things to do in costa rica

Looking for an adventure-packed vacation? Look no further than Costa Rica! This beautiful Central American country has everything you need to satisfy your wanderlust. From thrilling activities to breathtaking attractions, Costa Rica offers a plethora of options for an unforgettable vacation.

Whether you’re a nature lover, an adrenaline junkie, or someone seeking cultural immersion, Costa Rica has something for everyone. Explore the lush rainforests, soak in the beautiful beaches, and witness the rich biodiversity that makes this country truly unique.

If you’re wondering about the top things to do in Costa Rica, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the must-visit attractions, adventure tours, national parks, wildlife encounters, and cultural experiences that this incredible country has to offer.

Get ready to be amazed by the natural wonders, awe-inspiring activities, and vibrant culture that await you in Costa Rica. Whether you’re looking for thrilling adventures, relaxing beach getaways, or immersive cultural experiences, Costa Rica is the perfect destination to satisfy your wanderlust.

So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Costa Rica! Check out our comprehensive guide to the top things to do in Costa Rica and start planning your dream vacation today.

Top Things to Do in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures, breathtaking sightseeing opportunities, or eco-friendly tours, Costa Rica has it all. Here are some of the top experiences that should be on your itinerary:

1. Visit the Poás Volcano

A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without witnessing the magnificent crater of the Poás Volcano. This active volcano is located in the Poás Volcano National Park and offers visitors the chance to see steaming fumaroles and vibrant turquoise-colored pools. It’s an unforgettable sight and a true testament to the country’s stunning natural wonders.

2. Surfing Adventure in Santa Teresa or Nosara

For adrenaline junkies and surf enthusiasts, a surfing adventure in Santa Teresa or Nosara is a must. These coastal towns are known for their world-class waves and offer the perfect conditions for both beginners and experienced surfers. Grab your board and catch some epic waves while enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Ocean.

3. Discover the Nauyaca Waterfalls

Immerse yourself in the beauty of Costa Rica’s natural landscapes by visiting the Nauyaca Waterfalls. Located near Dominical, these impressive waterfalls cascade into crystal-clear pools, creating a stunning backdrop for swimming, hiking, and picnicking. It’s the perfect spot to relax, unwind, and connect with nature.

4. Explore Caño Island

Caño Island, situated in the Pacific Ocean, is a paradise for snorkelers and divers. With its pristine waters and thriving marine life, it offers unforgettable underwater adventures. Discover vibrant coral reefs, swim alongside tropical fish, and even spot dolphins and whales during the migration season. It’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers and ocean enthusiasts.

5. Experience Downtown San Jose

For a unique cultural experience, venture into the streets of downtown San Jose. This bustling capital city is filled with colorful architecture, vibrant markets, and fascinating museums. Take a leisurely stroll through the Plaza de la Cultura, delve into the country’s history at the Museo Nacional, or indulge in traditional Costa Rican cuisine at one of the many local restaurants.

costa rica adventure tours

As you embark on your Costa Rica adventure, make sure to include these top experiences in your itinerary. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures, incredible sightseeing opportunities, or eco-friendly tours, Costa Rica will not disappoint. Get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this Central American gem.

Explore Costa Rica’s National Parks

Costa Rica is home to several stunning national parks, each offering a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the country’s natural beauty and discover its abundant wildlife. Whether you are an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, Costa Rica’s national parks are a must-visit.

One of the most remarkable national parks in Costa Rica is the Pacuare River National Park. This park is known for its breathtaking landscapes, filled with lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and pristine rivers. Hiking through the park allows visitors to experience the rich biodiversity, with the chance to spot exotic animals such as howler monkeys, sloths, and toucans.

No visit to Costa Rica is complete without exploring the Arenal Volcano National Park. Dominated by the majestic Arenal Volcano, this park offers visitors the opportunity to witness volcanic activity up close and personal. Take a hike through the park’s trails, venture across hanging bridges, and witness the incredible wildlife that inhabits this volcanic region. Don’t forget to relax at the nearby hot springs for a truly rejuvenating experience.

Cahuita National Park is another must-visit destination for nature lovers. Located along Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, this national park is famous for its coral reefs and vibrant marine life. Snorkel or scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters to explore the underwater wonders, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and even harmless reef sharks. On land, embrace the tranquility of the park’s white sandy beaches and dense rainforests, while encountering an array of wildlife.

Costa Rica’s National Parks: A Natural Wonderland

“Costa Rica’s national parks showcase the country’s incredible natural wonders. From cascading waterfalls and towering volcanoes to pristine rainforests and diverse ecosystems, these protected areas are a testament to Costa Rica’s commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism.”

Visiting these national parks not only allows you to reconnect with nature but also enables you to contribute to the preservation of Costa Rica’s unique ecosystems. As you explore the trails and observe the wildlife, remember to respect the environment and follow the park’s guidelines to ensure the sustainability of these natural treasures.

