A sage individual once said, ‘ good things come in small packages.’ Costa Rica may very well be that perfect example of that gem of a statement. The tiny Central American country has so many fun activities that will have you coming back for more.
Costa Rica receives 1.7 million vacationers every year. A majority of them come from Canada and the United States. In terms of earnings, that translates to about $1.7 billion annually.
So, what makes Costa Rica such a tourism magnet? Well, it all has to do with the many fun activities you can participate in during your Costa Rica vacation.
Costa Rica, with its white-sand beaches, dramatic volcanoes and lush rainforests, is one of the world’s most beautiful countries. And there’s plenty to do here: from swimming with turtles and kayaking in the tropics to venturing into the unknown depths of a mysterious cloud forest.
Whether you are looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure or just want to relax and take in the stunning views, Costa Rica has something for everyone. With its vibrant culture, pristine landscapes and exciting activities galore, Costa Rica is the perfect place to have some fun!
Here are a few of our favorite activities that will make your time in Costa Rica infinitely more memorable trendingbird.
1. Spend Hours at the Beaches
Do you want an opportunity to relax and allow the tension to drain out your body like the ebbing tides? If yes, you need to plan to visit the Costa Rica beaches. The tropical Central American country has a staggering 300 beaches.
Yes, you read that right, 300. Some of the must-visit ones include:-
- Manuel Antonio beaches in Costa Rica in the Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest protected park. This beach destination is very popular because it has everything a beach should be. That includes plenty of sand, water activities, fresh seafood, and more.
- Tamarindo Costa Rica beaches are on the Guanacaste coast. One spectacle you want to see is the sunset fading into the sapphire Ocean. Indeed, it is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.
- Mal Pais beaches in Santa Teresa sit on a backdrop of tropical forests. What makes the beaches so attractive is the lack of crowds. So, if you want some solitude while enjoying plenty of activity, head to the Santa Maria beaches.
- Puerto Viejo de Limon beach will allow you to interact with locals. Only a few tourists know about this hidden gem, which is popular with the locals.
- Samara Beach is like a beach destination photograph in a travel brochure.
Remember to carry plenty of sunscreen for your trip to the beach. Leaving once you get there will be hard, so don’t be in a rush. Indeed, allocate whole days in your vacations to Costa Rica to do nothing but enjoy the sand, water, and sun.
2. Tour the National Parks
Costa Rica has 29 national parks, accounting for 25% of the country’s landscape. You will not find any other country with such a large concentration of protected areas.
Another thing that adds to the uniqueness of Costa Rica is the diverse landscapes. The country enjoys tropical, subtropical, and a host of micro-climates. Thus you can imagine what type of biodiversity you will get here.
Expect plenty of tropical rainforests, Pacific and Atlantic oceans, deciduous trees, mangrove forests, and cloud forests. With over 12 climatic zones, the country is such a delight due to the variations.
So, a trip to one national park can expose you to a different climate from another. Ask your local guides for advice on how to dress before embarking on the journeys. It is not uncommon to experience sudden showers in some areas.
So, which are some noteworthy parks that will enrich your Costa Rica vacation?
Corcovado National Park
Amidst the stunning coastal jungle of Costa Rica lies Corcovado National Park–a vibrant, biodiverse paradise full of diverse wildlife and breathtaking vistas.
In the shadows of tropical rainforest canopy, mammals such as Baird’s tapir and Geoffrey’s spider monkeys can be seen in their natural habitat. In addition to the abundance of terrestrial species, Corcovado is home to a plethora of marine life, from whales and dolphins to colorful seabirds.
In this tropical wonderland, and you may catch a glimpse of macaws, toucans, and a multitude of other exotic birds gliding through the treetops. Corcovado National park is home to some amazing creatures, including the nearly extinct Jaguar.
Monteverde Cloud/Rainforest Reserve
One word to describe the Monteverde cloud forest reserve is fascinating. Imagine cloud cover so low that it engulfs you as you hike the forest. Dress in waterproof clothes because of the constant mist.
It is a popular destination for both ecotourism and scientific research. Visitors here can explore trails and visit the famous suspension bridges to observe the area’s incredible wildlife.
Your local guide will highlight fascinating animals, birds, and plants. Do sign up for the night tours if you want that extra thrill. Walking through the misty shroud in the darkness, with only your torch for light, will have you trembling with trepidation. But, the Monteverde cloud forest reserve is an experience in your Costa Rica vacation you will live to remember for a long time.
