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Things to do in Costa Rica

Our most recommended things to do in Costa Rica

La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

1. La Fortuna: Waterfall, Arenal Volcano and Hot Springs Tour

Escape into the nature of the La Fortuna on a guided hike. Walk by the river and follow a trail to a panoramic viewpoint. Have a delicious lunch at a Maluku Indian village and trek through forest, lava fields, and farmlands before relaxing at a natural hot spring resort with a drink. Be collected at your accommodation and be driven to the beginning of the forest walk. Trek on the easy track along the crystal clear La Fortuna river. En route, hop on a tractor cart uphill to a panoramic viewpoint. Spot the next location from a distance then begin the return walk down a jungle staircase. Halfway down is a high suspension bridge to cross. The trail leads further down the huge canyon, which was shaped by a volcanic mega-eruption. Encounter the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. Be amazed by the lush vegetation on its 70-meter high walls, the huge volcanic rocks at its foot, and the water splashing down in its massive pool. Bask in its beauty or even take a refreshing dip. Return to the viewpoint then walk down to the little village of the Maluku Indians. Seated in their Palenke (main house), enjoy a rest while listening to an interesting story about their culture, art, and history.  After being active for a few hours, the time has come to relax and enjoy a typical hot lunch. Next to the restaurant is a butterfly garden and frog pond that you can explore until your food is served.  Reenergized, take a 15-minute ride to the park at the foot of the Arenal volcano. Being the trek through the primary forest where you can see huge trees with giant roots. Besides a variety of birds, the forest is host to monkeys, sloths, and coati. Leave the forest and each the highest viewpoint that exists around the volcano and absorb the most spectacular panoramic views of Lake Arenal, the jungle, the valley, the lava fields, and most of all the Arenal that towers over you.  Conclude your tour at the natural hot spring resort. Relax in its soothing warm water for about an hour and enjoy a volcanic mud facial and a complimentary cocktail. Afterward, you will be taken back to your accommodation.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

2. La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in the La Fortuna area, and travel to Arenal Volcano to hike the paths surrounding the mighty mountain. Get back to nature in Arenal Volcano National Park, where most of the 850 species of bird identified in Costa Rica can be found. Look out for other wildlife, such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, jaguars and deer. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall. Once we are refreshed, will move to the restaurant to taste our delicious typical meal "Casado" Marvel at the stunning landscapes of a secondary rainforest at the base of the park, and a primary rainforest with amazing biodiversity amongst the hanging bridges. Walk through the rainforest on a network of 15 suspension bridges of various levels of difficulty in Mistico Park.

Manuel Antonio or Quepos: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

3. Manuel Antonio or Quepos: Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Discover Manuel Antonio National Park, a small biological island established in 1972 by the Costa Rican government to preserve its precious wildlife. Though Manuel Antonio National Park is the smallest park in the country, it’s also the most visited due to its charming combination of rain forests, beaches, coral reefs, and wildlife. After being picked up from your hotel by your excerpt driver-guide, get ready to explore a diverse range of fauna spanning 109 species of mammals and 184 birds. As you explore, look out for raccoons, coatis, agoutis, sloths, white-faced monkeys, howler monkeys, and the famous Titi monkey, an endangered subspecies unique to the park. Be led by your guide on a breathtaking walking tour through the jungle and experience the secrets and wonders of this amazing ecosystem. See kingfishers, the yellow crowned night heron and many more bird species. Benefit from assistance taking high-quality nature photos using your own digital camera combined with professional telescopes provided on the tour.

Jaco Beach: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour

4. Jaco Beach: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour

Begin your tour with a short 30-minute walk and be introduced to the Central Pacific transitional forest. During the walk observe the amazing flora and fauna. Afterward, begin your chocolate experience and discover the international cocoa collection of the Central Pacific. Learn about the different varieties of cocoa, as well as its ancestral history, and cocoa's impact on the world economy. Try the actual cocoa fruit and take part in the cocoa production process. Delish in different types of chocolate and mix it with tropical fruits. Also learn about two of the most traditional agricultural products of Costa Rica, sugar cane and coffee. Have direct contact with the plants and hear about the natural history of these crops. At the end of the experience, there will be organic chocolate bars with different cocoa percentages as well as other cocoa products for purchase.

La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

5. La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano, Lunch, & Hotsprings Morning Tour

Explore the Arenal National Park on a guided morning tour, see the Arenal Volcano, an emerald lake, and enjoy a local lunch before relaxing in natural hot springs. See all the stunning beauty of the Arenal area on this day tour. Explore narrow jungle trails and conquer huge lava rocks as you explore the natural beauty and landscape of the area. Admire the impressive Arenal Volcano looming as you explore the area at the base of the volcano, and take in the immensity of this now silent giant. Make your way down as a bilingual guide teaches the group about the ecosystem and the wildlife that may be encountered. Reach the bottom part of the trek and take the opportunity to see an emerald green clean lake. Enjoy a typical local lunch, and finish the experience with a visit to a small resort, and relax in natural hot water pools for about an hour.

