The Best Things To Do In Costa Rica
So you want to go to Costa Rica, and you’re looking for the best things to do for your trip? I have been fortunate to have been able to travel to most of the regions in Costa Rica and have had the pleasure of enjoying many activities and adventures around Costa Rica. Now I want to share these experiences with you in order to encourage you to also have these memorable experiences too!
Here’s my list of the top things to do when you are in Costa Rica
My first destination would be the province of Guanacaste, this region boasts the most exclusive and beautiful beaches of Costa Rica, which is one of my top reasons for going here but on top of the beaches you have many other attractions, things to do, and places to stay.
Waterfalls are a great reason to go to Costa Rica because there are thousands to choose from. Some you can propel down, some you can swim at, some you can only admire from a distance. Either way it is such a relaxing and glorifying experience to hike, horseback, or ATV to a waterfall.
For instance you can take a hike through Rincon de la Vieja National park which is home to an active volcano. Here you can hike to a waterfall and swim in the hot springs.
You can also take a trip to Tenorio Volcano National Park and Rio Celeste Waterfall. Such a magnificent sight to see.
Switch up the scene and enjoy surf lessons in the beautiful city of Tamarindo. Costa Rica offers some of the best surfing in the world and here you can learn from local pro’s as well as enjoy some of the best surf for all levels.
Image below: Map of Costa Rica and the province of Guanacaste
My next stop on the best things to do tour would take us to the Province of Limon on the Caribbean side.
Here there is a lively and quaint city called Puerto Viejo which would be a great jump off point to some local
attractions that are must see’s! The city itself gives off a definite Caribbean vibe with some of the best seafood restaurants in Costa Rica and a fun nightlife.
While in Puerto Viejo I recommend going to Tortuguero National Park. Torguguero National Park is a collection of marshes, rivers and lakes that make up a beautiful natural estuary water park with the ability to see many exotic animals in their natural habitat. Tortuguero is also famous for its beaches where many sea turtles come to make their nests. The jungles around the marshes and rivers are also home to a variety of monkeys, and rare beautiful birds among many other exotic animals like the Caiman and river turtles.
Playa Uva is one of the most beautiful beaches with golden sand and clear blue waters. Also home to an indigenous Costa Rican population and is considered a blue zone because people here live to over a hundred years of age.
And when in this area you must go to Cahuita National Park where you can both snorkel and hike the national park as part of this park is in the waters off the coast where there is a vast and beautiful coral reef. When snorkeling your guide will take you to the famous tomato coral. Big red balls of coral that formed to look like big tomatoes. Some can be small some as large as small cars. While you snorkel don’t be surprised if you see nurf sharks, lion fish, puffer fish, and other colorful fish. If you would like to see a short clip of one of our snorkeling trips click here.
If you’re planning on going to the Pacific side I would highly recommend going to Jaco. Jaco is a beach town that offers some of the best nightlife in Costa Rica. The strip makes everything within walking distance such as restaurants, bars, shops, and clubs.
The beach at Jaco is also a great place to get surf lessons, which is definitely a must do when in Costa Rica!
Also nearby you can do ATV tours to waterfalls and some of the best ziplining in the area, we recommend a visit to Vista Los Suenos Adventure Park.
While in the area make sure you stop by Manuel Antonio National Park. This park offers a relaxing and submersible hike
into the beautiful wilderness Costa Rica has to offer. Make your walk through the jungles to the beach and witness all types of Monkeys, birds, reptiles, frogs, and other exotic wildlife.
Finally this region has some incredible sport fishing opportunities which are a definite must when going to Costa
Rica. Off the coast of Jaco you can catch things like Marlin, Tuna, Mahi, and other big game fish.
Don’t forget to bring your catch to local restaurants for them to prepare them for you according to local traditions.
Image below: Cahuita National Park
A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Monteverde and La Fortuna area.
Here the best things that are a must do are a canopy tour of the cloud forests. The cloud forests are a wonder as the
trees reach up into the clouds and provides for amazing sightseeing of the animals that call this area their home. Great for nature lovers, and bird watchers. The scene is breathtaking and provides for some quality time in nature, the air is fresh and clean, and the sounds of the jungle are meditative.
Also a must do is a trip to Arenal Volcano and La Fortuna Waterfalls. The Arenal volcano can be hiked on foot or there are some really fun ATV tours that will take you to the volcano to experience some lava rocks and other signs of past eruptions.
La Fortuna Waterfalls is one of the biggest and magnificent waterfalls in Costa Rica, and once you make your way down
the winding path down to the waterfall you can reward yourself with a dip in the crystal clear cool waters. A satisfying experience to enjoy with the whole family. Get some of the best pictures here as well.
Finally as a way to relax and end your adventurous trip, a must do is enjoy time at one of the many hot springs created by
the geothermal activity around the Arenal volcano. One of my favorite hot springs parks is the one at Baldi Hot Springs.
Right before you leave Costa Rica and you have time there are some great things to do around San Jose. My favorites are
a trip to Volcano Poas which is about an hour northwest of San Jose and offers some of the best views you could ever imagine. Hike up to the crater and take some pictures of the raw energy of an active volcano, and while you’re there make sure to look around because you will have one of the best sight seeing places in Costa.
After the volcano you should try to make a stop at Cataratas Del toro, these waterfalls are situated in an animal
sanctuary so you can enjoy seeing some of Costa Rica’s exotic animals as you hike down to the waterfalls, which are also breathtaking.
Now this would conclude my list but I forgot to mention one very important thing to do when down in Costa Rica.
This would conclude my list, even though there are many more things to do and many more places to explore that it would really be a list of the top 50 things to do, but hey that’s why you can keep coming down to explore like I have, you don’t have to do it all at once!
Image below: Arenal Volcano
If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica make sure to download the free travel guide below!
My name is Sebastian and I am a vacation specialist at Pura Vida Packages. I am an American who
first traveled to Costa Rica 3 years ago but with my first trip I was hooked. I have traveled back to Costa Rica over a dozen times and have been fortunate to be able to travel around this beautiful country with my 2 partners both Costa Rican’s. They have showed me so much of the natural wonder and beauty that Costa Rica harbors. So much wildlife and plantlife, so much to do and see. That is why I have decided to dedicate my life to sharing this incredible experience in the beautiful country of Costa Rica with others.
We are here to serve you and help you with all things Costa Rica!