Costa Rica serves up outstanding scenery at every turn yet for the most spectacular and breathtaking views, gaining some altitude helps. The country’s best miradors (viewpoints) make soaking up expansive views easy. Given the many mountains and valleys that traverse Costa Rica and the array of perfectly located restaurants and lodges, you’ll find a worthwhile viewpoint to visit no matter where you wish to enjoy your adventure vacation on our shores.
The best miradors in Costa Rica?
How about we start here!
Le Monastere Mirador, San Jose
A former mountaintop monastery now turned into an upscale restaurant, Le Monastere enjoys an enviable location above the lights and splendors of San Jose. Dinner and drinks don’t come too cheap but when you have THAT view, it’s definitely worth a splurge. Here, you have 270-degree views of the city, the Gulf of Nicoya and the whole Central Valley. Add to that amazingly restored architecture of the old monastery and you have a sunset match made in mirador-heaven.
Mirador Tiquicia, Bebedero, San Jose
Found just a mile out of the center of Escazu, the Mirador Tiquicia is a gorgeous traditional Costa Rican restaurant with sensational views of San Jose. An evening here makes for a fantastic experience, with fabulous entertainment, amazing food and oh, those droolworthy views! This is one of the best spots for a night out if traveling with family and friends although you’ll definitely want to reserve your table as Tiquicia gets crazy busy, especially on weekends.
Mirador de Jaco, Jaco Beach, Puntarenas
This elevated viewpoint just off the 34 and north of Playa Hermosa, gifts magnificent view of crescent-shaped Jaco Beach. Easily accessible for everyone and with the added bonus of ice cream stands, the Mirador de Jaco faces the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Jaco is one of Costa Rica’s most enjoyable beaches and a fantastic watersport hub. Surfers make a beeline for the waves and young backpackers enjoy the town’s thriving nightlife. Jaco is compact but boasts everything you need for a great beachside vacay so adding a few days here at the end of your Costa Rica adventure vacation is a genial idea.
El Miro, Puntarenas
Just a short distance north of the Jaco Beach viewpoint is where you’ll find El Miro, which overlooks the beach from the east. Just a short but feisty 15-minute walk uphill to the abandoned remains of a restaurant grants you outstanding view of Jaco town AND the coast. This is a wonderful place to watch the sunset over the coast of Puntarenas and the walking trail makes for fab photography.
Mirador de Orosi, Cartago Province
For all-encompassing views of the Orosi Valley and its incredible nature, including the Rio Grande, head to the aptly-named Orosi Mirador. You’ll find Costa Rican viewpoint just a couple of miles out of Orosi town. With plenty of space and gardens to enjoy, not to mention picnic tables and BBQs, it’s a great idea to bring a picnic lunch and spend the whole afternoon here. The mirador and gardens are just off the 224, south of Paraiso, about a 45-minute drive southeast of San Jose.
Mirador Ujarras, Cartago Province
Close enough to the Orosi Mirador to visit on the same outing, the Ujarras viewpoint is an easily accessible observation deck that also overlooks the wonderful Orosi Valley. Much like its sister-mirador, there are picnic facilities here as well so it’s another great option for an afternoon out and about.
El Mirador en Alajuela Restaurant, Alajuela
With its floor-to-ceiling windows, plenty of tables and home-style cooking, this viewpoint restaurant offers many reasons to visit both for lunch and/or dinner. The views over San Jose are splendid and the family-run place takes pride in offering fantastic local food at reasonable prices. An easy place to visit from San Jose, El Mirador en Alajuela Restaurant is well worth a detour, no matter which direction you’re headed!
Mirador De Chinchona, Alajuela
With arresting waterfall and wilderness views, an extraordinary array of colorful birds and a great little soda for refreshments, Chinchona makes for a glorious stop-over when visiting the La Paz Waterfall and Gardens. This spectacular viewpoint won’t take up much of your time so it’s definitely worth a stop!
El Mirador Lodge & Cabinas, Drake Bay
This rustic and charming 2* lodging option offers perhaps the very best elevated views across Drake Bay and is quite perfect for visiting the Corcovado National Park. A contemplative spot to spend a few days immersed in nature, this lodge is simply perfect if you’re after an unplugged stint of R&R. The beach is easily accessible from the lodge and you can fall asleep to the sounds of the crashing waves. Pure magic and so affordable!
Mirador Irazu Crater
Head to the summit of Irazu on a crystal-clear day and you’ll soak up views of both the Pacific AND the Caribbean seas but that’s not the only reason to visit. The landscape of the Irazu Volcano National Parks is out of this world and the mirador gifts expansive views of the Orosi Valley below, even if the clouds don’t co-operate. Irazu is, by far, one of the most Instagrammable hot-spots in Costa Rica!
BONUS #11 The peak of Mt Chirripo
The highest peak in the country, on a stunningly sunny day?
Yes. You get the picture.
Hiking to the peak of Chirripo is not for the faint-hearted but the big effort needed to conquer this beast will certainly be worth its weight in mirador-gold. Although hard-core mountaineers can smash the challenge in just a single day, you do have the option of a multi-day trek, which makes the adventure all the more accessible.
See our Guide to Hiking Cerro Chirripo and start planning your adventure!
With a Costa Rica Rios vacation, spectacular views and unforgettable adventures are guaranteed. Ready to come and soak up the splendors of this incredible country? Then check out our Adventure Vacation Packages and call us to know more.