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  • Manuel Antonio National Park : This is the quintessential Costa Rica natural paradise where the beach seamlessly meets the rainforest, offering encounters with boisterous monkeys, adorable sloths, and exotic tropical birds.
  • Arenal Volcano National Park : Located to the north of San Jose, Arenal Volcano presents a tropical paradise complete with soothing hot springs, dense rainforests, and the awe-inspiring presence of Volcan Arenal, a towering, billowing giant that defines the region.
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve : As one of Costa Rica's original eco-tourism hotspots, Monteverde Cloudforest offers enchanting cloud forest walks, exhilarating canopy ziplines, immersive visits to local farms, and the chance to stay in ecologically friendly lodges.
  • Corcovado National Park: Often referred to as "the most biologically intense place on Earth," Corcovado is a remote and pristine park where you can find diverse wildlife, including jaguars and tapirs.
  • Tortuguero National Park : Nestled on Costa Rica's lesser-visited Caribbean coast, Tortuguero, meaning "sea turtle breeding spot" in Spanish, provides a unique opportunity to witness green turtles in their natural environment.
  • Palo Verde National Park: This park is popular among birdwatchers, especially during the dry season when migratory birds congregate in large numbers.
  • Irazu Volcano National Park : Its proximity to San Jose makes it a popular destination for those seeking a glimpse of an active volcano and its crater lakes.
  • Poas Volcano National Park: Another accessible volcano park near San Jose, Poas is known for its active crater and stunning vistas.

Costa Rica Travel Overview

Best time to travel to costa rica.

  • Dry Season (December to April): Also referred to as the "high season" for tourism, extends from December to April. During this period, most of the country experiences lower rainfall and clear skies, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring the nation's national parks and pristine beaches. The Central Valley and Pacific coast regions offer pleasant, sunny weather during these months. If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica for activities like hiking, birdwatching, or beach relaxation, this is the prime time to visit.
  • Green Season (May to November): During Costa Rica’s wet season or “ green season ”, the country receives higher rainfall, especially on the Caribbean coast and in the northern regions. While the weather can be unpredictable, the lush green landscapes and lower number of tourists can make this a rewarding time to visit. It's important to note that some remote areas may be less accessible during heavy rains. If you want to experience the rainforests at their lushest and take advantage of lower accommodation prices, the wet season could be a suitable choice.
  • Hiking through the rain forest looking for monkeys, sloths and tropical birds as your guide tells you about the medicinal plants his family uses.
  • Getting "just close enough" to Arenal Volcano as you see glowing red lava flow down its slopes at night, and a billowing cloud of ash during the day.
  • Learning a little Spanish and making friends with some locals.

Costa Rica Family Vacations

  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • Zip Lining - Canopy Climbing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Rainforest Wildlife Viewing & Adventures
  • Hummingbirds: Marvel at dozens of hummingbird species, each with a unique iridescent plumage and behavior. Keep an eye out for them in lush rainforests and gardens throughout the country.
  • Resplendent Quetzal: This magnificent bird, known for its vibrant green and red plumage, calls the cloud forests of Monteverde and other highland regions home. 
  • Rufous Motmot: Found in the dense undergrowth of rainforests and along riverbanks, the Rufous Motmot is known for its distinctive racket-shaped tail and vibrant plumage.
  • Kingfishers: Keep an eye on riverbanks and mangroves, especially in the Pacific and Caribbean coastal regions, for a chance to spot various kingfisher species.
  • Toucans & Aracaris: These iconic birds with large, colorful bills are often seen in the canopy of tropical rainforests, particularly in Tortuguero and Corcovado National Parks.
  • White-collared Manakin: Look for this striking bird in lowland rainforests, where males perform elaborate courtship dances to impress potential mates.
  • Gold Museum: Located in San Jose, this museum houses an extensive collection of pre-Columbian gold artifacts, providing insights into the indigenous cultures that inhabited Costa Rica before the arrival of Europeans.
  • Costa Rican Art Museum: Situated in the eastern part of San Jose, this museum showcases a diverse range of Costa Rican art, including paintings, sculptures, and contemporary pieces.
  • Children's Museum: Housed in a striking yellow, castle-like building in San Jose, this museum offers interactive exhibits and educational activities designed for children, making it a family-friendly attraction.
  • Contemporary Art and Design Museum: Located in San Jose, this museum focuses on contemporary art and design, featuring exhibitions of both national and international artists.
  • National Theater: While not a traditional museum, the National Theater in San Jose is an architectural masterpiece worth visiting. Explore its opulent interior and learn about its history and cultural significance.
  • San Jose: As the capital and largest city, San Jose is the cultural, political, and economic hub of Costa Rica. It's home to numerous museums, theaters, and historical landmarks, including the National Theater and the Gold Museum. San Jose also serves as a transportation hub, making it a common starting point for exploring the country.
  • Alajuela: Located near the Juan Santamaría International Airport, Alajuela is known for its welcoming atmosphere, coffee plantations, and the Poas Volcano National Park. It's a convenient base for travelers arriving in or departing from Costa Rica.
  • Heredia: Often referred to as the "City of Flowers," Heredia is known for its beautiful parks and colonial architecture. It's a quieter alternative to San Jose, offering a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • Liberia: The capital of the Guanacaste Province, Liberia is often called the "Gateway to the Pacific." It's a significant transportation hub for travelers heading to the Pacific coast or exploring nearby national parks like Rincon de la Vieja.
  • Manuel Antonio: Home to the famous Manuel Antonio National Park, this town on the Pacific coast is known for its stunning beaches, rich biodiversity, and opportunities for wildlife viewing and hiking.
  • Quepos: Located near Manuel Antonio, Quepos serves as the gateway to the national park and offers fishing, water sports, and a bustling market.
  • Puerto Limón: As the main port on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Limón provides access to beautiful beaches and cultural experiences, including the Afro-Caribbean culture of the region.
  • Puntarenas: This port town on the Pacific coast is a gateway to the Nicoya Peninsula and serves as a departure point for cruises to the Pacific islands.
  • Puerto Viejo: Located on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo is known for its Afro-Caribbean culture, beautiful beaches, and opportunities for surfing, snorkeling, and exploring the lush rainforest.
  • La Fortuna: Located near the Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna is famous for its hot springs, lush rainforests, and outdoor adventures like hiking, zip-lining, and wildlife watching.
  • Santa Teresa: A laid-back beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is known for its excellent surfing conditions, stunning sunsets, and vibrant local scene.
  • Nicoya Peninsula: This beautiful peninsula is a haven for nature lovers, offering pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, and exploring charming coastal towns.
  • Playa Conchal: Known for its unique crushed-shell beach, this is a popular destination for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling in crystal-clear waters.
  • Lake Arenal: Costa Rica's largest lake, Lake Arenal, offers water activities such as windsurfing and boat tours with the Arenal Volcano as a stunning backdrop.
  • Playa Samara: A tranquil beach town on the Nicoya Peninsula, Playa Samara is a great spot for swimming, kayaking, and enjoying a relaxed atmosphere.

Costa Rica Travel FAQs

  • Learn Some Spanish: While many Costa Ricans speak English, learning some basic Spanish phrases can enhance your experience and interactions. Spanish is the official language, and using polite greetings like "hola" (hello) and "gracias" (thank you) can go a long way in fostering positive connections with locals.
  • Pack Accordingly: Bring lightweight, breathable clothing, comfortable walking shoes, and don't forget insect repellent and sunscreen. The tropical climate can vary, so it's wise to have layers for different elevations and activities.
  • Currency and Payments: Costa Rican colón (CRC) is the local currency, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Carry some cash, but credit cards are commonly used. However, smaller establishments may prefer cash, so having some colones on hand is advisable.
  • Respect Nature: Help preserve Costa Rica's natural beauty by following eco-friendly practices like recycling and avoiding single-use plastics. Costa Rica is a leader in sustainable tourism, and respecting the environment is a shared responsibility.
  • Local Cuisine: Don't miss out on trying traditional dishes like gallo pinto (rice and beans), casado (a typical lunch), and tropical fruits. Costa Rican cuisine reflects the country's rich cultural heritage and is a delightful culinary experience.
  • Explore National Parks: Visit Costa Rica's incredible national parks and reserves to experience the country's diverse ecosystems and wildlife. 
  • Enjoy "Pura Vida": Embrace the "pura vida" lifestyle, which translates to pure life and represents a laid-back, positive attitude. It's a way of life in Costa Rica and embodies the friendly and welcoming spirit of the people.
  • Respect Wildlife: Keep a safe distance from animals in the wild and never feed them. Wildlife encounters are best enjoyed from a distance. This not only ensures your safety but also protects the animals and their natural behaviors.
  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in Costa Rica, with 10% being a common practice in restaurants. In addition to restaurants, it's also customary to tip tour guides, drivers, and hotel staff for exceptional service.

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Luxury with adventure? You CAN have it all with our Costa Rica tours!

Adventure Tours Costa Rica is the premier tour operator and travel agency in the Jaco , Los Suenos , La Fortuna , Monteverde and Manuel Antonio areas. We specialize in creating world-class Costa Rica custom tour itineraries and vacation packages for any occasion!

One of the longest-running tour operators in the Central Pacific, Adventure Tours provides the ultimate experience for your vacation in Costa Rica. We offer countless options for touring the beautiful country of Costa Rica including ATV tours, monkey tours, zipline canopy tours, white water rafting, surfing, day trips to destinations like Tortuga, and much more.

Hannah Smith

This was such an amazing experience for our whole family. Our kids had a blast on all of our tours – ATV, monkey mangrove, waterfalls, snorkeling, zipline, and more. Our Costa Rica tour and travel guides did an amazing job, and I felt at ease having every one of them there to make sure we all were safe while having fun. Communication with the company was fantastic, and they went above and beyond. We will be back!

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Planning a group or family vacation in Costa Rica? Don’t worry, we've got you covered!

Whether you are looking to book a day trip from Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose, a three-day vacation to the breathtaking beach town of Jaco, or a full-week package of Costa Rica tours, we can help. Book everything ahead of time (including luxury accommodations!) and leave your worries behind.

From providing VIP airport transportation to creating a personalized Adventure Tour itinerary to helping you convert dollars to colones, our team spares no effort in making you feel at home from the moment you arrive to the time you depart.

Best vacation EVER! We didn't have a clue about where to stay, what to do, or how to get around in Costa Rica. ATCR took care of everything – beachfront condo, amazing tours, super pro service, and the best pricing (we shopped!). A++

PRIVATE AND RENTAL TRANSPORTATION

Where do you want to go how do you want to get there.

From private drivers to discounted rental cars to off-road motorcycle rentals to private helicopter charters, Adventure Tours Costa Rica has got you covered. Just let us know where you want to go and how you want to get there, and we'll take care of the rest.

Private transportation with a personal driver is the “easy button” to explore all of the diverse treasures Costa Rica vacations have to offer. Or, if your group prefers to move at its own pace, you'll find our discounted rental cars to be an excellent option for your Costa Rica visit.

If you're looking to take the road less traveled, grab an off-road motorcycle and forge your own path. And if you want the ultimate VIP point-to-point service, charter a private helicopter to make getting to your destination more than half of the fun.

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Paul Peterson

Perfect organization and communication. ATCR organized our entire stay – condo, transportation, activities, food/location recommendations. Everything was spot on, and we got to thoroughly enjoy our trip without the hassle of making accommodations. Loved it. Great job!

Los Suenos Resort SPORTFISHING

Our sportfishing reports will help you plan your once-in-a-lifetime trip to costa rica..

With the largest fleet of world-class Costa Rica fishing charters in the Los Suenos Marina, Adventure Tours Costa Rica will get you out on the water for an exciting in-shore or off-shore adventure. View our charter selection to review available boats and read about specs, equipment, and crew, or work with one of our Costa Rica travel agents to reserve the complete Sport Fishing Package of your dreams!

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THE 10 BEST Costa Rica Tours & Excursions

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costa rica tour adventure

1. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Full Day Tour

costa rica tour adventure

2. Full Day Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Coffee Plantation Experience

costa rica tour adventure

3. The Original Canopy Tour Monteverde, Zipline

costa rica tour adventure

4. Rio Celeste Hiking, Sloth Sanctuary & Llanos de Cortes Waterfall Tour

costa rica tour adventure

5. La Fortuna Waterfall, Hanging Bridges, Arenal Volcano Combo Tour

costa rica tour adventure

6. Manuel Antonio Park Nature Guided Tour

costa rica tour adventure

7. Manuel Antonio: Off Road Rainforest and Waterfalls ATV Tour

costa rica tour adventure

8. Waterfall Rappelling, Ziplining, Pool Jumping, Hiking with Lunch

costa rica tour adventure

9. Taste of Costa Rica: Traditional Food Tour in Jacó

costa rica tour adventure

10. Tortuga Island Full Day Tour from San José with Lunch

costa rica tour adventure

11. Manuel Antonio Canopy Tour - Longest Twin Zip Line in Central America

costa rica tour adventure

12. Guachipelin Adventure Volcano Zipline Horseback River Tubing Combo

costa rica tour adventure

13. Sky Adventures Park Zipline Course and Aerial Tram in Arenal Park

costa rica tour adventure

14. North Fields Cafe: Craft Specialty Coffee and Chocolate Tour

costa rica tour adventure

15. Arenal 12 Zipline Cables Experience with La Fortuna Waterfall

costa rica tour adventure

16. Private Sloth Watching Tour in La Fortuna

costa rica tour adventure

17. Small Group Night Walking Tour in Monteverde

costa rica tour adventure

18. Mangrove Boat Tour Damas Island | Manuel Antonio

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19. Sunset Sails Tours Morning or Afternoon

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20. Manuel Antonio National Park Wildlife Tour

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21. Upper Balsa River White Water Rafting Class 3/4 in Costa Rica

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22. Tamarindo Snorkel and Sunset Cruise with Lunch

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23. Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja

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24. Full-Day Tour of Corcovado Sirena Station with Lunch

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25. Arenal Combo: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, Volcano Hike

costa rica tour adventure

26. Monteverde Cloud Forest Tour

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27. Monteverde Cloud Forest Guided Tour

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28. Full Day Fun Pass Jaco Jungle Adventure Five in One with Lunch (7 Hours)

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29. Bites and Sights: Walking Food Tour in San Jose

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30. Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner

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Our Costa Rica adventure vacation packages can be purchased as-is or customized to create your perfect escape:

Active Costa Rica Adventure Vacation Package

Active Costa Rica Adventure

This multi-sport adventure has you whitewater rafting, waterfall rappelling and ziplining across Costa Rica. The diversity of this beautiful country will keep you active and wanting to return for more fun!

$3185 per adult, double occupancy

Price valid until: October 31, 2024

Destinations Visited

San Jose, Pacuare River, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Tamarindo

11 days / 10 nights

Rainforest Adventure Vacation Package

Rainforest Adventure

Begin your adventure on a whitewater rafting tour on the Pacuare River. Next, hike through Corcovado National Park, looking for exotic wildlife. Lastly, enjoy the beautiful coast of Manuel Antonio National Park.

$3295 per adult, double occupancy

San Jose, Pacuare River, Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio

10 days / 9 nights

Wild Adventure Costa Rica Vacation Package

Costa Rica Multi-Sport Adventure

Whitewater raft down the wild Pacuare River. Hike through the remote rainforest of Corcovado National Park. Snorkel off Cano Island. Zipline above the world-famous Arenal Volcano.

$3799 per adult, double occupancy

Central Valley, Osa Peninsula, Arenal Volcano

9 days / 8 nights

Arenal Adventure Week

Arenal Adventure Week

Arenal is the adventure capital of Costa Rica! With so much to see and experience at this one destination, you could spend a week there. And, this is it! 

$5225 per adult, double occupancy Or $14,975 total for family of 4 in 1 room $16,495 total for family of 5 in 1 room

Arenal Volcano

8 days / 7 nights

Adventure Vacation Packages to Costa Rica

Our Costa Rica adventure vacations are perfect for travelers of all types, so whether you’re a seasoned voyager looking for your next thrill, or a novice explorer eager to shake things up, you’ll be happy you decided to adventure in this country. We've been planning vacations to Costa Rica for over 35 years – let us help you decide just what kind of adventure you want to embark upon!

Some of our most popular adventure activities are:

  • White Water Rafting   - Costa Rica’s 14 major river systems provide plenty of action for rafters. There are also plenty of options, so both the experienced rafter and the newcomer can have their fun.
  • Zip Lining   - Experience the rainforest like only a swinging monkey can. The hanging bridge and canopy tours are exhilarating and fun for the whole family.
  • Kayaking  - Take a tour on one of the many river systems in Costa Rica, or along the gorgeous coastline. Kayaking tours are a completely unique way to see the country’s natural beauty.
  • Surfing  - There is nothing quite like riding waves as you gaze upon the untouched beaches that seem to stretch forever in either direction. The experts love to surf in Costa Rica, but plenty of beginners take lessons as well.
  • Hiking  - There is so much to see in this country that hiking is a must. How else are you going to reach those  hidden waterfall gems  sprinkled throughout Costa Rica?
  • Scuba Diving & Snorkeling  - If you never look beneath the ocean’s surface, you’ll have missed out on some of the most amazing wildlife this country has to offer. There’s really nothing on Earth like swimming with a 20 ft. wide manta ray.

