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Majestic waterfall in the rainforest jungle of Costa Rica. Tropical hike.

The Best Things to See and Do in Costa Rica

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica beckons travellers with its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and abundant wildlife. Renowned for its commitment to conservation and ecotourism, this Central American gem offers a wealth of experiences for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and culture enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re hiking through tropical jungles, surfing world-class waves, or relaxing in thermal hot springs, Costa Rica promises an unforgettable journey. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best things to do in this vibrant and diverse country.

Exploring Manuel Antonio National Park

Begin your Costa Rican adventure in Manuel Antonio, home to one of the country’s most beloved national parks. Hike through lush rainforest trails teeming with wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, and colourful birds, and emerge onto pristine beaches where you can swim, snorkel, or simply soak up the sun. Don’t miss the chance to climb to the park’s highest point for panoramic views of the Pacific coastline and surrounding mountains.

Zip Lining in Monteverde Cloud Forest

Embark on an exhilarating zip line adventure through the canopy of Monteverde Cloud Forest, one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems. Soar through the treetops on a series of thrilling zip lines, suspended bridges, and Tarzan swings, and marvel at the incredible diversity of plant and animal life below. For an even more immersive experience, take a guided night hike through the forest to encounter nocturnal creatures such as frogs, insects, and owls.

Relaxing in Arenal Hot Springs

Unwind and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs surrounding the Arenal Volcano, one of Costa Rica’s most iconic landmarks. Soak in the warm mineral-rich waters while soaking up breathtaking views of the volcano and lush rainforest surroundings. After a day of relaxation, treat yourself to a luxurious spa treatment or indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the nearby resorts.

Surfing in Tamarindo

Ride the waves in Tamarindo, a laid-back beach town on the Pacific coast that’s renowned for its world-class surfing conditions. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time surfer, Tamarindo offers a variety of breaks suitable for all skill levels. Sign up for a surf lesson with one of the local instructors, rent a board, and hit the waves for an unforgettable day of sun, sand, and surf.

Tortuguero National Park

Turtle Watching Paradise: Experience the wonder of nature in Tortuguero National Park, a remote wilderness area on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast that’s famous for its sea turtle nesting beaches. Visit between July and October to witness green sea turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs, or from March to June to see baby turtles hatch and make their way to the sea. Take a guided boat tour through the park’s network of canals to spot wildlife such as monkeys, crocodiles, and exotic birds.

Exploring the Osa Peninsula

Venture off the beaten path and discover the pristine beauty of the Osa Peninsula, one of Costa Rica’s last remaining wilderness areas. Trek through Corcovado National Park, a biological hotspot known for its dense rainforest, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife, including scarlet macaws, tapirs, and jaguars. Stay in a rustic eco-lodge or tented camp and fall asleep to the sounds of the jungle under a blanket of stars.

Cultural Immersion in San José

Immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture and history in the capital city of San José. Explore the bustling Mercado Central, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts, and sample traditional dishes like casado and gallo pinto at a local soda. Visit the National Museum to learn about Costa Rica’s indigenous heritage and colonial past, and take a stroll through the leafy streets of Barrio Amón to admire the colourful Victorian mansions and art deco buildings.

Rafting on the Pacuare River

Get your adrenaline pumping with a whitewater rafting adventure on the Pacuare River, one of the most scenic and thrilling rivers in Costa Rica. Navigate Class III and IV rapids as you wind your way through lush tropical rainforest, cascading waterfalls, and steep canyon walls. Along the way, keep an eye out for wildlife such as monkeys, toucans, and jaguars, and take breaks to swim in the crystal-clear waters of the river.

Hiking in Corcovado National Park

Lace up your hiking boots and embark on a trek through Corcovado National Park, a remote wilderness area on the Osa Peninsula that’s often referred to as “the most biologically intense place on Earth”. Follow well-marked trails that wind through dense rainforest, mangrove swamps, and coastal lagoons, and keep your camera ready to capture sightings of rare and elusive wildlife such as tapirs, anteaters, and harpy eagles.

Coffee Tour in the Central Valley

Discover the secrets of Costa Rican coffee production on a guided tour of a coffee plantation in the Central Valley. Learn about the history and cultivation process of one of the country’s most important exports, from seedling to cup, and sample freshly roasted beans straight from the source. As you explore the lush green hillsides and rolling coffee fields, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Costa Rica’s proud coffee-making tradition.

Visit Costa Rica

From pristine rainforests to idyllic beaches and adrenaline-pumping adventures, Costa Rica offers a wealth of experiences for travellers seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural immersion. So pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and let the natural beauty and warm hospitality of Costa Rica captivate your heart and soul.

The Travel Pub

At The Travel Pub, we believe that the journey is just as important as the destination. Our mission is to ignite your wanderlust, inspire your travel dreams, and provide you with the tools and knowledge to make those dreams a reality. So, grab your virtual passport and embark on a journey with us. Together, let's raise our glasses and toast to a world waiting to be explored!

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