Costa Rica is an exceptionally beautiful country. It offers something for every traveler, and making travel plans here is really easy. There are also plenty of activities you can do, such as visiting beautiful beaches, staying at a luxurious resort, discovering waterfalls, hot springs, and so much more.
Making a top 5 list can be difficult for a place like Costa Rica, but here is ours.
Visit the Caribbean Coast
The Caribbean Coast is on the eastern side of the country, and it’s a hotspot of numerous smaller places to visit. This side is not as touristy as the west side, so you can expect to find raw nature and spectacular national parks, such as the famous Tortuguero National Park. Here, you will be able to indulge in fantastic sightseeing, as you’ll see a lot of unique wildlife while you’re exploring pristine beaches, rainforests, and mangroves. Do note, however, that the park is only accessible by boat or plane.
Another similar and nearby spot is the Gandoca-Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge. It has a similar backdrop of beaches and rainforests, and you’ll be able to see monkeys, dolphins, a plethora of unique exotic birds, and so much more.
You can also find the uniquely laid-back town of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean Coast, a favorite of backpackers due to its relaxed atmosphere. It’s also a place where you can find all sorts of parties, but also a plethora of other activities, such as a Jaguar Rescue Center, Cahuita National Park, and water rafting.
There is also an old tribe that lives in this region called the Bri Bri Tribe, which is an old culture that has lived in the region for over five thousand years. It’s a peaceful culture that has a great focus on spirituality and natural healing, as well as cacao harvesting. There are quite a few tours that allow you to experience this tribe first-hand, and you’ll be able to learn about their ancient practices and traditions from them directly.
Go on a Sunset Cruise
Going on sunset cruises is one of the most popular and romantic things you can do in Costa Rica. You can also find other types of sunset cruises, tailored for families, explorers, divers, and so on. These cruises tend to be very relaxed, and you can expect to swim and dive in specific locations.
Getting in touch with a travel agency to see the cruises they have available is a smart idea. Some are more varied and offer multiple locations and activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and even seeing unique marine wildlife. You could potentially see dolphins, turtles, whales, and flying fish. You can also expect to receive some food and drinks. And the tours usually take between two to six hours.
Do some Canyoneering
Canyoneering is an extreme activity that has grown in popularity in recent years. The basic premise is that you’re traveling down a fast-flowing water body, typically a river, which is flowing at extreme speeds. It’s an adrenaline-filled adventure that you’ll be sure to remember. The terrain in Costa Rica is very well suited to canyoneering, as it has numerous mountains. The rivers flowing down have managed to carve a path through the rocks, which is how these canyons exist, and also the reason for the country’s numerous waterfalls.
One of the most popular locations to go on a canyoneering tour is La Fortuna, a town notable for all the adventures it offers. Here you’ll find the beautiful Arenal Volcano, a location known across the world for its canyons. One canyon even features a waterfall that’s 200 feet tall. Of course, some tours are aimed towards experienced canyoneers, like this one. So don’t expect to do it on your first try. When trying for the first time, you’ll always be given the proper equipment, have a guide, and you’re not expected to be a pro at canyoneering. It’s a very beginner-friendly activity, provided you have the stamina for it.
Go Off-road with an ATV
Off-roading is a very well-known activity throughout the world, and Costa Rica is no exception. It is an adrenaline-fueled activity, but it’s far less extreme than canyoneering. Costa Rica has beautiful terrain that allows for a lot of off-roading, and on top of that, it has a lot of ATV tour companies that operate throughout its territory. However, you should always double-check the company you’re booking from. Costa Rica has many unlicensed ATV tour companies, so don’t take any unnecessary risks, especially if it’s your safety in question.
While ATV tours are not the most extreme activity, it’s not exactly the easiest either. Before starting you’ll have a chance to test things out so you get a feel of the terrain and the vehicle. Also, most ATV tours start off with a crash course on safety. It’s an activity well-suited for the adventurous, and Costa Rica is an ideal place to do it!
Try the Copo
Copo is a unique and delicious drink found in Costa Rica, particularly in beach towns. It’s a shaved ice beverage that contains condensed milk, powdered milk, and kola syrup. Depending on where you are, it might have a different name, like raspados, granizados, or piraguas. Make sure to ask the hotel concierge for tips on where to get it because every vendor tends to have their own spin on the drink. It’s a unique drink that comes with different additions like fruits or ice cream, so make sure to try several until you find your favorite type.
The vendors usually push a cart with a freezer that should say Copo on the side. They cost around 500 colones, but the price can go up if you want extra toppings. The Copo is not the healthiest of treats, but they are delicious, and a good way to cool down in the heat!
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a diverse range of activities. Some are more adventure-based than others, but you should have no shortage of things to do. It’s a great country to visit any time of the year, and you won’t regret it!