Arenal Volcano  - Arenal is well-known as the base for many Costa Rica adventure vacations. There are peaks, valleys, rivers, forests—the landscape allows for incredible hikes, and the imposing volcano always provides a stunning backdrop. We recommend ziplining here or take a hanging bridges tour through the canopy of the rainforest, getting a bird's’ eye view of some of the elusive animals that hide there. Afterward, relax with a soak in the natural hot springs of the surrounding volcanoes.

Pacuare River  - A whitewater rafting trip down the Pacuare River is always exciting – it’s a world-class rafting destination, with rapids for everyone from the beginner to the expert. Those who decide to stay on the Pacuare River (more information below) will not regret it!

Monteverde Cloud Fores t  - Take a day to venture to the mysterious and unique Monteverde Cloud Forest, where the clouds hang about the forest canopy.

Manuel Antonio  - The Manuel Antonio National Park has one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is a wonderful place to go for a hike. Hiking, surfing, and kayaking are among the popular activities for visitors to the Manuel Antonio area.

Osa Peninsula  - The southern tip of Costa Rica is an ideal destination for travelers who love nature and water activities. The scuba diving and snorkeling in the Pacific is unmissable, and if you want to spend a day watching dolphins and whales this is the spot to do it.

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Costa Rica Biking, Hiking & Adventure Tours

Backroads Costa Rica adventure tours highlight the country’s diverse wildlife with hiking, biking, kayaking and zip-lining. Backroads has decades of experience in Costa Rica, evidenced in our curated itineraries, planned to maximize fun. From traversing lush jungles to surfing lessons on the Pacific coast, adventure vacations capture what makes this country so special. When we journey together, you’ll experience what our Tico hosts call pura vida—literally “pure life”—which, for us, means a remarkable blend discovery and relaxation in this nature lover’s nirvana.

Jumping For Joy Beach Sunset Costa Rica

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The Best Costa Rica Tours for Adventure Lovers

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Get ready for beautiful views and epic adventures – these are the Costa Rica tours you do not want to skip on your next trip.

Nestled within the lush embrace of Central America, Costa Rica beckons thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. It’s safe to say that we’re more than a little bit obsessed with the country’s breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled biodiversity. 

Renowned for its rich ecosystems, dense rainforests, and pristine coastlines, this vibrant country has become a haven for adventure seekers in search of adrenaline-pumping experiences. 

From soaring treetop zip lines to heart-pounding canyoning, these are the Costa Rica adventure to add to your bucket list.

Unmissable Tours in Costa Rica 

La fortuna waterfall, arenal volcano, and hot springs tour.

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Let’s start with what might just be the best Costa Rica tour. Embark on a mesmerising guided hike along the La Fortuna river before descending into a volcanic canyon featuring the spectacular La Fortuna waterfall. 

Immerse yourself in the cultural tales of the Maluku Indian village. Then chow down on a  delightful lunch before venturing into the forest teeming with wildlife. Ascend to the highest viewpoint around Arenal volcano for breathtaking panoramas, then end the day at a natural hot spring resort for some much-needed relaxation.

Manuel Antonio National Park Tour

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Only have a limited amount of time to spend in Manuel Antonio National Park? This tour of one of Costa Rica’s best national parks is ideal. 

Despite its modest size, the park has an incredibly diverse ecosystem encompassing lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. You’ll also encounter the park’s remarkable animals, including sloths, raccoons, and the rare Titi monkey, exclusive to this sanctuary.

Full-Day Tortuga Island Tour From San Jose

costa rica tour adventure

No guide to the best Costa Rica tours is complete without a Tortuga Island addition. And this tour promises a blend of exploration and relaxation. Your adventure begins with a convenient pickup from your hotel in Heredia, San José, or Alajuela, followed by a scenic boat ride through the Gulf of Nicoya. 

Marvel at the picturesque islands of San Lucas, Isla Cedros, and Jesusita, and keep an eye out for the resident bottlenose dolphins of Puntarenas. Upon reaching Tortuga Island, indulge in snorkelling or swimming amidst exotic and colourful fish before hitting up a beachfront breakfast. 

We love that this tour gives you the opportunity for optional activities, such as jet skiing or kayaking, to enhance your island experience.

La Leona Waterfall Adventure Hike

costa rica tour adventure

If you ask us, La Leona Waterfall is a little bit of a hidden gem among Costa Rica’s more famous natural landmarks. And there’s no better way to explore it than on a private guided hike. 

Challenge yourself as you traverse rivers, rock formations, and scenic paths. Meander through the forest alongside the Blanco River, originating from the volcano, and navigate around impressive rock formations leading to the captivating waterfall. 

The journey culminates with you swimming through the canyon and pulling yourself with a rope into a spacious cave, revealing the awe-inspiring La Leona Waterfall.

Monteverde Jungle Zipline

costa rica tour adventure

Embark on an enchanting journey into the heart of the Costa Rican rainforest with an exhilarating outdoor escapade in Monteverde. During this tour, you’ll traverse a 4-kilometre-long circuit featuring 16 thrilling ziplines, indulge in the art of rappelling, and be captivated by breathtaking aerial perspectives of the green jungle canopy. Without a doubt, we think this is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica.

Read Next: The Best Things to do in Monteverde Cloud Forest

Canyoning in La Fortuna

costa rica tour adventure

If you’re seeking a little bit more of a thrill, this canyoning experience is one of the best Costa Rica tours for adventure lovers. 

Your friendly guide will help you rappel down waterfalls in the Costa Rican jungle and, along the way, you’ll be able to spot a variety of wildlife. You can opt to start at 7am or 12pm, plus there are four different abseiling locations to choose from (including 1 rock wall.)

Whale Watching in Uvita

costa rica tour adventure

Get ready to experience the thrill of whale watching against the backdrop of Marino Ballena National Park with this magical tour. Sail around notable sites like Marino Ballena National Park, Piedra Ballena, Tres Hermanas Rocks, Ventanas Caverns, and the Punta Uvita Tombolo (whale’s tail). 

As part of the tour, you’ll also get to take a visit to a natural marine bird sanctuary, observing resident or migratory birds and reptiles like green iguanas and lizards along the way.

Jaco Beach Aerial Tram Tour

costa rica tour adventure

Want to add a far more unusual activity to your Costa Rica bucket list? This incredible aerial tram ride through the enchanting rainforest fits the bill. 

Delve into the diverse layers of the rainforest, exploring from the forest floor to the canopy, where an abundance of flora and fauna thrives. The tram features 18 gondolas accommodating a maximum of nine passengers, including the knowledgeable guide, who will be able to tell you all about the wildlife below.

Rio Celeste Full-Day Tour From La Fortuna

Rio Celeste waterfall in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Travel from La Fortuna to the breathtaking landscapes of Tenorio Volcano National Park with this stellar day trip. Prepare for a 4-hour hike through verdant trails, promising unparalleled natural wonders that make every step worthwhile. 

As the journey unfolds, you’ll get to visit the iconic Rio Celeste, where the convergence of two rivers with distinct volcanic minerals creates a mesmerising blue hue.

Catamaran Eco Adventure

costa rica tour adventure

Another incredible Costa Rica tour is this Catamaran cruise from Quepos. This tour takes you to some of the best snorkelling and swimming spots in Bahia Biesanz. All snorkel gear provided, so you’ll be able to spot dolphins and whales up close before enjoying a fresh buffet lunch on board.

Full-Day Tour to Nicaragua

costa rica tour adventure

Fancy ticking off another country from your bucket list while in Costa Rica? This full-day tour to Nicaragua is a whistle-stop romp through some of the country’s coolest spots. 

Throughout the day you’ll get to visit the likes of Catarina Volcano and the active Masaya Volcano, before heading to Granada to wander amongst beautiful Colonial buildings. End the day by visiting Lake Nicaragua on a sunset cruise and feeding the monkeys on Monkey Island.

Manuel Antonio Mangrove Kayak Tour

costa rica tour adventure

One of the best ways to explore Manuel Antonio National Park, among the most biodiverse parks in the world, is by kayak. And this tour is a stellar option for those who want to immerse themselves in the best that Costa Rica has to offer. 

Join your naturalist guide for a paddle through the mangroves that weave through Manuel Antonio. You’ll learn plenty about the protected forest and the mammals, reptiles, and birds that call it home.

White Water Rafting on the Savegre River

costa rica tour adventure

For a dose of adrenaline, make sure to book a white water rafting excursion when you visit Costa Rica. This epic tour along the Savegre River is our favourite.

Your adventure begins with a scenic drive through Costa Rica’s pristine countryside, before you arrive at your starting point. The Savegre River, fed by natural springs and rushing streams from the Central Highlands, offers a varied terrain with ever-changing conditions as it flows towards the Pacific. 

Navigate through calm waters and test your rafting skills with Class II whitewater sections before plunging into the adrenaline-fueled rapids of Class III, including the exhilarating “Malibu,” “Cinderella,” and the legendary “Devil’s Mouth.”

Poas Volcano and Coffee Plantation Tour

Volcanic crater, Poás Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

A favourite destination among those who visit Costa Rica, Poás offers a safe opportunity to witness the volcano’s majesty and admire its stunning lagoon. 

Your knowledgeable guide will talk you through the latest volcanic activity and, depending on trail availability and time constraints, you may also visit the picturesque Botos lagoon within the National Park. 

Following your visit to the volcano, grab lunch at local restaurant Freddo Fresas before heading to a coffee farm. While the coffee tour itself is optional, the Cafetarelera farm offers a scenic setting to savour delicious coffee, admire views of the central valley and waterfall.

Tortuguero Park Day Tour From San Jose

costa rica tour adventure

No visit to Costa Rica is complete without heading into Tortuguero Park – so taking this epic tour from San Jose is a no-brainer.

After being picked up by your guide and enjoying a ​​traditional Costa Rican breakfast, you’ll board a boat and venture into the verdant jungle of Tortuguero National Park. Navigate through jungle canals, encountering native green sea turtles, sloths, monkeys, manatees, and an array of colourful butterflies. Your guide will tell you all about the diverse wildlife and ongoing conservation efforts to protect their habitats.

Ocean Kayaking in Manuel Antonio National Park

4 sea kayakers

It’s clear by now that Manuel Antonio National Park is where you need to head for an adventure, right? We thought so. This ocean kayaking tour is a mind-blowing example.

During this 4-hour excursion, you’ll not only get to enjoy paddling through the crystal-clear waters of the ocean, but you’ll also get to stop in Biesanz Bay, an incredible spot for snorkelling amongst an abundance of fish and marine life.

Carara National Park Day Tour

Macaws, Costa Rica

Carara National Park is a lesser-known yet equally captivating sister park to Manuel Antonio (we might even prefer it.) This expansive sanctuary, boasting twice the size of Manuel Antonio, sprawls over more than 52 kilometres of untouched biodiversity.

Your private day trip to Carara commences with VIP pickup from your local Los Suenos or Jaco Costa Rica hotel before journeying north.

With more primary rainforest than its smaller counterpart, Manuel Antonio, Carara promises an immersive and private hike through dense flora and fauna, guided by certified naturalist guides.

Read Next: 14 Incredible Costa Rica National Parks

ATV Full-Day Tour Near Jaco

costa rica tour adventure

Rev up your engine and get ready to explore Costa Rica on four wheels in this 100km immersive experience.

Commencing in the picturesque mountains behind Jacó, the excursion leads you halfway to the mountain’s summit, unveiling the stunning Cascada del Zorro, a 35ft waterfall.

As the journey continues through the primary rainforest, ascending above the canopy to the mountain’s pinnacle, a spectacular mirador awaits. From this vantage point, soak in panoramic views of the ocean, the Nicoya Peninsula, and north to the bustling port city of Puntarenas.

Zipline and River Tubing in La Fortuna

costa rica tour adventure

We might have just saved the best until last – prepare for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure. This thrilling combo tour sees you tackle heart-pounding canopy zip line rides before an exhilarating rafting expedition down the scenic Piedras Negras River. 

To kickstart the excitement, you’ll soar across the canopy on two extended ziplines, collectively spanning over 800 metres in length, offering breathtaking views of the leafy surroundings. 

Following this exhilarating aerial journey, brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping 100-foot rappel descent to the river basin below. Then it’s time to don a lifejacket and embark on an aquatic adventure where the thrill of drifting meets the excitement of navigating through Class I and Class II whitewater rapids.

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Costa Rica Eco Tours

costa rica tour adventure

Costa Rica with Wildlife Experts

Costa Rica is an outdoor adventurer's paradise. There are miles of unspoiled beaches to see, rainforests and cloudforests to learn about, world-class whitewater rafting and canoeing, fiery volcanoes and hot springs, and heart-stopping encounters with exotic wildlife and colorful tropical birds at every turn. Experience it all with our Costa Rica Eco Tours.

A Wildlife Lover's Paradise Twelve distinct ecological zones of breathtaking beauty cover an area the size of New Hampshire, from the mangrove forests of the Caribbean lowlands to the misty cloudforests that blanket the top of the continental divide and back down to the sunny Pacific beaches. Nowhere else on earth is biological abundance and diversity so evident than in the Costa Rican rainforests: tropical rainforests contain more than half of all living things known to man. The rainforest is a place of peace and renewal; mysterious, life-affirming, and of majestic proportions. Costa Rica alone has more plant species than the whole of Europe, and a staggering world of exotic wildlife that runs into the millions of species.

Wild Planet Adventures offers a variety of Costa Rica wildlife tours to meet individual budgets and interests. Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary is our most comprehensive, but we also offer custom trips for individuals, families, groups, organizations, travel agents, and special interest trips like yoga. As you browse our Costa Rica tours, if you don't see what you're looking for, please give us a call!

Wild Planet Adventure’s Costa Rica eco tours are every wildlife lover’s dream trip. Choose from a variety of our Costa Rica trips and all-inclusive vacation packages, including our award-winning Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour, which is the most comprehensive wildlife-focused itinerary available in Costa Rica.

We are National Geographic Adventure award-winning wildlife experts, with 30 years of direct, on-the-ground travel experience in Costa Rica as a wildlife-specialty tour operator. We operate our own trips, with our own local staff, packed with Wild Planet Adventures’ legendary wildlife expertise. Our Director, wildlife expert Josh Cohen, guided in Costa Rica for over 10 years himself, and our 30 years of in-depth logistical and wildlife expertise comes from the humble roots of his personal, first-hand experience. No other company will expose you to so much wildlife!

In addition to our award-winning wildlife expertise, our all-inclusive Costa Rica wildlife adventures include everything you’d expect from a trip named one of the Top 10 Must-Do Trips in the World by FODORS . They include:

  • All accommodations , specializing in top rated rainforest eco-lodges, small boutique hotels, tropical beach cabanas and cloud-forest mountain hideaways, selected both for their breathtaking accommodations as well as best access to prime wildlife viewing habitat.
  • All meals - including meals eaten at restaurants
  • All ground transportation
  • All activities , including hiking, wildlife viewing and birdwatching in up to 10 national parks and biological reserves, plus cloud-forest canopy tours, whitewater rafting (mild, to emphasize wildlife viewing) flat-water wildlife river float trips, hot springs, volcanoes, beaches on both coasts, sea-kayaking with dolphins, snorkeling at night in the bioluminescence, a sloth rescue center and more.
  • All National Park admissions
  • All high-end naturalist or biologist guides (all but one of our guides are biologists and most have been working with Wild Planet Adventures for 10 years or more.)
  • Small Groups - Average 6-10 travelers, never more than 12!

Our Costa Rica EcoTours Include More Value We recommend that you compare our award-winning Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife EcoTour to any other Costa Rica itinerary. We include significantly more value –more destinations, more activities and more park admissions– than any of our competitors. Our specially designed activities enable you to see more wildlife, for longer periods, at closer range. Our expert local biologist and naturalist guides accompany you throughout the entire tour to spot wildlife, lead our world-class excursions and provide highly skilled wildlife knowledge about local migrations, seasonal courtship, nesting, peak activity times, and travel secrets for safe, up-close encounters of wildlife in their natural habitat, all with an authentic Costa Rican flair.

Our Adventures Include a Diversity of Eco-Systems for the Best Chance to Spot Wildlife in their Natural Habitat Costa Rica boasts over 6% of the world’s biodiversity, and our ability to expose you to as many eco-systems as possible, in a comfortable, relaxed pace, is one of the many secrets to our 30 years of success as wildlife experts. Traveling to a wider diversity of different ecosystems maximizes wildlife sightings - both number of animals as well as the number of species. It also affords the best chance to spot rare and endangered wildlife, in their natural habitat. Our 9-day Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife Eco-tour visits approximately 6 national parks & wildlife reserves, and our 14-day itinerary includes 10 national parks, all with less travel than required by most trips half their length! It’s no wonder that over 85% of our Costa Rica travelers choose our full 14-day Ultimate Wildlife tour.

