Travel tips

Published on May 21st, 2014 | by Geckos Tales Team


7 awesome things to do in Costa Rica

Read time: a bit over 3 minutes

Image courtesy of Ted Murphy, Flickr

Costa Rica’s the kind of place you could lose yourself. We know this, because that’s exactly what happened to us last time we went there. We lost ourselves somewhere between Monteverde’s cloud forest sky canopy walk and the magnificent beach of Puerto Viejo.

Luckily for us, we found ourselves just in time to catch the flight home, and it was at that exact moment we decided Costa Rica was one of the best places we’ve ever been. In the spirit of all things Costa Rican, here are seven awesome things to do whilst you’re there.

1. Climb a volcano

Arenal Volcano | Photo courtesy of Sam Beebe

Arenal Volcano | Photo courtesy of Sam Beebe, Flickr

When you think of Costa Rica you may not think right away about volcanoes, but the truth is that the country is as good a place as any to go see these geological beasts. One of the best places to go is Arenal Volcano near the town of La Fortuna. At night, if the weather permits, a climb up this amazing volcano can lead to some incredible sightings of bright red flowing lava. To top things off, down near town a host of resorts have taken advantage of this below surface heating by creating some of the world’s most impressive hot spring systems.

2. Go bird watching


Quetzalcoatl mural | Photo courtesy of Jay Galvin, Flickr

Now before you start cracking jokes about “twitchers” and “birdders” being more bird than human, you have to give birding in Costa Rica a try. The cloud forest region of Costa Rica is home to some of the most diverse bird life. Through the trees you might glimpse brightly coloured toucans, humming birds, parrots and even a famous mythical bird called the quetzalcoatl if you are really lucky. You’d be hard pressed to find a better place to bird watch in the world.

3. Bathe in a waterfall


Waterfall, Costa Rica | Photo courtesy of Steve Harbula, Flickr

Who doesn’t want that movie experience where you’re swimming in a cool pool of water below a powerful waterfall? There are a number of very impressive waterfalls in Costa Rica that seemingly just carve through the rain forest landscape before crashing into pools of pristine water.

4. Go surfing


Costa Rica surfing | Photo courtesy of Dakine Kane, Flickr

Costa Rica provides some of the best surfing in all of Central America. From the northern beach towns of Mal Pais all the way down to the easy breaks of Manuel Antonio and Jaco, while in Costa Rica you are never too far from good swell. It doesn’t matter if your a hardened surfer or a first timer hoping to learn, there are lots of opportunities to ride the waves. The best part is that there is never a soft sand beach or a cold beer too far away.

5. See the sea turtles


Costa Rica sea turtle | Photo courtesy of FritzF2010

On both coasts of the country there is the chance to take part in watching the sea turtles nest. Seeing these giant animals, who are still remnants of the age of the dinosaur, climb onto the shores of the beaches and nest is an absolute thrill. The opportunity to watch as the turtles carve the beach with such speed and then plopping out dozens of round eggs is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most.

6. Go ziplining


Ziplining in Costa Rica | Photo courtesy of David Berkowitz, Flickr

Costa Rica has the original zipline near the town of Monteverde. And who doesn’t want to do the original? Strap yourself to a cable and speed your way through the middle of the high cloud forest as trees, and the life that lives within them, whizzes by at top speed.

7. Search for monkeys…or better yet, sloths


Costa Rican sloth | Photo courtesy of Marissa Strniste, Flickr

Throughout the country there are lots of opportunities to see monkeys, or better yet sloths. National Parks like Manuel Antonio provide the easiest entry into the rain forest which will allow you to have an up close and personal experience with the animals. If you’re hoping to dig a little bit deeper head down to the Osa Peninsula which actually forms the second most bio-diverse place on the planet next the Brazil’s Pantanal region. If you like monkeys, Costa Rica is a great place for you.

Time to start planning your Costa Rican adventure? Take a look at our range of Costa Rica trips.

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About the Author

We run awesome trips around the world. But when we're not on the road, we're sitting here and writing loads of travel-related insights, tips, information and advice. Geckos Tales is your go-to source for whenever you need to find something out about pretty much anything.

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