San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

6. San Jose Bites and Sights Walking Tour

Get up close and personal with Costa Rican life, through local food, history, and even the herbal remedies of folk medicine. Enjoy a hands-on lesson on exotic plants, fruits, and vegetables, and enjoy several local food samples on this guided tour. Stroll through the streets with a local as they show you the ins-and-outs of daily life. Start with a morning pick-me-up coffee in a café located in the Central Market. Then, take a stroll through the vibrant market, tasting local fresh fruits. Next, sample empanadas and continue along local roads towards the Borbon Market. Seeing diverse sites the Cathedral, National Theater, and the beautiful parks will help you get to know the country and its rich history. Finally, visit a special coffee store where you will find coffee and chocolates produced by women. Learn to prepare coffee, enjoy a tamal, and make plantain empanadas before concluding your tour.

La Fortuna: Guided Twilight Wildlife Safari

7. La Fortuna: Guided Twilight Wildlife Safari

You will be picked up from your hotel lobby in La Fortuna. After 25 minutes of driving, you will arrive at the Peñas Blancas River. Before you start, your guide will provide an orientation talk about how to conduct yourself while sitting on the boat. Following this, your tour will begin. Ride in your raft at dusk. Enjoy the mystical way the light disappears from the sky during the sunset, and savor the jungle's peaceful darkness. Your bilingual river guide, trained as a naturalist, will do the rowing, and you will appreciate the nocturnal wildlife of the Peñas Blancas River. With the boat's specially designed lighting system, you will then embark on a magical journey, discovering that most mammals are in fact nocturnal. Upon exiting the river you'll visit the "Hidalgo Family Home”, where you will have the opportunity to experience and appreciate a piece of Costa Rican culture, and get a taste of a traditional Costa Rican snack.

La Fortuna: Arenal Rafting Upper Balsa Class 3 and 4 Rapids

8. La Fortuna: Arenal Rafting Upper Balsa Class 3 and 4 Rapids

After being collected from your hotel, you will make your way to the rafting site. Once there you will undergo a brief orientation session, before taking to the river to experience class III and IV white water rafting on the beautiful Balsa River. You will navigate 10 kilometers of white water rapids, stopping along the way to rest a bit. You can also indulge in a little swimming, and enjoy some fresh Costa Rica fruit. Following your white water rafting, you will receive a clean towel and cold complimentary water. You will then be taken to a local restaurant to have a Costa Rica style lunch and coffee, before eventually being returned back to your accommodation.

San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

9. San Jose: Irazú Volcano, Cartago City & Orosi Valley Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel and travel by minibus along the Panamerican Highway until you reach the base of the Irazú Volcano. Travel up the winding road through fertile farmlands where many types of fruit and vegetables are cultivated.  Enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. At the summit of the volcano, on a clear day, marvel at the spectacular view of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Next, descend to the city of Cartago and stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica. Discover this local pilgrimage site which has large vaulted ceilings and exquisite examples of stained glass windows.  Continue the tour through the Orosi Valley, an area of magnificent natural beauty. Visit one of the few remaining colonial churches in the region and stop for a tasty typical lunch at one of the local restaurants. Finally, be returned to your hotel to complete the tour.

Santa Elena or Monteverde: Cloud Forest Night Walking Tour

10. Santa Elena or Monteverde: Cloud Forest Night Walking Tour

Take a guided walking tour through the rich biodiversity of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve as nocturnal mammals, birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians wake up for the night. Be picked up and dropped off at your doorstep in Santa Elena or Monteverde.  Hop aboard an airconditioned coach and sit back and relax on the drive into the Cloud Forest. Find out for yourself how busy the forest can be at night as most animals are active in the evening and around 80 percent are nocturnal.  Follow your guide through paths lined with lush vegetation. Spot critters that are not seen during the day on a 2-hour walk. Look for animals like raccoons, sloths, armadillos, olingos, and kinkajous that are active at night.  Follow your guide on a magical journey through a beautiful forest as well as a sustainable coffee, banana, and sugar cane area. Return to your accommodation in Santa Elena or Monteverde by coach at the end of your tour. 

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What people are saying about Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,396 reviews

Very friendly crew, 21 people on our excursion, the bartender's mojitos are excellent (and they even come to offer you another one as soon as your drink is finished!), the beach stop is splendid, the trip is nice, the sunset of sun is sublime. On the other hand, we are still looking for the blue flag of the meeting point

Our guide had a very good knowledge and taught us a lot. If I had booked the tour through the hotel I would have paid quite a bit less which frustrated me a bit.

This tour was great. Pepe was our guide and he was great too. Very informative and interesting. Pickup is offered. Highly recommend this tour.

The other group in our party canceled, so we got a private tour with Jorge. He was amazing!

Excellent guide with comprehensive knowledge of fauna/flora and geological history