The small Central American nation of Costa Rica has become a global poster child for ecotourism in recent decades. It isn’t alone in being a tropical nation with diverse ecosystems and abundant wildlife, but Costa Rica is unique in the way it has actively worked to preserve its wealth of natural wonders for the benefit of its wildlife, the planet, and tourism.
Over a quarter of the country’s area is protected land. From the glorious tropical beaches to the verdant jungles, Costa Rica offers a large selection of unique ways to encounter exotic wildlife throughout the year. Beaches, birds, and rainforests aside, the country also has a rich and unique culture. Though small, Costa Rica has so much to offer those who plan their trip well.
To ease the process of finding the right home for your unforgettable tropical vacation, here is a list of 10 Vrbo house rentals as your base to explore Costa Rica. We chose these few because they are luxurious and offer easy access to the country’s natural beauty in the form of beaches, volcanoes, and rainforests.
This heavenly home is a divine way to experience Costa Rica’s famous Cloud Forest. The protected area, deep in the country’s highlands, is said to be home to 2.5 percent of the Earth’s species, so you’re certain to see something incredible. There are incredible things to be seen without even leaving the grounds as the home is a genuine architectural marvel. Part treehouse and part airship, it seems a mixture of the primeval and utopian futurism. Enjoy eats from the local co-op and bakery. Hell, enjoy everything! All there is to enjoy can be found right here in this hilly paradise. That’s how it’ll feel when you’re at the villa, anyway.
Once you’ve visited, this villa rental will always be the picture in your head when you hear the words “tropical paradise.” It overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a hill 100 yards out from the sand, gracing guests with fabulous ocean views. Enjoy interior luxury and a beautiful outdoor area with a stunning private pool and incredible views of Elephant Rock out at sea. The hosts will happily arrange a visit from their talented local chefs. Manuel Antonio National Park — the most-visited national park in Costa Rica — is half a mile away. The region is very popular with tourists and is easily reached by a short, cheap, and scenic flight from the capital.
Relax in tranquil surroundings at this spectacular home on the Osa Peninsula in southern Puntarenas Province on the aptly named Sweet Gulf. The peninsula, dominated by the unforgettable Corcovado National Park, was called one of the most biodiverse on the planet by National Geographic. The park has an incredible array of sites, including the 100-foot King Louis Waterfall.
The house, 10 minutes outside of town, is something else as well, with charmingly unique plant-filled bathrooms that almost feel like you’re showing under water the cascading of a jungle tree. The house has a modern kitchen and backyard pool where the jungle encroaches despite the bamboo fence.
This contemporary home, though quite splendid, pales in comparison to the majesty of the volcanic slopes on which it rests. It is on the grounds of Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica’s second-most popular. Waterfalls, monkeys, and beautiful birds can all be found within walking distance. The home is an elegant 21st-century construction, with ample glass and high ceilings. There’s room for a sizable group or family across three twin bedrooms and room for more on the sofa bed.
There’s so much to see in Costa Rica, but you might find yourselves wanting to stay here. It does make a great base as its position in the central Alajuela Province makes adventures to other corners of the country practical.
This home a mile up from idyllic Lake Arenal offers spectacular views and good access to three of Costa Rica’s spectacular attractions: Tenorio Volcano National Park 10 miles to the west, Arenal Volcano to the east, and the lake itself, the country’s largest. Every activity you could imagine is possible on the lake. With an abundance of comfortable rooms, the home is great for parties of any size. Breakfasts are provided by a professional chef.
For a couple that loves exotic beach getaways as much as they love each other, this fine beachfront guest house offers an unforgettable experience. It is a simple home ready to bring extraordinary delight to its guests. It has a full kitchen, king bed, and direct access to the beach. Grocery stores, super markets, and restaurants are easily reached on foot, as are places to rent a boat.
The home is in Costa Rica’s northern Guanacaste region. Home to dry tropical forests, volcanoes, and howler monkeys, this region sees virtually no rainfall between December and May. The home is half an hour away from the new airport in Liberia.
Located in the isolated southern tip of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, this beautiful home sits oceanfront offering amazing views. Built in a classic Caribbean style, it comfortably sleeps seven and can fit four more on the second floor if the owner is not visiting. Live in awe of the jungle that stretches all the way to your front door. It is in a quiet area between Cahuita National Park and the local town, both a few miles away in opposite directions. As an added bonus, the home is near the Jaguar Rescue Center, where visitors can admire and even assist conservationists in their important work.
Note that this part of the country is harder to get to but also translates to smaller crowds.
This simple home offers an unforgettable experience at an unbelievable price. Guests stay on the ground floor of a two-story home — a humble abode with a kitchenette, living space, and bedroom with a king, twin, and wall bed. Simple enough, but the environment in which you’ll be staying is a complex web of natural perfection. The home is inside Tortuguero National Park, land of turtles. The turtles nest in the spring but the region is marvelous all year-round, a mini Amazon of languid rivers and verdant jungle. This house rental is in a great location; the beach is 1 minute away on foot and 10 minutes from the park.
A second great option in Manuel Antonio, this incredible villa is a portal not only to another world but also another way of living. Opened in 2022, the building has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean a few hundred feet away. The national park surrounds the town and can be accessed if you go a half-mile in any direction (well, unless you go out to sea). The home has a beautiful deck with a small swimming pool and incredible sunset views, which can also be seen from the floor-length windows of the common room and both bedrooms. The kitchen is beautiful and can only be properly accounted for in photos, so we won’t waste any more time with words.
The tree house you fondly remember from your childhood? This tremendous tropical dwelling will blow it right out of the water. That’s done easily enough, given that the water is just a few minutes away down a sandy path. With leaves and branches and good feelings all around, you’ll wonder why your ancestors ever came down in the first place. The home has a queen bedroom and another with two twins just in case you decide to invite any of the local sloths (a very common sight) in for a night or two.
To discover the best things to do while vacationing in Costa Rica, check out: