Home to a staggering number of species, Costa Rica packs a lot into a small area. Bird-watchers should head to the cloud forest - Monteverde embraces 6 ecological zones and is home to the elusive red and green quetzal. Meanwhile from July to September, endangered green turtles climb from the ocean and lay eggs on the protected shoreline at Tortuguero, alongside other nests dug by giant leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles. The delights aren't just over-ground - Isla del Caño has pristine coral reefs thronged with schools of tropical fish as well as sharks and rays - not that we needed an ecxcuse to visit the stunning Osa Peninsula - our favourite corner of Costa Rica. Christmas, February half-term and Easter are all really good times to visit. With plentiful family-friendly acticvities, not to mention direct flights with BA, Costa Rica is having something of a moment. Rates from £2, 850 per person for 14 nights, taking in the Central Valley, Osa Peninsula and beach finish in the Nicoya Peninsula, based on a family of 4 sharing 2 rooms on a B&B basis, including flights and transfers.