Costa Rica is peppered with smoking and mist-cloaked volcanoes, whose fertile slopes bristle with flora and fauna. Rincón de la Vieja, in the north-west, is one of the most active, home to coatis, tapirs, monkeys and even pumas and jaguars.
A hike through the lush vegetation is the best way to get to grips with the four-legged residents – an activity that features on KE Adventures’ (01768 773966; keadventure.com) 15
Emblazoned on the country’s currency, sloths are synonymous with this Central American nation. For a close-up look at these languorous creatures, head to the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica (00 506 2750 0775; slothsanctuary.com) on the Caribbean coast. It houses injured, orphaned and abandoned sloths and runs guided canoe trips through their natural habitat. Tours from US$30 (R360).
Expedia (expedia.co.uk) has packages that include flights and accommodation at the Coral Hills Bungalows in Cahuita – a short drive from the sanctuary – from £799pp in May.
In a Flap
Keen birders can head to the remote Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Skirting the Nicaraguan border, the forested wetland hosts migratory birds, including the glossy ibis, black-necked stilt, northern shoveller and wood stork, as well as hummingbirds. The best vantage point is from a cruise along the refuge’s dark olive waters – a trip that features on Hayes and Jarvis’ (01293 762404; hayesandjarvis.co.uk) four-day Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest itinerary.