The Pace of our Costa Rica EcoTours is Spacious, Not Rushed. Wildlife Viewing Takes Time Including more eco-systems and more wildlife doesn’t have to mean traveling at a rushed pace – far from it! Travel in Costa Rica requires an expert understanding of its unique geography – and its circular continental divide – or travelers risk crisscrossing the continental divide, backtracking or retracing your steps. The best Costa Rica itineraries like Wild Planet Adventures’, logistically sync together the maximum number of ecosystems in a route that circles around the continental divide, while avoiding these common pitfalls. Our years of extensive logistical expertise allows us to include the widest diversity of eco-systems possible, while keeping travel times to a minimum. As wildlife experts, our pace needs to be slow because the slower we go, the more wildlife we see. We also spend at least 3 days/2 nights in most destinations to make sure the ratio of time spent enjoying is significantly more than the time spent traveling.

We Combine Destinations that are Off-Tourist-Radar with Iconic Destinations Our blend of remote destinations, special wildlife activities, and top naturalist and biologist guides provides the best possible chance to see rare animals in the wild. We visit some of Costa Rica’s most wildlife-rich destinations. Our focus on off-the-beaten-path destinations like Cahuita, La Selva, Carara, Puerto Jiminez, and the more remote Carate side of Corcovado National Park give you that remote, untouched and special feeling for the widest variety of both wildlife and different types of adventure activities. We still include excursions in some of the more popular destinations such as Arenal Volcano, Monteverede Cloud-forest, and Manuel Antonio’s famous beaches, but even in these destinations we strive to avoid the crowds and provide an experience that wouldn’t otherwise be possible on your own.

Our Costa Rica Wildlife Eco-Tours are All-Inclusive You’ll discover miles of unspoiled beaches, hike rainforests, enjoy cloud-forest canopy tours (including cloud-forest canopy bridges or optional zip lines), enjoy world-class whitewater rafting, wildlife river float-trips, fiery volcanoes and hot springs, sea-kayaking with dolphins, snorkeling at night in the bioluminescence, and heart-stopping encounters with exotic wildlife and colorful tropical birds at every turn. All of these activities are including in our award-winning Costa Rica Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour! There is NO fine print indicating "free days" that require you to pay more money for activities that should have been included in your trip – our Costa Rica eco-tours are all inclusive. We also operate our own trip and do not have lodges run our Costa Rica tours. That’s because lodge-run activities are much more commercial and typically visit the same places every day, often with large groups, which seriously limits the possibility of all but the most habituated wildlife sightings. Lodges also do not have high-quality biologist guides on staff with Wild Planet’s depth of wildlife expertise.

Costa Rica Eco-Tours for Wildlife Lovers Costa Rica’s twelve distinct ecological zones of breathtaking beauty cover an area the size of New Hampshire, from the mangrove forests of the Caribbean lowlands to the misty cloud-forests that blanket the top of the continental divide and back down to the sunny Pacific beaches. Nowhere else on earth is biological abundance and diversity so evident than in the Costa Rican rainforests: tropical rainforests contain more than half of all living things known to man. The rainforest is a place of peace and renewal; mysterious, life-affirming, and of majestic proportions. Costa Rica alone has more plant species than the whole of Europe, and a staggering world of exotic wildlife that runs into the millions of species.

We offer A Wide Variety of Costa Rica Wildlife Adventures Suitable For All Ages and Skill Levels Wild Planet Adventures offers a variety of Costa Rica wildlife tours to meet individual budgets and interests. Our Ultimate Wildlife itinerary is our most comprehensive, but we also offer custom trips for individuals, families, groups, organizations, travel agents, and special interest trips like wildlife photography. As you browse our Costa Rica tours, if you don't see what you're looking for, please give us a call!

Costa Rica Award-Winning Wildlife EcoTours - Select Your Adventure Below:

costa rica tour adventure

Costa Rica - Ultimate Wildlife 14-Day Adventure

costa rica tour adventure

Our most value-packed Costa Rica itinerary emphasizing wildlife and bird watching "off the beaten path." Includes both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, rivers, cloudforests, beaches, and more paid admissions to national parks and wildlife refuges than any other tour. This is our signature trip; special touches include hands-on interaction with animals, night hikes for nocturnal animals, world famous sloth sanctuary, kayak with dolphins & snorkel in biolumenesence.   Learn More>

2024 - $6,998 | 2025 - Please call 2012 - $4,398 2013 - $4,598 -->

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Costa Rica - Ultimate Wildlife 10.5-Day Adventure

A shortened Costa Rica itinerary emphasizing wildlife and bird watching "off the beaten path." Includes both Caribbean and Pacific coasts, rivers, cloudforests, beaches, and more paid admissions to national parks and wildlife refuges than any other tour. This is our signature trip; special touches include hands-on interaction with animals, night hikes for nocturnal animals, world famous sloth sanctuary, kayak with dolphins & snorkel in biolumenesence. Learn More>

2024 - $5,798 | 2025 - Please call 2012 - $4,398 2013 - $4,598 -->

costa rica tour adventure

Costa Rica - Ultimate Wildlife 9-Day Adventure

A shorter version of our most popular itinerary for wildlife lovers who have only a week, the first 8 days are the same as our 14 day Costa Rica Ultimate wildlife itinerary. It includes many of Wild Planet's special touches, such as interactions with animals and scientific researchers, night hikes for nocturnal animals and more. Enjoy wildlife viewing, whitewater rafting, cloudforest canopy tour, beaches, a world-famous sloth sanctuary & more. Learn More>

2024 - $5,298 | 2025 - Please call 2012 - $4,398 2013 - $4,598 -->

costa rica tour adventure

Costa Rica - 8-Day Costa Rica Private Bubble Corcovado Luxury Adventure

Travel within your social bubble! This fully self-contained Corcovado wildlife tour features a choice of breathtaking ocean-view buy-out properties (giving you the whole property for as few as 2 travelers!) or ultra-small eco-lodge. Includes private transportation and expert naturalist or biologist guide –tested for COVID-19 within 3 days of your arrival! We limit close contact with other people in every way possible and adhere to Costa Rica’s COVID-19 protocols for maximum safety. Includes a wide choice of activities each day in the most remote and wildlife-rich part of the country. Learn More>

Add $250 for peak week departures.

costa rica tour adventure

Costa Rica - Travel on Your Own

Choose your destinations, go whenever - and wherever - you want. Choose from any destination in the country and we can put your trip together for you. Gain access to our local, full-service office and our expert naturalist and biologist wildlife guides, vehicles, logistical support, and intimate knowledge of local accommodations, activities, and destination value. Allow us to customize a trip to meet your heart's desires! Learn More>

2012 - $4,398 2013 - $4,598 -->

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The 20 Best Costa Rica Tours

Dive into this natural paradise on these exceptional excursions.

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Costa Rica tours largely focus on the country's unique flora and fauna.

While known for its vast species of wildlife, lush rainforests and gorgeous waterfalls, Costa Rica can be difficult to navigate when you're not a local due to its rough roads and dispersed attractions and activities . Opting for a guided tour may be a simpler option that yields a richer experience. To help, U.S. News compiled this list of the top tours based on traveler opinion and expert input. Whether you want to experience Costa Rica's wild side while zip lining or indulge in its famous chocolate, you'll find an excursion on this list that suits your needs.

Adventure Tours Costa Rica – Tour de la Paz

Price: From $35 per passenger to $95 per driver Duration: 3 hours

Discover Costa Rica's rainforests, waterfalls and beaches on this three-hour ATV excursion that begins and ends in Jacó . Along the way, you'll make several stops for photos and even have the chance to jump off of a waterfall. Tour-takers enjoy the knowledgeable guides and amazing scenery. They also recommend bringing plenty of water with you.

Tours operate several times each day between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets cost $95 per ATV driver and $35 for each passenger. Drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's license. No open-toed shoes are allowed. The company recommends bringing bug spray, sunscreen and a swimsuit. ATV Adventure Tours offers a wide variety of tours, including kayaking, rappelling and horseback riding.

View & Book Tickets: Viator

El Santuario Canopy Adventure Tour

Price: From $80 Duration: 4.5 hours

Sail across a nearly mile-long zip line near Manuel Antonio National Park while enjoying breathtaking views on this 4.5-hour trip. During the tour, you'll ride 10 zip lines in total, cross hanging bridges and walk nature trails. The excursion also includes round-trip transportation from your Manuel Antonio or Quepos hotel , lunch and all safety equipment. Travelers say they feel safe during the whole trip and that the zip lines are awesome. Many add that the included lunch is tasty.

Tickets cost approximately $80 per person and participants must be at least 4 years old. Those who are pregnant are not allowed to go zip lining. Tours run daily at 8 and 11 a.m., and there may also be a 2 p.m. tour available in select months.

Costa Rica Eco Journeys – Rainforest and Waterfall Experience

Price: Prices vary Duration: 1 hour, 45 minutes

See a waterfall, enjoy a 1-hour, 45-minute hike through a rainforest and spot sloths in the wild on this ecotour. Lunch is included in the excursion, and the company recommends bringing sunscreen, bug spray, a poncho and hiking shoes. Reviewers say that guides are knowledgeable and that the rainforest is a hidden gem.

You must contact the company to get the best price and to select your tour date. This company offers a variety of tours, including zip lining, rafting and nature tours.

View & Book Tickets: Costa Rica Eco Journeys

Costa Rica Waterfall Tours – The Explorer Tour

Price: From $79 Duration: 4 hours

On the Explorer Tour, you'll be driven up a mountain in a four-wheel-drive vehicle before hiking through the company's private rainforest reserve along a river, across bridges and to natural pools and waterfalls. Along the trek, there will be opportunities to swim, sit under the rushing water and jump from the top of the falls. Tours are limited to 12 people and last about four hours. Patrons say this tour is a must-do. They appreciate not only swimming in the waterfalls, but also the informative guides who point out local flora and fauna. Be sure to bring water, a swimsuit and shoes that can get wet.

Tickets cost $79 per person, and tours are available daily at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. The company also offers ocean-based excursions and explorations through Costa Rica's canyons, among other options.

View & Book Tickets:  Viator | GetYourGuide

Desafio Adventure Co. - Rafting Class 2-3 Balsa River

Price: From $75 Duration: 5 hours

Participants highly recommend this waterlogged adventure, praising the guides, delicious food and the scenery. This five-hour adventure begins with pick up from your accommodations to drive you to Desafio's private put-in on the Balsa River. You'll paddle for 6 miles down the river and experience mild Class II and III rapids (which are ideal for first-timers and children). After the rapids, you'll get a buffet lunch.

Trips depart daily at 10:30 a.m.; Desafio recommends participants be between the ages of 10 and 65. Also know that sturdy, secure shoes are required (no flip-flops). Tickets cost about $75 per person. The company runs a myriad of adventurous outings, including rafting in stronger rapids and canyoning.

View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide

Green Vacations Costa Rica – Nature Lover Combo 1

Price: Adults from about $163; kids from $122 Duration: 9 hours

Ideal for those looking to explore the wild side of Costa Rica, this nine-hour tour lets participants experience three of the top outdoor excursions in the nation. Cross 15 hanging bridges (perfect vantage points for spotting wildlife), climb up and down a waterfall, and take a hike that offers stunning views of the Arenal Volcano . Reviewers recommend this tour and say they enjoy spotting wildlife. They advise bringing water shoes for the challenging stairs by the waterfall.

Tickets cost $162.70 for adults and $122 for children ages 5 to 9; infants can participate for free. Tickets include pickup and drop off from La Fortuna, as well as admission fees and lunch. Tours run at 7 a.m. daily. Green Vacations Costa Rica offers many tours, including chocolate tours, a night walk and a volcano hike.

Best Costa Rica Tours

Learn how cocoa is harvested and made into chocolate during the Rainforest Chocolate Tour.

Rainforest Chocolate Tour

Price: Adults from $30; kids from $21 Duration: 2 hours

Satisfy your sweet tooth and learn all about chocolate, including its history, its origins and the production process on the two-hour Rainforest Chocolate Tour. You'll also learn about the ceremonial chocolate drink of the Mayans and of course, enjoy a sample of organic chocolate. Chocolate lovers say they learn a lot about chocolate on this tour and enjoy tasting the various samples.

Tours, which take place in La Fortuna, are available at 8 and 10 a.m., as well as 1 and 3 p.m.; reservations are required. Tickets start at $30 for adults, $24 for students and $21 for children. All ages are welcome.

Native's Way Costa Rica – Guachipelin Adventure Combo

Price: Adults from $138; kids from $118

Duration: 12 hours

Ideal for travelers who want to experience the adventurous pursuits Costa Rica is known for, including zip lining and river tubing, this daylong tour is a hit with reviewers. Along with a variety of heart-pumping activities, the tour also includes a buffet lunch, a volcanic mud bath and a dip in hot springs. Tour-takers say they feel safe and that guides are helpful. They also appreciate the stop at the hot springs as the tour's finale.

Tickets start at $138 per adult and $118 for children ages 8 to 11. Tours include pickup and drop-off at your hotel; you'll be picked up between 6 and 7:30 a.m., depending on your hotel's location. If you choose to drive yourself to the location, you'll pay a discounted rate of $105 per adult and $99 for children ages 8 to 11. Native's Way Costa Rica operates a variety of other tours, including excursions to the Monte Verde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve , fishing, scuba diving and more.

WAVE Rafting – White Water Rafting Class II and III

Price: Adults from $78; kids from about $70 Duration: 6 hours

Families will appreciate this rafting experience on the Balsa River that takes travelers through mild Class II and Class III rapids. Ideal for participants ages 8 and older, the trip takes travelers out on the water for 1.5 to two hours. A break filled with fruit and swimming opportunities allows you to take a better look at the surrounding flora and fauna. After rafting, enjoy lunch at a country estate. Participants rave about their experienced guides and say the trip is perfect for novice rafters.

Tours are available daily at 10:30 a.m. and last about six hours total, not including pickup and drop off at area hotels. Tickets start at $78 for adults and $70.20 for children ages 8 to 12. In addition to whitewater rafting, WAVE Rafting also offers river float trips and tours that combine a variety of activities, including horseback riding and hiking.

Pure Trek Canyoning – Canyoning Tour

Price: From $105 Duration: 5 hours

Rappel and rock climb in a waterfall canyon that's filled with wildlife on this thrilling half-day tour near La Fortuna. Depending on the time of day, participants enjoy a traditional lunch either before or after their tour. Families say this tour is great for kids, that they feel safe and highly recommend the "monkey drop" portion (rappelling to the canyon floor).

Tickets cost approximately $105 per person; children must be at least 5 years old to participate. There is a morning tour with pickups starting at 7 a.m. and an afternoon tour with pickups starting at noon. This tour is also available as a private excursion. The company also offers whitewater trips combined with zip line tours, among other options.

Arenal Mundo Aventura – Big Ama

Price: Adults from $71; kids from $54 Duration: 3 hours

Fly high above La Fortuna waterfall via zip line on this three-hour adrenaline-fueled excursion. You'll also sail along a 12 zip lines leading you through canyons and whizzing over treetops. Participants say the views are amazing and that they feel very safe throughout.

Tickets start at $71 for adults and $54 for children ages 7 to 12. Kids must be at least 3 feet, 10 inches tall and weigh 55 pounds. Tours operate at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There is a minimum of two people required to book the tour, and transportation is included for some area locations. Arenal Mundo Aventura hosts a variety of zip lining, hiking, rappelling and horseback riding tours.

Best Costa Rica Tours

Courtesy of Barrio Bird Walking Tours

Barrio Bird Walking Tours will take you through San Jose to discover spots frequented by locals.

Barrio Bird Walking Tours – The Bird's Nest

Price: Adults from $35; kids from $10 Duration: 2 hours

See the highlights of San José on this two-hour small group tour that's limited to just eight participants. There are more than 40 stops along the 2-mile walk, including major attractions like the National Theatre of Costa Rica, the Metropolitan Cathedral of San José and art galleries, as well as secret spots favorited by guides. Guides also share insight about the daily life of locals and issues currently affecting the country. Tour-takers say they learn a lot about the "real" San José thanks to the terrific guides.

Tickets start at $35 for adults, $20 for students and $10 for children 12 and younger. Tours are available daily, starting at 10:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Barrio Bird also offers other tours focused on food and art, among other options.

View & Book Tickets:  Viator

Callidryas Tours – Sloth Tour

Price: Adults from $60; kids from $30 Duration: 3 hours

Discover sloths in their natural habitat on this three-hour walking and driving excursion. A naturalist guide will lead you on a mission to find as many sloths as possible; the company even guarantees you will see wild sloths. In addition to the tour's namesake, you could also see toucans, frogs, iguanas and monkeys. Participants rave about the number of sloths spotted on the tour and praise the guides.

Tickets cost approximately $60 for adults and $30 for children 11 and younger; transportation and snacks are included. Tours begin at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily. Callidryas Tours also operates an Arenal Volcano hike, as well as a frog-watching night walk and various other hikes.

Intrepid Urban Adventures – San José Bites and Sights Tour

Price: From $38 Duration: 3 hours

Discover San José with a local on this tour from Intrepid Urban Adventures, which focuses on traditional cuisine, drinks and coffee while wandering through several of the city's markets. Foodies say they learn a lot about Costa Rican foods and that their guides are personable.

