fbpx

The 10 Best Things To Do In Costa Rica

Share this article:

The 10 Best Things To Do In Costa Rica

(Strictly for wildlife-loving, adrenaline-pumping adventurous souls ONLY, these highlights aren’t for the fainthearted!)

Wondering what are the best things to do in Costa Rica? You’ve come to the right place. Welcome, fellow adventure seekers, to an enchanting and mysterious land nestled in deepest Central America…

While the vibrant capital city of San Jose may be the first stop on your itinerary, prepare to be whisked away into a world of thrilling escapades that lie beyond its bustling streets. 

Costa Rica is a paradise teeming with breathtaking natural wonders, diverse wildlife, and adrenaline-pumping experiences that will leave you craving more. In this blog, we’ll run you through our pick of the best, so join us on a journey through the untamed rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and pristine beaches that make Costa Rica a haven for thrill-seekers and nature lovers alike! 

1. Visit Costa Rica’s National Parks

Costa Rica is home to several of the world’s most biodiverse national parks, and four sites that have got themselves inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Bon appétit! 

One of our absolute favourite national parks in Costa Rica is Pacuare River National Park, located in the centre of the country and named after its main attraction: a wild river that flows through rainforests and connects two major ecosystems. You can hike along trails near waterfalls or go whitewater rafting on its raging rapids! More on that in a mo…

Then you’ve got Arenal Volcano National Park in northern Costa Rica near La Fortuna de San Carlos, where you can see active fumaroles (volcanic vents) spewing hot steam into the sky. That is one seriously amazing sight, and when you’re hiking through dense jungle vegetation full of wildlife like monkeys and toucans too, there’s not much more your heart and your head could take! 

Visit several national parks in our Best of Costa Rica adventure!

generic Costa Rica national park tree walk
sloth hanging in tree - Costa Rica

2. The wildlife in Costa Rica

Immerse yourself in Costa Rica’s captivating tapestry of wildlife, flora, and fauna. As you venture into its verdant rainforests, you can’t help but be awestruck by the kaleidoscope of colours and sounds. 

They’re hard to spot, but majestic jaguars prowl stealthily through the undergrowth, while troops of playful monkeys swing from branch to branch, their mischievous chatter filling the air. Exotic birds with vibrant plumage adorn the treetops, their melodious songs creating a symphony of nature’s harmony. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive quetzal bird too, a true, vibrant green gem of the jungle. Delicate orchids and towering trees weave together a lush canopy, hiding secretive sloths, enchanting frogs, dazzling butterflies and iridescent hummingbirds, all inviting you to join an exhilarating dance with nature.

See how many rare birds and beasts you can tick off on our Bucket List escapade in Costa Rica

3. Visit La Fortuna Waterfall and go rafting in Pacuare

Rafting in Costa Rica is a great way to experience the country’s natural beauty. The Pacuare River is one of the most popular rafting destinations in Central America, and for good reason: it has some of the best white water in all of Latin America! You’ll feel true exhilaration coursing through your veins as you match the wild spirit of the surrounding rainforest. Gah! There’s nothing like it. 

Along the Pacuare you’ll find La Fortuna, one of nature’s finest masterpieces, a thundering cascade of pure, untamed power plunging into an emerald pool. One of the best things to do in Costa Rica? We think so. 

Lose your marbles over the majestic waters on day 5 of our Best of Costa Rica adventure!

La Fortuna Waterfall with people in - Costa Rica
sky adventures zip lining women Costa Rica

4. Sky Adventures Park in La Fortuna

Located in La Fortuna, Sky Adventures Park is the perfect place for adrenaline junkies looking for the best things to do in Costa Rica. 

Brace yourself for heart-pounding excitement as you soar through the treetops on a zipline, feeling the rush of adrenaline as you take in amazing views of lush rainforests. But that’s not all! Prepare to challenge your limits as you navigate suspended bridges, defying gravity with each daring step. And for the ultimate adrenaline junkies, take a leap of faith with a thrilling bungee jump, feeling the exhilaration as you plunge towards the ground.

The park also offers a unique experience called “telesilla” where you’re taken up in a cable car to the top of a mountain for panoramic views of Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal. It’s up to you whether you take a cable car down safely or hike it! 

Fly through La Fortuna on day 6 of our Best of Costa Rica adventure!

5. Rio Celeste

Deep within the Tenorio Volcano National Park lies one of Costa Rica’s most exciting hidden gems: the Rio Celeste River. With bright blue waters, coloured by minerals, Rio Celeste will ignite your sightline, and your sense of adventure too! 

As you set foot along its banks, the turquoise waters of the Rio Celeste will mesmerise you, as if nature herself had painted a masterpiece. Follow the trail that winds through the dense rainforest, immersing yourself in a symphony of wildlife calls and the enchanting scent of tropical flora. 

