Most tourists that visit Costa Rica do it because of the numerous outdoor adventures available. There are so many natural attractions. It is incredibly easy to build an itinerary that is action-packed. At the same time, we should mention the fact that the country is relatively small. This means that it is easy to experience different activities in the exact same day, like hiking through the forest in the morning and going scuba diving later on.
If you want to build a great adventure-based itinerary in Costa Rica, here are some of the best options you want to consider.
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This is definitely the top outdoor adventure you want to try in Costa Rica. Few people know this but the country is where ziplining actually appeared. There are numerous canopy tours that are available, with the best ones being considered as being those in Arenal and Monteverde since the offer incredible forest views.
Check out the different options available since there are ziplines where you can go as a couple, upside down, superman (as the one above) and enjoy numerous other tricks. It is even possible to go on a zipline in the dark.
Canyoning (basically rappelling down waterfalls) is something that does require you to have courage. You can enjoy it in la Fortuna as you jump down some waterfalls with a height of 200 feet, perfectly located right in the middle of the Costa Rican forest.
Many tourists say that canyoning is better than ziplining since it does require strength. Also, they say that you will end up feeling invincible after trying it. Great canyoning tours in Costa Rica can be experienced in Turrialba, Jaco and Monteverde, but the most popular is Arenal as the waterfalls are the tallest.
White Water Rafting
Everyone that loves outdoor adventures has to experience white water rafting, unless they cannot swim. Even then it is possible since the experience can be quite safe. Costa Rica’s natural beauty can easily be enjoyed while you have blood pumping through your veins in a raft, all while surrounded by incredible fauna and flora.
Costa Rica offers rafting opportunities in Class I to Class V. Based on your skill level, you can find something you will love. Some of the really good rivers you want to experience are Pacuare, Balsa, Sevegre and Sarapiqui.
In Costa Rica, you can see hundreds of incredible waterfalls. Any visit is a trip highlight. You will want to check out the Nauyaca waterfalls, your prize after a 4 kilometers jungle hike. Then, consider Catarata Llanos de Cortes.
One of the best ways to enjoy Costa Rica’s waterfalls is to rent a car. Alternatively, you can always take one of the numerous waterfall tours.
There are countless world class surfing options available in Costa Rica. The locals are friendly and the waters are warm. At the same time, you can find numerous empty beaches that will make the experience simpler for beginners.
Wonderful beaches that you want to consider if you enjoy surfing include Hermosa, Jaco, Avellanas, Pavones, Grande and Guiones. These are the most popular ones but there are also some that are not that popular but still give you great waves, like Playa Espadilla Norte, Marbella, Cocles, Ostional and Negra.
Most of the Costa Rica hikes are really laid back and accessible to tourists of all fitness levels. They usually take you to waterfalls, not panoramic views that are breathtaking, as you experience in other countries. The really epic hikes you can enjoy in the country are those that take you up volcanoes like Chirripo and Barva.
When you visit beaches in Costa Rica it is common to see snorkeling options available. This is normal since there are so many tropical fish that you can see and the coral reefs are stunning. Those that are lucky can even see manta rays and sea turtles.
The Costa Rica snorkeling scene is not what we would call world class, but it is still wonderful. For those that have a scuba diving certificate and are more daring, scuba diving is what should be considered. In Costa Rica you can swim alongside turtles, manta rays and sharks. Some wonderful scuba diving spots to consider are Bat Islands, Catalinas, Cano Island and Cocos Island.
Costa Rica’s natural beauty cannot be contested. It is so special that you can actually make wildlife watching an outdoor activity that is really memorable. In the country you can find 5% of the world’s biodiversity. This is why you want to keep your eyes open. You will often hear the monkeys howling and iguanas will cross the road.
If you want to include wildlife watching in your Costa Rica trip, be sure to check out the Corcovado National Park. There you can see monkeys, pumas, tapirs and so much more. The biological diversity in the park is huge.
Some Tips When Enjoying Costa Rica’s Outdoor Adventures
If you decide to visit Costa Rica and you want to make the most of it, be sure that you remember the following facts to make your experience better:
- Make sure your clothing is appropriate, especially when you visit during the rainy season.
- Hiking sandals are suitable for some activities, like ziplining, or activities like hiking. However, in many hikes you need closed toed shoes. Be sure you ask about this before going on the trip.
- There are activities that have weight, height or age limits.
- When visiting during the rainy season and it rains really hard, many tour companies do not operate. You may want to schedule a couple of extra days in the country to be sure you do not miss out on something because of the rain.
- Most adventure options do require booking or at least a guide.