Nestled away on the narrowest strip of Central America and bordered by the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is nothing short of a hidden oasis. There are plenty of things to do in Costa Rica, whether you seek breath-taking views, a taste of adventure or simply a romantic getaway.
So why not take advantage of one of the many Costa Rica tours on offer? To help you decide, here’s a small selection of places to visit and what to do in Costa Rica!
For a truly fun packed day why not take a trip to the Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic reserve. Equipped with your 6-in-1 day pass, you’ll be able to glide through the forest by either a zipline or cable, admire the rainforest views from an aerial tram line and even gross a traditional hanging bridge above the Molinete River! But don’t worry, if that sounds a bit too adventurous you can always opt for a 45 minutes guided tour through the nature trail or enjoy the sights at the butterfly and frog garden! With prices starting from just £78.00 you’re guaranteed a day to remember – not to mention some hair-raising fun!
Toucan in the Costa Rican rainforest
Take a walk on the wild side! Here you can learn all about how the Sanctuary care for injured, orphaned and abandoned sloths on one of their two popular tours – the 2 hour Buttercup Tour ($30 for adults and $15 for children) or the 3 hour, more detailed, Insider’s Tour ($150 for adults , $75 for children/tends and $85 for seniors over 65). Whichever tour you choose you’ll get to understand more about sloth physiology and behaviour – not to mention a relaxing canoe trip along the Estrella River. Tours operate hourly between Tuesday and Sunday and it’s certainly worth booking in advance. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the sanctuary also offer accommodation at the Buttercup Inn – a perfect base for exploring some of Costa Rica’s coastline.
Renowned for its stunning birds, Costa Rica is a real haven for bird lovers with over 800 species, including the spectacular Resplendent Quetzal. Boasting 2017 Trip Advisor awards and more than a decade of experience in bird tours, Tropical Birding offer multiple tours throughout the year which includes one specifically aimed at the keen photographer. Whichever tour you choose, they’re all run at a very relaxed pace and offer a unique insight into the less visited birding sites. Specific tour times and prices can be discussed by emailing them or AlienAdv directly.
Set in over 5,242 hectares, Carara National Park is definitely a ‘must see’ if you want a piece of the action but we must warn you, it’s not for the faint hearted! Here you can do a half day guided tour which not only includes a hike through the stunning trails but also takes you on a 2 hour crocodile tour across the Tarcoles River and through the Mangroves. Most tours (which can be booked online) depart at 8am and finish with a sumptuous lunch prepared by local chefs, but hours can be a lot more flexible for private groups and costs vary depending on individual requirements.
Ideal for all members of the family, the Palo Verde Boat tour are a small family business with almost 25 years’ experience when it comes to rural tourism. Set within the utterly stunning Palo Verde National Park, this 2 hour boat ride enables you to get a real for the wetlands and wildlife along the Tempisque river lower basin. The first tour leaves at 9.20am and the last at 2.30pm but be mindful that these times may vary from time to time depending on the tide.
Rafting in Costa Rica Photo by Prinke
Get wet and wild with Arenal Rafting! Daily tours leave La Fortuna at 9am and promise plenty of spills and thrills along the Toro River! And that’s not all, you’ll even enjoy lunch Costa Rica style before heading back on the 15km ride for around 3pm. Open to anyone aged 12 years and over prices average at around $85 which includes all equipment, guides, refreshments and local beer.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take your cheeky monkeys then look no further than the New Monkey Jungle on the outskirts of Tamarindo. This stunning conservation area offers fun packed action for all the family, whether it’s a zip wire through the tree tops or an incredible beach adventure in a Honda ATV! Here kids of all ages can truly feel like Tarzan since the jungle is also home to Congo monkeys, lizards, armadillos, small deer and wild boars! Prices vary depending on the type of day you want to experience and contact details can be found on their website.
Simply perfect for lads and dads alike, why not get well off the beaten track on a 6 hour ATV tour which can be taken from central Jaco? Leaving at 9am your guide will take you on an exciting adventure through beaches, rainforests and villages before finally descending to a beach bar for cooling refreshments whilst you catch a magnificent sunset. Prices start at just £149.00.
Offered up by Piko Travel, these trips are a great way of exploring the beautiful areas surrounding Herradura Bay and Playa Fantasia. Setting off at 1.30pm you’ll set sail whilst exploring marine life along the way (and the dolphins certainly aren’t shy when it comes to saying hello!). Kick back and soak up the sun whilst the on-board Chef prepares a delicious salad and appetizers before returning home around tea time. Prices range between $85 and $89.
For a truly different way to discover Costa Rica then why not consider a guided tour on horseback? Set in 1500 acres of private reserve, home to monkeys, coatis and deer, Discovery Horse Tours are the perfect choice whether you fancy their 2.5 hour trail ride or even a week-long vacation. Tours cost just $85 per person and transport can be arranged from Jaco for just $10 per person.
Another huge hit with families is the Santa Elana Cloud Reserve, a highly elevated forest with a continual supply of moisture thanks to the warm winds coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Here you’ll find an abundance of vegetation, not to mention numerous insects, reptiles, monkeys and birds. Built by the local community, the reserve dedicates all its entrance fees to its’ continual management and preservation, not to mention helping provide a higher quality of education for the local schools of Monteverde. Put simply, it’s a great place to learn about how everyone can play an active part in the preserving the environment, wherever they might happen to live. The trials here are open from 7am to 4pm daily and three hour guided tours are available too.
The Cloud forest in Costa Rica Photo Credit
Why not push the boat out – quite literally?! For just $110 per person (with a minimum of 7 persons) you can have your own private yacht for either a private morning sail or a sunset charter. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious refreshments whilst on board, try your hand at fishing or even take a dip in the beautiful waters surrounding Potero Bay. This is just one from among the plenty of options that are available.
After a busy and tiring day spent exploring some of the many sights Costa Rica has to offer why not treat yourself to a tree-top dining experience at Ginger in Hermosa. Here you’ll be able to sample some of the local cuisine al fresco and all from the luxury of your tree-top table! Using wild ginger which is grown directly beneath the restaurant the Chefs here certainly pack an extra punch to make your evening one to remember. For further information and a copy of their menu see their website.
Put simply, whatever you want from your next trip to Costa Rica we’re pretty sure that you’ll find a little something for every member of the family and all at a price that won’t break the bank!
If you’re planning a visit to this beautiful oasis just remember that Costa Rica sees its fair share of rain between the months of May and November so if you’re after a bit of warmth (and a nice tan to take home) then you might want to travel during the month of February, when you’ll not only get the best of the weather (with around 7 hours of sunshine each day) but you’ll also be more likely to spot the many animals on those rainforest treks! That said, the northern Pacific coasts tends to escape much of the rainfall so you’ll probably find it warm and sunny for most of the year with around 11 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures reaching up to 33 degrees – simply perfect!