Tickets cost approximately $38 per person for participants ages 6 and older. The three-hour tours, which are limited to 12 people, start at 8:30 a.m. and are available Friday, Saturday and Monday. Urban Adventures also offers a nighttime food and culture tour.

Horse Trek Monteverde – Mountain and Farm View Costa Rica Horseback Ride

Price: From $49 Duration: 2.5 hours

During this 2.5-hour horseback ride, you'll traverse through rural villages; banana, sugar and coffee plantations, and along the cloud forest with fantastic views and bird sightings along the way. Those who have limited experience riding horses say they feel comfortable on this ride and praise the guide's passion for horses.

Tickets cost approximately $49 per person, and children must be at least 6 years old to participate. The maximum weight to ride is 200 pounds. Rides are available in both the morning and afternoon, with pickups from Monteverde-area accommodations at 8:30 a.m. and between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Horse Trek Monteverde offers a variety of horseback riding tours in different settings.

View & Book Tickets: Horse Trek Monteverde

Best Costa Rica Tours

Manuel Antonio National Park is home to many different species of wildlife.

Costa Rica Jade Tours – Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Group Tour

Price: Adults from $59; kids from $43 Duration: 3 hours

Discover the diverse flora and fauna of Manuel Antonio National Park, including its beaches, coral reefs and rainforest, with an in-the-know local by your side. During the three-hour trip, guides share the park's history and information about the park's inhabitants, including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, toucans and more. Reviewers say guides are incredibly knowledgeable and that they see lots of wildlife on the tour.

Tickets, which include round-trip transportation from Quepos City, cost approximately $59 for adults and $43 for children ages 2 to 12. Tours, which have a maximum of 10 participants, start at 7:30 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. The company also operates tours all throughout the country, including Jacó, Arenal Volcano and Guanacaste , among other locales.

Don Olivo Chocolate Tour

Price: Adults from $25; kids from $15 Duration: 2 hours

Explore a cacao tree farm, sample handcrafted chocolate and hot chocolate, as well as fresh fruit grown on the farm on the approximately two-hour Don Olivo Chocolate Tour. Participants will also learn about cacao trees, plants and seeds and how they are made into chocolate. Tourgoers find the experience interesting and say there is a lot more to see, learn and sample on the tour than just chocolate.

The tour costs $25 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 12. Tours are available daily at 8 and 10 a.m. as well as 1 and 3 p.m.; participants should reserve their spots in advance by contacting the company online.

View & Book Tickets: Don Olivo Chocolate Tour

Sunset Sails Tours

Price: Prices may vary Duration: 4 hours

Sail along the Manuel Antonio coast on this four-hour cruise past area islands and Manuel Antonio National Park, spotting dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays and (possibly) whales along the way. You'll also have the opportunity to snorkel and enjoy a gourmet meal on board. Throughout the trip, guides share information about marine life. Reviewers say that the crew is personable, the boat clean and comfortable, and the food excellent.

Tours start at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The afternoon tour is only available from December through mid-April. Travelers will have to contact the company for pricing and to schedule. A $20 deposit per person is required. Tickets include transportation from hotels in Quepos and Manuel Antonio, snorkeling gear, a meal and snacks.

Lazy Lizard Sailing – Tropical Sunset Tour

Price: Adults from $90; kids from $70 Duration: 4 hours

Sail along the Costa Rican coast from the Guanacaste province aboard a catamaran with a stop for water activities like a guided snorkeling tour, kayaking or swimming in a secluded inlet on this four-hour cruise. Afterward, enjoy a picnic-style lunch and beautiful views of the sunset. Reviewers say the food served on board the cruise is delicious, and describe the sunset as stunning.

Tickets cost approximately $90 per adult and $70 for children 12 and younger. Tours are available at 2 p.m. daily; the company also offers private catamaran tours.

Bahia Aventuras – Hiking Corcovado National Park Day Tour

Price: Adults from $150; kids from $95 Duration: 8.5 hours

Travelers can explore the vast biodiversity of Corcovado National Park on this approximately 8.5-hour tour, which features a guided nature hike about two hours long. The adventure also includes a picnic lunch at San Josecito Beach. After lunch, tourgoers will have the option to take another hike or relax and swim at the beach. Tours depart from Punta Uvita beach and you'll get to Corcovado National Park via boat (you could spot dolphins, whales and turtles). Participants applaud the tour for the knowledgeable guides and variety of wildlife on view. They also recommend motion sickness medication for the boat ride.

Tickets cost $150 for adults and $95 for children ages 6 to 10, which includes entrance fees to the park. The tour is not recommended for children younger than 4 and people who are pregnant. Tours start at 7:30 a.m. and require a minimum of six people to embark. Bahia Aventuras offers a range of tours, including whale watching, snorkeling and sport fishing.

View & Book Tickets: Bahia Aventuras

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Costa Rica Eco Adventure

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Costa Rica Eco Adventure Guided Tour

8 Day Costa Rica Tour from San Jose to Liberia

8 days, 1 country and 9 cities

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7 Breakfasts, 1 Welcome Reception, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners

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Glide through tree-lined waterways and relax in thermal pools, sample chocolate made from the world's best cacao and journey back in time with a native Quaker in Old Town Monteverde. Your Costa Rica tour captures the natural highlights of this biodiverse country.

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8 days itinerary trip from San José to Liberia visiting 1 country and 9 cities Choose Your End Location or Extend Your Tour

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About this trip

Sightseeing highlights.

Visit Tortuguero Village, Sarapiqui, a Master Chocolatier

View Arenal Volcano

Discover the flora and fauna on a cruise through Tortuguero National Park with a Local Specialist, Visit with the Village Elders to hear stories of the old Tortuguero Village

Hike through Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve guided by a Local Specialist

Travel highlights

Specific transfer information can be found here:

Airport Transfers

All porterage and restaurant gratuities

An expert Travel Director and professional Driver

Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted

All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals

Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing

All transport and transfers shown

Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

Optional Experiences and free time

On occasion, hotels of similar standard and location may be utilized.

Dinner at Hotel La Quinta Sarapiqui

Tonight you'll enjoy some time with the owners of your hotel, providing a unique experience, as they prepare a special BBQ meal just for you.

Three local female weavers in colourful traditional local dress including festooned hats, weaving colourful alpaca wool on the ground

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Every one of our tours includes at least one conscious travel experience that supports one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). Look out for yours within the day-by-day trip itinerary.

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Travel knowing our 4-point climate action plan will ensure net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Your tour directly supports local communities by visiting family-run businesses, UNESCO sites and places of cultural significance.

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Every part of our business, from trip design to how we run our offices, aligns to our 5-year sustainability strategy which ensures a positive impact on people, the planet and wildlife.

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Our not-for-profit, the TreadRight Foundation, invests in nature-based solutions to address climate change.

You’ll make a positive impact to people, planet and wildlife on this tour

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Costa Rica Quest

  • Fully Guided
  • In-depth Cultural
  • Christmas & New Year

Places You’ll See

San Jose

  • Discover the unique glamour of the charming Costa Rica
  • Enjoy a night walk through the Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • See local wildlife and admire the amazing Arenal Volcano
  • Swim in turquoise waters and chill on white-sand beaches
  • Introduction
  • Day 1 San José
  • Day 2 San José/La Fortuna (1L)
  • Day 3 La Fortuna
  • Day 4 La Fortuna/Monteverde
  • Day 5 Monteverde
  • Day 6 Monteverde/Quepos
  • Day 7 Quepos
  • Day 8 Quepos/San José
  • Day 9 San José

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What's Included

  • Accommodation
  • Additional Services

Where You'll Stay

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costa rica tour adventure

Operated by G Adventures

G Adventures gives you the opportunity to explore interesting and unusual places at a great price. The G Adventures reviews show high ratings from satisfied customers for all aspects of the trip, so you can be assured that you will be in good hands. If you have any questions at any time during your trip, 24 hour support is offered, so there will always be someone to answer your queries. There are various styles of trip on offer to cater for different tastes, along with a wide range of destinations and departure dates. If you look at the G Adventures reviews you will see that you can travel far and wide, with enthusiastic and helpful guides to assist you during your trip.

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Customer Reviews

  • Overall Rating Excellent 4.8
  • Itinerary Excellent 4.7
  • Guide Excellent 4.8
  • Transport Excellent 4.3
  • Accommodation Good 3.8
  • Food Good 3.9
  • Tour Operator G Adventures 4.8
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  • D DebbieG · 26th March 2024 The hotels were average and too far away from the heart of the locations. The included excursions were lacking and some required additional expenditures to make them worthwhile. Trip date: March 2024

G Adventures

  • RC Rhonda · 15th February 2024 The tour guide was a Suyen was an absolute 5 however I would not recommend this tour company due to their poor communication and poor customer service. I would recommend not signing up for any of the extra excursions because they do not give a detailed... Show more Trip date: February 2024

Costa Rica Quest reviewer 8

Dates & Availability

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  • Upcoming departures
  • August 2024
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  • -25% Friday 12 Apr, 2024 Saturday 20 Apr, 2024 English Filling Fast €1,219 €914 Confirm Dates
  • Saturday 13 Apr, 2024 Sunday 21 Apr, 2024 English Almost Sold Out €1,219 Confirm Dates
  • -25% Monday 15 Apr, 2024 Tuesday 23 Apr, 2024 English Filling Fast €1,219 €914 Confirm Dates
  • Thursday 18 Apr, 2024 Friday 26 Apr, 2024 English Filling Fast €1,219 Confirm Dates
  • Get Instant Confirmation Friday 19 Apr, 2024 Saturday 27 Apr, 2024 English Almost Sold Out €1,219 Confirm Dates
  • Get Instant Confirmation Saturday 20 Apr, 2024 Sunday 28 Apr, 2024 English Almost Sold Out Multiple Room Types €1,219 Confirm Dates
  • Monday 22 Apr, 2024 Tuesday 30 Apr, 2024 English Sold Out Based on Standard €1,219 See Similar Tours For These Dates
  • -15% Get Instant Confirmation Thursday 25 Apr, 2024 Friday 3 May, 2024 English Filling Fast Multiple Room Types €1,219 €1,036 Confirm Dates Hold space for 48h
  • Get Instant Confirmation Saturday 27 Apr, 2024 Sunday 5 May, 2024 English Almost Sold Out €1,219 Confirm Dates Hold space for 48h
  • Thursday 2 May, 2024 Friday 10 May, 2024 English Sold Out Based on Standard €1,049 See Similar Tours For These Dates

Frequently Asked Questions

On day 2 of the tour, there will be an opportunity to do stand up paddle-boarding which is an additional cost as it is an optional activity.

The first day of this tour is an arrivals day, which means that you can arrive at any time on Day 1! The start hotel on this tour will be confirmed 4 weeks before the trip but will most likely be Hotel El Sesteo (or similar). There is a group meeting at 6 pm where you can meet your tour guide and other travellers, which you can join if you have you already arrived in San José.

The optional excursions for this tour are: Whitewater Rafting. Price: 62-80USD per person Lost Canyon Adventures Canyoning. Price: 89USD per person Stand Up Paddle (Lesson and Tour). Price: 62USD per person Gravity Falls Waterfall Jumping. Price: 113USD per person Hanging Bridges. Price: 66USD per person La Fortuna Waterfall Swim. Price: 14USD per person Ziplining. Price: 50USD per person Monteverde Butterfly Garden Visit. Price: 15USD per person Monteverde Horseback Riding. Price: 40USD per person Monteverde Hanging Bridges. Price: 35USD per person Santa Elena Cloud Forest Guided Tour. Price: 35USD per person Serpentarium Visit. Price: 15USD per person Frog Pond Visit. Price: 14USD per person El Trapiche Tour. Price: 33USD per person Surfing. Price: 55-75USD per person Manuel Antonio National Park Visit. Price: 16USD per person Kayaking. Price: 69USD per person Fishing. Price: Not advised Sailing. Not advised Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Hike. Price: 45USD per person Manuel Antonio Catamaran Tour. Price: 80USD per person Please note that this list is a guideline only and all prices are subject to change.

Of course, we can! Once you have a confirmed booking on this tour, we can request additional accommodation for you with the tour operator.

A single supplement is available for this tour if you would prefer a private room. Please contact our customer support team for more information.

Accommodation is not confirmed until 4-6 weeks before departure, however, this is a list of hotels that G Adventures typically stay at, but please be advised that they are subject to change: Hotel El Sesteo (or similar) Fortuna Downtown Inn (or similar) Hotel Los Cipreses (or similar) Hotel Mimos (or similar)

As a tour booking website, TourRadar cannot organise visas for you on your behalf as the visa requirements are regularly being updated and vary for the nationality of one traveller to the next. It is for this reason that we recommend checking with your local embassy or consulate website for the latest up to date information.

The age range for this tour is from 12 to 70 years old. This means that unfortunately, children under the age of 12 are not eligible to participate in this tour.

G Adventures guarantees all their departures.

Once you have a confirmed booking you will be given a trip notes where you will find information on spending money, an emergency fund and the cost of the additional extras on tour.

Got a question about this tour?

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Good to Know

  • Currency ₡ Costa Rican Colon Costa Rica

As a traveller from England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa you will need an adaptor for types A, B.

  • These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
  • Typhoid - Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
  • Hepatitis A - Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
  • Hepatitis B - Recommended for Costa Rica. Ideally 2 months before travel.
  • Yellow fever - Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Costa Rica. Ideally 10 days before travel.
  • Unfortunately we cannot offer you a visa application service. Whether you need a visa or not depends on your nationality and where you wish to travel. Assuming your home country does not have a visa agreement with the country you're planning to visit, you will need to apply for a visa in advance of your scheduled departure.
  • Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.
  • For any tour departing before 23rd May 2024 a full payment is necessary. For tours departing after 23rd May 2024, a minimum payment of 20% is required to confirm your booking with G Adventures. The final payment will be automatically charged to your credit card on the designated due date. The final payment of the remaining balance is required at least 45 days prior to the departure date of your tour. TourRadar never charges you a booking fee and will charge you in the stated currency.
  • Some departure dates and prices may vary and G Adventures will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
  • The following cards are accepted for "G Adventures" tours: Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. TourRadar does NOT charge you an extra fee for using any of these payment methods.
  • Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
  • TourRadar is an authorised Agent of G Adventures. Please familiarise yourself with the G Adventures payment, cancellation and refund conditions .
  • Insurance Unless otherwise mentioned, TourRadar does not provide travel insurance. We do however recommend purchasing it through our tried and trusted partner, World Travel Nomads .
  • Accessibility Some tours are not suitable for mobility-restricted traveller, however, some operators may be able to accommodate special requests. For any enquiries, you can contact our customer support team , who are ready and waiting to help you.
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Travelling King

12 of the best Costa Rica Volcano Tours 2024

Trying to find the best costa rica volcano tours i’ve compiled all the top picks for you.

Are you dreaming of exploring Costa Rica’s famous volcanoes but feeling unsure about which tour to choose? Costa Rica is home to some of the most amazing volcanoes in the world, each offering its own unique adventure.

From the active Arenal Volcano with its hot springs and lush rainforest to the stunning views from the Irazú Volcano, there’s a volcano tour for everyone.

Finding the right tour can seem a bit tricky with so many options out there. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for an exciting hike, a nature lover in search of breathtaking landscapes, or someone who just wants to learn more about these natural wonders, we’re here to help guide you.

Let’s dive into the world of Costa Rica volcano tours together and discover which one will make your trip unforgettable. Get ready to stand in awe of these giants and experience the power of nature like never before!

Table of Contents

My Top 3 Picks: best Costa Rica Volcano Tours in 2024

Arenal volcano in costa rica with a plume of smoke

Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall and Arenal Volcano Hike

  • Lunch included
  • Pick up & drop off

Crater of the Poas volcano in Costa Rica, Central America

Full Day Poas Volcano

  • Entrance Fees included

La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A view of stair leading to Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour

  • Lunch & snacks
  • National Park fees

12 of the best Costa Rica Volcano Tours

1. hanging bridges, la fortuna waterfall and arenal volcano hike.

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 9 hours | ✅ Book it!

Explore Costa Rica and embark on a thrilling adventure with a tour combining the three best activities into one unforgettable day. Explore the magnificent Arenal Volcano on an exciting hike, cross 16 hanging bridges, and take in the stunning natural beauty of La Fortuna Waterfall. 

This full-day expedition from La Fortuna is perfect for nature enthusiasts looking for adventure-filled hikes and refreshing swims amidst Costa Rica’s breathtaking landscapes. Enjoy the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off, making this an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss.

“ Angelica was an amazing tour guide. She was fun, informative and pleasant. She was able to spot a lot of wild life including monkeys, colorful frogs and hogs. The experience itself was well worth the price. You got to visit the 3 main places people visit La fortuna for with admission to the parks included and a delicious lunch. I would recommend this tour to anyone who likes hiking and nature.” – Jocelyn_T

Explore the stunning beauty of Costa Rica with your tour that begins with a hotel pickup and a 30-minute drive to the 1968 Arenal Volcano Park. You’ll embark upon a 2.5-hour hike to the base of the Arenal Volcano, where you’ll witness the dry lava field from the 1968 eruption.