To truly make the most of your Costa Rica adventure, consider joining eco tours that are specifically designed to explore these national parks. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide informative insights into the flora, fauna, and cultural significance of each park.

National Park Main Attractions
Pacuare River National Park Lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, exotic wildlife
Arenal Volcano National Park Majestic volcano, hiking trails, hanging bridges
Cahuita National Park Coral reefs, marine life, pristine beaches

Costa Rica National Parks

Exploring Costa Rica’s national parks is an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of the country’s natural wonders. From the dense rainforests to the volcanic landscapes and enchanting beaches, each park offers a unique adventure filled with remarkable sights and encounters with diverse wildlife. Embark on a Costa Rica eco tour, immerse yourself in the country’s natural beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Discover Costa Rica’s Wildlife

Costa Rica is renowned for its astonishing array of wildlife, making it a true paradise for animal enthusiasts. From majestic jaguars and playful monkeys to vibrant birds and captivating marine creatures, the country offers an extraordinary diversity of species waiting to be discovered.

Embark on an unforgettable adventure as you explore the pristine rainforests, enchanting mangroves, and breathtaking coastal areas of Costa Rica. Witnessing these natural wonders firsthand allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty and richness of the country’s wildlife.

Keep your eyes peeled for a chance encounter with the elusive quetzal bird, known for its vibrant plumage and symbolic significance in Mesoamerican culture. Marvel at the graceful movements of sea turtles as they make their way to nesting beaches along the coast. Take a leisurely stroll through the rainforest and spot the slow-motion antics of adorable sloths hanging from tree branches. And don’t forget to watch out for the enchanting dolphins gracefully playing in the crystal-clear waters during your Costa Rica coastal explorations.

The Beauty of Costa Rica’s Wildlife

Imagine standing amidst towering trees, listening to the vibrant chorus of birdsong while witnessing the remarkable biodiversity that thrives in Costa Rica’s vast natural landscapes. With over 5% of the world’s biodiversity, this small country is home to approximately 500,000 species, making it an unparalleled destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

Get ready to be captivated by the brilliant plumage of toucans, scarlet macaws, and hummingbirds as they dart through the forest canopy. Listen to the calls of howler monkeys echoing through the trees as they swing effortlessly from branch to branch. Observe the intricate web of life in action as tiny frogs, colorful butterflies, and exotic insects create an intricate tapestry of life within the rainforest.

Costa Rica’s wildlife is a testament to the country’s commitment to conservation, and each encounter offers a glimpse into the wonders of the natural world. From fascinating adaptations to incredible survival strategies, the animals of Costa Rica never fail to amaze and inspire.

Wildlife Hotspots in Costa Rica

Discovering Costa Rica’s wildlife is a truly rewarding experience. Here are some notable destinations that offer incredible opportunities for wildlife sightings:

Destination Wildlife Highlights
Tortuguero National Park
  • Sea turtles nesting
  • Spectacular birdwatching
  • Monkey and sloth sightings
Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Capuchin monkeys
  • Three-toed sloths
  • Colorful birds
Corcovado National Park
  • Jaguars and pumas
  • Scarlet macaws
  • Tapirs
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Resplendent quetzals
  • Hummingbirds
  • Unique cloud forest flora and fauna
Cahuita National Park
  • Vibrant coral reefs
  • Sea turtles
  • Colorful fish

Embarking on a wildlife-focused eco tour in these remarkable locations is sure to provide unforgettable encounters with Costa Rica’s diverse and fascinating fauna.

Experience Thrilling Adventure Activities

For adrenaline junkies, Costa Rica offers a wide range of adventure activities. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply looking for an exhilarating experience, this Central American paradise has something for everyone. From soaring through the rainforest on a zip-line to kayaking along picturesque waterways, Costa Rica’s adventure tours will leave you breathless and craving for more.

One of the most popular adventure activities in Costa Rica is zip-lining. Strap in, take a leap of faith, and fly through the lush green canopy, witnessing breathtaking views from above. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you glide through the air, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the vibrant rainforest.

Another incredible adventure awaits as you navigate the country’s picturesque waterways by kayak. Explore hidden coves, navigate gentle rapids, and marvel at the stunning scenery that unfolds before your eyes. Paddle through mangrove forests, spotting unique wildlife along the way, for a truly memorable experience.

If you prefer a more grounded adventure, hiking through hanging bridges is an excellent choice. Challenge yourself as you traverse suspension bridges that connect different parts of the rainforest, giving you a unique perspective of the ecosystem and offering breathtaking views of the surrounding natural beauty.

“Costa Rica’s adventure tours will leave you breathless and craving for more.”

Apart from these exciting activities, Costa Rica also offers opportunities for snorkeling, river rafting, and sailing tours. Dive into crystal-clear waters to discover a kaleidoscope of marine life, feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate thrilling river rapids, or set sail on the open sea, immersing yourself in the country’s natural wonders.

