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Costa Rica Gay and Lesbian Travel
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Over the past decade travel in general has boomed in Central America, Costa Rica has seen a large amount of that huge tourism push. In amazing large numbers gay and lesbian travelers are flocking to this tropical paradise. You will find this eco-friendly country an amazing vacation destination for sure. Costa Rica is one of the most gay friendly destinations in all of Central America, which may be one of the reasons the LGBT travel market is so high here. Sandy Beaches, tropical rain forests, outdoor activities abound and a night life to die for. Although San Jose may not be the most ideal place in all of Costa Rica to visit it does have major resorts, an international airport and amenities that will appeal to most gay and lesbian travelers. There are many other area’s that show off the true beauty of this country. You will find some of these places later mentioned.

This is a rare country where you don’t have to flock to the main cities to experience a “gay scene.” In fact, while San Jose certainly has a vibrant gay nightlife with hip, happening bars and discos. No matter where you go in Costa Rica, you’re going to run into many gay tourists. However if you’re looking for that “gay ghetto” feeling, seek no further than the area known as Manuel Antonio, not far from the coastal town of Quepos. The area boasts a stunning, secluded gay beach called La Playita (the little beach) and gay bars such as the Bar Tutu with a fantastic roof deck, and the stylish Bar Tutu, both with excellent views of the Pacific Ocean. For those with more eclectic tastes, you may wish to try the Bat Cave; a small, funky bar that resembles its name.

The private reserve Monteverde provides the easiest access to the cloud forests, and an infrastructure of guides and resources to help you make the most of your visit. Like Manuel Antonio, it has gained tremendously in popularity, but has much less chance of being loved to death. Monteverde is much larger, the cool, wet, windy weather means shorter visits, and as a private reserve it has better funding than most of the National Parks. Despite the growth in tourism in the surrounding community, a few hundred yards off the main loop (el triangulo) you may still have the trail to yourself.

The most popular rainforest in Costa Rica measured by the number of visitors each day is Braulio Carrillo National Park.  It stradles the Guápiles highway, the main route from San José to the Caribbean coast.  Most of the traffic just passes through perhaps pausing at some of the scenic overlooks, but there are beautiful trails for those who want to explore more.

Manuel Antonio is the most popular National Park beach in Costa Rica. So popular in fact that several years ago the park service imposed strict limits on the number of visitors to prevent the tiny natural area from being loved to death.
Playas Tamarindo and Jacó are a tossup for the most popular surfing beach, but Tamarindo is coming on strong, and Jacó is fading.

On opposite sides of Cabo Blanco at the tip of the Nicoya peninsual, Playas Montezuma and Mal País(Santa Teresa) are the most popular "undiscovered" beach destination in Costa Rica. 

The canals of Tortuguero and wetlands of Caño Negro are the most popular places to sit back relax and let the boatman be your guide to bird and wildlife spotting. Caño Negro has a slight edge in numbers because of the popularity of day tours, but Tortuguero gets many more overnight visitors. The mangroves of the Damas estuary are gaining popularity with tourist from the adjacent Manuel Antonio area.

Owing to its spendor, and location next to the highway from Barva to San Miguel, the waterfall popularity champion is La Paz. Many visitors just stop for a few minutes, take a picture or two and head on to Arenal. Others spend a night or two in the Peace Lodge and take advantage of the improved trails to the upper falls and butterfly gardens.

Most people familiar with Costa Rica would immediately think of Arenal's fiery lava flowsif asked for the most visited volcanic destination, but it's actually third on the list. Irazúand Poás volcanoes each attract more than twice as many tourists as Arenal.  In fact they're the two most popular National Parks in the country.

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