Top 10 “What to Do’s” in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, there is an abundance of warm weather, glorious landscape and nature, and plenty to see and do.
When planning your visit to Costa Rica, where you go depends on what you want to do. Two good tips: Note how much time you have and prioritize the main places where you’d like to go, or you can easily spend all of your time traveling and not really seeing a thing. Weather also affects travel – for instance, rainy season is better for river rafting and enjoying lush vegetation, while dry season is better for scuba diving, surfing and enjoying the beaches.
Once you know what you want to do, Valle Dorado Tours can help you plan where to go. They are experts in custom travel in Costa Rica.
Here’s our top 10 list for “What To Do in Costa Rica.” Most are things you can do in many places throughout the country.
• Hike in a national park. There are 161 national parks, private reserves, protected areas and wildlife refuges in this little Switzerland-sized country. From bird watching to wildlife spotting to seeing amazing tropical trees and plants, Costa Rica’s national parks and private reserves appeal to everyone.
• Visit a volcano. You have a choice of 5 main volcanoes that are easily accessible – Arenal, Poas, Irazu, Rincon de la Vieja and Turrialba. At some of them (Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja), you can enjoy natural hotsprings and volcanic mud baths.
• Go on a canopy zip-line tour. In a rainforest, most life is up in the tree canopy, and although the majority of canopy tours are set up for the adrenaline rush, you still see a lot and it’s very cool just to be that high up in the trees.
• Play in the ocean. Leave the wetsuit at home and enjoy warm water surfing, Boogie boarding or just playing in the ocean waves. With 912 miles (1,466 km) of coastline between the Pacific Coast and the Caribbean Coast, and world-class waves around every corner, tens of thousands of tourists flock to Costa Rica’s beaches every year.
• Explore the marine life. When discovering Costa Rica’s amazing flora and fauna, its extraordinary marine life is not to be missed! Immerse yourself in the underwater world scuba diving or snorkeling, go ocean kayaking along the coast or through a labyrinthine mangrove estuary, or maybe just enjoy a sunset or early morning sail out on the sea to see dolphins, sea birds and possibly whales or sea turtles.
• Check out the culture. Learn about the importance of coffee in the country’s culture on a coffee plantation tour. In Costa Rica’s “summertime” (January-April), go to a “fiesta” (like a carnival) to eat typical foods and see favorite pastimes of horse parades, bull riding and rodeos. Or a stop at a roadside stand and sample fresh tropical fruit and Costa Rican sweets like “dulce de leche” (like a caramel fudge) or “cajetas” (toasted coconut cookies).
• Walk through rain forest or cloud forest canopy on hanging bridges. A combination of trails and suspended bridges enable you to see some of the 850 species of birds, 360 different kinds of reptiles and amphibians, 1,000 or so orchids, 2,000 types of trees, and around 200 kinds of mammals.
• Run the rapids whitewater rafting. Costa Rica is famous for its gorgeous tropical rivers and their rapids. You can find trips that suit all levels – from serious adrenaline-inducing wild rides to relaxing floats to spot wildlife.
• Go for a ride. Whether on horseback or mountain bike – you can explore more of the natural countryside than on foot.
• Appreciate the art. Enjoy one of Costa Rica’s excellent museums – the Gold Museum, Jade Museum, National Art Museum, etc. Peruse an art gallery, or go to see artisan handiwork like the ox carts and wood crafts of the famous town of Sarchi, or the renowned pottery of Guaitil, or indigenous crafts like at the Maleku Cultural Center in La Fortuna near Volcano Arenal or in the village of Boruca in southern Costa Rica.