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What to do in Costa Rica? The guide to activities in Costa Rica

What to do in Costa Rica? The guide to activities in Costa Rica

What can you do in Costa Rica? What are the highlights of this destination?

Let’s start with a small, non-exhaustive summary of the most popular activities:

1. Sports activities

-Hiking / Trekking

-Accrobranche / zip line

-Rafting / Tubing / Floating

-Canyoning / abseiling

-Scuba diving

-Fishing sport

-Equestrian excursions

-Mountain bike


Suspended bridges

Nature outings

Racoon Costa Rica

-National parks and protected areas

-Private reserves and national parks

-Observation of whales and dolphins

Botanical Gardens

-Observation of birds

-Serpentariums and butterfly farm

-Observation of turtles and snakes


Cultural and leisure outings

San Jsoé national theater

-Archaeological evidence


Pre-Columbian Art

-Natural reserves

-Caribbean Crafts

-Tourism and rural community

-Culture of coffee

-Tour cocoa


-Massage / Spa / wellness


Costa Rica is also particularly famous for these activities

Hiking / Trekking

Hiking / Trekking

Costa Rica has an offer of hiking possibilities almost inexhaustible. With its network of protected areas, national parks and private reserves, hikers of all levels have plenty to enjoy, all in exceptional natural settings.

Tree climbing / Canopy tour

canopy costa rica

The tree climbing courses are particularly attractive in Costa Rica since they offer the opportunity to indulge in a sensational activity while discovering whole sections of canopy. It is in Arenal or Monteverde that the acrobranches courses are the most numerous but you will be able to find some everywhere in the country.


costa rica rafting

With a water network also provided, it is not surprising that Costa Rica has more than 800 km of river rafting. The Rios Pacuare, Reventazon, Sarapiqui offer the best rapids in the country with class I to class V sections.

It’s the same for kayakers, sports type in fast on these same rivers or family type on Lake Arenal for example.


Scuba diving

Scuba Diving Costa Rica

A desire to explore the seabed among which walk some 123 species of multicolored fish? Here are some places in Costa Rica famous for the activity where professionals of the discipline operate: South Pacific: Marino Balllena National Park, Isla del Cano and Bahia Drake on the Osa Peninsula. Playa Ocotal, Playa del Coco on the shores of the North Pacific or the region of Cahuita south of the Caribbean coast with some remains of coral to observe.

Sport fishing

Depending on the season and via authorized and labeled companies, fishing trips can be organized in many rivers in Costa Rica or from the seaside resorts of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Among the fish that can be caught are tuna, trout, sea bream, Guapote or the famous gaspard, prehistoric fish swimming in the waters of Rio San Juan near the border with Nicaragua.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding

On the beach, in the mountains or at festivals and traditional “topes”, horseback riding enthusiasts will find their happiness in a country where the horse has been an integral part of the culture for decades.


surf costa rica

Malpais and Santa Teresa, Witchs rock and Ollies point near Playa Naranjo, Playa Avellana and Playa Negra, Cabo Matapolo or the famous Salsa Brava in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca are all known spots of the best surfers on the continent. Costa Rica is a destination of choice for both beginner and advanced surfers. To know the best surf spots in Costa Rica.

Hanging bridges

hanging bridges costa rica

Finding yourself at the top of the trees, being able to dominate the immensity of the tropical forest or to observe the ballet of the birds are so many pleasant sensations to discover once perched from a suspension bridge. It’s in Arenal and Monteverde


ecotourism costa rica

This is undoubtedly the buzzword, or even the primary motivation of many travelers opting for the destination Costa Rica. The country has indeed a good head start in this area on other tourist destinations. The socio-economic and political conditions in Costa Rica’s tourism development have meant that tourism and natural resource conservation have always been closely linked. There are certainly many criticisms of the functioning of the protected area system and the way in which tourism has entered it, but Costa Rica has the merit of having developed a network of protected areas among the most successful in the world. world.

National Parks and Protected Areas

national park Cahuita

25% of the area of ​​the Costa Rican territory is organized into protected areas of different types; only half of them are accessible to the general public. National parks are all theoretically accessible to tourists, but some have better facilities than others. A good guide is often recommended and can enrich a ride or just not to get lost. In the photo, the sign at the entrance to Cahuita National Park.

Private Reserves, Botanical Gardens and Organic Farms

toucan costa rica

Private ecotourism businesses abound in Costa Rica. The vast majority make it a point of honor to preserve natural resources whether of plant or animal type. Private reserves with reforestation projects or voluntary pro-environmental actions, botanical gardens specialized in orchids or any other type of plants, organic farms are an integral part of our address book.

Bird watching

sarapiqui costa rica

Costa Rica is a favorite destination for ornithologists and travelers from around the world to enjoy more than 850 bird species, which can be concentrated in an area of ​​just 50 km². It is therefore easy to understand the popularity of the country for its biodiversity in this area. A good pair of binoculars will allow you to enjoy birds of all colors, macaws, parrots, jays, squirrels, migratory birds, ..

Whale and dolphin watching

dolphins costa rica

The observation of whales and dolphins is quite popular in Costa Rica. For decades, humpback whales have been known to breed off Costa Rica’s coastlines, particularly near Bahia Drake, Punta Uvita from Marino Ballena National Park.

Observations of turtles (lute, green, olive, etc.)

turtle tortuguero

The beaches of Costa Rica are true landmarks for five of the eight turtle species. Private or public conservation projects frame the difficult breeding of these species, all of them endangered. At Tortuguero National Parks, Las Baulas, you can enjoy this impressive and even moving spectacle.


San José

The Costa Rican museums are certainly much smaller and supplied than those of our European countries. However some, mainly concentrated in San José, deserve a detour. The National Museum, the Gold Museum, the Jade Museum, the Costa Rican Museum of Art are all possible cultural outings by being in San José.

Archaeological remains

Costa Rica does not have such prestigious sites as its Central American neighbors inherited from the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. It is in Guayabo, about twenty kilometers from Turrialba, that is located the most important archaeological site of the country, petroglyphs and a network of sophisticated aqueducts were discovered there.

Indigenous reserves

bribri costa rica

Often neglected or even forgotten, Amerindian cultures are still very present in Costa Rica. Of course, the percentage of the population of indigenous origin is very low, but some tribes still live cut off from the “modern” world, and others try to preserve some traditions. Most are concentrated in the south of the country, near the Cordillera de Talamanca. Meetings can be arranged upon request through community contacts. … In the photo, a palenque of the indigenous village Bribri.


Coffee costa rica

Coffee was the country’s economic flagship until the end of the 1980s. With the arrival of new large exporters on the international market, sales of Costa Rican coffee collapsed and the country reconverted to a share in other economic sectors such as tourism but has also diversified its production, orienting it towards a high quality coffee.


craft costa rica

Costa Rican craftsmanship is primarily known for woodworking. Sarchi, a small town located 30km north of San José, is the national capital of handicraft production. Miniature replicas of coffee carts or oxcarts are very popular with tourists

Hot springs

hot springs costa rica

All rights due to the country’s very important volcanic activity, swimming in a river of hot water or in a thermal complex is an activity not to be missed during a stay in Costa Rica. The spa and massage facilities that are generally associated with it are legion throughout the country and you will not have a hard time relaxing after a good day of hiking. …


To know more about things to do in Costa Rica

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