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Things to do in

Gulf of Nicoya

Our most recommended things to do in Gulf of Nicoya

Jaco Beach: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour

1. 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.

Monteverde: Zip Line, Bridges, and Butterfly Garden Tour

2. Monteverde: Zip Line, Bridges, and Butterfly Garden Tour

Treat yourself to a day of fun in Monteverde park. Zip line through the tree canopy, walk across the impressive suspension bridges, and wander around the extensive butterfly gardens with a guide. Experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest by zip line. Then head to the tree-top walkway, the ideal experience for those who want to explore the beauty of the canopy at their own pace and appreciate the region's incredible array of vegetation and exotic bird life. The walkway is made up of eight suspension bridges linked by 1.9 miles of trails. The bridges range in length from 150 feet to 500 feet and are suspended at heights ranging from 36 feet to 180 feet. The bridge system is the widest and strongest in Costa Rica. The stunning butterfly garden in Monteverde is one of the largest on the continent. Discover the giant garden that is 300 feet long and 90 feet wide, with a massive 50-foot dome ceiling and 50 species of butterflies. Temperature control that is precise and sensitive allows species to survive across a wide range of altitudes and climate conditions in Costa Rica. Take a guided tour of this fascinating live exhibit to learn about the life cycle, special behaviors, and evolution of these extraordinary creatures.

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.

Monteverde: Guided Cloud Forest Canopy Tour with Zip Lining

4. Monteverde: Guided Cloud Forest Canopy Tour with Zip Lining

See the Monteverde Cloud Forest from above on a guided canopy tour. Ascend to the treetops in a sky tram, admire native wildlife as you cross suspension bridges, and soar above the cloud forest on a zip line. After being picked up from your hotel, board the aerial tram and ascend above the beautiful cloud forest, stopping along the way to observe plant and animal life. Learn about the different species and habitats from your guide. Then, arrive at the first of two observatory platforms, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and, on a clear day, the northern lowlands that stretch all the way to the Caribbean. Next, make your way across the suspension bridges, each with its own breathtaking view of the forest. Take your time to cross and admire the cloud forest's flora and fauna from a dizzying height. Finally, zip line across the canopy and get a birds-eye view of the forest. Enjoy eight zip line cables totaling nearly 1.8 miles (3 kilometers), with distances ranging from 131 to 2,460 feet (40 meters and 750 meters) and heights ranging from 49 to 328 feet (15 meters to 100 meters). At the end of your canopy tour, you will be returned to your hotel in Monteverde.

Santa Elena or Monteverde: Cloud Forest Night Walking Tour

5. 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. 

Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

6. Manuel Antonio National Park Combo Tour from San Jose

Expereince the stunning beauty of the Manuel Antonio National Park on this day trip from San Jose. Visit Crocodile Bridge and Tarcoles Beach. Discover the abundant wildlife on the park’s rainforest trails and eat breakfast and lunch at local restaurants.  Enjoy being picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in the San Jose area. Travel aboard an airconditioned coach on the way to have breakfast in a local restaurant located next to the biggest fruit market in the country.  Visit the market to observe a large variety of tropical fruits. Continue your journey with a stop at the popular crocodile bridge where you will have the chance to observe one of Costa Rica’s biggest crocodile’s populations.  Search for scarlet macaws in their natural habitat on Tarcoles Beach where they like to gather. Stop at the Jaco Bay lookout point and take pictures of Costa Rica’s most popular coastal town.  Travel to the Manuel Antonio National Park, hike the rainforest trails with your guide for about and hour and search for monkeys, sloths, toucans, and agoutis. Spend some free time relaxing on the park's pristine beaches or hiking to along rainforest trails. Savor a delicious lunch of local cuisine in a restaurant that provides great jungle and ocean views. Lunch is served in the early afternoon around 2 PM, after which you will be taken back to your hotel in San Jose.

From Manuel Antonio: Mangrove Boat Tour

7. From Manuel Antonio: Mangrove Boat Tour

The mangrove forest is one of the most vital and astounding ecosystems in the world. Damas Island, located just 10 minutes from Manuel Antonio is currently one of the most important remaining mangroves in Costa Rica. Covering thousands of acres of protected forest, this amazing biodiversity is home to a large number of birds, reptiles, mammals, and insects. Our experienced guides will take you on an unforgettable boat tour through the channels of the mangrove forest, far away from civilization. You can discover an abundance of species native to the area such as white-faced monkeys, anteaters, boas, iguanas, birds and thousands of colorful crabs. Our boats have the capacity to hold 12 passengers and are fully equipped for your comfort and security.

