Planning your travels can sure be exciting, but take a look at a few of the myriad of activities and things to do in Costa Rica and feel the hype inside your chest intensify!
The beautiful country in South America has so many beaches, mountains, volcanoes, and rainforests to offer. By visiting Costa Rica, you would feel like you’re visiting paradise; or maybe that may sound like an understatement. Costa Rica is a paradise in the flesh.
The diversity of Costa Rica is what makes it so remarkably beautiful. Whether you’re planning to visit the place for food or for nature, the country will not disappoint. If I say so myself, it will even exceed your expectations. It could offer you the best activities, the best cuisines, and the most knockout views all in a single day. What more if you’re planning to stay in the country for weeks? You may never want to leave!
Below are a few of what Costa Rica could offer. Just remember, everything mentioned below is just the tip of an iceberg.
Explore and Have Fun!
There are a lot of places and natural tourist spots in the country that is definitely worth the visit. Let’s start with the most popular one, which is often explored by people who are seeking adventure.
Things to do in Costa Rica
The Arenal Volcano National Park
The Arenal Volcano is deemed to be one of Costa Rica’s most famous tourist spots. People from across the globe are willing to travel hundreds and thousands of miles just to witness the volcano’s beauty in person. The Arenal Volcano is the country’s most active volcano, with lava consistently flowing from it since the 29th of July, 1968.
Actually, unknown to most people, there are two volcanoes present. The first one is the already mentioned Arenal Volcano, which stands to about 5,357 feet, the second one being the Chato Volcano, which is dormant and stands to approximately 3,740 feet. The Arenal Volcano, believe it or not, plays a huge role in the power production of the country. Twelve percent (12%) of Costa Rica’s hydroelectric energy is supplied by the Lake Arenal, which happens to rest at the base of the volcano.
When exploring the volcano, prepare yourself to be greeted by a myriad of animals. Like what I have already mentioned, Costa Rica is diverse; it would be no surprise that there will be animals to greet you once you start exploring one of its volcanoes. These animals include deer, tapirs, white-faced monkeys, even howler monkeys, and snakes. Birds such as brown magpies, parrots, and orioles could also be found while exploring the Arenal Volcano.
The variety in species does not end there. Costa Rica would definitely not let you be satisfied with those alone. The country is also abundant with the plant family and can offer you a look at various species of palms, guayabo de monde, ceiba, laurel, bait, fungi, orchids, higuerones, ferns, and bromeliads (with the endemic specie Pitcaima Funkiae included).
There is still much more to offer! At the Arenal Volcano National Park, you could also do exciting activities such as zip-lining, horseback riding, waterfall rappelling, and a ton more!
Corcovado National Park
This national park is a misty rainforest and is visited for its – you guessed it – various flora and fauna. Exploring deeper into the Corcovado National Park can guarantee you sights on scarlet macaws, jaguars, spiders, harpy eagles, Baird’s tapirs, howler, and red-backed squirrel monkeys. Walking through this rainforest is rejuvenating since you’ll be accompanied by nothing else but the sound of the animals that reside in it.
It was recommended to visit this rainforest at around 7 in the morning to 9 in the morning since those who have already visited the park stated that these hours tend to have a greater wildlife sight in store for you. Nonetheless, no matter the time, the Corcovado National Park is rich with its biodiversity and is beautiful 24/7. The trees in this forest are outstanding in terms of height, with huge woody lianas and ample herbaceous vines.
There are a total of six ranger stations in the Corcovado National Park, and you wouldn’t really find it a hassle to maneuver around the rainforest since the trails are adequate. There are five stations and two camping areas that are equipped with radios, potable water, and telephones for you to contact anyone from the outside.
If you think you’re not really the type to do all these hiking, camping and such, then don’t worry, there are still ways for you to enjoy the beauty of Corcovado National Park. You just have to relax, put your mind to ease, and take in the beauty that is the beach. There’s a 23 miles – or 37 kilometers – of beaches to serenely enjoy.
