Costa Rica is a beautiful country in Central America sandwiched in between Nicaragua and Panama, with the Caribbean Sea to its east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Close in proximity to the equator Costa Rica has a tropical climate all year round, although the weather can vary a little depending on what particular region you are in, because of elevation, topography and things of that nature. And rightfully so, because even though Costa Rica only has 0.1% of the world's landmass, the land is surprisingly diverse.
The country is comprised of thriving forests, beaches, volcanoes, wildlife reserves, lakes, islands, mountains, etc. With so much going on, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Nature lovers can visit one of the reserves, surfers can experiment on which beach serves up the best waves, adventure seekers can hike the Arenal Volcano. For those wanted to experience everything the country has to offer, but have no idea where to start, have no fear.
The team at TrekkSoft , along with some of our loyal customers in Costa Rica have comprised a list of the top 10 things to do while you are in Costa Rica. So without further delay, and in no particular order here they are.
1. Bird Watching
Although it has a small total area Costa Rica contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. Around 25% of the land is protected national parks. National parks like Corcovado National Park, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, and Tortuguero National Park, play host to an abundance of species, including big cats, Costa Rican monkeys, and the endangered green turtles. But what Costa Rica has been renowned for is the birds. There have been 840 species of birds identified in Costa Rica thus far. One needs a guide to point out all these birds, and other species when visiting these national parks. Johnny Loves Nature provides tours to all the national parks and features a bird watching tour in Monteverde Cloud Forest.
2. Canopy Tours
Who wouldn't want to soar 100's of feet above the Costa Rican forests. Whether its a zip-line, a gondola, aerial tram, suspension bridge or lookout tower, canopy tours have become a hit in Costa Rica. They provide a unique perspective of the ecosystem. Considering most of the inhabitants of the ecosystem live in the canopy, tourists are afforded a birds-eye-view of the flora and fauna, mountain ranges, and oceans. Zip-lines allow you to zoom from platform to platform in an harness taking in the view. Suspension bridges and aerial trams provide for a more tranquil experience. Safari Adventures management recently developed a Jungle Park that features the Canopy Tarzan Tour. It has a total of 12 platforms, 9 cables, a tarzan swing, suspend bridge and a rappel.
Another way to experience the jungle is by kayaking. For those of you not too fond of being in the air, or you want to witness both perspectives you can take a kayaking trip with Nature Riders. On the trip you can see sloughs, toucans, iguanas, howler monkeys and a variety of other animals in the region. Depending on the route you decide to go on, you can kayak the coastlines and feel like Columbus and a host of other explorers when they encountered Costa Rica for the first time. It is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy. Kayaking provides a tranquil escape from all the calamity that surrounds us.
What's better than having options? Having options on where you want to fish, and how you want to fish. Costa Rica’s prime location gives guests options of choosing to fish in the Caribbean Sea or the Pacific Ocean, and inshore fishing or offshore fishing. You can fish for marlin or Mackerel in Tamarindo with Kingpin Sportfishing. Tamarindo is off the the western coast of Costa Rica. Captain Pit and his two mates will provide all the gear you need, you just have to show and pray the fish are biting.
Costa Rica is filled with many waterfalls. While many choose to go swimming under the waterfalls, or use them as the backdrop for honeymoon pictures, you can go canyoning. Canyoning involves you repelling from the top of the waterfall to the bottom. In Costa Rica, one company is synonymous with canyoning, Costa Canyoning. They are Swiss Outdoor Association Certified, many years of experience and employ the best guides. Their tour includes 6 waterfalls, and a picnic with beer included to cap it off.
Surfers are notorious for traveling around the world in search of the best waves. But even the most jaded surfer will tell you that some of the best waves are found in Costa Rica. Tamarindo has been ranked as one of the top ten places to learn how to surf. And if you are learning how to surf, or a seasoned vet, there's no other company to show you the ropes than Iguana Surf Shop. They are the oldest operating surf shop in Costa Rica with more than 2 decades and 100,000 students under their belt. They also double as a surf shop, where guests can rent and buy all the gear they need to shred some waves!
7. ATV Tours
Diverse terrain can make it tough exploring the jungles, so ATVs are ubiquitous in Costa Rica. The 4x4 vehicles can handle any terrain so there's no delay or pause while you are zigzagging through the jungle. The folks over at Jungle ATV have mapped out a perfect route that takes you over several mountain ranges and into the deep jungle providing amazing ocean & valley views, stream crossings, and coffee & banana plantations.
8. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding offers a more eco-friendly alternative to the ATVs but with the same results. Horses are majestic creatures that can tackle most terrains as well. You can take the horses for a ride up to the mountain top at a slow pace, so you can take in all the breathtaking views. In Guanacaste, you will find the Black Stallion Estate, a sprawling 33-acre eco park with 3 mountain tops that provide 360 views of as far as you can see. You can stop by for horseback riding around the estate with a BBQ to follow.
The Sarapiquí River in Costa Rica is one of the most adrenalized rivers for rafting. The Sarapiquí Outdoor Center team know every nook and cranny of that river, they will give you the time of your life. Guests get to go rafting in the shadows of the Arenal Volcano. Sarapiquí Outdoor Center will make sure all safety precautions are taking care of. Just bring energy as you will be paddling for more than 2 hours.
10. Mountain Biking
If you want to explore all the corners of the island and get a workout in, mountain biking is the way to go. You can bike by the rivers and swamps, bike up the volcanoes, bike through the desert, and the jungles. Each location gives you a new perspective of the Costa Rica and what is has to offer. Guana Bikers are one of the few companies that offers mountain biking trips to all parts of the country. Everyone is welcome and guarantee they will enjoy mountain biking, from the casual tourists to daredevils.
This is not an exhaustive list, as there are plenty of activities to do in Costa Rica that did not make the list. After talks with our Costa Rican companies, and the activities that attract the most tourists, it was what we came up with. If there is any activity we left off that you feel should be on this list, please feel free to leave comments. And if you are planning to go to Costa Rica do make sure to partake in these activities, and let us know how it went!
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Written by Nelson Oduro
Nelson was part of TrekkSoft's marketing team in our New York Office for three years, paying particular attention to the growth of our digital marketing strategy.