 

Soon after, you’ll stumble upon the source of the river’s ethereal hue, a hypnotic waterfall where the celestial blue waters cascade with sheer grace. Explore further, and you’ll discover bubbling hot springs and mud pots that create an altogether otherworldly landscape. 

Discover Rio Celeste on day 7 of our Best of Costa Rica epic!

Untitled design
cave exploration in barra gonda - Costa Rica

6. Barra Honda National Park

It’s a world of hidden wonders at Barra Honda National Park, where adventure awaits in the depths beneath the earth’s surface. 

 

Strap on your gear and prepare for an exhilarating journey as you descend into a labyrinth of complex limestone caverns. Marvel at the intricate formations sculpted over millions of years, as stalactites and stalagmites create an underground wonderland. 

 

With each step through narrow passageways and cavernous chambers, the echoes reverberate through the darkness. And as beams of light pierce through the darkness, revealing ancient rock formations, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder that words just cannot describe. 

 

Barra Honda National Park beckons the most intrepid explorers, promising a subterranean adventure that will leave you spellbound and craving more.

Step into Barra Honda’s underground labyrinth on day 8 of our Best of Costa Rica adventure!

7. Cahuita National Park

Over on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the untamed Cahuita National Park boasts beautiful beaches and coral reefs. 

With each stride along the sandy shores, the rhythm of the Caribbean Sea beckons you further into its turquoise depths. Grab your snorkelling gear and prepare to dive into a vibrant underwater wonderland, where colourful coral reefs teem with life. 

Glide alongside graceful sea turtles, darting schools of tropical fish, and the occasional playful dolphin. As you explore the lush mangrove forests, keep your eyes peeled for curious monkeys swinging through the branches, and sloths peacefully napping overhead. The sights and sounds of Cahuita National Park transport you to a world where nature reigns supreme, igniting a sense of adventure that can only be quenched by immersing yourself in its unspoiled embrace.

Check out our Cahuita National Park visit on day 4 of our Best of Costa Rica extravaganza!

Untitled design
Untitled design

8. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca – Caribbean Coast (Northern Costa Rica)

Nestled along Costa Rica’s stunning Caribbean coast, the small, lively town of Puerto Viejo is a gateway to unforgettable adventures. 

 

By day, you could grab a surfboard and ride the thrilling waves of Salsa Brava, one of the world’s most powerful and challenging breaks. And by night, you can immerse yourself in the pulsating rhythms of reggae and dance the night away at beachside bars. 

 

You could also explore the hidden treasures of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, where lush rainforests reveal a treasure trove of wildlife. Then savour the tantalising flavours of Afro-Caribbean cuisine, awakening your taste buds to the spicy and soulful delights of the region. 

For us, the very best bit is the colourful wooden houses (some of which are perched on stilts!) that make Puerto Viejo so unique. 

 

Visit Puerto Viejo on day 3 of your Bucket List Co epic to Costa Rica

9. Turrialba Volcano National Park (Central Costa Rica)

Conquer the fiery heart of adventure at Turrialba Volcano National Park! That unmistakable scent of volcanic ash fills the air and heightens your anticipation, the canopies alive with the sounds of exotic birds and rustling leaves. 

 

Within the park, you’ll be captivated by the unbelievable volcanic vistas that unfold before your eyes, and sweeping views of verdant valleys and distant mountain peaks. Look closely and you’ll spot billowing smoke from the volcano’s mouth and hear the rumbling echoes of the earth that remind you of the raw power lying within. 

 

Enjoy amazing views of the volcano, meet local farmers and spot toucans on day 2 of our Best of Costa Rica adventure

Turrialba Volcano National Park - costa rica
Untitled design

10. Samara Beach in the Guanacaste area

Samara Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Costa Rica for good reason: this sun-kissed haven is absolutely beautiful, and there’s something there for everyone. 

The waters are crystal clear and utterly perfect for swimming or snorkelling, though if you’re looking for something more adventurous, try surfing! The beach has clay ovens where you can bake your own pizzas while watching traditional dances performed by local residents. There aren’t many places on earth where you can do THAT!

You’ll find Samara Beach just outside of Playa Hermosa in Guanacaste Province on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast. With lush vegetation lining its pristine beaches, this place is just gorgeous!

Spend two unforgettable days at Samara Beach on our Best of Costa Rica adventure

If you want to experience all the best things to do in Costa Rica, why don’t you GO there?!

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Costa Rica, this list is a good place to start – but a plane ticket’s even better! 

On our 12-day Bucket List epic, you’ll see and do all the most amazing things Costa Rica has to offer, on a extraordinary adventure that you’ll never forget. 

Every detail has been thought through on our trips, and you can pay for your adventure in monthly chunks to keep things manageable. If you want to do something absolutely incredible and tick Costa Rica off your Bucket List, click here

If you don’t do it now…will you ever? 

More To Explore