Take an Eco-Holiday in Costa Rica

Named the 'Rich Coast' by Columbia in 1502, Costa Rica has up it tourism credential its only a backpacker's paradise but it now caters for the wider traveller, including a eco-luxe holiday destination in little over a decade thanks to sustainable tourism and excellent value to money.

This enchanting land laidback surfing communities, empty beaches and active volcanoes. Go and explore the bird-filled cloud forests of San Gerardo, the rich rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, riding the parched plains of Guanacaste and swim with turtles off the Pacific beaches.

Its array of habitants and subtropical climate supports more than 500,000 speies, making it one of the most biodiverse countries in the world.  The dry season lasts from January to April, when rainforests and mountains are more accessible, the days are long and clear and the sea is as warm as a bath.

Until recently, Costa Rica's gritty capital city had little to offer discerning travellers but it has upped its game and a slew of microbreweries, pop-up eateries and art tours make it cool contender for your time.

The National Theatre hosts free classical concerts; flagship arts umbrella GAM Cultural leads a quarterly Art City Tour; and foodies will love the 'locavore' scene centred on the new Centro Gastronómico Sabores and cookery school, where exciting young chefs are reviving Costa Rica's abundant native ingredients.

To add to Costa Rica's eco-credential it offers the yearly Envision Festival, a four-day extravaganza in Uvita, with music, yoga, eclectic art installations and a world of culinary treats.  Head to the beachside location to explore exotic waterfalls, dance all night, attend permaculture workshops and experience sustainable festivities at their finest.

Stay at the Alta Gracia Boutique Hacienda, one of Costa Rica's most luxurious hideaway, high up in the mountains of Perez Zeledon.  Just two hours from the capital of, San Jose.  The family-owned Alta Gracia is aimed at upmarket travellers who will make use of its on-site airstrip and fleet of ultra-light planes.

Alta Gracia is also a licensed equestrian facility as well as Central America's largest spa.  The nearby Manuel Antonio National Park offers a wealth of outdoor experiences for those who can tear themselves away from the hotel's three restaurants, underground tapas bar and luxurious.