Rainmaker Park, Waterfalls and Hanging Bridges from Manuel Antonio
Before proceeding to the actual things this park has to offer, we will provide you with a brief history of the Rainmaker Park and Hanging Bridges located in the Manuel Antonio region of Costa Rico. This tourist spot is also popular, having to gather the attention of half a million visitors each year. Before that success, the land was owned by a rice farmer but said the farmer had to eventually sell it. He had no choice because he was already in a financial crisis.
What’s surprising to hear was that even though the farmer was short on money, he did not let the highest bidder get the land of the forest. The rice farmer still kept the forest’s condition in his mind; he wanted its beauty and richness to be preserved, not to be destroyed just to have buildings built on it over time. He then trusted the land to Mauricio Guiterrez, who shared the same sentiments with the rice farmer.
Mauricio died while attempting to save a drowning child before being able to fully pay the land. A logging company was eager to grab the moment they saw an opportunity. Thankfully, Mauricio’s family (his wife, Ann, along with their two daughters) was able to cover the expenses and poured everything they’ve got to preserve the forest ever since. Through their efforts, they were able to conserve the condition of the rainforest and eventually have tourists visit the place.
There is a 1.5-mile trail system in the park. You can explore this all on your own and pay around 20 dollars per person while exploring the park with a private guide accompanied with transportation will cost you 75 dollars per person; children who are aged six to eleven will be charged with 55 dollars, while kids under the age of six are free.
You will be entertained with a lot of sightseeing within the park. There are many reptiles that could be discovered, such as poison dart frogs and snakes. Insects such as the blue morpho butterfly could be spotted within the rainforest as well as other birds. It will be a bit tricky to spot them, sure, but you would be more at ease if you had a tour guide with you handle that part.
The park also has numerous waterfalls and hanging bridges in the store. Overall, Rainmaker Park is rich in biodiversity and has a lot of sights for you to see!
Monteverde Costa Rica (also known as “Monteverde Cloud Forest”)
Monteverde Costa Rica can guarantee you a visit to Cloud Nine. No, literally, the Monteverde Costa Rica is called the “cloud forest” and is known for being such. At first, you might think it is absurd as if the whole thing was made up like a myth or something, but the forest really does look like it belongs to the sky. This forest earned its name because of the fog hanging in it, making the whole place look like it is infiltrated by low hanging clouds.
It may be a bit hard to see through the fog at first, but you will eventually find yourself getting used to this cloud forest and if you trek around more, you might just be able to spot some species residing within the forest. There are approximately one-hundred (100) mammals living in this forest, along with four-hundred (400) species of birds, and over a thousand species of amphibians and reptiles in it, too. You are free to roam around and explore the forest, find the animals along your way, but there are also hanging bridges and zip-line rides in the cloud forest.
You can also acquire transportation services so you would be able to take in that “scenic feel” more. Feel that you star in a Disney movie, and it’s the scene where you sit still and look pretty in the vehicle, your gaze resting on the wonderful sight the Monteverde Costa Rica provided for you as you listen peacefully to birds chirping (all that’s left is your singing).
Aside from that, you are also free to experience tree climbing, treetop climbing, canyoning, horseback riding, bird watching, riding on a sky tram, and so much more in this forest. It will definitely be better if you try out the activities! It makes the cloud forest more magical than it already is.
Diria Coffee Tour
If you are a coffee addict (or, okay, a coffee lover), then this Diria Coffee Tour in Costa Rica is the perfect place for you! The Diria Coffee Tour project began on the 12th of December in the year 2003. Its main purpose was to benefit the Matambu community. Aside from that, the Diria Coffee Tour aims to educate tourists from all across the globe – local tourists included – about how coffee is grown and made into the wonderful drink that it is today. And, get this: You’re given the opportunity to learn how coffee is made from scratch. Amazing, isn’t it? It’s like a “getting to know you better” session with your friend or loved one.
The tour could provide you with an excellent learning experience since the project has knowledgeable tour guides that can give you an in-depth to the coffee world. They can respond to your questions and show you beyond anything that a book has to offer. They do not only ramble about how coffee is made, but they will actually give you detailed information on it.
