Things to do in Guanacaste

Our most recommended things to do in Guanacaste

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.

Tamarindo: Dream Chaser Catamaran Sunset Cruise

2. 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.

Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

3. Playa Tamarindo: Sunset Sailing and Snorkeling Tour

Sail along Costa Rica’s Gold Coast on a 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, 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.

Playa Flamingo: Catamaran Tour and Snorkel With Meal

4. 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!

Diamante Eco Adventure Park: Zipline & Aerial Adventure Pass

5. Diamante Eco Adventure Park: Zipline & Aerial Adventure Pass

Enjoy Costa Rica's longest dual zipline courses at the Diamante Eco Adventure Park on Matapalo Beach. Led by professional guides with all the necessary equipment, feel the thrill of a 30-feet free fall on the “Quick Jump” and go down headfirst on a mile-long ocean view zipline called the "Superman". Make your way to Diamante Eco Adventure Park, located roughly an hour from Liberia or Tamarindo in the province of Guanacaste. Then, explore the ziplines and aerial rides at the oceanfront park at your own pace. With dual action lines, you can share your adventure with friends or family members, riding side by side. Follow the guidance of certified guides at the eco-adventure park for a fun and safe experience. Soar above treetops on a ziplining course designed and engineered according to ACCT standards. With state-of-the-art carbon ziplines and an automatic braking system, you never have to touch the lines.

Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

6. Boat Transfer between Monteverde and La Fortuna

Add a little adventure to your transportation needs between Monteverde and La Fortuna and avail of a transfer that includes an informative boat tour across Lake Arenal. Get spectacular views of Arenal Volcano and the cloud forests of Monteverde as you travel by van and boat. Choose from a morning or afternoon departure in either direction to suit your schedule, and relax in the knowledge that your luggage will be taken care of on every step of the journey. Depart La Fortuna and travel to Lake Arenal by van. Then, take a 30-minute boat ride to the town of Río Chiquito before continuing to Monteverde by van. For departures from Monteverde, travel to Lake Arenal by van. Cross Lake Arenal on an enlightening 30-minute boat ride to the earthen dam, and then continue to La Fortuna by van for drop off at your hotel.

Monteverde: Curi-Cancha Reserve Tour with Entry Ticket

7. Monteverde: Curi-Cancha Reserve Tour with Entry Ticket

Go on a tour of the Curi-Cancha reserve in Monteverde. Get picked up from your hotel, and drive to the 83-hectare reserve. Start your tour with a local guide and see a variety of rare birds and unusual animals. Marvel at the views and take lots of photos. Get dropped back at your hotel at the end. Begin your hike and listen to your guide tell you all about the wildlife in the area. Keep your eyes peeled for rare birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal, the Three-Wattled Bellbird, the Blue-Crowned Motmot, and the Orange-bellied Trogon. Continue along 7 kilometers of natural trails and get to see the flora and fauna of the tropical forest. See if you can spot unusual wild animals, such as armadillos, coatis, and two-toed sloths and use the opportunity to take photos. Learn about the sustainable practices of the reserve. Marvel at impressive views of the mountains surrounding you. Get taken back to your hotel at the end of the tour.

Playa Minas: Sea Turtle Watching Tour

8. Playa Minas: Sea Turtle Watching Tour

You will be picked up from your hotel at 6:00 PM and driven to Playa Minas or a nearby beach that is home to nesting turtles. Playa Minas constitutes one of Costa Rica's most important nesting sites. Between October and March, large numbers of turtles migrate to this region. It remains one of the last untouched beaches in the world, giving it a remote paradise feel. There will be a 700-meter hike in the dark with infrared flashlights provided by your tour guide. Once arriving at the beach, the guide will educate the group on how to respectfully navigate the area. You will see the black turtles, and if you are lucky, the rare leatherback turtles. The leatherback sea turtle is the largest sea turtle in the world, weighing over 1,200 pounds and averaging almost 8 feet in length.

Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

9. Guanacaste: Palo Verde National Park Jungle River Cruise

Palo Verde National Park encompasses one of the most important wetlands of Central America. You’ll have the opportunity to explore its varied habitats on this half-day jungle river cruise. Throughout the year resident and migrant water birds sharing the mangroves and marshlands with white- tailed deer, coyote, white-nosed coatimundi, howlers, white-faced monkeys, iguanas, and crocodiles. Wildlife is plentiful here, from tiny hummingbirds feeding at heliconia flowers, to the huge and flamboyant Roseate Spoonbills. Enjoy the countryside as it changes from savannah to plantations and small villages as you make your way to the pontoon boat, which is one of the easiest and most rewarding ways to explore Palo Verde. You’ll travel by boat along the Tempisque River, which borders the National Park. You’ll pass through a wide variety of habitats, including pastureland and mangroves. Observe huge crocodiles resting in the sunshine and monkeys moving rapidly through the trees. You’ll see diverse bird species such as the Anhinga, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, the rare and endangered Jabiru, Blue Heron, White Ibis, and more.

Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

10. Lake Arenal: Kayaking & Hanging Bridges

Kayak on the lake Arenal while you enjoy stunning views of the Arenal Volcano and the Cerro Chato. Lake Arenal is a lake which is situated in the northern highlands of Costa Rica. It is currently the largest lake in Costa Rica at 85-square-kilometre. Its depth varies between 30 and 60 meters seasonally. Admire the Arenal Volcano while paddling through the lake. Afterward, hike the slopes of the Arenal Volcano which is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where you can observe, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, lots of birds, and various species of trees. Explore the forest's stunning vegetation, 2 viewing points, and labyrinth. Enjoy the rainforest while walking through Mistico Park, with 16 bridges (6 hanging and 10 stable). This experience allows you to hike in the heart of the rainforest.

Other Sightseeing Options in Guanacaste

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What people are saying about Guanacaste

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 785 reviews

Spent an exhilarating day with Calypso Adventures! From the immediate response to my last-minute booking, the pick up service, organized tour, detailed amenities, and all-around fun conversation; I felt like I spent the day with a friend. The day felt personalized, no detail was left to chance - healthy snacks (but also beer!), towel, bug spray, sunscreen, water; we didn’t need a single thing all day. Being able to support a woman-owned, Afro Caribbean-owned business was icing on the cake. The day ended with an authentic Costa Rican dinner and now I’m off to bed exhausted and happy.

A must! The guides are so friendly and fun. A shuttle picked us up right on time. We took a small boat to the catamaran and had a leisure ride out to a cove for snorkeling. On the way there we saw a sea turtle, and on the way back we saw dolphins. It was amazing! Drinks were available the whole time, and they prepared a great taco dinner.

It was fantastic! There were 9 of us, 6 adults and three children, 4,6 and 9. The crew was very attentive and lunch was delicious. It is a beautiful way to see the amazing coast. Thank you Dream Chaser for this opportunity!

We felt so comfortable on this tour. The drivers and guides are so friendly! We saw all kinds of birds, the white faced capuchin monkey, iguanas, and crocodiles!

The guide (Beth) was super. She put together a great trip.