White-Water Rafting & Kayaking
There are many whitewater rivers in Costa Rica with rapids from Class I through V. Some of the most popular rivers are the Pacuare, Toro, Balsa, Savegre and Tenorio. As for kayaking opportunities in Costa Rica, the options are plentiful. From coastal kayaking from the beach to whitewater kayaking on the Rio Arenal or Balsa Rivers the options are endless. Depending on the time of year, the water levels vary and with them, the rapids. Standup paddle boards are becoming a popular past-time both recreationally and competitively.
The canopy zip-line is the most popular adventure tour offered in Costa Rica! Get strapped in and soar through the rainforest, from platform to platform, getting the best view possible. Popular canopy operators are located in Monteverde and Arenal but tours are available in just about all destinations in Costa Rica.
Though there are several great locations for for scuba diving in Costa Rica, thousands of people have enjoyed diving near the Catalinas and Bat Islands off the Guanacaste coastline. If scuba diving is not your forte there is always the option of snorkeling which is a great way to explore the coral reefs and sea-life.
Costa Rica has some spectacular golf courses designed by well known golf architects George Fazio, Robert Trent Jones II, Arnold Palmer, Ron Garl, Ted Robinson, Mike Young and Tracy May. Here you will find all the ingredients for a great golf vacation and the added bonus of experiencing the scenic beauty and natural attractions of Costa Rica. The Papagayo Golf Course is a popular course when visiting the Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa areas.
Facials, body wraps, mud baths and hot stone massages are just some of the many treatments available at just about every spa in Costa Rica. No matter where you go, you are sure to find a peaceful spa to unwind and treat yourself in paradise. Take the time to replenish your mind, body & soul after experiencing all the thrilling adventure that Costa Rica has to offer!
As the undisputed sailfish capital of the world on the Pacific and the tarpon capital on the Caribbean, Costa Rica is the #1 choice for sport-fishing! The catch varies from season to season but it is always a good time to throw out your hook! Here, the fish are big and your smile is even bigger!
Travel back in time before paved roads and vehicles were a common sight! Tour around town, the mountains or take a nice jaunt on the beach all by horseback and get back to basics. Tours or private rentals are available in most major tourist destinations.
Get the adrenalin and heart rate pumping while biking the back trails of Costa Rica. Well maintained bikes are available for rental in nearly every town and city. There are plenty of great trails to be explored! Competition cycling is gaining popularity with foreigners and Costa Ricans alike.
You’ll find surf camps on nearly every major beach in Costa Rica. There is something for everyone - from beginners to the most seasoned surfers. With some of the most gorgeous long stretching beaches and perfect waves, Costa Rica is a great surf destination. Don’t forget to try the numerous rivers (mainly on the Pacific coast) that offer quality sandbar river mouth breaks.
Costa Rica is a primary nesting site for four species of Sea Turtles; Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. While tours are done at night, red flood lights are used and seasoned guides are very knowledgeable so as not disturb the nesting process. The turtles lay their eggs at night and the hatchlings follow after an average of 45 days incubation. It is definitely worth heading out after dark to watch this life cycle happen in front of you! There are many beaches where the turtles nest so do a little research to find those beaches close to you. Las Baulas near Tamarindo is a great option.
Take the time to enjoy an evening sunset cruise. Relax on the deck of a catamaran or sailboat as the waves crash and the brilliant colors in the sky change from light to dark. Witness first hand the dolphins jumping in the waters surrounding the boat or the turtles, whales, manta rays and flocks of sea birds as they play offshore as if performing just for you. Whether you are planning a romantic getaway or a sea adventure for the whole family, a sunset cruise is a sure fire way to soak up the sun in the late afternoon and watch it set as you head back to shore. Most cruises offer food and drinks, so enjoy!
With nearly 300 different beaches spread along the stunning Pacific and Caribbean coastlines, it’s no wonder people think of sun, sand and surf when the think of Costa Rica. Each beach has its own unique characteristics. Sand color can vary from white to brown to volcanic black and may even have all three on one beach. Some beaches have nothing but sand, while others are scattered with rocks or shells. There are plenty of beaches to explore within an hour’s drive of Playas del Coco. Try out a new one every week.
