Things to do in
Costa Rica

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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.

San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

2. San Jose: Walking Nature Tour with Sloths, Birds, and Trees

Departing from the nearby meeting point, visit the University of Costa Rica campus, home to some of the largest patches of forest in San Jose. Guided by young biologists, discover the nature hiding in the middle of Costa Rica's largest city. Experience wildlife you wouldn't have imagined existed minutes away from downtown.   On the first stop, you’ll look for resident and migratory birds, lots of incredible insects and amazing flowers. Then, see the largest indigenous stone sphere in San Jose, thought to derive from the extinct Diquis culture. Lastly, visit the main campus to seek out the friendly sloths climbing freely. The goal of this tour is to change the way tourism is done in Costa Rica, while supporting young scientists, researchers, and local entrepreneurs.

Playa Flamingo: Catamaran Tour and Snorkel With Meal

3. Playa Flamingo: Catamaran Tour and Snorkel With Meal

Your tour begins from Playa Flamingo where you will be shuttled from the shore to one of two boats. The captain will welcome you aboard and brief you on safety features before you set sail for a relaxing afternoon, sailing along the Pacific coast of Guanacaste. You will begin to feel that you are part of a big family as the staff will be at your constant attention offering you drinks, snacks, music and descriptions of the flora and fauna around you. Halfway into the tour the boat will stop and you will be offered to partake in some diverse water activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, SUPs and kayaking or just hanging out at an amazing beach. After your water activities you will be offered a delightful meal including deserts. Then the music will soothe you as the captain pulls up anchor and begins your slow sail back to shore while allowing the gentle movement of the boat to soothe your soul. The final moments pulling into shore will be livened up with some music to wish you well on your way. The crew onboard is strongly focused on providing you with an unforgettable memory, as soon as you get on the catamaran you'll feel the Pura Vida experience. Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy!

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.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

5. Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Discover picturesque secluded beaches on a 5-hour catamaran cruise. Benefit from relaxing lounge areas, an open bar, lunch buffet, snorkeling equipment, and paddleboards. Board the 40-foot Dream Chaser catamaran and cruise along the north coast and, depending on weather conditions of the day, anchor in the secluded beaches of Playa Minas, Playa Huevo, or Piratas Bay.  Jump into the refreshing waters and tryout water activities like snorkeling, paddle boarding, and playing with the floaties (noodles). Feast on a delicious home-style buffet and enjoy an open bar where you can get unlimited refreshments, liquor, and mixed drinks.  Lounge on the spacious upper deck while listening to a modern sound system. Cool off in the shaded main cabin, relax in comfortable leather seats, and make use of the free Wi-Fi.  As you head back to Playa Tamarindo, be treated to unforgettable views of the Costa Rican sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

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

6. 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

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

Start with 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.

La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano and Hanging Bridges Combo

8. 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.

Costa Rica: 2-Hour Chocolate Experience and Plantation Tour

9. Costa Rica: 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.

From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

10. From San Jose: 3-Day Tortuguero National Park Excursion

Explore the protected Tortuguero National Park in the Limón Province, reachable only by airplane or boat. Take in the wealth of biodiversity in its eleven different habitats, including rainforest, mangrove forests, swamps, beaches, and lagoons. Trip itinerary: Day 1: After an early morning hotel pickup, admire the biodiversity of a primary forest through the window as you drive past Braulio Carrillo National Park. Sample a delicious Costa Rican breakfast during the drive. Mid-morning, board a comfortable boat and travel along the Tortuguero Canals. Be enchanted by the surrounding paradise and its varied flora and fauna. Then, enjoy a refreshing cocktail and a delicious lunch at the hotel. After lunch, tour the canals and take incredible photos for the rest of the afternoon. Arrive at Pachira Lodge (or similar) for a delightful dinner and a restful night's sleep. Day 2: Discover the flavors of Costa Rica with breakfast at the Lodge. Then, hike along the Lodge's private trail and work up an appetite for lunch. After lunch at the Lodge, visit the Sea Turtle Museum, the beach, and the picturesque village of Tortuguero. In the evening, enjoy dinner at the Lodge again. Day 3: After breakfast at the Lodge, head back to San José, stopping for lunch at El Ceibo in Guápiles on the way. Arrive back in San José in the afternoon.

Other Sightseeing Options in Costa Rica

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What people are saying about Costa Rica

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,979 reviews

I have been telling everyone I know about this tour. The guide Mauricio was extremely educated about the plants and animals, was highly energetic and cared a lot that we were content with the activities. There are many moments that I will never forget, like when he got a fellow tourist to climb a tree and shake it so fresh guavas would fall for us. This tour involves a LOT of hiking. We did 19,000 steps. Some parts of the hikes are slippery. You HAVE to wear sneakers or hiking boots. Bring a granola bar and a banana. It’s a 10 hr trek and we had lunch halfway through. With that being said, the lunch was a huge plate and was delicious!

On a scale of 1-5, this was a 6! Our group saw multiple sloths, including one sloth who climbed down a tree about 6 feet away from us!! We also saw a frog, ants, and (of course) pretty birds. The university is lovely. The guide was knowledgeable and bilingual. If you’re visiting in the city of SJO this is a perfect tour for you.

Jorge was an excellent tour guide. He was very professional, knowledgeable, flexible, and personable. We walked all over the old parts of town and heard some fascinating history. I think he knew everybody in town. We had a great time.

Long day but it was beautiful to see to see La Fortuna and the Volcano. Thank you Kenny for your wonderful sense of humor and helpful information. Thank you Carlo, our driver was safe and cautious as well as being a super nice person.

We had an amazing experience! Isaac was a great tour guide, very knowledgeable and shared great stories. The day is packed with tons of activities and is definitely a must do when in La Fortuna.