninsula further south - with its staggering biodiversity and excellent eco-lodges from which to enjoy it all!