From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

8. From San José: Monteverde Hanging Bridges Day Trip

Your tour begins in the morning with pickup in the San José area. Then travel towards the northern part of the country on a very scenic drive, with great views of beautiful mountain ranges, local towns and farms, and the Pacific coast. On the way to Monteverde, enjoy multiple stops. Learn about local fruits at the largest fruit stand of the country. Explore a place where several monkeys are normally observed in the wild at a very close range. Photograph amazing landscapes from a lookout point. Once in Monteverde, savor a delicious lunch and then proceed to do the amazing hanging bridges tour in the cloud forest. Hike with your guide for two to three hours, admiring the beauties of this rare ecosystem and searching for the local wildlife, including monkeys, emerald toucans, coatimundis, and the rare resplendent quetzal, the most beautiful bird of Costa Rica. This hike is approximately 3km (1.9 miles) long and is mostly on flat terrain with a few mild climbs.  Late in the afternoon, return to your accommodation in San José or to your accommodation in central Monteverde. 

Manuel Antonio Quepos Zip Lining Tour

9. Manuel Antonio Quepos Zip Lining Tour

During your 2-hour journey, you will be perched on one of 20 platforms high above the jungle floor with dramatic views of the valley. A series of 10 zip line cables reaching up to 450 meters (1,475 ft) take guests throughout the unspoiled rainforest canopy on an exclusive tour. Breathtaking mountain and valley views can be captured while resting at a vista high upon the hill. At the end of the tour, you will be given the choice to finish on the last cable or to do the Rappel platform and Tarzan Swing at no additional charge. Upon conclusion of your canopy tour, guests gather for a full Costa Rican meal, fruit and drinks. While resting and refueling your bodies, guides will share photos of your exhilarating zip line adventure on the large screen TV.

Manuel Antonio: Rainmaker Park Bridge & Waterfall Tour

10. Manuel Antonio: Rainmaker Park Bridge & Waterfall Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Manuel Antonio or Quepos and set off for the Rainmaker Park. Begin your experience with a walk through the rainforest in search of all kinds of native birds, insects, and amphibians. Then, cross over a network of suspension bridges through the mountains that hang above the primary forest. Hike to the top of the mountain, for the opportunity to marvel at an incredible view of the sea. After this, continue to walk along the trail network until you arrive at the Canopy Bridge system section - a network of suspension bridges, built to U.S. engineering standards. The 6 sections total 250 meters, spanning from platforms attached to massive hardwood trees to create the most impressive canopy walk in Costa Rica. The design permits minimal forest impact, giving participants an opportunity to explore the majesty of the forest canopy from an unobtrusive bird's eye view. Gaze down at the jungle below and admire views of the beautiful pristine river of Rainmaker Park. Use the handrails and easy-to-follow footpaths, making stops at the observation platforms that allow you to observe the waterfalls. Capture incredible photographs of the rich biodiversity this unique site has to offer. Towards the end of this walk, arrive at a pristine waterfall pool where you are welcome to enjoy a refreshing dip. End the tour with an outstanding and delicious typical Costa Rican lunch served in the Rainmaker Park Restaurant. Finally, get transferred back to your hotel in Manuel Antonio or Quepos where your memorable tour will finish.

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What people are saying about Gulf of Nicoya

Excellent day tour from San jose, the tour starts with the crocodile boat ride, it is an experience that will stay with you for years. You get to see many crocodiles in the Tarcoles river along with a very knowledgeable guide that thoroughly explains the different habitats, crocodiles and birds that live in and near the river. Rigo then takes you to Carara National park and slowly guides you through the park pointing out various insects, lizards, toads and monkeys that you will encounter overall this was one of the best tours from San Jose that I took during my time in Costa Rica

One of the most memorable experiences EVER! When you do this tour you HAVE to request Edward. We saw SO many different animals (one of them being the rare Cost Rican Squirrel Monkeys) thanks to him with so many descriptive facts about each one. He is clearly an expert in this field and we had such a great experience we signed up for the Manuel Antonio National Park with him. Highly recommend- thanks for making this the best trip ever, Edward! Pura vida :)

LOVED this park! Our guide was great, she allowed us the time to enjoy the details of the jungle, while still making sure we made it all the way out and back in time! Definitely recommend going to Rio Celeste, and this tour was a wonderful way to see it!

We had a great trip! Driver was on time and spoke excellent English. He gave clear instructions for each activity.

A lot of fun. Super friendly people. Would recommend.