It was hard for me to come up with this list - my home has so many great things - but I have attempted to create a few must-dos during your Costa Rica escapes! If you are limited on time and need a list that boils the country's attractions down, here are my absolute must-sees and must-dos for tourists seeking to take advance of everything the country has to offer.

Traditional store at Mercado in San José
Traditional store at Mercado in San José

10. Experience local flavor at the San Jose Central Market:

If you're looking to immerse yourself in the culture, there's no better place to hop in. The lively Central Market was founded in 1888 - and today has more than 200 stalls, where you'll get to practice your Spanish and interact with welcoming Ticos. If they can be as friendly to tree frogs like me as they are to visitors, you'll have no trouble making a few Tico pals.

Old precolumbian gold pieces at Gold Museum, San Jose
Old precolumbian gold pieces at Gold Museum, San Jose

9. Discover gold galore at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum:

I love my fair share of shiny objects, and this museum surely delivers. This three-story structure is located in the heart of San Jose. With one of the largest collections of golden jewelry in Central America, it's no wonder that it attracts thousands of human visitors each month. Explore 1600 beautiful artifacts that date back to 500 A.D. Artisans shaped the metal into everything from coins to jaguars to chest plates. The Numismatic Museum, or collection of currency, is in the same building.

Surfer walking out to blown out surf
Surfer walking out to blown out surf

8. Relaxing at MalPais:

Backed by a quiet surfing village, the beach of Mal Pais is beyond rejuvenating - all my froggy troubles melt away when I go for a visit. Lie down and take a nap on the warm sands with the sounds of waves crashing beside you. Speaking of waves, the breakers make this spot a surfer's paradise. Adopt the surfer attitude and kick back and unwind.

View from the road on way to Monteverde
View from the road on way to Monteverde

7. Soar through treetops in canopy tour in Monteverde:

It's much harder for humans to enjoy the views among the tree tops, but with Skytrek Monteverde, it's so easy! There are nine cable systems, the longest of which is 2,525 feet long. The unique network allows travelers to explore the rainforest from an entirely new perspective. I can almost guarantee unparalleled vistas! The tour lasts 2.5 to 3 hours.

White Water Rafting on the Rio Naranjo with rapids
White Water Rafting on the Rio Naranjo with rapids

6. Brace for the splash at Costa Rica Descents:

Whitewater rafting comes like you've never before experienced in the grandest canyon of the Balsa River. The class III and IV rapids will have your adrenaline skyrocketing - it's almost too much for my little heart. Costa Rica Descents focuses on safety as a No. 1 priority, so you'll be teamed with a highly trained professional. Choose from a customized excursion where you'll observe tropical birds. This trip is a winner for the whole family.

Amazing close view of Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna
Amazing close view of Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna

5. Unwind in the hot springs:

Resting beside Arenal Volcano which heats the springs, these geothermal baths attract visitors from far and wide. Eco Termales is one of the most famous, offering charm and intimacy with temperatures of pools varying from 91 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flying through the trees on a Canopy Tour in Monteverde
Flying through the trees on a Canopy Tour in Monteverde

4. Walk through clouds at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve:

A spectacle unlike any other, Monteverde Cloud Forest sits at an elevation of 1,600 meters. It is shrouded in a misty cover produced by the high humidity at that altitude. I can only hope that froggy heaven will be as beautiful. In this 26,000-acre biozone, you'll find a wondrous diversity of flora and fauna, including toucanets, jaguars, pumas and tree frogs like me! There are also 420 species of orchids and 200 species of ferns in this surreal environment. Disclaimer: this region is not for the faint of heart.

Surf at Playa Negra
Surf at Playa Negra

3. Surfs up in Playa Negra:

This dark sand beach is a world-famous surfing mecca resting on the northern Pacific coast in Guanacaste. Although dirt roads afford the only access to Playa Negra - sorry you can't spring around like I do, the fast and prized reef break attracts surfers from all across the area. The waves are consistent and cater to the experienced shredders.

Arenal Volcano blowing smoke
Arenal Volcano blowing smoke

2. Bask in the greatness of Arenal Volcano National Park:

Once thought to be dormant, Arenal Volcano had a 43-year stint of incredible eruptions since 1968. It formed 7,000 years ago, when tectonic plates shot it 1,657 meters upwards above from the rainforest in the eastern shore of Lake Arenal. The national park that's named after it encompasses 30,000 acres with plenty of astounding hiking, breathtaking views and flourishing wildlife. There are several trails that usher you through lava fields from previous eruptions.

Inviting beach chairs in Manuel Antonio
Inviting beach chairs in Manuel Antonio

1. Explore Manuel Antonio National Park:

This is my all-time favorite. Manuel Antonio stirs up a stunning blend of beaches and coral reefs that are ideal for snorkeling and underwater exploration. The park stretches across an array of different natural habitats, including primary and secondary forest, mangrove swamps, beach vegetation and lagoons. There are more than 109 species of mammals and 184 species of birds - you're likely to spot the brown-throated three-toed sloths, iguanas or the mantler howler monkey. Though one of Costa Rica's smallest parks, Manuel Antonio is nonetheless one of its most popular. Embark on a white-water rafting tour with a professional guide, go sea kayaking or horseback riding on one of the park's four beaches. It's located on the Pacific coast of the country.

From the peaks of the Arenal Volcano to vast jungle in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica's bucket list may be the most eventful in the world.