Next, your driver will take you to the La Fortuna Waterfall, where you’ll climb 500 steps to reach the waterfall’s base. You’ll have plenty of time to swim and enjoy the waterfall there. 

You’ll then spend approximately 2.5 hours hiking through a primary rainforest and crossing the Mistico Hanging Bridges, which consist of 16 hanging bridges. The hike is in a large forest, incomparable to the Volcano Trails, so make the most of it. Remember, it’s a rainforest, so be prepared for rain and bring your gear.

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes: Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off, Lunch, Bottled water

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

2. Full Day Poas Volcano, La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Coffee Plantation Experience

Join one of the highly recommended Costa Rica Volcano tours, where you’ll journey to three extraordinary destinations exclusive to this region. Learn about Costa Rican coffee, and visit Poás Volcano, a rare gem among the nation’s five active volcanoes. 

You’ll also venture into the enchanting La Paz Waterfall Gardens, home to over 100 captivating species, including rescued sloths and vibrant hummingbirds. This trip ensures you see stunning landscapes and have opportunities to connect with Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife intimately.

“ Viewing the inside of an active volcano at Poas and the wildlife at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens were memorable experiences. Our tour host was very polite and informative. Highly recommend this excursion for anyone six years or older and physically fit.” – James_B

On this tour, you’ll be able to visit 3 of the most stunning areas you can visit during your stay in Costa Rica. First, you’ll travel to the Province of Alajuela to the  Coffee Land of San Isidro to learn about the history and essence of coffee production. 

Next, travel to Poás Volcano, one of the five active volcanoes in the country. You’ll hike to Botos Lagoon and trail around the volcano there.

You’ll then proceed to La Paz Waterfall Gardens Natural Park, where over a hundred rescued animal species live, including sloths, jaguars, toucans, and hummingbirds. Then, you’ll have a complimentary buffet lunch with over 35 food options. 

Finally, visit La Paz waterfalls, where you can take tons of photos from the various picturesque locations!

  • Start Time (and location): 7:30 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Includes: Lunch, Air-conditioned vehicle, Entrance Fee to Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Guaranteed to skip the long queues, Professional guide with 30+ years experience, Hotel pick-up and drop-off and Parking Fees

La Fortuna, Costa Rica.  A view of stair leading to Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

3. 3-in-1 Arenal Combo Tour: Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall & Volcano Hike

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 9 hours and 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

Do a lot of adventurous activities during this Arenal Costa Rica tour, where you’ll be visiting some of the most anticipated destinations in the country, all in one day. You’ll visit Arenal Volcano and Arenal Hanging Bridges, pass through Lake Arenal, and experience La Fortuna Waterfalls. 

Get to witness lava fields from former eruptions and immerse in the native wildlife as you trail around Arenal Volcano National Park. You’ll also experience a traditional lunch at a serene restaurant along the river. Throughout your exciting tour, you’ll also go on treks and hikes.

“Pedro was the best tour guide ever! He was very knowledgeable of all the sites and wildlife and he really made an effort to get to know everyone and point out things that were of interest to each person individually. Our driver Robin was also a great group lead. Totally recommend this tour.” – Frances_Z

If you have limited time in Arenal and want to tour some of its best places, I recommend you join this 3-in-1 day tour. There’s only a maximum of 10 people during your time, so you’ll avoid the big group hassles. 

Your first stop is at Arenal Volcano, where you’ll see the lava trails it left when it last erupted. Then, you’ll hike and cross along the hanging bridges to see and experience the rainforest from above.

The next stop will be at La Fortuna Waterfall, where you can swim, relax, and explore its gorgeous vicinity. There’s also a restaurant and observatory in the area where you can stay if you need to go hiking. 

After your exhausting excursion at the waterfall, you’ll head to La Familia Rodriguez to have a traditional lunch and recover your energy. Before heading back to explore the volcano, you can engage with the locals and have the opportunity to learn about the rich Costa Rican culture.

  • Duration: 9 hours and 30 minutes
  • Includes: Lunch, Snacks, Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off from Arenal/La Fortuna only, National Park fees, Air-conditioned vehicle

poas volcano in costa rica

4. Volcano-Waterfall and Hot Springs Combo ( Private)

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 8 to 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

In this private day tour in Costa Rica, you’ll have the chance to experience adventure and relaxation as you visit three iconic destinations in the country. You’ll experience the natural beauty of a tropical rainforest through a moderate hike while also enjoying the safety of observing volcanic activity from a distance. 

Take a refreshing dip in a natural swimming pool at the base of the stunning Oropendola Waterfall waterfall. Also, you can unwind in the rejuvenating volcanic mineral hot springs. 

Included in the tour is a buffet lunch and private transportation. You can also ask if you’d like to shop at the biggest souvenir shop in Costa Rica. 

“ Highly recommend this excursion. The activities are amazing and beautiful scenery. Having the private tour gives you flexibility for example our guide took us to a souvenir shop on the way back to the resort. Better prices and selection. Gabriel did an outstanding job pointing out various animals during the hike. This has to be the best tour out there….A perfect day!” – Steve_O

Your 10-hour journey begins as you get picked up at your hotel by a private and comfortable vehicle. This tour is private, so you can embark with as little as 2 of you in the group, which is excellent for couples who want privacy.  

Hike on secondary forest trails at Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja. You can watch birds in the area and witness volcanic steam vents and the bubbling mud around it. 

Your next stop is at Oropendola Waterfall, where you can swim in its refreshing natural pool, a great activity after your exhausting hike. After relaxing at the waterfall, you’ll now head on a buffet lunch to fill up before your next activity. 

Then, head on to Rio Negro Hot Springs for a stress-releasing bath a the volcanic mud and natural hot springs. You can stop by Liberia to shop for souvenirs on your way back. 

  • Duration: 8 to 10 hours
  • Includes: Private transportation, Lunch, All Fees and Taxes

Volcano Arenal next to the rainforest, Costa Rica Pacific, Nationalpark, great Landscape Panorama, Nice view, top shot

5. Arenal Volcano Full-Day Combo Tour with Lunch and Dinner

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 14 hours | ✅ Book it!

Visit some of the best  Costa Rica destinations, like Arenal Volcano, La Paz Waterfall, and Arenal Hot Springs, in this 14-hour tour. Tour the famous attractions with your professional multilingual tour guide. 

View the rainforest from about as you take a zipline course. Learn about the places you’ll visit and witness the abundant wildlife in the area.  With all entrance fees and two meals included, this tour offers excellent value. Perfect for a short trip, this tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Costa Rica!

“ Our Tour guide Harlem/Harlum was amazing. He was very informative and made sure we didn’t feel rushed at the stops. I would highly recommend this tour. The views are amazing ..oh and we got lucky and was able to get a clear picture of the volcano which we were told doesn’t happen often. The tour is all day and worth every penny. The food we had for lunch and dinner was amazing at both locations not to mention the fresh juice.” – Tjuanathomas70

This is one of the highly-rated Arenal Volcano tours that take you up to 6 destinations in one day. As you drive along a scenic route to Arenal, stop by La Casa del Café for a quick informative briefing about coffee in Costa Rica. 

Then, proceed to La Paz Waterfall to admire and take social media-worthy pictures! Wander at the exotic bird gallery at Cinchona as you sip your Costa Rican coffee and indulge in traditional snacks. 

Have a 10-minute stop at the Iguanas Center to see the marvellous reptiles before heading to Go Adventure Arenal Park, where you’ll have an authentic Costa Rican lunch. After filling up, head to the Rainforest Jungles for a 150-foot-high zip-lining adventure along 9 cables. 

End the tour by sightseeing for a few hours at the serene Paradise Hot Springs and Gardens, where you can also soak in jacuzzis, waterfalls and lagoons. 

  • Duration: 14 hours
  • Includes: Transport by air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most San Jose area hotels), Professional Bilingual Guide, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee or Tea with local snacks, Entrance fees

Scenic view of Arenal Volcano in central Costa Rica at sunrise

6. Full day Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall and Hotsprings

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 11 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for Arenal Volcano tours from La Fortuna, this tour is worth trying. Embark on a journey to witness the natural splendour of the La Fortuna region.

Go on thrilling hikes through rainforests, explore the vast nature, and immerse yourself in the abundant wildlife. Go for a swim at the La Fortuna Waterfall and climb up the slopes of Arenal. 

Learn insightful things as your guide does a live commentary. This group is limited to 10 people, ensuring an intimate adventure.

“ Our family of five had a great time. Cristal was so friendly, knowledgeable and enjoyable as our tour guide. I highly recommend this tour for an action packed adventure capturing the highlights of La Fortuna.” – Lorraine_B

See the lush surroundings of La Fortuna and take a refreshing dip at its base. Ascend rocky trails to the highest viewpoint around Arenal, witnessing panoramic views of the volcano, lush jungles, valleys, and lava fields. 

Climb steep steps to a vast expanse of lava rocks and follow a trail to the highest viewpoint for breathtaking panoramic vistas from Mirador El Silencio. 

  • Duration: 11 hours
  • Includes: National Park fees, Beverages, Lunch, Local guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off (In la Fortuna area), Small-group tour (10 persons per group), Alcoholic Beverages, Hotspring resort fee

Scenic Arenal volcano in Costa Rica, Central America

7. Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, Hot Springs Combo Tour with Lunch & Dinner

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 14 to 15 hours | ✅ Book it!

This tour is perfect if you’re in Costa Rica for a limited time and want to tour some of the country’s best attractions. Explore Costa Rica’s iconic Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna Waterfall, and Paradise Hot Springs. 

A bilingual guide will accompany you and provide informative commentaries along the way. This tour package also includes lunch and dinner, so you won’t have to worry about anything!

“ What an amazing day! It was very long but full of fun and adventure! The waterfall was beautiful and the water was great for swimming. The only downside was the 500 stairs each way. Totally worth the work though! The volcano hike was great. Got to get up close and explore the rain forest. It rained some on us and clouds blocked a full view of the volcano but it was still amazing. Also, the hot springs…amazing! Differing temps for anyone’s preference. The bar had great drinks as well! Both meals we had were authentic and delicious!” – Chad_C

This tour includes a convenient hotel pickup and drop-off. You’ll pass by scenic roads on your way to Arenal. Your first stop is at La Fortuna Waterfall, where you have 2 hours to relax and swim in its relaxing waters. Then, proceed to hike over the large lava flow at Mirador El Silencio to witness one of the best views of Arenal Volcano. 

Another highlight of this tour is your visit to Paradise Hot Springs. There, you can unwind and release toxins from your body in the thermal mineral waters. 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:00 AM at your chosen pickup location
  • Duration: 14 to 15 hours
  • Includes: Air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most Jaco-Hermosa-Los Suenos area hotels), Professional bilingual guide, All Fees and Taxes, Lunch, Dinner

Landscape showing Costa Rica pastureland with Arenal Volcano in the background.

8. Arenal Volcano Experience Full-Day Tour from San Jose

Costa Rica is known for its national parks and lush natural resources. In this full-day tour, you explore the Arenal Volcano region effortlessly, departing from San Jose and taking scenic routes.

During the tour, you’ll also visit a coffee plantation and a stunning waterfall. Included in the tour is a professional guide and hotel pickup and drop-off. 

“ Our tour was fantastic! Juan did an amazing job sharing interesting information and history about every part of the trip. With all of the well-times stops it didn’t feel like we were on a bus ride forever which was really nice. Juan had a very good knowledge of how and where to find wildlife so we could see sloths and iguanas. The only down side was that we were unable to see the volcano due to inclement weather but this tour is definitely worth the money no matter what. We recommend this tour and hopefully you get Juan as your tour guide and you will have a blast!” – Michael_ H

If you love nature and want to see Costa Rica’s breathtaking natural landmarks, this tour is ideal. On your way to Arenal, you’ll go through an alternate route to pass by picturesque sights.

Your first stop is at La Casa del Café for a quick informative break before heading to a rejuvenating visit at La Paz Waterfall. After that, you’ll have time at Cinchona for a snack and coffee break before heading to Centro Turístico Las Iguanas. 

You will proceed to Go Adventure Arenal Park, where you can participate in a native presentation by the Maleku Tribe. Finally, spend the rest of your time at Paradise Hot Springs to unwind and refresh. 

  • Includes: Transport by air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel pickup and drop-off (most San Jose area hotels), Professional bilingual guide, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee or Tea with local snacks, Entrance Fees

Rio Celeste Waterfall and pond in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

9. Volcano Hike, Waterfall Swim & Hot Springs Combo on Rincon de la Vieja

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ Book it!

Embark on an immersive adventure through the untamed volcanic landscapes of Rincon de la Vieja National Park on this full-day trekking expedition. Also, venture on a 3-hour jungle hike, where you can spot Howler monkeys, Capuchin monkeys, Toucans, and Coatis along the trail.

Experience the sights of steaming fumaroles, volcanic craters, and simmering mud pools before rejuvenating with a swim beneath the Oropendola Waterfall. Following an authentic Costa Rican, treat yourself to the ultimate relaxation with a soak in the therapeutic hot springs and volcanic mud baths at Rio Negro.

“ I had the pleasure of Ivan being my tour guide on our volcano hike, and he was amazing! Very knowledgeable and patient with our group, and well as making sure we got to see some wildlife and have a good time throughout our hike. Beautiful hike, the waterfall and hot springs were amazing too. Would definitely do it all over again!” – Rene_G

In this tour, you will explore Parque Nacional Rincón de la Vieja National Park with a bilingual naturalist guide. Start with a hike along the Las Pailas circular path that offers the best views of the Vieja volcano. 

You’ll also get close to Costa Rica’s rich biodiversity with over 300 bird species and diverse animals like armadillos, bays, iguanas, coatis, monkeys, and more. Witness volcanic marvels like bubbling mud pots and fumaroles during the tour.

Then, after the hike, take a refreshing dip in the pristine blue lagoon of Oropendola Waterfall. Afterwards, indulge in relaxation at the Rio Negro Hot Springs, surrounded by tropical dry forest and naturally heated by Rincón de la Vieja Volcano.

  • Start Time (and location): 6:30 AM at chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Bottled water, Lunch, Driver/guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off, Air-conditioned vehicle, National Park fees

La Fortuna, Costa Rica. A view of the blue waterfall Rio Celeste in Costa Rica

10. Combo La Fortuna Waterfall and Volcano Hike & Hotsprings

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

During this fully guided combo tour from La Fortuna, you will explore the lush rainforest and captivating waterfalls surrounding Arenal Volcano. This excursion generally includes nature walks, traversing hanging bridges, and immersing yourself in the indigenous culture of the Maleku Village. 

Along the journey, your knowledgeable guide will highlight wildlife encounters and reveal hidden spots to enjoy refreshing natural pools and soothing hot springs. This volcano tours Costa Rica is the best for those who love the outdoors. 

“ Isaac and Juan, our driver, took us on a beautiful hike and down to the hot springs. The mud mask was so soothing and even though the hike was a lot on me (I’m out of shape), I so appreciated their patience! 10/10!” – Tripadvisor Reviewer

Witness Costa Rica’s stunning natural landmarks in this full-day tour. Your guide accompanies you as you hike along the base of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Witness breathtaking views at the top after your hike, a moment you’ll enjoy after a tiring climb. After hiking and walking, relax at the natural hot springs and refreshing waters at La Paz Waterfall. 

  • Start Time (and location): 8:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Professional guide, Lunch, Hotel/port pickup and drop-off, Hotels around 6 kms from La Fortuna Downtown pick up, Alcoholic Beverages

Fumarole Activity at Pos Volcano Alajujela Costa Rica

11. Coffee Experience, Poas Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 13 hours | ✅ Book it!

Venture on a day-long adventure that offers a perfect blend of nature exploration and coffee education in Costa Rica. This group tour departing from San Jose includes breakfast, lunch, and convenient hotel transfers.

Visit the renowned Doka Coffee Estate, where you’ll gain insights into the coffee production process, from the growth of the beans to the final cup. Venture to Poas Volcano National Park for a hike, then end your tour with a visit to the captivating La Paz Waterfall Garden to observe the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

Very cool experience being my first time in Costa Rica. Donald and Alejandro were very knowledgeable tour guides and kept us moving on schedule, but didn’t feel rushed. I was also picked up early and I appreciated that. Make sure you bring a rain coat. This is a tropical climate. They do an outstanding job for the time we spent with them so tip them well!” – Charles_S

This tour offers the best of both worlds: Coffee and nature. The tour begins with convenient pick-up times with a delicious breakfast at the Doka Coffee Estate, where visitors learn about coffee production and discover why Costa Rica produces some of the best coffee in the world. 

You will then visit Poas Volcano National Park, which provides breathtaking views of the main crater and a hike to Botos Lagoon. Finally, guests can explore lush rainforest trails at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, observe wildlife, and engage with educational animal exhibits.  