Cahuita and Antonio Manuel National Parks
Cahuita and Antonio Manuel national parks are popular beach destinations. The untamed beauty nestled in sandy beaches against a backdrop of blue waters is a traveler’s dream. Indeed if you are looking for an opportunity to unplug from daily stressors, these Costa Rica beach destinations are excellent ideas.
Take time to explore the beaches and prepare for plenty of water activities. There will never be a dull moment at these excellent destinations.
Irazu and Arenal Volcano National Park
Irazu and Arenal Volcano National Park will bring you close to volcanic activities. See how the lava has transformed the landscapes. The mineral-rich soil allows for the growth of amazing plant life in a burst of colors that looks like a picture. You also get panoramic views of surrounding areas.
The park is known for its two active volcanoes, Irazu and Arenal, both of which offer spectacular views and a unique natural experience. There are numerous hiking trails, as well as opportunities for bird watching, fishing, and camping. In addition, visitors can explore the ruins of colonial period churches, monasteries and dwellings in nearby towns and cities.
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park is the nesting home for millions of turtles. If you want to catch this marvel, plan your visit for late July to November. Most of the action takes place at night when you can see thousands of hatchlings race to the sea. But you will need a guide to tour the Park after 6 p.m.
Outside of the nesting turtles is a spectacular diversity of habitats. These comprise mangrove forests, rainforests, swamps, and lagoons. The seamless blending makes it feel like moving from ecosystem to ecosystem without a break.
Other than the turtles expect to bump into crocodiles, manatees, monkeys, and Toucans.
Visit Puntarenas Marine Park
Puntarenas marine Park brings you closer to Marine wildlife that lives in giant aquariums. It makes it to our list of fun things to do on your Costa Rica vacation because it is family-friendly.
Take the kids on an interesting yet educational tour. They will see amazing creatures like sea turtles, sharks, and crocodiles.
3. Enjoy Plenty of Water Activities in Costa Rica
A Costa Rica vacation will only be complete by taking part in the water activities. These include:-
- Catamaran sailing tours are available in most beach destinations, especially along the Pacific Coast. Popular destinations include Flamingo, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, and Playas del Coco.
- Sunset sailing is easily available with the many cruise ships.
- Snorkel and scuba dive in the Caribbean and Pacific seas. Some popular destinations include Las Catalina Islands, Cahuita National Park, Gulf of Papagayo, and Cocos Island.
- Surf at places like Osa Peninsula, Playa Avellana, Santa Teresa, and Playa Grande.
- Canyoning tests your mettle against the rapids. One must-check-out location is the 200 feet waterfall at La Fortuna.
- Rafting at Pacuare River takes you through 19 miles of rainforest. Bring along Binoculars to capture some exotic birds, plants, and animals.
4. Take Part in Over Land Activities
Beyond water activities, enjoy plenty of overland activities. These include:-
Zip lining gives you a chance to soar over tropical rainforests. Guanacaste, La Fortuna, and Monteverde forest reserves have some of the best facilities. Don’t worry if you have had a ziplining experience before. There are plenty of beginner-friendly locations you can try out.
ATV tours allow you to explore off-road locations in a fun way. You can find such facilities at Manuel Antonio, Santa Teresa, and Tamarindo Costa Rica beaches.
5. Experience the Local Culture
Enjoy plenty of local cuisine and cultural events. If you are at the beach, ask for a copo. What you will get is a delightful mix of powdered milk, Kola syrup, condensed milk, and shaved ice.
Few places know how to party like the people of Costa Rica. Fiestas civicas are what they call the local parties. You will spend hours enjoying good food, dancing, games, bull riding, and more.
It will seem like the country never sleeps because the Fiestas are available throughout the year. But some of the more popular months include February, March, July, and December. Remember to ask your local guides to know where the action is.
6. Visit the Museums
See what the Costa Rican artists offer at the Museum of contemporary art and design. There is also an interesting collection of international exhibits and attractions.
Among the highlights are the Gold Museum of San José, which houses an impressive collection of jewelry and other artifacts dating back nearly 3000 years, as well as the Children’s Museum in San José, which provides an interactive experience designed to educate and entertain children.
Other popular museums include the National Museum in Cartago, which contains an impressive collection of Spanish colonial art, and the Jade Museum in San José, dedicated to preserving and promoting Costa Rican jade pieces.
Costa Rica offers a paradise of activities to choose from – you’ll never run out of things to do! Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, cultural experiences or laid back beach days there is something for everyone in this beautiful country.
With its stunning landscapes and excellent tourist infrastructure, Costa Rica promises unforgettable memories that you won’t soon forget. Start planning your trip now and find out why so many people call it the “Jewel of Central America”!