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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. 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. Then, cool down with a swim in a natural pool at La Fortuna waterfall.

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.

All-Inclusive Catamaran Eco Adventure with Lunch

4. All-Inclusive Catamaran Eco Adventure with Lunch

Cruise along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, keeping an eye out for whales, dolphins, and seabirds. Anchor in a protected bay and explore the area above and below water, using the snorkel equipment, waterslides, and trampoline provided onboard.  Pickup starts from Quepos and Manuel Antonio approximately 30-45 minutes prior to departure. Hop aboard and enjoy a 3.5-hour cruise through clear waters and past lush jungle and dramatic rock formations.  Stop for swimming and snorkeling and take advantage of the waterslides and trampoline. A gourmet lunch will be served on board along with coffee and a selection of fresh fruits and natural fruit juices.

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, swim in 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 swim in an emerald green clean lake. Jump in with a Tarzan swing and take time for a refreshing swim in this magnificently beautiful place. Enjoy a typical local lunch after swimming, and finish the experience with a visit to a small resort, and relax in natural hot water pools for about an hour.

La Fortuna: Arenal Rafting Balsa River Class 2 & 3 Rafting

6. La Fortuna: Arenal Rafting Balsa River Class 2 & 3 Rafting

Get picked up from your accommodation in La Fortuna and set off for the beautiful Balsa River. Meet your expert guides who are rafting specialists who have competed around the world. After a quick orientation and safety instructions, climb aboard your raft to begin your wet adventure. Begin your 2.5-hour rafting tour as you navigate thrilling class 2 and 3 rapids. As you paddle downstream keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife including sloths, monkeys, exotic birds, and a lot more.  Halfway through the trip, take a well-earned rest stop on the riverbank. Here, take the opportunity to freshen up with a swim or enjoy some fresh Costa Rican fruit as a light snack.

Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

7. Playas del Coco: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a 4.5-hour sunset cruise, passing Guanacaste’s exotic bays, white sand beaches and tropical jungles. Gaze off the bow with a cold tropical drink in your hand as you scan the seas for dolphins, sea turtles, flying fish or even a breaching whale. Stop in a tranquil bay, drop anchor and enjoy a swim. Snorkel in the bay or take a walk down a deserted white sand beach. While you’re enjoying the sun, sand and sea, the crew will prepare a lunch of chicken or pasta salad, fruit, chips, pico de gallo, guacamole and homemade chocolate chip cookies. As the sun sets, you’ll see the ever-changing colors of the sky, while enjoying your favorite drink from the boat’s open bar. Capture the moment to show your family and friends the wonders of a Costa Rican sunset.

From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

8. From La Fortuna: Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour

Start your full-day tour with a scenic drive from La Fortuna to the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Head out on a 4-hour hike that will take some effort but is definitely worth it. At the end of the hike you’ll have reached the Rio Celeste. The river’s blue color is the result of a chemical reaction between 2 merging rivers having different volcanic minerals. This rare phenomenon creates a fairy tale-like beauty. Visit a waterfall and a lookout point for great views and see the place where the river changes color. Your guide will point out local wildlife on this adventure as well. After your hike, enjoy a delicious lunch before the drive back to La Fortuna.

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

9. 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.

From La Fortuna: Zip-Line and Rafting Adventure

10. From La Fortuna: Zip-Line and Rafting Adventure

This special 8-hour rafting and zip-line package provides you with all the fun you are looking for in one action-packed day. This package is designed for extreme thrills, with an incredible combination of whitewater rafting and an exhilarating zip-line adventure. You will first gear up for an exciting zip through the rainforest canopy before spending the second half of the day rafting with a heart-pumping run through the class 2-3 rapids on the beautiful Río Balsa. You will finish up with a visit to a community farmhouse where you can enjoy an organic meal prepared by a local family on a wood stove. Here you will get a glimpse of the rural lifestyle in Costa Rica.

Other Sightseeing Options in Costa Rica

Want to discover all there is to do in Costa Rica? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,128 reviews

I went on the Carara National Park and Tárcoles River Tour, from San José. The experience exceeded expectations by miles, Oropopo were streaks ahead of any other tour operator that I used here. I was picked up by Rigo, from my hotel, in a Land Cruiser rather than cramped minibus. The group was very small, making us more nimble. Rigo is a fantastic guide. It was a privilege to be experiencing nature and being advised by such a qualified biologist. His English is perfect, and he was good fun. The Carara National Park was lovely and quiet, in contrast to the absolutely packed Manuel Antonio National Park. There may be less of the big mammals here, but there's fascinating stuff to see. We were lucky to see a pair of fantastic scarlet macaws. The river tour was an incredible experience. It is an extensive tour, going up and down the river and then into mangroves. You'll see lots of huge crocodiles, very close up. The bird life is also spectacular. The guide on the boat was entertaining

The tour was well organized and paced. Our guide, Ericka, was knowledgeable, friendly, and attentive. The three activities covered were all very interesting, allowing us to experience Mt Arenal and La Fortuna in an action-packed and appreciative way. It was worth having someone like Ericka guide us in these activities. Without her expert knowledge and passion, we’d have missed seeing much of the wildlife in the rainforest and understanding the ecosystem behind it. And it was a bonus for having a guide who knew exactly where and how to take great pictures and videos!

La playa es hermosísima. Definitivamente una experiencia que vale mucho la pena si quieres estar en contacto con la naturaleza y disfrutar de una deliciosa comida con la mejor vista de todas.

Fue una experiencia maravillosa! El paisaje es increíble y los lugares que se visitan en este tour valen muchísimo la pena.

Our driver, Livingston, and tour guides, Kaylor and company were wonderful! Our family had a great time!