  • Start Time (and location): 6:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Air-conditioned vehicle, Entrance Fee to Poas Volcano National Park, Entrance Fee Doka Estate Coffee Plantation, Entrance Fee La Paz Waterfall Gardens, All Fees and Taxes, Operates with a minimum of two passengers

Arenal volcano in costa rica with a plume of smoke

12. Morning Volcano Hike, Lunch & Hot Springs River

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 6 hours | ✅ Book it!

This half-day tour to Arenal Volcano from La Fortuna offers a perfect blend of exploration and relaxation, with complimentary hotel pickup and drop-off from select locations. Venture into Costa Rica’s lush rainforest to uncover the Arenal Volcano on a half-day excursion

A local guide joins you as you trek through captivating lava formations, take a refreshing swim in a volcano-formed lake, and take a soothing bath in Tabacon River’s warm hot springs. Savour on a delectable Costa Rican lunch with the volcano as your backdrop, and immerse yourself in the rainforest’s beauty. 

“ Me and friends did the Volcano Tour in the morning departure, our guide was HANZ, just a young mind with a lot of knowledge to share with everyone, he connected with everyone in the group in the best of the ways, he took profesional pictures from all the members in the group, and the control he had over the group was just espectacular, we finish going to the hot river at the end of the tour, such an incredible ending for an amazing day… I will highly recommend to other travellers!!! Thanks for the day!” – Tripadvisor Reviewer

If you want to visit Costa Rica’s renowned natural tourist attractions but need more time, this 6-hour tour is perfect. You’ll go on a thrilling rainforest hike to ancient lava fields and dip in a stunning green lagoon with views of the magnificent Arenal Volcano.

After those thrilling activities, head to a ranch for a delicious Costa Rican feast to tease your taste buds. Cap off the day with a visit to a natural hot springs river where you can unwind; it’s a Costa Rican experience you won’t want to miss!

  • Start Time (and location): 10:00 AM at your chosen pickup point
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Includes: Lunch, Local guide, Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)

FAQs About volcano tour costa rica

For a volcano tour in Costa Rica, it’s important to wear comfortable, sturdy hiking shoes or boots as the terrain can be uneven and sometimes slippery. Dress in layers, as the temperature can vary greatly depending on the altitude and time of day. A lightweight, waterproof jacket is also recommended, as weather can change quickly. Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs. Also, pack a water bottle to stay hydrated and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

Yes, you can visit active volcanoes in Costa Rica, and it is generally safe when you go with a knowledgeable tour guide and follow safety guidelines. Arenal and Poás are popular active volcanoes that tourists can visit. Tour operators are well-informed about the current conditions of the volcanoes and will ensure your safety throughout the tour. Keep in mind that access to certain areas may be restricted depending on volcanic activity, so always listen to your guide and stay within designated areas.

The physical demand of a volcano tour in Costa Rica can vary widely depending on the specific volcano and the type of tour you choose. Some tours offer easy, leisurely walks that are suitable for most fitness levels, while others involve more strenuous hikes that require a good level of physical fitness. Be sure to check the tour description and communicate with the tour operator about your fitness level and any concerns you may have. There are volcano tours available for a wide range of abilities, so you can find one that’s comfortable for you.

Aerial view of Poas Volcano. Group of tourists looking at its crater while smoke comes out.

Final Thoughts: volcano tours in Costa Rica

As we come to the end of our journey through the best volcano tours in Costa Rica, it’s clear that these natural wonders offer an adventure unlike any other.

Whether you’ve decided to explore the mighty Arenal, the mysterious Irazú, or any of Costa Rica’s other majestic volcanoes, you’re in for an experience that will fill your trip with awe and excitement.

Remember, each volcano has its own story to tell, and there’s a tour out there that’s perfect for you, no matter your interests or fitness level. From leisurely walks with stunning views to challenging hikes that test your limits, you’re sure to find an adventure that suits your taste.

So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore the powerful beauty of Costa Rica’s volcanoes.

These tours are not just about seeing a natural wonder; they’re about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of landscapes, wildlife, and culture that Costa Rica has to offer. Safe travels, and may your volcano tour be an unforgettable highlight of your Costa Rican adventure!

  • Best areas to stay in Costa Rica
  • Things to do in Costa Rica
  • 7 days in Costa Rica
  • Best Beaches in Costa Rica
  • Day Trips from Costa Rica

Samantha King

Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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Costa Rica Eco Adventure & Sustainable National Park Tours: 2024 Guide Released

Ever Wonder Adventure has released a new travel guide for eco-conscious tourists planning to visit Costa Rica in 2024.

costa rica tour adventure

Singapore, Singapore - April 3, 2024 /NewsNetwork/ —

With its unique biodiversity and world-known national park, Costa Rica is a bucket-list destination for many nature enthusiasts. Ever Wonder Adventure's latest guide details how to visit the country and explore its natural beauty while contributing to conservation efforts.

To find out more, please visit: https://www.everwonderadventure.com/costa-rica

Ever Wonder Adventure is an online resource for inspiration on how to explore the planet sustainably. The travel guide provided by Ever Wonder Adventure details an itinerary of six destinations to visit in Costa Rica, ranging from volcanoes to UNESCO World Heritage sites, making the tour an unforgettable experience.

"Costa Rica's not just a destination; it's an experience, one that lingers in your heart long after you've returned home. What's more, with eco-tourism at the forefront of their travel industry, Costa Rica is a shining example of how we can enjoy Mother Nature's gifts responsibly," a spokesperson for the company said.

The guide suggests a tour that starts by Arenal Volcano, a currently resting volcano in the northern part of the country, before moving to Monteverde Cloud Forest, just a few hours drive away. Tourists can choose to continue southwest to the coastal Manuel Antonio National Park and then move onto the Atlantic side of the country to Tortuguero National Park or visit Tamarindo and Jacó or Corcovado National Park.

Ever Wonder Adventure has picked out the suggested spots as visiting them will support the conservation of animal life, plants, and habitats. Those who want to contribute to keeping Ever Wonder Adventure's work going can purchase Costa Rica-inspired merchandise, like sweatpants, sweatshirts, and pint glasses.

Additionally, Ever Wonder Adventure has more travel guides with matching collections, for example, merch featuring a Thai elephant for the guide on a Golden Triangle tour, with part of the profit going to a sanctuary. Some other destinations include Puerto Princesa and the Galapagos Islands, with the possibility to buy products to promote environmental guardianship.

"Beyond custom made merchandise, we also raise awareness to act and safeguard Mother Nature, now on a steady path of degradation," the company spokesperson said. "Together, we secure Ever Wonder Adventure's future and Mother Nature's legacy."

Additional details can be found at: https://bit.ly/paradise-costa-rica

Contact Info: Name: H C Yip Email: Send Email Organization: Ever Wonder Adventure Address: One Oxley Rise Singapore, Singapore, Singapore 238714, Singapore Website: https://www.everwonderadventure.com

Release ID: 89126208

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North America

Central america & caribbean, south america, north africa & middle east.

Few travellers make it to this icy continent, but the lucky ones who do get to explore a frozen Eden ruled by the elements and teeming with wildlife.

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G adventures sailing & cruises, g adventures private travel.

Whether it’s a family retreat or a girls trip, you can surround yourself with a hand-picked crew and customize a tour that fits you all perfectly.

The Geluxe Collection

Our new line of premium active adventures is officially here. With perfectly paced itineraries, one-of-a-kind accommodations and elevated dining, this is adventure at its finest.

National Geographic Journeys

Go deeper into the cultures and habitats of the places we explore. More is included and you’ll enjoy greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and freedom to roam.

National Geographic Family Journeys

Are you an adventure-loving family in search of meaningful ways to discover the world together? These tours are specially designed for travellers seven and up and their inquisitive families.

Jane Goodall Collection

Step deeper into the animal kingdom while respecting all of its inhabitants. Our incredible collection of 20 wildlife-focused tours is endorsed by the world-renowned ethologist.

Roamies by Hostelworld

The thrill of adventure. The awesomeness of hostels. Get ‘em both on these immersive small group trips for 18 to 35-year-old travellers.

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As the leader in small group travel for 30 years, we know how to do it right: flexible itineraries, freedom to roam, safety, peace of mind, and locally based guides.

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Together with our non-profit partner, Planeterra, we ensure local communities touched by our tours benefit from our visits in as many ways possible.

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Leave your destination even greener than you found it! For every day on tour, we’ll plant a tree in your honour and ensure that our forests get to live their best lives.

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Costa Rica Active Adventure

13 days, san josé to san josé.

The gorgeous Pacuare lodge rests in the middle of the rainforest, Costa Rica

  • Full itinerary
  • Tour details

Trekking, biking, horseback riding, kayaking, ziplining. Costa Rica really is the "Adventure Capital of the Americas." Thrill-seekers will find more than enough to keep themselves busy over this trip’s 13 action-packed days. After landing in San José, embark on four days of exploration around Monteverde and Arenal Volcano. Raft down the mighty Pacuare River before crossing over to our remote rainforest lodge, surrounded on all sides by the thick, enveloping jungle. End the journey by heading down to the beach at Puerto Viejo. Phew! Tired yet? No? Time to book!

San José to San José

Special offers, is this tour for me, travel style: active.

Hiking, trekking, biking, rafting, and kayaking adventures all over the world, made for outdoor types.

Service Level: Standard

Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport.

Physical Rating: 3 - Average

Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Check Your Visa Requirements

Before booking, use our handy entry requirements tool so you know which documents you need to enter and travel through the countries on your trip.

See how your trip uplifts communities

In a number of impactful ways, your adventure directly benefits the local people and places we visit.

Help us spread love around the world — with trees! Together with Planeterra, we'll plant one tree in your name for every travel day.

Trees planted for this trip: 13

Ripple Score

Want to create ripples that change lives? The higher the Ripple Score percentage, the more money stays in the local communities you visit.

Ripple Score for this trip: 100

More from Costa Rica Active Adventure

Map of the route for Costa Rica Active Adventure

Places visited

Day 1 san josé.

Arrive at any time.

Exclusive Inclusions:

Day 2 san josé/monteverde.

Drive through Costa Rica's beautiful countryside to Monteverde to explore the verdant cloud forest and enjoy the surrounding area.

Day 3 Monteverde

Enjoy a free day for optional activities in and around Monteverde like ziplining, horseback riding, or touring the cloud forest.

Day 4 Monteverde/La Fortuna

Travel through rolling hills and across a lake to La Fortuna, where there is free time to explore.

Day 5 La Fortuna

Enjoy a free day in La Fortuna. Opt to go whitewater rafting, waterfall rappelling, paddleboarding or one of the many other optionals this region has to offer. Spend another day getting your adrenaline pumping, viewing local wildlife, marveling at the Arenal Volcano and getting to know more about La Fortuna's Costa Rica.

Day 6 La Fortuna

Cycle the area around La Fortuna on a guided half-day biking tour. At night, opt to relax and soak in hot springs at the base of Arenal Volcano.

Day 7 La Fortuna/Pacuare

Enjoy a two-day guided rafting expedition along the Pacuare River, stopping at times to explore on foot, then stay the night in rustic cabins built along the river.

Meals included:

Day 8 pacuare.

Get off the river for the day to explore the jungle by foot.

Day 9 Pacuare/Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Continue down river to the take-out point, then travel to the Caribbean coastal town of Puerto Viejo.

Day 10 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

The Caribbean is famous for its sun, sand and surf. Hop on a bike and take a ride to the beach, then pull on a rash guard, grab a big board and get ready to hang ten like a local with an included surf lesson.

Day 11 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Enjoy free time in Puerto Viejo and soak up the sun on the Caribbean. The warm turquoise water is ideal for swimming, fishing, kayaking, boogie boarding, and surfing. Opt to take a boat trip, snorkel the nearby reefs, or cycle down the coast.

Day 12 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca/San José

Return to San José and take advantage of a final day to shop for souvenirs (coffee anyone?).

Day 13 San José

Depart at any time.

What's Included

  • Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group
  • Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna
  • Your Hands-On Moment: Surfing Lesson
  • Your Discover Moment: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Overnight Pacuare River rafting trip
  • Guided hike (Pacuare River)
  • Guided cycling excursion (La Fortuna)
  • Bike ride (Puerto Viejo)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (10 nts), jungle lodge (2 nts).

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners Allow USD460-600 for meals not included.

Transportation

Public bus, private vehicle, bicycle, boat, raft, hiking.

Staff & experts

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.

Available extras  (Add these to your tour when you book)

Costa rica adrenaline bundle - from $149.00.

CANYONING (Half-day Arenal) Rappel, down-climb, river-trace, and descend huge waterfalls in the rugged mountains and lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano. ZIPLINING (Half-day Monteverde) Get a true bird’s-eye view of the rainforest canopy as you soar through the trees on a Tarzan swing, a giant rappel, and a 137-meter-high (450-foot) zipline. Please note the prices listed does not include the IVA Tax. Please note that passengers must weigh between 45-100kg (100 – 220 lbs) and be at least 130cm (4'3 ft) tall to participate in these activities.

Guided Cloud Forest Night Walk - From $30.00

Join a naturalist guide for a 1.5-2 hour tour in the cloud forest after dark. Learn more about the habits of the area's nocturnal wildlife including mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians, and keep your eyes and ears open on this slow-paced walk. You never know what you might see – it depends on the day and your luck!

My Own Room - From $879.00

If you're travelling solo and would prefer to have your own private room throughout your trip, select this option during the online booking process.

Extend your stay with these add-on tours

Tortuguero national park tour – 4-day independent adventure - from $579.

Explore Tortuguero National Park while staying at a jungle lodge.

Make it a private tour

Book this tour as a private departure, with your own CEO and all the benefits of a G Adventures group tour.

Costa Rica Tours & Vacations

Travellers walking with tour guide in the jungle near Fortuna Waterfall in Costa Rica

Biodiverse, brilliantly colourful and naturally breathtaking, Costa Rica embraces a slower pace of life.

An adventure hotspot for some, a cultural haven for others and a tropical paradise for most, Costa Rica definitely lives up to its translation as the ‘rich coast.’ And as you journey under lush jungle canopies and through laidback surf towns, you’ll soon be rich with  memorable experiences.  Lean into the slower pace of life as you become a pro at spotting toucans in Monteverde’s  steamy cloud forests  or listening out for the distant whoop of white-faced capuchins in Manuel Antonio. The phrase ‘hustle and bustle’ isn’t in Costa Rica’s vocabulary, as you’d expect from a country whose unofficial motto is ‘ pura vida ’ – the pure life.

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Costa Rica or Guatemala? The Central American country you need to travel to next

Costa Rica at a glance

Capital city.

San Jose (population approximately 340,000)

Approximately 5.1 million

(GMT-06:00) Central America

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)

Learn more about Costa Rica

Culture and customs.

Costa Rican culture can be summed up in two words: 'pura vida', or the pure life. It's as a greeting, farewell and a way to show appreciation. Like any good life motto, pura vida is better experienced than explained. It means being friendly and polite, taking it easy and being thankful for what you have. Costa Ricans' carefree way of life, coupled with living in one of Central America's most progressive and prosperous nations, makes the locals some of the happiest in the world.

You'll find that people in Costa Rica are generally in less of a hurry than most North Americans or Europeans. Following what is affectionately known as 'Tico time', people will often be fashionably late, except for things with schedules – Tico time does not apply at work, the movies or the train station.

Costa Ricans (or Ticos and Ticas) are known for their conflict-averse nature. Peace is so highly valued here that their army was abolished in 1949, with all funds reallocated to create an 'army' of teachers instead.

History and government

Ancient history.

Like most Central American countries, indigenous communities thrived for thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, and it's believed that humans have lived in Costa Rica's jungles and rainforests for as many as 10,000 years. However, with no urbanised civilisation like the Aztecs or Mayas, and little to no cultural preservation during the time of Spanish colonisation, not much is known about Costa Rica's true indigenous populations.

Colonization, independence and trade

At the time of Spanish colonisation, it's estimated that 400,000 people lived in what is now known as Costa Rica. Christopher Columbus arrived in the region in 1502 on his fourth voyage, leading to the settlement of the first Spanish colony in Costa Rica.

As settlements grew, indigenous populations dwindled due to disease and forced labour. After around a century, the population had fallen to 20,000, and a century later, down to 8000.

In 1821 the Americas broke free of Spanish control, following the Mexican War of Independence. Costa Rica became part of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1823, before gaining complete independence in 1838

Costa Rica eventually found its feet in the global coffee trade, and by the end of the century, coffee crops accounted for nearly 90% of Costa Rica's exports and 80% of its foreign income. Not only was coffee production an indicator of wealth in Costa Rica, it was also a powerful political tool prompting the emergence of other industries, including the banana trade, which surpassed coffee exports in the early 20th century.

Costa Rica's economy relies on eco-tourism, and the country has championed the idea that the 'rich coast' refers not to resources dug from the ground but to the natural wonders above ground. The easygoing attitude of Ticos comes from a love of their country and pride that their democracy has endured in a conflict-ridden region.

Eating and drinking

Costa Rican cuisine is wholesome and fresh, with influence from  Spanish ,  South American , and  Caribbean  culinary traditions. On the Caribbean coast, you'll find dishes with Afro-Caribbean flair, usually featuring more meats, spices and coconut milk. 