Embark on Costa Rica’s adventure tours and let your adrenaline soar as you experience the thrill of a lifetime. Whether you’re conquering the heights, exploring the depths, or challenging the rapids, these activities will provide unforgettable memories and stories to share for years to come.

costa rica adventure tours

“Costa Rica’s adventure tours will leave you breathless and craving for more.”

“Set sail on the open sea, immersing yourself in the country’s natural wonders.”

Explore Costa Rica’s Cultural Experiences

In addition to its natural beauty, Costa Rica offers a plethora of cultural experiences that are sure to captivate visitors. Immerse yourself in the vibrant Costa Rican culture and discover the rich history and traditions of this beautiful country.

One of the remarkable cultural experiences in Costa Rica is learning about its renowned coffee production. Engage in a coffee tour and gain insight into the fascinating process of cultivating, harvesting, and roasting coffee beans. Delight in the aromatic flavors of Costa Rican coffee and appreciate the labor-intensive craftsmanship behind every cup.

When it comes to cuisine, Costa Rica offers a delectable array of traditional dishes that showcase the country’s unique flavors. Indulge in gallo pinto, a mouthwatering combination of rice and beans, served with a side of fresh tropical fruits for a burst of refreshing sweetness. Savor the delightful flavors of casado, a traditional dish that typically consists of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, and a choice of meat or fish. These culinary delights provide a window into the vibrant culinary heritage of Costa Rica.

For a deeper understanding of Costa Rican history and culture, exploring downtown San Jose is a must. The capital city is home to remarkable architecture, museums, and theaters that offer a glimpse into the country’s past. Marvel at the neoclassical beauty of the National Theatre of Costa Rica and discover fascinating exhibits at the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Stroll through the charming streets of Barrio Amón and observe the unique architecture that reflects the city’s historical charm.

“Costa Rica’s rich cultural heritage invites visitors to truly immerse themselves in the local traditions and way of life.”

Interacting with locals and supporting their businesses

One of the best ways to experience the authentic Costa Rican culture is by interacting with the friendly locals. Engage in conversations with artisans, farmers, and community members, and gain a deeper appreciation for their traditions and way of life. Support local businesses by purchasing handmade crafts, souvenirs, and locally produced goods, contributing to the sustainable development of local communities.

By embracing the cultural experiences that Costa Rica offers, visitors can go beyond the pristine beaches and lush rainforests to discover the heartbeat of the nation. From coffee tours to culinary delights and exploration of historical landmarks, Costa Rica’s cultural experiences are a vibrant tapestry that is waiting to be explored.

Cultural Experience Description
Coffee Tours Learn about the country’s coffee production process and sample the unique flavors of Costa Rican coffee.
Cuisine Exploration Indulge in traditional dishes like gallo pinto and casado to experience the authentic taste of Costa Rica.
Exploring Downtown San Jose Discover stunning architecture, museums, and theaters that offer insight into Costa Rican history and culture.
Interacting with Locals Engage in conversations with locals, learn about their traditions, and support local businesses.


Costa Rica offers some of the best things to do in Central America, making it a must-visit destination for adventurers and nature lovers alike. With its diverse landscapes and rich biodiversity, this tropical paradise provides endless opportunities for unforgettable experiences.

One of the must-do activities in Costa Rica is exploring its stunning national parks. From hiking through lush rainforests to witnessing the majestic Arenal Volcano, these natural wonders offer a glimpse into the country’s breathtaking beauty.

For adrenaline seekers, Costa Rica is a playground for adventure. From zip-lining through the treetops to white-water rafting on raging rivers, there is no shortage of thrilling activities to get your heart pumping.

But it’s not just about the outdoor adventures. Costa Rica also offers a rich cultural experience. You can immerse yourself in the local culture by tasting delicious Costa Rican cuisine, visiting vibrant markets, or exploring the charming streets of downtown San Jose.

So whether you’re seeking outdoor thrills, tranquil natural beauty, or immersive cultural experiences, Costa Rica has it all. Plan your visit now and embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


What are some must-visit attractions in Costa Rica?

Some must-visit attractions in Costa Rica include the Poás Volcano, Nauyaca Waterfalls, Caño Island, and downtown San Jose.

What are the top national parks to explore in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has several stunning national parks, including Pacuare River National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park, and Cahuita National Park.

Is Costa Rica known for its wildlife?

Yes, Costa Rica is famous for its incredible wildlife. Visitors can spot species like jaguars, monkeys, quetzal birds, sloths, sea turtles, and dolphins.

What adventure activities can I enjoy in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica offers a variety of thrilling adventure activities, such as zip-lining, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, river rafting, and sailing tours.

Are there cultural experiences to explore in Costa Rica?

Absolutely! You can immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture by learning about coffee production, indulging in local cuisine, and exploring downtown San Jose’s architecture, museums, and theaters.

Why should I visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of activities, attractions, and natural wonders, making it a must-visit destination for those craving adventure and natural beauty.