Costa Rica has a ton of activity options for avid thrill-seekers as well as for those who enjoy more mellow types of adventures. As cliché as it sounds, there truly is “something for everyone” to do within Costa Rica’s lush jungle paradise. Here are a few ideas to help you plan your Costa Rican adventure.
Costa Rican Adventures for the Adrenaline Junkie
- Bungee Jumping: The most popular site for bungee jumping in Costa Rica is the Old Colorado River Bridge, located a little less than an hour west of San Jose. Standing at 265 feet high, the Old Colorado River Bridge is one of the tallest bungee destinations in all of the Americas. Bungee-ers who jump from this location free-fall through a gorgeous tropical canyon, and are flung back up into the air just before hitting the river that flows at the bottom. There are a number of reputable companies that lead bungee trips to the bridge, with prices ranging from $60-$80 a person (often including a video).
- Zip-lining: Want to explore Costa Rica’s lush jungle canopies in one of the most thrilling and breathtaking ways possible? Go zip-lining. Canopy tours are a fun and popular way to get a bird’s eye view of the lush wildlife in Costa Rica, and are available in many different areas of the country. Most of Costa Rica’s canopy tours take travelers through 10 or more different cables and are usually priced between $45 and $75 per person.
- White water rafting: One of the best ways to explore the hidden landscapes of Costa Rica is by rafting the rivers that are carved throughout the country’s tropical wilderness. White water rafting trips can be booked for a few hours or over the course of multiple days, with rapids ranging in difficulty from class I to IV.
- Surfers fall in love with Costa Rica for its abundant waves and secluded beaches that are much less crowded and touristy than those of other popular surf destinations. The country’s biggest waves are usually found on the Caribbean Coast when tropical storms hit the Mexican Coast. Guanacaste’s North Pacific Coast offers some of the country’s most consistently surf-able waves, but also has more tourists than any of the country’s other surf spots. The South Pacific and Central Pacific costs of Costa Rica offer some of the longest rides in the world.
For the Mild Adventure-Seeker
- Some of Costa Rica’s best hiking trails can be found within the country’s long list of scenic and adventure-filled national parks. In fact, Costa Rica has so many National Parks that over 25% of the country is protected by the government (more than any other country on the planet)! And these areas offer many of the best and most accessible trails to explore Costa Rica’s wildlife and gorgeous scenery. Some of the country’s most popular hiking trails can be found in Arenal Volcano National Park, Chirripo National Park, and MANY others.
- Horseback riding. Not only is horseback riding fun in and of itself, but it also allows travelers to explore more places in less amount of time than would be possible on foot. Horseback riding tours can be found throughout the country with trips usually lasting a few hours in length. Often times, horseback tours are combined with other activities such as a trip a coffee plantation, restaurant, zip lining, etc., allowing travelers to enjoy several activities in one day. Depending on what the trip involves, horseback riding tours range from $40 to $150.
- Hot air ballooning. If you like the idea of zip-lining but aren’t too keen on the whole “flying through the sky attached to nothing but a few ropes” kinda thing, you can instead opt to peacefully float over Costa Rica’s lush jungles inside of the comfort of a hot air balloon basket. Above the canopy of the rainforest, you’ll see all sorts of birds, monkeys, and more of the creatures that make up Costa Rica’s unique wildlife. Hot air balloon rides can be found at many locations throughout the country.
- If you love being around water but feel slightly intimidated by harsh rapids or strong waves, kayaking might be an excellent option for you. This fun, peaceful, and inexpensive activity is a great way to explore Costa Rica from one of its many lakes, rivers, or estuaries (not to mention its 802 miles of coastline).
- Costa Rica is home to around 7,000 marine species, many of which can be seen firs-hand by snorkeling in one of the country’s many coral reefs. Snorkelers in Costa Rica can usually expect to creatures like sea turtles, puffer fish, manta rays, parrotfish, starfish, sea cucumbers, and others (depending on the part of the country) while swimming in Costa Rica’s warm, clear waters. Often times, guided snorkeling tours can be booked in combination with kayaking trips.