Capital city, San Jose, not only has an up-and-coming food scene but has established itself as the craft beer hub of Costa Rica. Enjoy seasonal samplings on a San Jose Bites and Sites tour with Urban Adventures 

What to eat in Costa Rica

  • Gallo pinto Gallo pinto, the most common side dish in Costa Rica and across the Americas is served alongside meals morning, noon and night. It’s made of rice, beans, onions, peppers and spices, and the name translates to ‘speckled rooster’ because of the pops of colour in the rice.
  • Casado If you eat at a ‘soda’ or a traditional Costa Rican restaurant, when travelling, chances are a casado will be on the menu. Although there are multiple variations of this tasting plate, you’ll likely get served up some gallo pinto, fried plantains and salad with either chicken, beef or fish, and freshly squeezed juice, covering all your food groups in one.
  • Chifrijo Chifrijo is a common bar snack in Costa Rica. The word is a combination of its two main ingredients – chicharrones (fried pork rinds) and frijoles (beans). The chicharrones and beans are layered together and topped with guacamole and pico de gallo and served with fresh tortilla or plantain chips for dipping.
  • Ceviche While ceviche is probably more often associated with Peru, the Tico version is a delicious variation. Made with raw fish cured in citrus juice, onions, coriander and peppers and served with tortilla chips or fried plantains, this dish is light, refreshing and a great start to a meal.
  • Patacones Patacones are deep-fried green plantains that are ideal for a snack or as a dipping device for chifrijo, guacamole or pico de gallo.
  • Sopa negra Sopa negra is a Costa Rican black bean soup, often flavoured with tomatoes and spices and served with egg and coriander.
  • Rondon Rondon is a seafood chowder that comes from Jamaica. Other Caribbean countries who’ve adopted the recipe have put their own spin on it with their choice of seafood – fish, crab, small lobster – as well as the coconut milk broth and spices.
  • Arroz con leche Sweet tooths can rejoice with this Central and South American dessert staple of arroz con leche – a spiced, sweet rice pudding made with cinnamon, cloves and raisins. Try it as a warming snack or a special dessert.
  • Pejibayes This unusual fruit comes from a type of palm known as the peach palm – the same tree that heart of palm comes from. After boiling for a few hours and discarding the inner seed and outer skin, the fruit is finished with a squeeze of lime or a dollop of mayonnaise to eat the local way. The taste has been likened to a mix between a squash, potato and cashew.

What to drink in Costa Rica

  • Coffee Costa Rica produces some of the best coffee in the world, so you’re set for your caffeine fix during your time in Costa Rica. It has both the ideal soil composition and the perfect elevation to grow the perfect coffee crop, so be sure to sample as many fresh local brews as you can.
  • Alcohol If you’re looking for drinks of the alcoholic variety, try guaro – a liquor made from sugar cane, best enjoyed in a guaro sour (with lime, simple syrup and soda). The craft beer scene is growing quickly here as well, so look for microbrews from a multitude of small local breweries. And if you’re wondering how to say cheers, just say ‘pura vida’ again!
  • Naturales Naturales – sometimes also called refrescos or batidos – are delicious fresh fruit juices blended with either milk or water. You can find them all over the country at small kiosks or booths in a variety of flavours like mango, pineapple and guanabana.

Geography and environment

Costa Rica is known for its incredible beaches and magical rainforests. But the backbone of this coastal nation is truly stunning mountain ranges, many of which contain both active and dormant volcanoes. You’ll also find heaps of waterfalls, lakes and rivers throughout the country. For this reason, adventure sports such as zip-lining, whitewater rafting and cycling are popular in inland destinations such as La Fortuna and Montverde, and adventure-packed activities are a popular way to experience the country.

Get active on an 8 day Costa Rica: Hike, Bike & Raft trip

Costa Rica’s diverse topography is home to many microclimates, and the temperature and weather can vary dramatically depending on elevation and how close you are to the coast. Rainforests, cloud forests, jungles and mountains exist side by side. The varied land and climate foster over 5% of the world’s total biodiversity.

Witness ecological diversity firsthand on a 10 day Best of Costa Rica trip Costa Rica is home to over 500,000 species of plants and animals. Those seeking to  spot local wildlife  will be enthralled by Costa Rica’s unique flora and fauna. And the spectacular variety of wildlife isn’t limited to the land – scuba diving is another popular activity, with Costa Rica boasting some of the most beautiful bays, beaches and reefs in the world.

Four of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica

Tortuguero National Park One of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets, this national park is the unspoilt paradise you’ve been searching for. Take a dip in Tortuguero’s warm turquoise waters, or just relax on the idyllic shores.

Manuel Antonio A true eco-playground, you can spend a day exploring misty rainforests and searching for sloths and monkeys before cooling off on one of the delightful beaches. Head into Quepos town for some good food and fiery nightlife after the sun sets.

Jaco Once a sleepy beach town, Jaco’s proximity to San Jose has made it a one-stop shop for those seeking big waves and even bigger parties. The gateway to national parks and  active adventures , there’s no denying Jaco’s uber-cool surf-town vibe.

Corcovado Well off the tourist trail, Corcovado isn’t your average beach experience. Boasting diversity of colour, landscape and wildlife, Corcovado is perfect for those seeking beaches with character and charm. Oh, and it’s got the largest primary forest in the American Pacific, if you needed another reason to visit. 

Whether you’re buying souvenirs or groceries, your best bet in Costa Rica is to shop at local markets. Although there are large, American-style grocery stores, they can be a little pricey. The best deals on fresh produce can be found at a feria, or farmers market. Most towns have a weekly feria where you can buy tropical fruits and vegetables. And if you happen to miss the weekly market, you’ll often see street vendors selling select items like avocados and mangoes every day.

Head to the Mercado Calle Nacional de Artesania y Pintura (National Craft Market) in San Jose for the best selection of handmade goods and souvenirs. Here you can stroll through dozens of stalls selling handmade hammocks and painted oxcarts as well as t-shirts and shot glasses that say ‘pura vida’. Also in San Jose, the Mercado Central is a great place to grocery shop and pick up souvenirs. Vendors offer everything from fresh produce to coffee to leather goods.

You’ll often see carved wooden masks for sale but, while all of them are beautiful, for a truly authentic mask you can buy directly from indigenous communities who make them.

As in any destination, check that any souvenirs made from natural materials have been ethically sourced. Avoid buying products made from rainforest woods that were not sustainably harvested, sea turtle shells and other animal products. Before heading home, check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand, for example, have strict quarantine laws regarding some materials, such as food and wooden objects.

Festivals and events

Costa Ricans definitely know how to throw a party, and place a lot of importance on food, family and community. Many Costa Rican festivals celebrate the country’s farming and ranch heritage, and a lot have a Catholic element. No matter which festival you’re celebrating, you’re pretty much guaranteed a deep dive into Tico culture. Here are a few of the biggest festivals in Costa Rica:

Las Fiestas de Zapote

This festival, celebrated from Christmas until New Year’s Eve every year in the town of Zapote, is a week-long fiesta. It’s home to the biggest rodeo in Costa Rica, many carnival games, as well as rides and food stalls.

Palmares Fiestas

After the festivities of Christmas, New Year’s and the Zapote festival have wound down, it’s time for the Palmares festival. In mid-January, more than one million Ticos and tourists head to the town of Palmares for one of the largest festivals in Costa Rica. Revellers drink beer, enjoy food, listen to international acts and watch traditional bullfighting and the ‘tope’ – a horse parade through the streets.

Fiesta de los Diablitos

The ‘Festival of the Little Devils’ is celebrated twice each year (in December and February) in the indigenous communities of Boruca and Rey Curre. The festival celebrates the triumph of the original inhabitants over the Spanish conquistadors, with dancing and performances featuring costumes and painted masks.

Limon Carnival

If you’re travelling to Costa Rica in October, you’ll probably find yourself in the festive spirit as you touch down, as this is the month of Carnival. Notably, it’s when the Caribbean town of Puerto Limon celebrates this annual festival, with elaborate costumes, floats, parades and food stalls aplenty, spread across two weekends.

Further reading

For inspiring stories to prepare you for your Costa Rica adventure, check out these books:

  • Green Phoenix: Restoring the Tropical Forests of Guanacaste, Costa Rica – William Allen
  • The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica – Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz
  • Off the Map – Dorien Kelly
  • The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics  – Steven Palmer and Ivan Molina
  • Mamita Yunai – Carlos Luis Fallas
  • Unica Looking at the Sea – Fernando Contreras Castro
  • Monkeys are made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica – Jack Ewing

Costa Rica travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

Year-round tropical warmth means there really isn’t a bad time to visit Costa Rica. December to April are normally the driest months; however, Costa Rica’s diverse topography and blanket of rainforests suggest that you should be prepared for at least some rain any time of the year – a very small price to pay for such lush surroundings.

The good news is that even during the rainiest of seasons, the rainfall tends to be limited to a couple of hours a day – just enough time for you to enjoy a cup of Costa Rica's acclaimed coffee in one of its many cafes.

The most popular time to visit Costa Rica is between December and March – the driest and hottest months along the Pacific Coast. May to October brings the most rainfall across the country, but this is dependent on the region, as the wetter seasons are extended on the Osa Peninsula and northern sections of the Caribbean Coast.

Do you need a visa to travel to Costa Rica?

Generally, Costa Rica grants visas to most countries’ passport holders for a period of 90 days, providing travellers have a valid passport, a return or onward ticket and their trip is for leisure. Some countries’ citizens must apply for a visa before leaving their home country, but most do not.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information. This is for general information only and may be subject to change. It is your responsibility to obtain relevant visa and travel information required for entry, departure and travel to each country or region you visit on your trip. You should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates. 

Last updated: 14/12/2023

Is tipping customary in Costa Rica?

While tipping isn't mandatory in Costa Rica, rounding up the bill and leaving spare change at restaurants and cafes is standard practice. Many restaurants do add a service charge to the final bill which is usually a 10% gratuity; however, 500 colones (or around USD 1) of local currency is an appropriate extra amount.

What is the internet access like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica's cities and tourist centres have wi-fi and internet access available in hotel lobbies and internet cafes. Internet access is less available in rural and remote areas.

Can I use my mobile while in Costa Rica?

Mobile phone coverage is generally good in Costa Rica's cities and metropolitan areas, although expect limited coverage in remote or mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone while in Costa Rica, but, be sure to check with your service provider first to find out about any fees you may incur, as sometimes this can be expensive.

Costa Rica has one state-owned phone provider – Kolbi – as well as a selection of private companies, should you wish to purchase a SIM while abroad. Depending on what connection and coverage you need during your stay in Costa Rica, a prepaid option with one of these providers may be the cheapest way to go.

What are the toilets like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica's toilets are a mixture of flushable and squat toilets, so be prepared to encounter both. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap or hand sanitizer, as these aren't always provided.

What will it cost for a...?

Costa Rica's unit of currency is the colón (CRC). Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

  • Cup of coffee = 500 CRC
  • Naturales (fresh fruit drink) = 1600 CRC
  • Bottle of beer = 1100 CRC
  • Lunch at a soda (local restaurant) = 3200 CRC
  • Dinner in a restaurant = 5000-9000 CRC

Can I drink the water in Costa Rica?

Although tap water is considered safe to drink in Costa Rica's cities, it's probably a good idea to avoid drinking tap water in Costa Rica. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying small bottles of water. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found as some hotels provide this, so you’re able to use a reusable bottle. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and to peel fruit and vegetables rather than eating washed or unwashed produce.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Costa Rica?

Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops, hotels and restaurants, although smaller vendors and market stalls often only accept cash, so be sure to have a combination of both when travelling.

What is ATM access like in Costa Rica?

ATMs are easily found in large cities and airports, although are less common in rural and remote areas. When travelling out of the city, come prepared by having enough cash, as ATMs aren't always an option.

What public holidays are celebrated in Costa Rica?

  • 1 Jan: New Year’s Day
  • 11 April: Juan Santamaria Day
  • April: Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday)
  • April: Good Friday (the Friday before Easter)
  • April: Easter Sunday
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 25 July: Guanacaste Day
  • 2 August: Our Lady of Los Angeles Feast Day
  • 15 August: Mother’s Day
  • 15 September: Independence Day
  • 16 October: Natural Cultures Day
  • 25 December: Christmas Day

Please note:  Costa Rica public holidays may vary.

Is Costa Rica safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

Generally speaking, Costa Rica is a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers. Same-sex relationships are legal and, in 2015 Costa Rica became the first country in Central America to recognize gay relationships; however, recognition of same-sex marriage is currently pending government approval. In many places in Costa Rica, public displays of affection might attract unwanted attention, but there are a few places in Costa Rica with a thriving LBGTQI scene. Quepos has long been known as the LGBTQIA+ capital of Costa Rica, and the actual capital, San Jose, has a good number of gay bars and clubs.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting   Equaldex  or   ILGA   before you travel.

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.

What is the weather like in Costa Rica?

Being in the deep centre of Central America, Costa Rica gets hot and oh so humid. However, there’s a whole number of microclimates inside its borders – that’s a fancy way of saying that the terrain is pretty hilly – so depending where you are in the country, the temperature may fluctuate. Generally speaking, Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate year-round with temperatures averaging at 18°C minimum and 27°C maximum.

Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast has tropical heat almost all year round. March is the driest and hottest month, and May to October brings the wet season to the region. The Western Central Valley, including cities like San Jose, indirectly follow the Pacific Coast’s weather trends.

The Caribbean Coast has pretty steady rainfall all year round with no distinct dry season. September to October and February to March are considered the best months to travel to this side of the country as they are drier than most, but still experience rainfall. The Eastern Central Valley usually follows a similar weather pattern.

Is Costa Rica accessible for travellers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them toward the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Much of Costa Rica’s travel highlights are based around the coast and in nature, so depending on travellers’ level of mobility, this may present obstacles. Many national parks are difficult to visit for travellers using a wheelchair, as jungle paths are mostly remote and not stable. Manuel Antonio does have wider paths and more accessible routes to venture into the rainforest, and the wide boardwalks and beaches are wheelchair friendly. The capital, San Jose, is a bit tricky to get around, with rough sidewalks and a lack of ramps. There are, however, taxi companies in the capital that offer wheelchair-accessible vans.

If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

What to pack for a trip to Costa Rica

Packing for a trip to Costa Rica doesn't have to be difficult as long as you take into account the weather conditions you're likely to experience while you're over there. This means packing lightweight, comfortable clothing, walking shoes for exploring, appropriate sun protection items like sunscreen and hats, and a backpack so you can carry your camera and a reusable drink bottle. 

What language is spoken in Costa Rica?

Spanish is the official language of Costa Rica, however, there are five indigenous languages that are still spoken throughout the country, as well as a mixture of English, Portuguese, German, and French spoken by a percentage of the population. 

How do I stay safe and healthy while travelling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling?

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilise school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

Costa Rica Camino Long Distance Coast to Coast Hike with Home Stays : Part I Active Travel Adventures

  • Places & Travel

Guided Costa Rica Camino with Homestays and Daily Luggage Transfer PART I: Join us as we discuss the new 175 mile/280 km Costa Rica Camino where, over 16 days, you walk from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean, across the entire country (indeed the continent and over the continental divide!).  You'll experience an array of ecosystems and see wildlife and fauna in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. The hike is fully guided and includes all meals and daily luggage transfer.  When I went, I did a combination of small lodges and camping.  Our guest Laurie and her husband opted for a private tour for the two of them and they stayed in homestays, for a completely different experience than the one I covered last year. Less than 1000 hikers have completed the Costa Rica Camino as of this recording!  Learn all about it on the show and on the website and Travel Planner.  I recommend going with my affiliate, UrriTrek.  Use Promo Code ATA100 to save $100 on your full Costa Rica Camino. COMPLETE SHOW NOTES  See important links for planning your adventure, photos, videos and more cool info about today’s show. Get FREE Travel Planners for ATA adventures (and each month you will get an email from Kit with links to all future Travel Planners (no spam promise!).  Get the monthly newsletter here. CONTACT KIT Resources  Promo Codes and Recommended Tour Companies Travel Insurance:  Quickly and easily compare rates and policies from different companies - no need to give any identifying information unless you decide to buy!  The best way to find the right policy for your adventures.  Train For Your Adventure  Ask Becki at Trailblazer Wellness to customize an at home, online personal training program for your upcoming adventure using whatever equipment you already have!  You’ll get phone consultations, instruction videos and a plan to give you the best chance of success.  Becki offers a FREE initial phone consultation to see if you are a good fit.  AND she offers ATA listeners a 10% discount! Buy Me a Beer Want to support the program?  You can always buy me a coffee or beer - thanks! Amazon Kit's Picks   Please use my Amazon link to access your Amazon account.  Even if you don’t purchase any of my recommendations, I get credit for anything you DO purchase - at no additional cost to you, you’ll be helping to support the show and keeping it AD FREE:) SUBSCRIBE to the Adventure Travel Show (the “How to’s of adventure travel) SUBSCRIBE to Active Travel Adventures (fantastic adventure destinations) Join the Active Travel Adventures Facebook Group Follow ATA on Twitter Follow ATA on Instagram Follow ATA on Pinterest (C) Active Travel Adventures, LLC - All Rights Reserved  

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Wander With Alex

Wander With Alex

Small Town, Big Adventures: La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Posted: February 23, 2024 | Last updated: March 12, 2024

<p>La Fortuna is a popular town in Costa Rica, receiving over a million visitors from around the world each year. Travelers are lured by the hot springs, but it is best known for its jungle adventures and the nearby Arenal Volcano National Park.</p> <p>If you are an adventurous, thrill-seeking traveler, you can find a variety of unique and fun things to do in La Fortuna. Raft down the white waters of the Balsa River or hike among the volcanic rock of Arenal. You can also find more gentle approaches to submerging yourself into the exotic rainforest of <a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/travel/central-america/">Central America</a> and having encounters with the animals that make it their home.</p> <p>Here are the ten great things to do in La Fortuna: activities that give an adrenaline rush and calm but exciting outings. Find which one you’d like to add to your next La Fortuna, <a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/things-to-do-in-costa-rica/">Costa Rica trip</a>.</p> <p class="has-text-align-center">[This article contains <a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/affiliate-disclosure/">affiliate links</a> to trusted partners.]</p>

Small Town, Big Adventures: Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna is a popular town in Costa Rica, receiving over a million visitors from around the world each year. Travelers are lured by the hot springs, but it is best known for its jungle adventures and the nearby Arenal Volcano National Park.