It’s a bonus that the tour guides are friendly as well. A whole lecture about coffee may seem boring when you first hear about it, but the tour guides like to put some twists here and there for the trip to be exciting! Earning points to get a certificate after (to be taken lightly and for fun, of course; no real competition) the trip, throwing jokes here and there… Your trip will be filled with laughter.
Your trip to Matambu will never be wasted once you stop by the Diria Coffee Tour. Even people who don’t really like coffee will be interested in this tour. Not in the beverage itself, though, but who knows? Maybe you’re one of those non-coffee lovers who will eventually have their interest in the beverage after the tour.
Not only is this trip informative, but you can purchase gifts after as well. Gifts that will bring delight to your friends or relatives who love coffee. At the end of the trip, you are free to purchase coffee that they offer. You’re free to not purchase anything, though, no pressure!
Sit Back and Relax.
If you’re someone who would rather settle with a “less extreme” activity over vacation, Costa Rica has that covered for you. It has been mentioned countless times already, but Costa Rica can always meet your vacation demands and supply you with forests, parks, and definitely beaches.
The last bit sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Let me provide you a list of the tranquil places that could be found in Costa Rica!
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Crystal clear blue water, the serene horizon in your view, the tranquil sound of the waves crashing onto the shore, and you’d get all of those for free? No, your eyes didn’t deceive you. Visiting Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is definitely free! Your wallet can be safe with this destination.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a beach located in Limon province, 34 miles southeast of Puerto Limon. The beach used to be a small fishing village, but its popularity rose when numerous surfers from all parts of the world came to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to, well, surf.
The beach is pretty much known for its strong waves. Surfing on Puerto Viejo de Talamanca feels fulfilling. It’s like you can’t just pass a day by the beach without at least renting a board and trying to surf. That’s still up to you, though. But once you go to this beach, surfing is automatically a must.
You can visit the beach for free, and there’s no entrance fee or whatsoever. Pack some food and lunch and have a picnic by the sand if you fancy it.
Since the rose to fame, the beach now has restaurants where you can eat (no, the food isn’t free there), bars and discos to hang out with your friends, families or random, nice locals you may befriend along the way! That may cost you money, but if you just want to relax and enjoy the sunrise, or sunset, or just stare at the horizon, then feel free to drop by the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Tabacón Hot Springs
Remember the first destination mentioned (the Arenal Volcano National Park)? If you happen to be exploring around the volcano at La Fortuna, then spare some time and visit the Tabacón Hot Springs. The whole area screams nothing but silence, tranquility, and relaxation.
The Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort may leave a hole in your wallet, but it’s worth every penny. The resort can provide you with the utmost comfort. It’s located somewhere off the base of the Arenal volcano and can offer you a mixture of nature and relaxation.
What really makes this resort outstanding is that it has a remarkable natural setting. It is said that the springs are made up of ninety-seven percent (97%) water, and the remaining three percent (3%) happens to be magma. Compelling, isn’t it? This feature gives the spring a rather unique healing thermal.
Checking it, this resort will provide you with free parking and high-speed internet (WiFi). It also has a pool (it is advised by former visitors that it’s best if you provide yourselves with water shoes so that it wouldn’t hurt much as you go from one pool to the other). It also flexes coconut and coffee as exfoliators (which help remove the dead skin cells) and volcanic mud wraps as well.
There is so much more than Costa Rica has to offer, and I doubt that I would be able to fit it all in a single article. Like what I’ve mentioned from the very beginning, everything listed in this article is just the tip of the iceberg.
Personally, for me, the real way to really know and feel what Costa Rica has in store for the world is to visit the country itself. Get your passport, book that flight ticket and hotel room and explore, relax, and have fun! You should definitely go to Costa Rica when you want to take a break from the world; I’m telling you, it is paradise. I mean, nature blended with a variety of activities? Well, count me in!
For more information regarding Costa Rica, visit the official website here.