With 812 species recorded to date, Costa Rica offers great bird watching opportunities. Exciting guided tours are available in breath taking locations all over the country, allowing you to relax and enjoy the best bird watching around. The tours are eco-friendly and range from coastal, wetland, mountain, dry and rainforest habitats. Be sure to bring your camera!
There are currently 32 National Parks of Costa Rica including 8 biological reserves, 13 forest reserves and 51 wildlife refuges. Costa Rica has managed to protect a larger portion of its land than any other country in the world! In 1970, Costa Rica formed a national park system that has gained worldwide recognition. More than 20% of its land is now set aside for forest reserves, wild life preservation and Indian reserves. Manuel Antonio, Braulio Carrillo, Tortugero, Irazú and Poás are some of the most common and awe inspiring parks in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is famous for its coffee. Since the 19th century, coffee has played a very important role in the economic, social and political roles of the country. There are coffee plantations located all over Costa Rica, though the most ideal climates for growing beans are in the highland areas surrounding San Jose and the Tilaran Mountain range. Take one of the many tours offered and you are sure to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the coffee industry. Taste tests are always a bonus too!
Costa Rica has an unusual abundance of butterflies with 80% of the 20,000 species of the world. Guided tours are recommended, allowing you to learn all about the fascinating evolution of these amazing creatures. The first and one of the biggest butterfly farms in Costa Rica is the CRES in Alajuela.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Whether you are an experienced geocacher or you are looking for something new and exciting, geocashing is a great way to explore the terrain while having a goal to accomplish. There are over 202 geosites currently hidden around Costa Rica!
Whether off roading or blazing down the paved highways, motorcycling is a popular mode of transportation and exploration for tourists and locals alike. You can either take a short tour for the day, week or even longer or rent a bike on your own. You may even decide to go ahead and buy a bike. Like anywhere, it can be dangerous, so be sure to wear a helmet and be aware of your environment at all times. 911 response in some areas is slow at best. Be prepared and know your limits!
For the most adventurous of travelers there is para-sailing. Without requiring any formal training, thrill seekers can get a bird’s eye view of the coastline from up to 600 ft above the water while hanging from a parachute and being towed by a boat. Soak up this breathtaking experience alone or with a friend or two! Be sure to look down!
Experienced sailors and novices alike can enjoy a day out on the water. Tours are available on nearly every beach and typically offer a full day excursion. Food and drinks included! Don’t forget your bathing suit!
Enjoy and capture the views of the beach, mountains and nearby towns as you soar through the air in a two-person open-air gyrocopter. Flights starting out from the Tamarindo airport and flying above the waves of Playa Grande, this flight will be one to remember.
Currently, there are 6 active volcanoes in Costa Rica and another 61 dormant or extinct ones. Arenal is one of the countries best known and most visited volcanoes despite it being dormant since 2010. There are many more worth exploring. Caldera (meaning “boiling”) volcanoes are most definitely a sight to be seen! Along with Arenal there are also the Poás, Rincón de la Vieja, Irazú, Tenorio & Turrialba Volcanoes.
The ultimate rainforest experience will have you rappelling down some of the most stunning waterfalls surrounded by luscious greenery and crystal clear waters. Trusted guides will help you along the way and ensure your safety as you enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!
“Sky Blue River” is a long and winding river in Tenorio Volcano National Park. Appropriately named and known for its distinctive turquoise coloration that is caused by its chemical reaction between calcium carbonate and sulfur the blue waters are a sight to see. Legend has it that when God was done painting the sky he washed his brushes in this river. Surrounded by lush greenery, you will surely feel like you’ve landed in paradise while visiting this magical place. Tours are available but not necessary. Simply hike your way through the jungle until reaching the archway to the waterfall or continue to hike another 7000m to the gorgeous and calm lagoons. Spend the day soaking up the true meaning of Pura Vida.
Not only a great way to get around town but off roading tends to be one of the favorite ways tourists find to explore the area. A high-speed, thrilling ride through the countryside gets the adrenaline pumping. Don’t forget to take photos along the way!
Follow the path, you never know where it may lead you! The stunning mountainous terrain of Costa Rica creates plenty of hiking opportunities. Where ever your travels take you, you will be sure to find amazing trails to explore!