If you are an adventurous, thrill-seeking traveler, you can find a variety of unique and fun things to do in La Fortuna. Raft down the white waters of the Balsa River or hike among the volcanic rock of Arenal. You can also find more gentle approaches to submerging yourself into the exotic rainforest of Central America and having encounters with the animals that make it their home.

Here are the ten great things to do in La Fortuna: activities that give an adrenaline rush and calm but exciting outings. Find which one you’d like to add to your next La Fortuna, Costa Rica trip .

[This article contains affiliate links to trusted partners.]

<p>Perfect for those seeking a unique adventure, canyoning screams “Costa Rica.” <a href="https://viator.tp.st/ObzfJasW" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">Many canyoning tours</a> will pick you up, drive you to a waterfall, and teach you how to descend the rock amidst the rushing water.</p><p>This activity is a straight-up jungle adventure, giving you an experience of a lifetime. You’ll begin on a mini waterfall and work to a larger one, allowing you to feel confident.</p><p>Feel the rush of water coming down while you descend into a jungle. This is an incredible Costa Rica experience in La Fortuna.</p>

Canyoning in the Jungles of La Fortuna

Perfect for those seeking a unique adventure, canyoning screams “Costa Rica.”  Many canyoning tours will pick you up, drive you to a waterfall, and teach you how to descend the rock amidst the rushing water.

This activity is a straight-up jungle adventure, giving you an experience of a lifetime. You’ll begin on a mini waterfall and work to a larger one, allowing you to feel confident.

Feel the rush of water coming down while you descend into a jungle. This is an incredible Costa Rica experience in La Fortuna.

<p>Another great adventure in La Fortuna is heading to the waters of the Balsa River. Try beginner rapids (classes 2 and 3) or intermediate/advanced rapids (classes 3 and 4) on the Upper Balsa River.  </p><p>As a bonus, <a href="https://viator.tp.st/wrkYKvlx" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">many tour companies</a> combine rafting with lunch after your adventure. Thrill seekers will love hitting the rapids, relaxing for a swim, and getting a taste of Costa Rica.</p>

Rafting on the Balsa River

Another great adventure in La Fortuna is heading to the waters of the Balsa River. Try beginner rapids (classes 2 and 3) or intermediate/advanced rapids (classes 3 and 4) on the Upper Balsa River.  

As a bonus, many tour companies combine rafting with lunch after your adventure. Thrill seekers will love hitting the rapids, relaxing for a swim, and getting a taste of Costa Rica.

<p>Just a short drive away from the town of La Fortuna is Arenal Volcano National Park. This is one of the main highlights of visiting Costa Rica, and the volcano is featured in many marketing materials for tourists.  So it may look familiar when you get there.</p><p>Arenal Volcano is a beautiful site, and sometimes the smoke coming out of the top can be seen. But the volcano hasn’t erupted in more than a decade, and experts think it’ll be a while until it does again.</p><p>In the meantime, you can enjoy hiking through this gorgeous, green, dense park to enjoy views of the volcano and lake beyond. Many hikes at Arenal Volcano National Park are around a mile or less. Though short, they take you through the beautiful jungle and lava fields to witness the volcanic marvel. There is a per-person fee to enter the national park, which you can pay at the entrance.</p>

Hiking Arenal Volcano National Park

Just a short drive away from the town of La Fortuna is Arenal Volcano National Park. This is one of the main highlights of visiting Costa Rica, and the volcano is featured in many marketing materials for tourists.  So it may look familiar when you get there.

Arenal Volcano is a beautiful site, and sometimes the smoke coming out of the top can be seen. But the volcano hasn’t erupted in more than a decade, and experts think it’ll be a while until it does again.

In the meantime, you can enjoy hiking through this gorgeous, green, dense park to enjoy views of the volcano and lake beyond. Many hikes at Arenal Volcano National Park are around a mile or less. Though short, they take you through the beautiful jungle and lava fields to witness the volcanic marvel. There is a per-person fee to enter the national park, which you can pay at the entrance.

<p>When people think about going to Costa Rica, the first thing they often picture is zip-lining through the canopy of the jungle, surrounded by monkeys, sloths, and other rainforest animals.</p><p>There are many zip line adventures to choose from in La Fortuna, each allowing you to soar through the trees in the safety of a steel cable and harness. You’ll soar past waterfalls, through jungles, across canyons, and enjoy unique views of Arenal Volcano up high.</p>

Zip Lining Through the Jungle

When people think about going to Costa Rica, the first thing they often picture is zip-lining through the canopy of the jungle, surrounded by monkeys, sloths, and other rainforest animals.

There are many zip line adventures to choose from in La Fortuna, each allowing you to soar through the trees in the safety of a steel cable and harness. You’ll soar past waterfalls, through jungles, across canyons, and enjoy unique views of Arenal Volcano up high.

<p>Costa Rica is well known for its coffee, sugarcane, and cacao production, so most places around the country will present tour options. Taking a <a href="https://viator.tp.st/p3eJIA3c" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">coffee and chocolate tour</a> in La Fortuna is a classic activity and perfect for all ages. Learn about these resources’ growing process, harvest, and end product.  </p><p>Most tours include seeing the plantation, helping create a product, and tasting a bit of sugar, coffee, and chocolate.  </p>

Coffee and Chocolate Tour

Costa Rica is well known for its coffee, sugarcane, and cacao production, so most places around the country will present tour options. Taking a coffee and chocolate tour in La Fortuna is a classic activity and perfect for all ages. Learn about these resources' growing process, harvest, and end product.  

Most tours include seeing the plantation, helping create a product, and tasting a bit of sugar, coffee, and chocolate.  

<p>Take a wild <a href="https://viator.tp.st/VQrcDF0e" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">ride on an ATV</a> through the hills and jungles of La Fortuna. Many tours take you near Arenal Volcano (but not quite inside the park) to give you stunning backdrops to this adrenaline-filled activity.</p><p>You’ll have plenty of time to ride and get some thrills, but also time to stop and learn about the area, the history of the Volcano, and the beneficial mud that exists because of it.</p>

ATV Adventure

Take a wild ride on an ATV through the hills and jungles of La Fortuna. Many tours take you near Arenal Volcano (but not quite inside the park) to give you stunning backdrops to this adrenaline-filled activity.

You’ll have plenty of time to ride and get some thrills, but also time to stop and learn about the area, the history of the Volcano, and the beneficial mud that exists because of it.

<p>Back in 2000, a woman named Joanne Bogarin decided to try and restore a large amount of farmland in La Fortuna. With the city’s continuing development, she wanted to make sure plenty of animals had a home nearby. The barren farmland is now a forest within the city limits of La Fortuna, filled with wildlife that naturally made their way to this new home.</p><p>The Bogarin Trail isn’t a hidden gem but a trendy thing to do in La Fortuna. Why do people like the Bogarin Trail? First, it’s accessible, meaning kids, strollers, and wheelchairs will all have an easy time.  The guides are even trained to provide an incredible experience for those who are blind.</p><p>Second, this trail provides ample opportunities to see sloths.  While arguably the best place in Costa Rica to see sloths is <a href="https://letsjetkids.com/la-fortuna-vs-manuel-antonio-best-destination/" rel="noreferrer noopener">Manuel Antonio</a>, the Bogarin Trail walks you through a land where you’re almost guaranteed to see one. </p><p>The land has 30 sloths but is also home to dart frogs, coatis, Toucans, and plenty of other exotic birds and wildlife. It’s a great place to experience the unique animals of Costa Rica without having to go far.</p><p>You can take a <a href="https://viator.tp.st/2Xelsa7b" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">guided or a self-guided hike</a> on the Bogarin Trail, both of which have a fee.  The fee is used to preserve and protect the land for the animals.</p><p>As a bonus, you can also head to Bogarin Trail for a night walk. These night walks present a different group of exotic animals that come out once the sun is down and it’s cooler.</p>

Find Sloths on Bogarin Trail

Back in 2000, a woman named Joanne Bogarin decided to try and restore a large amount of farmland in La Fortuna. With the city's continuing development, she wanted to make sure plenty of animals had a home nearby. The barren farmland is now a forest within the city limits of La Fortuna, filled with wildlife that naturally made their way to this new home.

The Bogarin Trail isn’t a hidden gem but a trendy thing to do in La Fortuna. Why do people like the Bogarin Trail? First, it’s accessible, meaning kids, strollers, and wheelchairs will all have an easy time.  The guides are even trained to provide an incredible experience for those who are blind.

Second, this trail provides ample opportunities to see sloths.  While arguably the best place in Costa Rica to see sloths is Manuel Antonio , the Bogarin Trail walks you through a land where you’re almost guaranteed to see one. 

The land has 30 sloths but is also home to dart frogs, coatis, Toucans, and plenty of other exotic birds and wildlife. It’s a great place to experience the unique animals of Costa Rica without having to go far.

You can take a guided or a self-guided hike on the Bogarin Trail, both of which have a fee.  The fee is used to preserve and protect the land for the animals.

As a bonus, you can also head to Bogarin Trail for a night walk. These night walks present a different group of exotic animals that come out once the sun is down and it’s cooler.

<p>Many don’t know about the caves within Costa Rica. Some have heard of Barra Honda National Park in the Nicoya Peninsula as the place to see caverns, but you may not be traveling in that direction.</p><p>If you are looking for caves near La Fortuna, consider a stop at the <a href="https://www.cavernasdelvenadocr.com/index.html" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Venado Caves</a>. These caves are one of the lesser-known, hidden gems of La Fortuna. The caves were first discovered in 1945 but didn’t really get explored until over 20 years later. Today, you can walk through the ten discovered caverns in these tall, beautiful underground rooms.</p><p>The Venado Caves are about 35 kilometers from La Fortuna. What’s cool about them is not just the fact that they are caverns but that you’ll get a lot of the Costa Rica beauty inside. Inside the caves, you’ll admire the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and enjoy waterfalls falling into underground rivers, bats, insects, and fish. The Venado Caves also have an outdoor swimming pool to take a refreshing dip after exploring. </p>

Explore Nearby Caves

Many don’t know about the caves within Costa Rica. Some have heard of Barra Honda National Park in the Nicoya Peninsula as the place to see caverns, but you may not be traveling in that direction.

If you are looking for caves near La Fortuna, consider a stop at the Venado Caves. These caves are one of the lesser-known, hidden gems of La Fortuna. The caves were first discovered in 1945 but didn’t really get explored until over 20 years later. Today, you can walk through the ten discovered caverns in these tall, beautiful underground rooms.

The Venado Caves are about 35 kilometers from La Fortuna. What’s cool about them is not just the fact that they are caverns but that you’ll get a lot of the Costa Rica beauty inside. Inside the caves, you’ll admire the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and enjoy waterfalls falling into underground rivers, bats, insects, and fish. The Venado Caves also have an outdoor swimming pool to take a refreshing dip after exploring. 

<p>A short drive from La Fortuna provides access to the Peñas Blancas River. This is an ideal way to spot wildlife along the river.  And in this case, you’ll be <em>on</em> the river.</p><p>There are different ways of floating down the river. Families may enjoy a river safari on a raft, but other visitors will love sitting atop the water as you leisurely paddle in a kayak. </p><p>The kayak adventure down the river will present plenty of wildlife spotting. Enjoy the monkeys that swing on the branches right about you, birds unique to Costa Rica, exotic lizards, and even crocodiles. Having a guide will make finding the best spots for seeing animals in the river’s habitat easy.</p>

Kayak the Peñas Blancas

A short drive from La Fortuna provides access to the Peñas Blancas River. This is an ideal way to spot wildlife along the river.  And in this case, you’ll be on the river.

There are different ways of floating down the river. Families may enjoy a river safari on a raft, but other visitors will love sitting atop the water as you leisurely paddle in a kayak.

The kayak adventure down the river will present plenty of wildlife spotting. Enjoy the monkeys that swing on the branches right about you, birds unique to Costa Rica, exotic lizards, and even crocodiles. Having a guide will make finding the best spots for seeing animals in the river's habitat easy.

<p>La Fortuna may not present both <a href="https://letsjetkids.com/costa-rica-beach-and-jungle/" rel="noreferrer noopener">beach and jungle</a>, but it <em>is</em> home to an incredible lake, giving you some calm water activity options.</p><p>Lake Arenal is a beautiful doormat to the popular Arenal Volcano. If you want a relaxing adventure, rent a <a href="https://viator.tp.st/DfQajgBg" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow sponsored">stand-up paddleboard, or take a tour</a>, and get out on the water for a day.  </p><p>The mountains surrounding the lake are covered in rainforests, and you’ll have stunning views of the Arenal Volcano. This will easily become the most beautiful place you’ve ever gone paddle boarding.  </p><p>Just because you’re not in the middle of a jungle doesn’t mean you won’t encounter wildlife. Watch for Blue Herons and Toucans above and Machacha and Rainbow Bass below as you enjoy the water.</p>

SUP Lake Arenal

La Fortuna may not present both beach and jungle , but it is home to an incredible lake, giving you some calm water activity options.

Lake Arenal is a beautiful doormat to the popular Arenal Volcano. If you want a relaxing adventure, rent a stand-up paddleboard, or take a tour , and get out on the water for a day.  

The mountains surrounding the lake are covered in rainforests, and you’ll have stunning views of the Arenal Volcano. This will easily become the most beautiful place you’ve ever gone paddle boarding.  

Just because you’re not in the middle of a jungle doesn’t mean you won’t encounter wildlife. Watch for Blue Herons and Toucans above and Machacha and Rainbow Bass below as you enjoy the water.

<p>After a day of adventures in La Fortuna, get a truly local experience by stopping at one of the <a href="https://letsjetkids.com/best-sodas-in-la-fortuna-eat-on-a-budget/" rel="noreferrer noopener">sodas in La Fortuna</a>. These restaurants are delicious, affordable, and true local cuisine.</p><p>Relax sore muscles, and a tired body at the beautiful Tabacon Hot Springs.  You can stay as a guest or visit on a day pass. The hot springs here are magazine-worthy, designed with beauty and relaxation in mind.</p>

Winding Down from Your Adventures

After a day of adventures in La Fortuna, get a truly local experience by stopping at one of the sodas in La Fortuna . These restaurants are delicious, affordable, and true local cuisine.

Relax sore muscles, and a tired body at the beautiful Tabacon Hot Springs.  You can stay as a guest or visit on a day pass. The hot springs here are magazine-worthy, designed with beauty and relaxation in mind.

<p>La Fortuna is a central hub of adventure in Costa Rica. You can stay here for a week and do something new each day. Whether you want some high-adrenaline activities like canyoning down a waterfall or something a little more gentle like strolling down the Bogarin Trail to spot wildlife, you can pack your days with endless, unique opportunities in Costa Rica.  </p><p>There are many other things to do in La Fortuna, but these give you a good feel of everything it offers and some unique experiences to make your trip memorable.</p><p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/la-fortuna-costa-rica/">Wander With Alex</a>. </em></p><p><strong>More Articles From Wander With Alex</strong></p><ul> <li><a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/tropical-islands-vacation/">Paradise Found: 15 Tropical Islands for Your Dream Vacation</a></li> <li><a href="https://wanderwithalex.com/things-to-do-in-aruba/">Island Adventures: Things to Do in Aruba on Your Caribbean Vacation</a></li> </ul>

Top Things to Do in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

La Fortuna is a central hub of adventure in Costa Rica. You can stay here for a week and do something new each day. Whether you want some high-adrenaline activities like canyoning down a waterfall or something a little more gentle like strolling down the Bogarin Trail to spot wildlife, you can pack your days with endless, unique opportunities in Costa Rica.  

There are many other things to do in La Fortuna, but these give you a good feel of everything it offers and some unique experiences to make your trip memorable.

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